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  1. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
    The discussions taught by the missionaries are not done in one sitting.
    You guys withhold beliefs that stray far from traditional Christianity until later, in hopes that you don't scare potential converts away.



    Seriously... you're accusing me of lying now?
    It's plain as day, for everyone in this thread to see. First you tried to convince us that baptisms were only done to know Jesus Christ. Then you claimed to not know milk before meat, but in another post said it was the only rational way to dispense information.



    Since I am LDS, I'd like to think that my beliefs and the teachings of the church overlap a tiny bit.
    That also means my original comment regarding how serious conversions are viewed is correct.



    When do you truly understand something? What is a sufficient level of understanding before you can say, "I believe"?
    They can understand the beliefs themselves better in time, but they should at least be made aware of what beliefs they're agreeing to before becoming members.



    You've still not given me a motive. The church doesn't have paid clergy. No one is making money off of new converts. What would be the church's motive to manipulate people?
    LDS sells beliefs. People buy with 10% of their income. A soon as someone becomes a member, they're obligated to begin tithing.

    The first divergence between Mormon economics and that of other denominations is the tithe. Last year $5.2 billion in tithes flowed into Salt Lake City, $4.9 billion of which came from American Mormons. So great is the tithe flow that scholars have suggested it constitutes practically the intermountain states' only local counterbalance in an economy otherwise dominated by capital from the East and West coasts.

    A primary reason for the church's business triumphs, says University of Washington sociologist Stark, is that it has no career clerics, only amateurs who have been plucked for service from successful endeavors in other fields. But the benefit, notes Stark, is that "people at the top of the Mormon church have immense experience in the world. These guys have been around the track. Why do they choose to invest directly? Because they are not helpless. They are a bunch of hard-nosed businessmen." Rodney Brady, who runs Deseret Management Corp., has a Harvard business doctorate, served as executive vice president of pharmaceutical giant Bergen Brunswig and from 1970 to '72 was Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Similar figures fill the church's upper management: Tony Burns, a "stake president" (the rough equivalent of an archbishop), is chairman of Miami-based Ryder Systems, the truck-rental empire.

    KINGDOM COME - A Time magazine feature story on the Mormons


    Technically, Mormons believe that EVERYONE ultimately goes to a heaven... there's just different levels of heaven. RECEIVING & ACCEPTING the ordinance of baptism is required to enter the highest kingdom.
    The heaven you believe in is a mormon conception. Therefore, people that enter into it are default mormons. You can't enter Christian heaven without being a Christian. Same principle. Otherwise, you're kidnapping souls.

  2. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
    What would be the church's motive to manipulate people?
    Money.

  3. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    You guys withhold beliefs that stray far from traditional Christianity until later, in hopes that you don't scare potential converts away.
    You've obviously not taken the discussions. That's not true at all.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    It's plain as day, for everyone in this thread to see. First you tried to convince us that baptisms were only done to know Jesus Christ.
    What I actually wrote was:

    Baptism is an ordinance symbolic of taking on the name of Christ as their savior. Because all souls are short of the perfection necessary to dwell in the presense of God, baptism is a necessary ordinance in order to be ultimately saved during the final judgment of God. It means accepting Christ as your personal savior, but it must be performed by those having proper authority to act in the name of God.

    Baptism is an earthly ordinance - it cannot be performed in the spirit world. Rather than condemn those who have never heard of Christ or otherwise have not had the opportunity to be baptised, the church performs proxy baptisms on behalf of the deceased. (All deceased... not just the Jewish holocaust survivors - that's why geneology is so important to the LDS faith.) It is believed that the souls of the deceased will have the opportunity to accept or reject baptisms done on their behalf in the spirit world. (So no, these are not counted as "Mormons".)
    I think I have been very honest and clear about this position. If there is a misunderstanding somewhere, I would be happy to elaborate, but please don't accuse me of being dishonest.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Then you claimed to not know milk before meat, but in another post said it was the only rational way to dispense information.
    I didn't understand what you meant when you originally used the phrase, "milk before meat". AFTER you and someone else had explained what you meant, I stated that I had some agreement with it. I don't see the dishonesty there either.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    That also means my original comment regarding how serious conversions are viewed is correct.
    I don't understand what you're talking about here...

