Talk:Beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Theology or beliefs and practices?[edit]

Would it be better to call this article as Theology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints similar to Roman_Catholic_theology? Wiki San Roze †αLҝ 16:14, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

This is a new article that was created by taking information from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints article without any attempt to discuss the creation with long-term article contributors. Although bold, it is not very diplomatic. Deleting so much material without any discussion is not the most propitious beginning, but it appears to be water under the bridge. The difficulty is that cutting and pasting may not be the way to create his article given the large number of articles already in existence.
I am not sure this is the best way to begin an article with this title and theology is probably a better title, but I am still trying to accept the move. There are so many articles about the Latter Day Saint movement I generally do not favor creating new ones. In the future, how about a heads up? --Storm Rider (talk) 18:38, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
The article as pulled out looks like a B class article, but it could well prove unstable, and I'll be happy to reassess if there are major changes. It also looks like the complete removal from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was quickly reverted but more nuanced editing is at least removing small portions from that article. GRBerry 20:45, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Well, am new to the LDC articles, but I think if there is a consensus to have this article, the section in the main article needs to be summarise this over there with citations indeed. Thats my opinion. Wiki San Roze †αLҝ 21:32, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
Responding to StormRider... I'm the one who created this article and, yes, it was rather bold to do so without discussion. There is obviously a tension between WP:SOFIXIT and being over WP:BOLD. I chose to be bold as I wasn't really deleting or changing any text in any substantive way. I was just making it possible to shorten the main article on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Responding to GRBerry, there never was a "complete removal from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" and thus no "quick reversion". I copied the "Beliefs and Practices" section over here in its entirety and then started deleting stuff that didn't seem to belong in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The problem is not wholesale deletion but rather duplication of text between the two articles. I need help figuring out what can reasonably be deleted from or summarized in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Responding to Wiki San Roze, 80-90% of this article is duplicated in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (at least as of the time that I created this article). I was very conservative in deleting only the most obvious excessively detailed points. More work is needed to summarize the text in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Responding to Wikiality123... if there is a lack of citations, those citations were missing in the original text as it stood in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I agree that more citations would be useful.
Finally, as to the question of "Theology" vs. "Beliefs and practices", I prefer "Beliefs and practices" over "Theology". Theology does govern and embue religious practice. However, some things are more ritual and symbolism than theological belief. I looked at the articles for several religions (Christianity, Roman Catholicism, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism) and came to the conclusion that the consensus was running towards "Beliefs and Practices" rather than towards "Theology". Of course, there is room for debate here but that gives you a sense for why I chose "Beliefs and practices".
--Richard (talk) 21:49, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
  • Perhaps "teachings and practices" would be more appropriate than "beliefs". People have beliefs, institutions do not. True, a "church" is also a group of people, but it is also an institution. People and institutions can have "teachings", but only people can have "beliefs". It's semantics, but to me it sounds funny to claim that a church has "beliefs". Good Ol’factory (talk) 09:57, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Good point, Olfactory. I believe the better terminology would be 'Teachings and Doctrines.' The two may look similar, but I see the Church counsel that families should hold Family Home Evenings on Monday nights as a teaching, while the article of LDS faith which identifies the Godhood consisting of God, the Eternal Father, his son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, is a matter of doctrine which guides Church practice.

Canadiandy1 (talk) 07:43, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Canadiandy

Why no mention of the "magic underwear"?[edit]

Surely "magic underwear" qualifies as one of the most notorious (and misunderstood?) beliefs among Mormons, so I'm surprised to see no mention of it here. Can anyone knowledgeable about it add it to the entry? Bricology (talk) 19:23, 6 October 2009 (UTC)

First, it is highly offensive to Latter-Day Saints to hear such terms as "magic underwear" slung around. Please remember to show respect for all who visit these pages. Second, it is also likely not here because it is already addressed elsewhere in Wikipedia. No, I won't reference it here as I don't appreciate the way it is treated topically in that article. Canadiandy1 (talk) 07:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Canadiandy
Bricology, the information you are most likely referring to can be found in articles in Category:Latter Day Saint religious clothing. -- 208.81.184.4 (talk) 17:18, 11 February 2010 (UTC)

OTHER QUESTIONS

Mormon doctrine is full of contraversy, yet this article completely leaves the issues out. Examples: 1. Where did the golden plates come from? 2. Why were the plates taken away by the angel before they could be validated by the media, scientists, etc...? 3. What about the three Jewish tribes that migrated to America and later became the American Indian? And what ever happened to the camels and elephants they brought with them? 4. What about women getting into Heaven? Aren't they prohibited until their husbands call for them to enter? 5. Why were the golden plates interpreted from hyroglifics into King James English? Wasn't modern English good enough? 6. The angel gave Joseph Smith a pair of magic spectacles to read the plates. Why was that taken back before anyone could study it? 7. Isn't Jesus our brother and not our God according to Mormon doctrine? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.183.76.76 (talk) 15:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

