Monday, July 20, 2015
What are the missionaries supposed to say?
The other day we had the missionaries over for dinner and they told us they had just met yet another inactive member who told them there is no evidence of the Book of Mormon people. He told them to look it up themselves online--even in Wikipedia.
He could have simply referred them to lds.org. Specifically, https://www.lds.org/topics/book-of-mormon-and-dna-studies?lang=eng "What seems clear is that the DNA of Book of Mormon peoples likely represented only a fraction of all DNA in ancient America." [This sentence uses the all-too-common "only a fraction" phrase, which is annoying because a fraction can be 1% or 99%. The implication, though, is "only a small fraction."]
Or he could have referred the missionaries to the work of John Sorenson, Matt Roper, Brant Gardner, John Clark, and the other LDS Mesoamericanists because that's the basic theme of the Mesoamerican theory of Book of Mormon geography, as well; i.e., there is no trace of Book of Mormon people in Mesoamerican culture, history, architecture, literature, DNA, etc. because, they say, Lehi's group was so small they were absorbed into the culture and vanished without a trace.
In case you find that difficult to believe, they will say there are "correspondences" between the Book of Mormon and Mesoamerican culture. But that doesn't work so well, either. For example, the Book of Mormon emphasizes that the Nephites kept the law of Moses, but the people living in Mesoamerica did anything but that. To make their theory work, the LDS Mesoamericanists would have you believe the Nephites sacrificed rodents and built temples with cut stone and steps, all in direct violation of the law of Moses (E.g., see Exodus 20: 24-26.]
BTW, the lds.org article includes this: "While Near Eastern DNA markers do exist in the DNA of modern native populations, it is difficult to determine whether they are the result of migrations that predated Columbus, such as those described in the Book of Mormon, or whether they stem from genetic mixing that occurred after the European conquest."
What the article doesn't reveal is that these "Near Eastern DNA markers" exist only in tribes from the northeastern U.S.; they are nowhere to be found in Mesoamerica.
Why does the article obscure that detail? Because it was written by Mesoamericanists. Footnote 2 explains: "This article uses the terms Native American and American Indian to refer to all the indigenous peoples of both North and South America. "