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    They can understand the beliefs themselves better in time, but they should at least be made aware of what beliefs they're agreeing to before becoming members.
    I agree with this, actually. I'm a bit more perplexed as to why you feel the church doesn't do this.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    LDS sells beliefs. People buy with 10% of their income. A soon as someone becomes a member, they're obligated to begin tithing.
    Quote Originally Posted by Not_Me View Post
    Money.
    If the motive was money, it would stand to reason that someone would be profiting off of the money, right? Otherwise it would be a circular motive, like existing simply to exist.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    The heaven you believe in is a mormon conception. Therefore, people that enter into it are default mormons. You can't enter Christian heaven without being a Christian. Same principle. Otherwise, you're kidnapping souls.
    You speak as if there are multiple roads to salvation based on what religion you believe. I'm not sure if I'm quite following you here... Either what I believe is true, or it's not true. If it's true, than the "Mormon" heaven is the only one there is anyway. If it's not true, than the "Mormon" heaven doesn't exist.

  4. #114
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    You've obviously not taken the discussions. That's not true at all.
    I know for a fact you guys don't tell people they can become gods, and that members have to be in a celestial marriage to achieve it. Or that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene. Or that Jesus went to America. Nevermind, the crazier stuff before baptism.



    Baptism is an ordinance symbolic of taking on the name of Christ as their savior. (So no, these are not counted as "Mormons".)
    That only says the baptisms are done to know Jesus Christ, and they won't be counted as Mormons. When technically, they will be mormons.



    I stated that I had some agreement with it.
    You didn't explicitly state any agreement to milk before meat. You just did a 180 and not only claimed to know the practice, but believe it to be the best way to get things done.



    I agree with this, actually. I'm a bit more perplexed as to why you feel the church doesn't do this.
    I have an acquaintance that recently converted, and she didn't know alot of the stranger principles (meat) that my mormon friends already know. They also told me that quite a few beliefs aren't discussed until AFTER baptism. Straight from temple recommended member's mouths.



    If the motive was money, it would stand to reason that someone would be profiting off of the money, right?
    The corporation of LDS profits.

    The top beef ranch in the world is not the King Ranch in Texas. It is the Deseret Cattle & Citrus Ranch outside Orlando, Fla. It covers 312,000 acres; its value as real estate alone is estimated at $858 million. It is owned entirely by the Mormons. The largest producer of nuts in America, AgReserves, Inc., in Salt Lake City, is Mormon-owned. So are the Bonneville International Corp., the country's 14th largest radio chain, and the Beneficial Life Insurance Co., with assets of $1.6 billion.

    The Latter-day Saints employ vast amounts of money in investments that TIME estimates to be at least $6 billion strong. Even more unusual, most of this money is not in bonds or stock in other peoples' companies but is invested directly in church-owned, for-profit concerns, the largest of which are in agribusiness, media, insurance, travel and real estate. All told, TIME estimates that the Latter-day Saints farmland and financial investments total some $11 billion, and that the church's nontithe income from its investments exceeds $600 million.

    KINGDOM COME - A Time magazine feature story on the Mormons


    You speak as if there are multiple roads to salvation based on what religion you believe. I'm not sure if I'm quite following you here... Either what I believe is true, or it's not true. If it's true, than the "Mormon" heaven is the only one there is anyway. If it's not true, than the "Mormon" heaven doesn't exist.
    What actually exists is irrelevant. People aren't consenting to have their souls proxy baptized by the pretend christians called mormons.