To answer your questions as best I can, 1. The Golden Plates came from the original writers or authors of the books contained in the Book of Mormon. 2. One could only speculate as to why the plates were returned to the Angel Moroni, but as was Joseph Smith's experience, the plates were the focus of a great deal of malicious skepticism and so it is not surprising they were safeguarded by Moroni. 3. The emigration of Lehi's family and the Jaredites is addressed in the Book of Mormon. If you are arguing that all of the indigenous peoples of the Americas ought to be of Jewish descent that is simplistic and assumptive. The Book of Mormon is a spiritual record first and does not preclude other peoples and cultures which may have existed parallel to these families and groups. 4. Women will be in Heaven as equal partners to their Priesthood husbands. And yes, while each sister will enter Heaven with her husband, the technical details of how that occurs are nearly irrelevant in comparison to the doctrine that both will enter and receive of the fulness of Heaven's blessings. 5. The scriptures are of such sacred value that their translation into King James English seems quite appropriate. First, KJE was the higher and in essence more reverent way to record holy things, two, using the same language as the common scriptures of the day would have helped them mesh more effectively with God's other revealed scripture, and third, KJE would have been more expressive and broad in its scope to express some of the deeply powerful and unique teachings of the Book of Mormon. 6. If by "magic spectacles" you mean the Urim and Thummim (as would be understood biblically as seerstones) they were companion interpreters to the Book of Mormon and would logically have been returned to Moroni with the plates. 7. According to Mormon doctrine, Jesus is our Brother (our eldest brother by virtue of being the firstborn of our Heavenly Father, which is paralleled in the tradition of the early Israelites who would have selected a first-born lamb for their sacrifices) AND he is our God by virtue of his atoning sacrifice which took place in Gethsemane and upon the cross.
While these doctrines may not be respected by some, those who are tolerant of differing religious beliefs will not find them as controversial as those who are open only to religious beliefs which agree with their own. The reason they are likely not included is probably because of the simple need to keep this article succinct and of proper length. Hope this answers your question.
Canadiandy1 (talk) 07:29, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Canadiandy

Revision of "now resides on the right hand side of God"[edit]

First, as a Latter-Day Saint, I wish to extend my respect to the contributors of this article for being fair-minded, respectful, and balanced. I would like to see a small change to the phrase in the head paragraph from, "[Jesus Christ]now resides on the right hand side of God" to "Jesus Christ now resides, figuratively, on the right hand side of God." The change should reflect the fact that Latter-Day Saints see Jesus Christ as a literal and active member of the Godhood and it is unlikely that he would be seated there at this very moment. I had considered the word 'authoritatively' instead of figuratively, but would be open to any suggestions here.

99.199.139.154 (talk) 06:02, 9 February 2010 (UTC)Canadiandy

Open Theism[edit]

The following IP submittal on this topic has been moved here for review and discussion. I'm not certain there is, as of yet, LDS doctrinal agreement on this topic. WBardwin (talk) 01:30, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

The church's approach to theology is strictly open theism. God does not know everything in peoples lives, only what is necessary. He does not know the finer details, even if he knows all the choices that can be done. God does not know what people choose. God has given all people a free will to choose according to their knowledge and interest. Prayer is therefore meaningful for them, because God then will know more things about them than he did before. In open theism people cooperates with God so that things will happen. A prophecy is the event that is most likely to happen in the future, not necessarily the only option. Open theism is in contrast to classical theism, when God knows everything and controls all events that will happen in the future.[1]
It is in the nature of the church to be open theists. The church has a prophet because that is needed when not all things are decided yet, because of the free will in humans. People cooperate with God towards a goal. Everything is not yet decided. In classical theism the churches are influenced by Greek/Hellenistic Philosophical ideas.
From Theopedia: "Open Theists argue that the belief in meticulous control is not based on the Bible but instead on Greek/Hellenistic Philosophical ideas of what they imagines a God must be like. Rather than seeing the passion and intimacy of a relational God both in the Old and New Testaments who is concerned with justice, holiness, and love and intimately involved with His creation - the Greek Philosophers viewed God as a immovable detached All-Controlling force. This view, Open Theists argue, influenced later Christian thought. Open Theists argue that in contrast with this detached view of God as the "unmoved mover" that the Prophets who pictures God as grieving over Israel, as well as of the Incarnation which shows God being intimately involved in the lives of his creation." http://www.theopedia.com/Open_theism
Professor W. D. Davies at Duke University said (a non-lds scholar): "To recapitulate very crudely: Mormonism asserts its continuity with Israel even genealogically. It returns to the roots of Judaism and Christianity in Israel. It also restores the forms of Israel that it regards as having been corrupted by both religions through a kind of “ecclesiastical” fall. Its substructure and its structures are in the Old Testament and the New Testament. But it also reinterprets and accommodates or transfers ancient forms, in a very remarkable way, to an American setting and mode. Mormonsim is the Jewish-Christian tradition in an American key. Finally, I hazard a suggestion. Mormonism arose in a place and time when many utopian, populist, socialistic ideas were in the air. It gave to these a disciplined, organized American outlet and form: what it did was to re-Judaize a Christianity that had been too much Hellenized. But note that parallel with this American movement was a European movement, Marxist Communism, which also, from one point of view at least, was a protest in judgment.38 Let it be clear. We do not claim that there is any direct contact between Mormonism and Marxist Communism. But the former is the American expression of many of the same forces that led in Europe to Marxism. Mormonism certainly injected, and I hope will continue to inject, into the American scene the realism of Judaism and thus challenged a too-Hellenized Christianity to renew its contact with its roots in Israel. Is it too much to hope that by mutual interaction both Mormonism and traditional Christianity can be profited and instructed, and even corrected and possibly changed?" http://rsc.byu.edu/pubWDaviesIsraelMormonsLand.php

