We continue our tour of the Gospel Topics Essays and with the essay Book of Mormon and DNA Studies. The Goal- To share the LDS Church’s Gospel Topic Essays and help the both the believing member and the non-believer get a sense of the why these essays were written, who the intended audience is, whether these essays resolve the concerns of the faithful and non-believer and why they perhaps these essays even add to the disbelief of those who skeptical of the issues they find in Mormon History.
Thomas Murphy paper:
Another Thomas Murphy paper (pages 48-50 are very relevant):
LDS Scientist, Jacob T. Boyd, paper on Native American Origins:
Smithsonian Magazine article on Native American migrations:
Simon Southerton’s book:
Study about 24k year old Siberian DNA that gets misused in the Essay with footnote 16:
Simon Southerton’s blogpost about that study:
There is an effort to suggest mitochondrial X lineage “near-eastern DNA” may come from the time of the “Nephites.” However, studies have since shown origination well before the time of the “Nephites” similar to other Eurasian DNA that made its way into Siberia over 20,000 years ago.
Simon Southerton’s response to these and other common apologetic arguments and examples (e.g. genetic drift in Iceland) used to try to write-off current DNA evidence, please see: http://mit.irr.org/answers-apologetic-claims-about-dna-and-book-of-mormon
For more technical information about the genetic history and samplings of native Americans, the following link is useful, particularly the list of references at the bottom: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_indigenous_peoples_of_the_Americas
For a more in depth response to this Essay see: http://simonsoutherton.blogspot.com/2014/02/tentative-faith-meets-uncompromising.html?m=1
Co-Hosts of this episode
Anthony Miller is an entrepreneur and education enthusiast in Billings, Montana, with Masters degrees in Business Administration and in Financial Services. After a lifetime of faithful membership in the church, he experienced a faith transition after he stumbled across the Gospel Topics Essays and similar materials in 2016, while he was searching for resources to support his adult gay son. Anthony blogs at UnpackingAmbiguity.com and is a frequent contributor to post and progressive Mormon support communities.
Michele Vroom graduated from BYU Idaho in 2017 alongside her husband Matthew Vroom, and both served missions. The couple resigned through Quitmormon in January of 2019. Their investigative journey began with asking the simple question of whether their religion was true enough to become their daughter’s worldview. Matthew authors the comic “Super Elders,” which is a transitioning and post mormon story that will soon be sold as a completed graphic novel. Michele helped generate the graphic novel’s powerful themes based off of social injustice within the LDS religion and her study of its history.
Sarah Newcomb is Tsimshian of the First Nations. She and her husband reside in Texas with their four children. They were members of the church until October 2016 when they officially resigned through Quitmormon. Sarah has a Bachelors in English with a minor in Philosophy, and an Associates Degree in Communications. In July of 2017 she founded the LamaniteTruth.com blog to help process and bring attention to the issues surrounding Lamanite Identity and teachings.