  5. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    I know for a fact you guys don't tell people they can become gods, and that members have to be in a celestial marriage to achieve it.
    The church does teach that people can "become like God". The church does not teach that people will ever become equal to or surpass the glory of Christ or the Father, which saying "people can become gods" seems to imply.

    Celestial marriage is taught as taught to be another ordinance requisite for salvation in the highest kingdom of heaven.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Or that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
    The church doesn't teach it because it's not church doctrine. Some members of the church have speculated about this, but the church has no official position on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Or that Jesus went to America.
    Actually, yes the church does teach that to people before they are baptised.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    That only says the baptisms are done to know Jesus Christ, and they won't be counted as Mormons. When technically, they will be mormons.
    With regards to baptisms for the deceased, they would have to ACCEPT the baptism done in their behalf before they could be called Mormons. We don't have a direct line to the after-life, so no one can say that the deceased have accepted baptisms done on their behalf. No one is calling these people Mormons nor does anyone believe that they are forced to become Mormon.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    You didn't explicitly state any agreement to milk before meat. You just did a 180 and not only claimed to know the practice, but believe it to be the best way to get things done.
    What are you even talking about? I can't believe you're arguing with me about this.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    I have an acquaintance that recently converted, and she didn't know alot of the stranger principles (meat) that my mormon friends already know. They also told me that quite a few beliefs aren't discussed until AFTER baptism. Straight from temple recommended member's mouths.
    If those beliefs are anything like the "Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene", they probably weren't taught because it wasn't church doctrine.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    The corporation of LDS profits.
    And where does that money go? To building churches and temples, to helping the poor and other charitable causes, disaster relief, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    What actually exists is irrelevant. People aren't consenting to have their souls proxy baptized by the pretend christians called mormons.
    What actually exists is irrelevant? That sounds like the very heart of the issue.

  6. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silence11 View Post
    The church does teach that people can "become like God". The church does not teach that people will ever become equal to or surpass the glory of Christ or the Father, which saying "people can become gods" seems to imply.
    Joseph Smith stated it himself. There are also other verses that state Jesus and God are definitely like other humans. Either way, none of this changes that my recently converted acquaintance didn't know about it before baptism.

    "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).

    "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's," (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; Compare with Alma 18:26-27; 22:9-10).

    "Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).

    The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

    "The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood - was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115).

    "Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers" (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, p. 547).


    No one is calling these people Mormons nor does anyone believe that they are forced to become Mormon.
    They don't need to be called that, but it doesn't change that they would be in theory. Some people do consider it forcing, because how they arrive there would be without their consent.



    I can't believe you're arguing with me about this.
    You deserve a gold star for taking on the time honored tradition of lying like that two bit fraud Joseph Smith.



    If those beliefs are anything like the "Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene", they probably weren't taught because it wasn't church doctrine.
    Not church doctrine, but a commonly held belief.



    And where does that money go? To building churches and temples, to helping the poor and other charitable causes, disaster relief, etc.
    According to the IRS, the average charitable contribution is 2.2%.

    Why is it that several large corporations and the average gentile are more charitable than the one and only true church upon the face of the whole earth? Again we come back to the fact that the church spends very little of its wealth and income on helping the poor and unfortunate. It spends about 1% of tithing on helping the poor. If you include investment income, it's much less than 1%.

    Why does there need to be a corporate side? Why does the church need to buy malls, hotels, restaurants, condos, ranches, farmland, Oahu land, resorts, TV stations, radio stations, newspapers, and insurance companies? How does owning these things contribute to the 3 missions of the church of perfecting the saints, redeeming the dead, and preaching the gospel?

    Tithing in the LDS Church


    That sounds like the very heart of the issue.
    How? None of it can actually be proven. I'm only debating what if, and the simple fact that it's disrespectful.




    I figured it out. You guys are just getting back at all the denominations that don't consider your lot Christian.

    The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod, together with the vast majority of Christian denominations in the United States, does not regard the Mormon church as a Christian church.

