Hemispheric geography theory

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"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." [1]

"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." [2]


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:

"...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)

[edit] 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:

[edit] Notables

[edit] Book of Mormon

[edit] Doctrine & Covenants

[edit] Misc

[edit] Temple dedicatory prayers

It is of note that temple dedicatory prayers are often considered inspired.

[edit] 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." [9] (1978)
"The University also boasts its own popular performing group. The Lamanite Generation, comprised of Native Americans, Hispanic, and Polynesian performers..." [10]

At BYU, you can still give to the Elsie Rigby fund for "Lamanite and Foreign Students" [11].

[edit] See also

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