90.231.11.211 (talk) 15:11, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

There are varities of open theism, and not every one think exactly in the same way in everything. Pinnock is even open to that God is embodied. Open theism is the theism that is pre-Nicaean, that was in the early church.
David L. Paulsen is a professor of Philosophy at Brigham Young University wrote the following text together with the help of Mathew G. Fisher. You can see everything if you look at the link. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_L._Paulsen http://maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/review/?vol=15&num=2&id=516
"Pinnock's work should warrant the attention of a Latter-day Saint audience for at least three reasons. First, many aspects of openness theology resonate with Latter-day Saint understandings of God. Indeed, Pinnock has even been criticized for endorsing Latter-day Saint points of view.4 For instance, in a review in Christianity Today, Pinnock's model is taken to task for suggesting that God may be an embodied person in time. According to one reviewer, "We are only a few steps away, it seems, from the assertion that God possesses a body of sorts, spiritual though it may be."5 Latter-day Saints may find that careful contemplation of Pinnock's theological and philosophical reflections may reinforce some of their own convictions. 90.231.11.211 (talk) 16:54, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Second, Pinnock has opened the door for Latter-day Saints and openness thinkers to engage in cooperative work. In a cordial letter to David Paulsen, Pinnock recently wrote: "Your work has gotten me interested in knowing more about the 'Mormon/evangelical dialogue,' how to measure it and even how to bridge it. Are we (in your opinion) co-belligerents as it were in the struggle against pagan influences in classical theism? Can we benefit each other? My sense is that we are closer to each other than process theists are to either of us. . . . Clearly we have much in common. I have always hoped with respect to your faith that Mormon thinking might draw closer to Christian thinking (or ours to yours) and not drift farther away."
"Clearly Latter-day Saint and openness views of the Godhead are very much on the same page. Our reflections on what each take to be scripture can mutually inform and inspire."
"God is not a metaphysical iceberg but a dynamic, passible, and personal interactive agent who enters into genuine give-and-take relationships with human agents. This, essentially, is the battle cry of the openness movement. From divine embodiment to profound passibility, it is not hard to see how Pinnock's open model of deity resonates with common Latter-day Saint understandings of God. It is not, of course, a perfect mesh, yet clearly we do have much in common."
From footnone 4: Amazon.com reviewers of Most Moved Mover write: "Would that Mr. Pinnock would try again without the Book of Mormon this time"; and "With just a few statements, he shows how his position is most moved toward an almost Mormon position of a being who is not necessarily a pure spirit being, i.e., possibly embodied." See www.amazon.com (accessed 20 January 2004). Jeff Riddle, an evangelical pastor, writes on his Web site: "If the nascent ideas on divine corporeality in Most Moved Mover are any indication, it seems that the 'mature' vision of God in open theology will be more like that of Mormonism than orthodoxy." See www.jpbc.org/writings/br-most_moved_mover.html (accessed 19 January 2004). 90.231.11.211 (talk) 16:55, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Paulsen and Fisher also wrote this. Read everything here http://byustudies.byu.edu/showTitle.aspx?title=7697
"Sanders’s study has examined the biblical, historical, philosophical, and practical issues surrounding the risk view of providence and the open view of God. Along with the four other authors of The Openness of God, he offers this view as an intelligible alternative to other nonrisk or traditional views of providence. This study of God’s openness should be of special import to Latter-day Saint readers, for the Latter-day Saint tradition also rejects many absolute elements in the classical view of God and providence ( immutable, impassible, timeless, ineffable, simple, invisible, all-controlling, completely transcendent). The Latter-day Saint portrait of God as found in scripture reflects a loving, sensitive, responsive, and concerned God who suffers when his children turn from him and is elated when they seek his fellowship. We read about a God who has endowed his children with significant freedom that allows for free choices, both good and bad. This, too, is how God is understood in openness thought.
Much has been written concerning the breadth and depth of the divide separating Latter-day Saint and conventional Christian theologies and in many cases the divide is, indeed, both wide and deep. However, in dealing with God’s relationship with his creatures and his providential project, the openness model as offered in both of these exceptional books enjoys striking similarity with the Latter-day Saint view of divine relations and providence." 90.231.11.211 (talk) 17:03, 25 April 2010 (UTC)


