|LDS Church announces
re-wording of Book of Mormon introduction.
A line on the introduction page that reads:
"...all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are
the principal ancestors of the American Indians"
is being changed to read:
"...all were destroyed except the Lamanites, and they are among the ancestors of the American Indians."
The Book of Mormon tells the story of a group of Israelites who migrated to the Americas in about 600 BC, and eventually formed two nations, the light-skinned Nephites and the dark-skinned Lamanites. According to the story, the Lamanites destroyed the Nephites some 1,000 years later, and the Lamanites' descendants are the Native Americans as they are known today.
Recent DNA studies have shown this story to be impossible. Nevertheless, the LDS Church has remained virtually silent about the DNA challenge. That is, until now.
This seemingly minor adjustment in the Book of Mormon introduction has some enormous implications. The change would seem to acknowledge that the science challenging the Book of Mormon--and in fact, Mormonism itself--is valid.
But this does not take care of the problem. It covers up one problem and creates another. If you read the actual Book of Mormon story itself, it still teaches that Native Americans are descended from Israelites. In fact, no other people group is mentioned in connection with the Lamanites. No other founding populations are mentioned. So in essence, the proposed change creates another contradiction within the Book of Mormon itself.
The fact of the matter is, if the Book of Mormon story is true, then Israelite DNA would have to form, at the very least, a significant portion of the genetic makeup of Native Americans.
It is about this challenge that the DVD DNA vs. The Book of Mormon was created. It has been suggested by many that the announced change in the Book of Mormon introduction has everything to do with the DNA challenge that the church has been facing for the past few years.
The LDS Church's attempt to remove the controversy by altering this often-quoted line from the Book of Mormon's introduction seems to indicate that their primary interest is not in pursuing truth, but rather, covering it up.
If the Church were genuinely interested in truth, then they would change not only the introduction, but also the entirety of the Book of Mormon story.
So this change is only cosmetic--an attempt to deflect criticism instead of deal with it directly and honestly.
So the DNA challenge still stands: Who are the ancestors of the Native Americans?