    The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod - Mormons

    As United Methodists we agree with their assessment that the LDS Church is not a part of the historic, apostolic tradition of the Christian faith."

    Calendar Item Text: | General Conference 2000

    Southern Baptist's response to Mormon validity: Jesus Christ promised that His church, truly baptized and regenerate believers, would not fail (see Matt. 16:17-18). The marks of a true church include faithfulness to the teaching of the first apostles (see Acts 2:42)—not the creation of new doctrines.

    http://www.namb.net/atf/cf/%7BCDA250...BB_Mormons.pdf

    Presbyterians: Mormonism is a new religious tradition distinct from the historic apostolic tradition of the Christian Church. "... Mormonism differs from traditional Christianity in much the same fashion that traditional Christianity ... came to differ from Judaism."

    PC(USA) - Interfaith Relations - Presbyterians and Latter-day Saints

    Roman Catholic Church on lds genealogy and baptisms: "The congregation requests that the conference notifies each diocesan bishop in order to ensure that such a detrimental practice is not permitted in his territory, due to the confidentiality of the faithful and as not to cooperate with the erroneous practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,"

    Deseret News | Catholics told not to give LDS parish data
    Last edited by 01011010; 10-08-2009 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Correction

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    Haha, thank you 01011010. I grew up in the church, and I often argue with my agnostic atheist friend (who is on this forum and shall remain nameless lol) about disagreements in the church. He claims it's all arbitrary and I often find myself arguing that no, the church really is usually united (even across denominations) on most important subjects. It's just nice to see it in writing

  8. #118
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    GENTLEMEN.

    [YOUTUBE="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=voPE1GaKTjU&feature=related"]Thank You Lord[/YOUTUBE]



    Ti = 19 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Te = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ne = 16[][][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fi = 15 [][][][][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Si = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Ni = 12 [][][][][][][][][][][][]
    Se = 11[][][][][][][][][][][]
    Fe = 0

    -----------------
    Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
    Man got to sit and wonder why, why, why;
    Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
    Man got to tell himself he understand

  9. #119
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    Mormons Hijack Dead or Alive Jewish Souls

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the LDS or Mormons) has spent millions of dollars microfilming, indexing and cataloging nearly every document known to man from every country on earth -- including millions of Jewish records. Church members are encouraged to find the names of ancestors to baptize by proxy, which they believe gives the dead the opportunity to embrace the faith in the afterlife. They say that those who are dead retain their identity and free will and therefore can either accept or reject the rites performed for them. A hands-on proxy baptism ceremony, called an ordinance, takes place in a Mormon temple, and includes full immersion to wash away sins and commence church membership. It is supposedly performed, commentators say, for people who had believed in Christ, but had not had a chance to be baptized. To be baptized is to publicly acknowledge one's faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. Originally, the practice was reserved for ancestors of church members, but over the years many other people have been baptized posthumously.

    From the founding of their religion in 1830, Mormons have respected Judaism as a religion. Thus in 1994, Jews were outraged when it became known that members of LDS were posthumously baptizing Holocaust victims and other Jewish dead. Many followers of Judaism find the practice highly offensive, something akin to the forced baptism of Jews practiced for centuries in Europe during the Middle Ages. Some see the practice as an implicit bias, an act of intolerance.

    The wrongful baptism of Jewish dead, which disparages the memory of a deceased person is a brazen act which will obscure the historical record for future generations. It has been bitterly opposed by many Jews for a number of years. Others say they will never stop being Jews, simply because there is a paper saying they had been baptized, that the act of posthumous baptism is unimportant and should be ignored. We think this to be a narrow, parochial, and shallow view. We will continue opposing this wrongful act which assimilates our dead to the point where it will not be possible to know who was Jewish in their lifetimes.

    This author was among the first genealogists to discover the names of thousands of Jewish Holocaust victims in the International Genealogical Index (the "IGI") 1, the official Mormon index of proxy baptisms for the dead, and quickly exposed this misguided practice.

