Gospel Topics: "The Book of Mormon...does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied"

Table of Contents

Gospel Topics: "The Book of Mormon...does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied"

"Book of Mormon and DNA Studies," Gospel Topics on LDS.org:

The Book of Mormon provides little direct information about cultural contact between the peoples it describes and others who may have lived nearby. Consequently, most early Latter-day Saints assumed that Near Easterners or West Asians like Jared, Lehi, Mulek, and their companions were the first or the largest or even the only groups to settle the Americas. Building upon this assumption, critics insist that the Book of Mormon does not allow for the presence of other large populations in the Americas and that, therefore, Near Eastern DNA should be easily identifiable among modern native groups.

The Book of Mormon itself, however, does not claim that the peoples it describes were either the predominant or the exclusive inhabitants of the lands they occupied. In fact, cultural and demographic clues in its text hint at the presence of other groups.6 At the April 1929 general conference, President Anthony W. Ivins of the First Presidency cautioned: “We must be careful in the conclusions that we reach. The Book of Mormon … does not tell us that there was no one here before them [the peoples it describes]. It does not tell us that people did not come after.[1]

Notes

  1. "Book of Mormon and DNA Studies," Gospel Topics on LDS.org (31 January 2014)