FairMormon is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice.
Source:W.W. Phelps:Oct 1835:the Indians, whose history and doings, upon this western continent, it unfolds as plainly
W.W. Phelps (Oct 1835): "the Indians, whose history and doings, upon this western continent, it unfolds as plainly"
My last letter was mainly confined to the book of Mormon, which rarely fails to bring to my mind something about the Indians, whose history and doings, upon this western continent, it unfolds as plainly, as the bible does those of the Israelites on the eastern continent....
When I read the book of Mormon and reflect upon the mercy and goodness of God, in sparing some of the seed of Joseph upon this choice land of America: and consider his wisdom and love in preserving a record of the progenitors or fathers of this now smitten and dejected people, I cannot find the requisite terms to convey my thanks to such an all wise Being!...
[there are] “thirty tribes, containing a population of 156,310, have held treaties with the United States, and that there is an Indian population east of the Mississippi, of 92,676,”—making a total of 405,286. Now allowing the same number west of the Mountains, and suppose 800,000, in the northern regions of the Canadas, and 500,000 in South America, there will be 2,110,562 of the sons of Joseph, and of the remnants of the Jews. A goodly number to be willing in the day of the Lord’s power, to help build up the waste places of Zion. A blessed band to be restored to mercy and enjoy the chief things of ancient mountains; even the deep things that couch beneath.
Consistent with contemporary usage, Phelps considers "this western continent" (i.e., North and South America) to be the parallel of the Jews' "eastern continent (i.e., Eurasia), which he labels "America." Phelps regards all peoples of the hemisphere as descendants of Lehi.
- W. W. Phelps to Oliver Cowdery, "Letter No. 11," (October 1835) Latter Day Saints' Messenger and Advocate 2:193-195. (emphasis added) off-site