Part 3: CES Letter Book of Mormon Questions [Section B]
by Sarah Allen
Now that we’re getting deeper into the content of the CES Letter itself, you’re all going to start to see the way that I research the answers to my questions. I draw from a lot of different sources, and each one is like a different puzzle piece. I start adding the pieces to the board and slowly start to fill in the image, but there are gaps I don’t have pieces to fill yet. As I go on, more and more of the picture is revealed until the missing pieces are so small, they don’t really matter. Eventually, for some things, the puzzle gets fully complete. For other questions, some holes still remain. But in every case, no puzzle is finished just by looking at one single piece of it.
That’s something many people don’t fully grasp, that sometimes, getting answers takes real work. I hope, by the time we’re done with this thing, you guys can start to realize how many different sources are out there that you can turn to for your own answers. That said, let’s get on with the questions/concerns.
DNA analysis has concluded that Native American Indians do not originate from the Middle East or from Israelites but rather from Asia. Why did the Church change the following section of the introduction page in the 2006 edition Book of Mormon, shortly after the DNA results were released?
It’s always confused me why this is an issue, and I’ll explain why. We don’t have any idea what Jaredite DNA would have looked like. We don’t know where they came from, who they mixed with along their journey, or where they ended up, or if any of that DNA spread to existing populations. We don’t have any idea what Sariah’s lineage was, or Zoram’s, or Ishmael’s wife’s. All we know is that Lehi is from the tribe of Manasseh and, as explained by Don Bradley, Ishmael was from the tribe of Ephraim. We don’t know what Mulekite DNA would have looked like, as we have no idea who helped him escape Jerusalem or what route they took along the way, or who may have been added to their group during their travels. We have no idea which native populations any of them intermingled with, or to what extent. And that’s even assuming his story in the Book of Mormon is an accurate description of what really happened to him and wasn’t distorted over the centuries before his people were discovered by the Nephites. Given all of that, we have absolutely no idea what the genetic makeup of the groups in the Book of Mormon even looked like to begin with, let alone what it might look like when it’s mixed with existing Native populations.