    Names are placed in the IGI by individual Mormon researchers or through Church name extraction programs. The names were extracted 2 mainly from two Holocaust memorial books. Gedenkbuch was extracted by individuals; the Memorbuch was part of the Church's 'Extraction Program', an ongoing program that acquired records and distributed them to trained Church member volunteers who then extracted the names and submitted them for posthumous baptism.3

    A protest drive initiated by Jewish genealogists escalated it to a nationally publicized issue that was followed by public outcry. American Jewish leaders considered it an insult and a major setback for interfaith relations. They initiated discussions with the Mormon Church that culminated in a voluntary 1995 agreement by the Church to remove the inappropriate names. Activists continue to monitor Mormon baptismal lists, seeking removal of inappropriate entries.

    Has the church done anything to uphold its decade-old agreement with the Jewish community? The bad news is that the Mormons continue to hijack Jewish genocide victims and other Jewish dead. Moreover, when a Jew is baptized, the door is open for all of his deceased ancestors to be baptized as well. Regrettably, their baptismal records place before the public a revisionist view that these deceased Jews were Mormons, a position they would have rejected in life.

    A commentator on this topic said that anti-Semites who desecrate Jewish cemeteries want to destroy even the memory of Jews by breaking their tombstones and other symbols whereby we honor and remember them. He concluded that baptism of the Jewish dead is just a more sophisticated form of breaking tombstones.

    A blogger wrote: "I don't buy the argument that it's done for selfless reasons. It's not selflessness, it's arrogance. And especially in light of the Mormon Church's agreement in 1995 to stop baptizing Holocaust victims, it's even more reprehensible for them to continue the practice. If a church can't be trusted to keep its word in a matter such as this, then where is its moral standing?"

    We want to say this to all well-meaning Christians: We don't want to be saved, redeemed, forgiven, reincarnated, resurrected, or enraptured. We just want to be left alone. After 2000 years -- is it so much to ask? We find the idea of Jews being posthumously baptized into the Mormon church to be deeply offensive in the extreme and cannot express our disgust, outrage and revulsion at this practice in strong enough terms. If everyone has free will, or "free agency" as Mormons say it, why bother with baptizing the dead who chose not to accept Christ? It takes the spiritual hounding of Jews to new lows; not even the grave is a refuge from over-zealous missionaries!

    How can Jews be committed to enumerating descendants when the Mormons distort our family ties and our historic links to Judaism? You may wish to include these disclaimers in your genealogy records -- I note for posterity that if future researchers find records of baptized relatives in Mormon databases, know that these wrongful baptisms were inflicted on those relatives posthumously - - those entries do not reflect changes in religious choice or practice of our deceased ancestors.

    If having been subjected to the involuntary Rite of Baptism, I hereby publicly revoke any implications of that Rite and renounce the Church that carried it out.
    A chronicle of the Mormon/Jewish controversy; THE LDS AGREEMENT: A JewishGen InfoFile

  10. #120
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    Latter-day Saints believe themselves to be direct descendants of the House of Israel. Mormons consider themselves to be the descendants of the Biblical Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (also known as "Israel") or adoptees into the House of Israel, and contemporary Mormons use the terms "House of Israel" and "House of Joseph" to refer to themselves.

    From the perspective of the Jewish community, Mormon beliefs regarding their membership in the House of Israel are generally rejected from both a theological and cultural standpoint. The position of Jews with regard to Mormons is similar to Jewish feelings about other Christian groups— while peaceful coexistence is strongly desired, attempts at conversion are considered inappropriate and unwanted.[3] Jews do not accept Mormon claims with regard to Mormon descent from, or membership in, the tribes of ancient Israel.

    Mormonism and Judaism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    This is only one of many reasons people think mormons are off their rocker.



    Genetic Evidence Discounts that Native Americans Descended from Jews

    The LDS church claims that the ancient inhabitants of the Americas descended from the Jews.

