15 years ago today - Jul 26, 2004

Associated Press article about DNA research into the origins of Native Americans. Conclusion that Native Americans migrated from Mongolia/Siberia and not from Jerusalem leads apologetic Mormon scholars to contradict long-standing teaching and even scriptural references that Lamanites are the "principal ancestors" of Native American peoples and suggest that entire Book of Mormon concerns only a small, localized population that eventually died out. Former LDS bishop and geneticist Simon Southerton is featured in article. He says, "given the state of DNA research and increasing lay awareness of it, church leaders ought just to own up to the problems that continued literal teachings about the Book of Mormon present for American Indians and Polynesians. . . They should come out and say, 'There's no evidence to support your Israelite ancestry;' I don't have any problem with anyone believing what's in the Book of Mormon. Just don't make it look like science is backing it all up." The article is printed in many newspapers across the United States and around the world.

[On This Day in Mormon History, http://onthisdayinmormonhistory.blogspot.com, based on Michael Quinn's Mormon Hierarchy vols 1 & 2]

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