Traditional Doctrine

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Because of some “anti-Mormon literature” picked up by the AP from the LA Times regarding DNA and the Book of Mormon, a discussion ensued at work yesterday.

I expressed gratitude for the story and its proliferation among media outlets and my hope that it may convince Mormons to stop treating tradition as doctrine, particularly the belief that indigenous peoples of the Americas are all Lehitic descendants (literally, Lamanites).

9 thoughts on “Traditional Doctrine

  1. Kim, are you open to the possibility that the Native Americans are partially descended from Lehi and therefore still qualify as his descendents?

    Didn’t Southerton just look at mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosomes?

    My sister’s children don’t have my father’s Y-chromosome, but they are still his descendents.

    My children (if I had any) wouldn’t have my mother’s mtDNA, but they would still be her descendents.

    Suppose several generations down the line, my female descendents start to intermarry with my sisters male descendents (2nd or 3rd cousins or more distant), and those marriages produce a significant population. That population would not have my father’s Y-chromosome DNA nor my mother’s mtDNA, yet they would all legitimately be my parent’s descendents.

    All that Southerton has demonstrated is that Asiatic DNA got thrown into the mix at some point in time. He’s merely shown that Amer-Indians are likely not “pure” Hebrews. Well, duh. Didn’t we already know or believe that?

    The source of one’s Y-chromosome and one’s mtDNA only identify TWO out of dozens, or potentially hundreds, or thousands of one’s ancestors at a high generational level.

    Southerton also plays fast and loose with other genetic based assumptions as described in several FAIR articles. Such as the mtDNA of modern Jewish women being comparable to Hebrew women of 600 BC, or even assuming Mrs. Ishmael was Hebrew.

  2. “are you open to the possibility that the Native Americans are partially descended from Lehi and therefore still qualify as his descendents?”

    Some, but not all.

  3. I was very disappointed by that article. It seems to support the thesis that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    If I had thought that my faith depended on believing that American Indians are literally Israeli descendants, I never would have joined the church.

  4. “If I had thought that my faith depended on believing that American Indians are literally Israeli descendants, I never would have joined the church.”

    So what about all the polynesians and natice americans whose testimony (or at least the roots of it) do rely on this information being true?

    Would you recommend that they just pack up and leave?

    Hey, it’s great that you have a testimony regardless of the truthfullness of the BoM, but not everyone has had the same experience. I know several people who are currently quite upset over the DNA issues and the BoM.

    Does intellectual inquiry run directly contrary to spirituality?

  5. Kim,

    I agree. I hope there comes a day where LDS church members come to realize that a lot of the things they do day to day are not based on doctrine at all but solely tradition (or “Mormon” culture as I like to call it).

    K.

  6. Rick: “Hey, it’s great that you have a testimony regardless of the truthfullness of the BoM …”

    Huh? Who said I don’t believe the Book of Mormon is true?

  7. I said it.

    If you don’t believe that DNA destroys the literal truthfulness of the BoM, then I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree.

    =)

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