Sunday, February 2, 2014
Losing the Lamanites
Back in the day Joseph Smith regularly spoke with Nephite angels and had no trouble at all locating their evil kin, the Lamanites. They were all over the place and they were commonly referred to as Indians. Joseph knew exactly where the Lamanites overtook the Nephites in a great final battle, he found the remains of a Lamanite warrior named Zelph (as revealed to him by God) once, and he even took direction (from God) to send missionaries to western Missouri to convert the Lamanites residing there.
We knew exactly who the Lamanites were and it wasn't uncommon growing up to hear someone say to a young man with a mission call to Central or South America "Oh wonderful! You'll get to teach those wonderful people about their own family history!"
Today the Church isn't nearly as certain about who's a Lamanite. In fact, the Church now openly admits that it cannot find any Lamanites at all. But don't worry! Lack of evidence is not evidence of non-existence! (The existing evidence, however, does discredit the notion of Nephites and Lamanites ever physically existing.) So believe on, dear brothers and sisters! Everything has been explained sufficiently for our needs, and, on the plus side, the Church's statement indicates that it has finally officially accepted human evolution as legitimate, truthful science!
Or you can read why Simon Southerton thinks we should doubt on.