Film Reveals Evidence Against Mormons' Historical Account
- Jenni Parker and Chad Groening AgapePress
- 2003 12 Dec
A Utah-based Christian ministry is trying to make the public aware of new DNA research that could spell disaster for the Mormon Church.
Since its founding in the 1820s by Joseph Smith, the Mormon Church, now known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), has claimed that its primary sacred text, the Book of Mormon, is a historical account of a group of Israelites who emigrated to the New World in about 600 B.C.
The church claims that modern American Indians are descended from some of these ancient Israelite progenitors (Laman and Lemuel). LDS members claim that the prophet Mormon, who they believe originally compiled the history that became the Book of Mormon, also had Hebrew roots, supposedly being descended from an ancient Israelite named Nephi.
According to LDS lore, Mormon's son Moroni hid metal plates engraved with his father's record of the "Nephites" and the "Lamanites" in the side of a hill, where Joseph Smith found them with the divine assistance of the angel Moroni and translated them into English.
But now, a new video has documented several DNA studies refuting the purported Hebrew origins of the early inhabitants of the American continent. The video was produced by Living Hope Ministries, the media production arm of Living Hope Christian Fellowship, a small, evangelical non-denominational congregation located in Brigham City, a predominantly LDS community in northern Utah.
Living Hope's pastor, Joel Kramer, produced the film titled "DNA vs. the Book of Mormon", which reveals among other evidence, the testimony of molecular anthropologists and other scientific experts asserting that DNA conclusively proves American Indians are not of Israelite ancestry.
The Mormon Foundation Crumbles
The Book of Mormon has been held up by the LDS as an accurate early history of the Native Americans and of their faith, despite the fact that no artifacts, remnants of cities, linguistic clues, or other scientific proofs have been found to support these propositions. The greater scientific community concurs that American Indians are of Siberian, not Semitic descent, but most LDS members still believe in the historicity of their sacred text, and the church's own Brigham Young University continues to do archeological research in this area.
Kramer hopes to bring the truth to the fore. "What we're trying to communicate with the people here in Utah and elsewhere is to give them an understanding that really, all the anthropologists and archaeologists — they are all in agreement, outside of Mormonism, outside of BYU — that the principle ancestors of Native Americans are Asian, and not Hebrew," he says.
The film also reveals that there is no archeological evidence of the existence of the people described in the Book of Mormon, or any trace of the Hebrew language among modern Indians. Kramer feels that the most fundamental tenets of Mormonism crumble in light of the evidence.
According to the pastor-producer, the history laid out in the Book of Mormon and "this understanding that Hebrews are the ones who populated the Americas -- that's something that they're taught in their Sunday Schools ... something that they're all aware of and have come to believe." But DNA vs. the Book of Mormon sheds light on the lack of foundation for Mormon beliefs, and rebuts the LDS claim that the Book of Mormon is a historical document.
Kramer feels the film's revelations have tremendous potential for impact because "this DNA evidence shows that something they've been taught all their lives, from generation to generation, simply isn't true," he says.
© 2003 AgapePress. All rights reserved. Used with permission.