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Lamanites (Indians) descended from Israelites:

"The Lamanites, now a down-trodden people, are a remnant of the house of Israel. The curse of God has followed them as it has done the Jews, though the Jews have not been darkened in their skin as have the Lamanites."

- Prophet Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, v. 22, p. 173
"The Nephites suffered extinction about 400 A.D., but the Lamanites lived on in their degraded course, and are today extant upon the land as the American Indians."

- Apostle James Talmage, Apostle, Jesus the Christ, 23rd ed., p. 49
"Not only in the Book of Mormon are the descendants of Lehi called Jews, but also in the Doctrine and Covenants. In section 19, this is found: 'Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and, look not for a Messiah to come who has already come.'"

- Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, v. 3, p. 264

"... the Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under Lehi migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi's death his family divided into two opposing factions, one under Lehi's oldest son, Laman (see Lamanites), and the other under a younger son, Nephi."

Encyclopedia of Mormonism, “Native Americans,” v. 3, p. 981

"Lamanites share a royal heritage. I should like to address my remarks to you, our kinsmen of the isles of the sea and the Americas. Millions of you have blood relatively unmixed with gentile nations."

- Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 596


Evidence against the claim

"...perhaps it can be anticipated that before long some scholar will examine the DNA of early inhabitants of eastern Siberia and the DNA of early American Indians for confirmation of their relationship. All that would be left would be for an interested Mormon to compare the two findings to the DNA of Israelites who lived about 600 B.C.E."

- Brigham Madsen, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Fall 1997, p. 91

“So far, DNA research has lent no support to the traditional Mormon beliefs about the origins of Native Americans. Instead, genetic data have confirmed that migrations from Asia are the primary source of American Indian origins... While DNA shows that ultimately all human populations are closely related, to date no intimate genetic link has been found between ancient Israelites and indigenous Americans, much less within the time frame suggested in the Book of Mormon."

- Thomas Murphy, Mormon anthropologist, American Apocrypha, 2002, p. 47-48

"I don't think there is one iota of evidence that suggests a lost tribe from Israel made it all the way to the New World. It is a great story, slain by ugly fact."

- Michael Crawford, anthropologist at University of Kansas, as quoted in Thomas Murphy, Mormon anthropologist, American Apocrypha, p. 53

[Michael Crawford's] "work shows that Amerisraelite Lamanites could not possibly have been the 'principle ancestors of the American Indians,' as claimed in the current introduction to the Book of Mormon.... [Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes and Russian geneticist Miroslav Derenko] "have substantiated Crawford's conclusion through agreement that ‘the Indian gene pool is Siberian, not Middle Eastern.'"

- Thomas Murphy, Mormon anthropologist, American Apocrypha, p. 53

"FARMS has played a role in offering revisionist interpretations that seek to reconcile faith with science. But the DNA research may make this effort more difficult as the views of intellectuals and those of traditional Mormons continue to diverge."

- Thomas Murphy, Mormon anthropologist, American Apocrypha, p. 62

"The most recent mitochondrial DNA study demonstrated that there were three known separate migrations to the New World, one certainly connected to Siberian peoples, the other thought to be Asian. Among Amerindians, samples were taken in Canada, the United States, and Peru. None were taken in Mesoamerica, where most LDS scholars believe the story of the Book of Mormon took place."

- E-mail between Bill McKeever and Dr. John Tvedtnes received 11/14/97

"While FARMS researchers are careful to note the importance of cultural influences on the construction of categories, they express confidence in an Israelite genetic presence in Central America and perhaps as far away as Arizona to the north and Colombia to the south. As we have seen, genetic studies of indigenous peoples throughout North, Central, and South America have failed to link Native Americans from these locations to ancient Hebrews."

- Thomas Murphy, Mormon anthropologist, American Apocrypha, p. 62

"We have an active research project addressing some of these questions but most of the data is still too preliminary to make any hard conclusions. Most of all the evidence to date would point to Asian populations as the source of at least the great majority of contemporary Native American gene pool... the Americas were moderately populated at the time of arrival of the Lehi group, the Jaredites and any other group that may have come from the Middle East"

- E-mail between Bill McKeever and Scott Woodward, B.Y.U. molecular biologist received 11/14/97

"Genetic research, particularly that using mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers, provide quite emphatic refutation of any such relationship between Jews and Native Americans."

- Dr. David Glenn Smith, U.C.-Davis molecular anthropologist, 2002 Sunstone Symposium, Salt Lake City

"As biologists we accept the published data dealing with Native American origins and view those data as reasonably representing American-Asian connections"

- Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, "Who are the Children of Lehi," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, v. 12, no. 1, 2003, p. 38

"The data accumulated to date indicate that 99.6 percent of Native American genetic markers studied so far exhibit Siberian connections."

- Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, "Who are the Children of Lehi," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, v. 12, no. 1, 2003, p. 41

"There has been little if any evidence seriously considered by the mainstream scientific community that would indicate a Middle East origin, or any other source of origin, for the majority of contemporary Native Americans."

- Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, "Who are the Children of Lehi," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, v. 12, no. 1, 2003, p. 42

"The sacred writings of many faiths make claims that might not stand up to scientific tests. But most faiths avoid conflict with scholarship either because their claims relate to events too far in the past to be tested or because they have reinterpreted their scriptural claims as metaphors, rather than assertions of literal fact.
"For devout Mormons, however, neither of those defenses is available. The Book of Mormon, made public by Joseph Smith in 1830, is a cornerstone of church doctrine and is taken literally by the faithful. It teaches, among other things, that many American Indians are descendants of ancient Israelites who came to this continent 600 years before Christ -- a time period within the reach of modern archeology and genetics."

- William Lobdell and Larry B. Stammer, "Mormon Scientist, Church Clash Over DNA Test; Anthropologist may be ousted for questioning teachings about Native American ancestry," Los Angeles Times, December 8, 2002

“The forces of genetic mixing are so powerful that everyone in the world has Jewish ancestors, though the amount of DNA from those ancestors in a given individual may be small. In fact, everyone on earth is by now a descendant of Abraham, Moses, and Aaron--if indeed they existed.”

- Steve Olson, Mapping Human History, 2002, p. 114