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Mormon Discussion: 371: Is Mormonism Absurd – Native Americans & Lamanites

We continue our series walking out the logic of Mormon Claims. In this fourth segment we dive into the Native Americans as Lamanites. We talk about skin curses of color change, of whether the Nephites came to an empty Americas, the non success of missionary work to the Lamanites, and how the Book of Mormon is written to a people we can no longer with certainty locate. We talk out each of these and if rational thinking presents any problems with the faithful view.


1 thought on “Mormon Discussion: 371: Is Mormonism Absurd – Native Americans & Lamanites”

  1. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for this episode. Racism in the church was the fundamental impetus for my deconstruction. The Lord, through his church, were contributors to the attempt of cultural genocide. Spencer Kimball’s Oct. 1960 conference talk is abhorrent.

    In every instance where the Lamanites are mentioned in the Doctrine and Covenants, it is the Lord speaking:

    D&C 54:8
    D&C 3: 16, 20
    D&C 10:48
    D&C 19:27 (Lamanites are a remnant of the Jews.)
    D&C 30:6 (I have given him (Oliver C.) power to build up my church among the Lamanites.)
    D&C 32:2 (Preach among the Lamanites.)
    Section 57 header (Joseph Smith contemplated the state of the Lamanites.)

    In is unquestionable that the “Lord” was referring to the Native peoples who, as He put it, where a “remnant of the Jews.” It doesn’t get more damning than that. Native Americans were without question from Israel. I served my mission in México from 2003-2005, and Mormon Mexicans knew they were Lamanites, just as the church taught that to Native Americans.

    How ironic that a church that loves family history, and that submits saliva for DNA testing from to reveal our DNA results, will so easily dismiss the overwhelming DNA evidence regarding Native peoples. As if DNA might have a sliver of a chance at being wrong.

    In the last paragraph of the “Nephite and Lamanites” entry of Mormon Doctrine (1966), it says, “There were many Nephite groups, however, who were not destroyed in the final conflict, and these (with possible exceptions) have since mingled themselves with the Lamanites, the resulting peoples being known to the world as the American Indians.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 529) In Bruce McConkie’s biography written by his son, he writes that Spencer Kimball was assigned to mentor McConkie’s revision of the first edition. There were about fifty items that Kimball wanted changed, non having to do with doctrinal matters. (The Bruce R. McConkie Story, 2003, Deseret Book, pp. 183, 187) Though in “David O. McKay: The Rise of Modern Mormonism,” Mark Peterson and Marion Romney were assigned after the initial 1958 release of the book (Peterson a bonafide racist himself), providing over 1000 desired corrections (p. 50) which didn’t come to fruition. The point being, it is without question that there was a perpetuation of Lamanite racist teachings from church leaders up until at least 2006. Mormon Doctrine, among many other resources, cannot be discounted as it was quoted ad nauseam in correlated material from the 80s through the 2000s.

    Thank you for all you do,
    Austin Thorpe

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