    "[The angel] said the Indians were the literal descendants of Abraham…" (Joseph Smith, Journal, 9 November 1835. See Scott H. Faulring, ed., An American Prophet's Record: The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books and Smith Research Associates, 1987), p. 51; Dean C. Jessee, ed., The Papers of Joseph Smith: Volume 2-Journal, 1832-1842 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1992), p. 70; Dan Vogel, ed., Early Mormon Documents (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1996), 1:44.

    "After thousands of years, all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are the principal ancestors of the American Indians." (Introduction to the Book of Mormon, 1991 edition)

    "With pride I tell those who come to my office that a Lamanite is a descendant of one Lehi who left Jerusalem some 600 years before Christ and with his family crossed the mighty deep and landed in America. And Lehi and his family became the ancestors of all of the Indian and Mestizo tribes in North and South and Central America and in the islands of the sea, for in the middle of their history there were those who left America in ships of their making and went to the islands of the sea.

    "Not until the revelations of Joseph Smith, bringing forth the Book of Mormon, did any one know of these migrants. It was not known before, but now the question is fully answered. Now the Lamanites number about sixty million; they are in all of the states of America from Tierra del Fuego all the way up to Point Barrows, and they are in nearly all the islands of the sea from Hawaii south to southern New Zealand. The Church is deeply interested in all Lamanites because of these revelations and because of this great Book of Mormon, their history that was written on plates of gold and deposited in the hill. The translation by the Prophet Joseph Smith revealed a running history for one thousand years-six hundred years before Christ until four hundred after Christ-a history of these great people who occupied this land for that thousand years. Then for the next fourteen hundred years, they lost much of their high culture. The descendants of this mighty people were called Indians by Columbus in 1492 when he found them here." (Spencer W. Kimball, "Of Royal Blood," Ensign, July 1971, p. 7)

    Apologists sometimes claim that the Nephites and Lamanites shared their land with other inhabitants not from Jerusalem. However, this does not appear to be the case:

    "8. And behold, it is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance.

    9. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of the land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves. And if it so be that they shall keep his commandments they shall be blessed upon the face of this land, and there shall be none to molest them, nor to take away the land of their inheritance; and they shall dwell safely forever." (2 Nephi 1:8-9)

    Despite claims by LDS prophets to the contrary, science does not support the view that Native Americans are of Jewish stock. For example, there is no blood antigen evidence for native Americans being related to the Jews. Natives of North and South America (and Pacific Islanders) have genetic alleles that can be traced exclusively to Asia. Mitochondrial DNA is transmitted unilineally, and is therefore not watered down by intermarriage-even the mitochondria of a single remote ancestor of a group would likely show up at least occasionally in tests.

    As noted by geneticist Simon Southerton:

    "I began searching for research papers having some connection with American Indians or Polynesians. Because I was familiar with plant genetics I became interested in recent research on the DNA of American Indians. The principles of DNA analysis are applicable to all living things so it was relatively easy to jump from the plant to the animal kingdom. I rapidly accumulated many scientific papers comparing the mitochondrial DNA of American Indians from numerous tribes with the mitochondrial DNA of other populations around the world. Mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to child each generation. It is essentially a female genealogical lineage, or a maiden name if you like, stored in the mitochondrial DNA sequence. This part of the total DNA genome is used for population studies in many animal species. It is very simple to study because the mitochondrial genes don't get rearranged each generation like most genes, which are inherited as a mixed bag from previous generations. I was equally interested in more recent Y-chromosome DNA studies. Male lineages, much like DNA surnames, are passed from father to son and clearly reveal male genealogical lineages.

