Hemispheric geography theory
- "And it came to pass that they did multiply and spread, and did go forth from the land southward to the land northward, and did spread insomuch that they began to cover the face of the whole earth, from the sea south to the sea north, from the sea awest to the sea east." -Helaman 3:8
"Generations of Mormons grew up with the notion that American Indians are descended from a lost tribe from the House of Israel, offspring of a Book of Mormon figure named Lehi, who left Jerusalem and sailed to the Americas around 600 B.C." 
"The hemispheric perspective of the Book of Mormon, the idea that most of the ancestors of the Native Americans living everywhere in the Western hemisphere from Alaska to Chile including areas out in the Pacific were Book of Mormon people, is abundantly established in virtually all of the material generated by the church for the last 150 years and recognized as authoritative; such as prophetic conference speeches and books, official lesson manuals, etc." 
Although this is the traditionally held belief, because of studies in DNA, linguistics, demographics, and archaeology, some (including many Mormon apologists) have attempted to deny that this was the authoritative/exclusive position of Mormonism. Of note is the following:
- "There is no mention of any non-Israelite people in the New World during the thousand-year period covered by the Book of Mormon." (Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA, and the Mormon Church, Simon Southerton, Signature Books, 2004, Introduction, p. xiv-xv). "Indeed, a careful reading of the Book of Mormon reveals that the narrative says nothing of indigenous 'others' and in fact prophetically precludes them..." ("Reinventing Lamanite Identity," by Brent Lee Metcalfe, Sunstone, March 2004, pp. 21-23).
- The consistent, public, authoritative position of LDS prophets.
- The consistent position of LDS literature.
- The Zelph incident. This is an incident where a group with Smith came upon a burial mound, the bones of which Smith prophetically declared to belong to a white Lamanite named Zelph who had fought a great battle for the Nephites.  
- "...the visions of the past being opened to my understanding by the Spirit of the Almighty, I discovered the person whose skeleton was before us was a white Lamanite, a large, thick-set man, and a man of God. His name was Zelph ... who was known from the Hill Cumorah, or eastern sea to the Rocky mountains." (History of the Church, 1948 ed., II: 79-80)
- The introduction to the Book of Mormon, since 1981, describes the Lamanites as, "the principal ancestors of the American Indians."  
- "The Book of Mormon has frequently been used to convince native investigators of their Israelite ancestry and played a major role in their conversion."  Mormons have been exhorted to "[inform] American aboriginals of their 'forgotten' blood ties to Israel, and then [subsequently invite] them to 'reclaim their identity and inheritance' by converting to Mormonism." (Tal Bachman) "[T]hese teachings have helped Latter-day Saints' efforts to convert new members, especially among Indians in Latin America and Maoris in New Zealand." 
- That the Native Americans were assumed to be Lamanites was part of some Mormons' patriarchal blessing (which is considered inspired).
- The Lamanite placement program
 Common Mormon objections
While a large number of Mormons simply deny that prominent Mormons or BYU faculty are rejecting the traditional view of Book of Mormon archaeology and the Indian-Lamanite association, other Mormons object with the following:
- "The entire Book of Mormon occurred in a very small area of the Americas."
- "[T]he Book of Mormon NEVER says that ALL the American Indians are descendants of the Lamanites."
 Book of Mormon
- "And the Lord would not suffer that they should stop beyond the sea in the wilderness, but he would that they should come forth even unto the land of promise, which was choice above all other lands, which the Lord God had preserved for a righteous people. And he had sworn in his wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fulness of his wrath should come upon them." -Ether 2:7-8 (emphasis added)
 Doctrine & Covenants
- D&C 3:18-20
- D&C 10:48
- D&C 19:27
- "And now, behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them, and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings, thou shalt cause my church to be established among them..." -D&C 28:8
- "Behold, I say unto you, Peter, that you shall take your journey with your brother Oliver... for I have given him power to build up my church among the Lamanites." -D&C 30:5-6
- "And now concerning my servant Parley P. Pratt, behold,I say unto him that as I live I will that he shall declare my gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly of heart. And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants, Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites. And Ziba Peterson also shall go with them..." -D&C 32:1-3
- "But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose." -D&C 49:24
- "And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites." -D&C 54:8
- D&C 57:4 (See also heading info)
- D&C 101:70-71
- D&C 109:65-66
- "He [Moroni] said there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fullness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants ..." (Joseph Smith 2:34)
 Temple dedicatory prayers
- “We thank thee that the plates containing the Book of Mormon were preserved so that they could be translated, and that the words to the prophet Joseph Smith might be fulfilled, namely, that the Lamanites might come to the knowledge of their fathers.... We thank thee that thousands and tens of thousands of the descendants of the descendants of Lehi, in this favored land, have come to a knowledge of the gospel." -Sitting LDS Church President Heber J. Grant, Dedication of Hawaiian temple Nov. 27, 1919
- "We express gratitude that to these fertile islands thou didst guide descendants of father Lehi and hast enabled them to prosper." -New Zealand temple dedication April 20 1958 by sitting LDS Church President David O. McKay
- "Bless thy saints in this great land and those from other lands who will use this temple. Most have in their veins the blood of Father Lehi. Thou hast kept thine ancient promise." -Mexico city temple dedication, First Presidency counselor Gordon B. Hinckley, Dec. 2 1983
It is of note that temple dedicatory prayers are often considered inspired.
 LDS college scholarships
- "President Hafen had the privilege of meeting Elsie Rigby and thanking her for several significant contributions to the college. Her latest gift was $50,000 to establish the Elsie Rigby Lamanite Scholarship and Loan Program. The money would be used for scholarships for South American Indians to attend Ricks and for loans to North American Indians to allow them to attend Ricks while awaiting their governmental education funds. The fund helped many Indian young people attend Ricks."  (1978)
- "The University also boasts its own popular performing group. The Lamanite Generation, comprised of Native Americans, Hispanic, and Polynesian performers..."