In a wonderful article this week, Bill Lobdell, an LA Times staff writer, explored the fact that with DNA evidence proving that Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people from North, Central, and South America are NOT descended from the Hebrews, there is currently a subtle shift in LDS teachings. Of course they did not come out and say, “Hey, we were wrong. Guess Joe made the book up.” That’ll never happen.
Instead, in the face of surmounting evidence, the Church is quietly embracing the beliefs of some apologists who claim that Joseph NEVER meant the events of the Book of Mormon occurred HERE in North America and in the other Americas, at least en masse. Never mind that we were taught that our ENTIRE LIVES. We KNEW that it happened here. It was our legacy. Perhaps LDS Inc. thinks that in 80-100 years all of us who were TAUGHT this stuff will be dead (and I’m guessing they’ll be right) and that new and younger Mormons will accept that Joseph was talking about a small tribe in Central America somewhere. A really small, remote group–so small, that all of their DNA has NOW been “swallowed” up by the other DNA, and so of COURSE there is no evidence that these people were once Hebrews.
Sigh. This might sound far-fetched, but it’s not. Already, there is an entire generation of up-and-coming Mormons who do NOT believe that Joseph Smith OR Brigham Young practiced polygamy, and that POLYGAMY is still a tenet of Mormonism, with the belief it will be practiced in the Celestial Kingdom, the highest of God’s three kingdoms.
Well, the scrambling at least proves something I NEVER thought I would see. Even the MORMONS know that DNA evidence has “rocked the foundations” of Mormonism. And the spin from the Muckety-Mormons will not work for those outside of Mormonism, those questioning, and of course, for those of us who figured out the fraud a while ago.
But for those who are true and believing, this is not earth-shattering. I guess it’s because religion–and particularly the Mormon religion–it has always been about faith. If you don’t have enough FAITH you will perish. This, to most, will be nothing more than a test of their faith. Life as a Mormon, or at least a true believing one, is about something I like to call heartburn–and something they call the “burning of the bosom.”
In many ways, it’s a little sad. I feel almost forlorn, as I have been thinking for years that if my family, my parents, my neighbors could JUST see the facts, the real and true facts, they would finally figure it out. And I have to accept that isn’t going to happen. The truth is, they never DID care about the facts, unless the facts supported what they KNEW was true. Then, of course, those facts were immensely important.
But I digress. I suspect that to shatter my father’s immense faith, it would take nothing short of Jesus Christ himself appearing and telling him, “Uh, Joseph lied.”
But still, kudos to Bill for a great story. (I have met Bill, and have nothing but great respect for his investigating methods and his fairness.)