    "In the last decade scientists from several research groups had tested the mitochondrial DNA of over 2000 American Indians from about a hundred tribes scattered over the length of the Americas. It soon became apparent to me that about 99% of their female lineages were brought into the Americas in excess of 12,000 years ago. Almost all of these lineages are most closely related to those of people in Asia, particularly in southern Siberia near Mongolia. Several tribes in Mesoamerica (which included Aztecs and Mayans) had been tested and all but a couple of individuals out of about 500 had mitochondrial DNA of Asian origin. The small fraction of Native American lineages that were not from Asia appeared to originate in Europe, most likely Spain. DNA studies also showed that the female ancestors of the Polynesians came from South East Asia and not the Americas. Y-chromosome studies, which trace male migrations, strongly support the mitochondrial work, except that the European influence is higher (about 10% in the Americas).

    "For two weeks I wrestled with the research. I collected more and more research papers but failed to find anything that supported migration of Jewish people before Columbus. Enough is known about the DNA lineages of Jews to be very confident that they are clearly distinguishable from Asian lineages. They would also be easily identifiable if they were present in the Americas in significant numbers. I struggled with the complete discrepancy between the research and my understanding of the Book of Mormon and the doctrine of the Lamanites. The Book of Mormon describes the occurrence of Hebrew civilizations in the Americas numbering in the millions. It is clear that the victorious Lamanites would have numbered in the millions in about 400 AD. I could not understand how such large numbers of people could have escaped detection…

    "Soon after I came to the realization that the Book of Mormon is not what it claims to be, I became deeply upset. I had firmly believed that it was true. I had not been looking for evidence to prove it wrong. I had been looking for research that could be viewed as supportive. It was a shock to have my belief shattered so quickly…

    "I corresponded with this BYU professor on about four occasions until I became even more convinced of the seriousness of the situation. He was a very nice man and he was very honest with me. In the midst of his lengthy defenses of the Church he acknowledged that greater than 98% of American Indians came from Asia and that this conflicts with current thinking in the church regarding the whereabouts of the Lamanites today. Not only did he confirm my conclusions, he strengthened them even further. He confirmed that scientists at BYU had tested 3000 American Indians from Peru and they came up with the same problem of virtually all the female DNA lineages coming from Asia. Now I knew that all three major civilizations in the Americas the Aztecs, Maya and Incas were comprised of people who trace their genealogy back to Siberia. Data from Peru had been conspicuously lacking in my research." (Simon Southerton, DNA genealogies of American Indians and the Book of Mormon, March 17, 2000)

    Consider also this recent conclusion (May, 2002) by Thomas Murphy that genetic research fails to show any connection between Native Americans and Israelite DNA:

    "Some Latter-day Saints have expressed optimism that DNA research would lead to a vindication of the Book of Mormon as a translation of a genuine ancient document. The hope is that DNA research would link Native Americans to ancient Israelites, buttressing LDS beliefs in a way that has not been forthcoming from archaeological, linguistic, historical, or morphological research. The results, though, have been disappointing. So far, DNA research lends no support to traditional Mormon beliefs about the origins of Native Americans. Genetic data repeatedly point to migrations from Asia between 7,000 and 50,000 years ago as the primary source of Native American origins. DNA research has substantiated the archaeological, cultural, linguistic, and biological evidence that also points overwhelmingly to an Asian origin for Native Americans. While DNA evidence shows that ultimately all human populations are rather closely related, to date no intimate genetic link has been found between ancient Israelites and the indigenous peoples of the Americas-much less within the time frame suggested by the Book of Mormon. After considering recent research in molecular anthropology, summarized here, I have concluded that Latter-day Saints should not expect to find validation for the Book of Mormon in genetics. My assessment echoes that of geneticist and former LDS Bishop Simon Southerton whose survey of the literature on Native American DNA also "failed to find anything that supported migration of Jewish people before Columbus." He concluded "the truth is that there is no reliable scientific evidence supporting migrations from the Middle East to the New World." (Thomas W. Murphy, "Lamanite Genesis, Genealogy, and Genetics", American Apocrypha: Essays on the Book of Mormon)


    20 Concerns about Mormonism

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