I'm concerned that you and Dr. Midgeley are asserting a view that may not be doctrinally accurate. For example, in 1986, our current President Thomas S. Monson wrote that the Lord: ".... is a resurrected, glorified, exalted, omniscient, omnipotent person and is omnipresent in spirit and power and influence, the ruler of the heavens and the earth and all things therein." In 1971, past President Joseph Fielding Smith referred to D&C 93:19–20 and wrote: "It is my desire to remind you of the nature and kind of being that God is, so that you may worship him in spirit and in truth and thereby gain all of the blessings of his gospel. He is omnipotent and omniscient; he has all power and all wisdom; and his perfections consist in the possession of all knowledge, all faith or power, all justice, all judgment, all mercy, all truth, and the fullness of all godly attributes." If we assert that God is omnisceient and omnipotent, how can we also assert that He does not know everything - i.e. Open Theism? Even in the "blog" you used as a source, one of the commentators wrote: "...I think (this topic) will remain in not safe for Sunday School territory for some time." We should seek a recent doctrinal statement from the LDS Church on the topic rather than a professorial opinion. Best wishes. WBardwin (talk) 01:29, 26 April 2010 (UTC)


The "blog" belongs to FAIRLDS. According to Dr John E. Sanders (he is and evangelical christian theologian that promotes Open Theism) it is possible to believe that God is omniscient and omnipotent, so it does not goes against the leaders in the church. As I wrote, there are many different views in Open Theism. Open Theism is the pre-creedal view of God. And the church claims to be that kind of church. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_E._Sanders#Sanders_on_open_theism I also think that because the LDS Church view themselves to be Jewish-Christians (that most members in the church belongs to either the Jewish tribes or the Israelite tribes, others are "adopted"), then it would be very good to write that somewhere. The famous theologian Krister Stendahl was active in Jewish-Christian dialogue, and he was a very good friend to the LDS Church and helped them very much when the temple in Stockholm was going to be built. Without his help there would not have been a temple there. He helped the church because it is Jewish-Christian. Professor Emeritus W. D. Davies, a famous scholar in theology (and not a member in LDS) said: Mormonism is the Jewish-Christian tradition in an American key. He explained in "Israel, the Mormons and the Land" http://rsc.byu.edu/pubWDaviesIsraelMormonsLand.php He and Krister Stendahl was at a symposium at BYU with many other non-LDS scholars and BYU has everything published in a book, Reflections on Mormonism : Judaeo-Christian parallels : papers delivered at the Religious Studies Center Symposium, Brigham Young University, March 10-11, 1978 http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/rsc&CISOPTR=36013 If you don't think that it is yet possible to write that the LDS Church is Open Theists, is it possible for you to be open to write that LDS Theology and Open Theology is close to each other (and friends) and in a positive dialogue with each other, and that they have very many things in common? I appreciate your thoughts about this. Thanks! 90.231.11.211 (talk) 08:22, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
Just a knee-jerk reaction to what I have read here: I think I understand the direction you are going, Anon 90, but the wording of it is tricky. Doctrines cannot be friends with each other, but they can support one another. The term open theism is not recognized by LDS people at large. You will still find a great number of LDS who would say they are monotheists, but have a understanding that the Godhead is one God and yet at the same time recognize that there are three distinct gods found in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The LDS Church is in dialog with all churches that choose to talk to it. The Church does not pick and choose; it works with Catholic charities just as it does with Muslim charities to assist the victims of tragedy worldwide. The Church is only seeking the most efficient manner to serve the most people and does not attempt to determine whose doctrine is most acceptable to it.
The LDS Church's doctrine has been declared as Henotheistic, polytheistic, and many other things. However, it emphatically believes in one Godhead consisting of three gods. The Father speaks to the Son, who is the intermediary through which man prays to God the Father. The Holy Spirit is proclaims truth to all of humanity; it is through Him that can know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ as well as the truth of all things. In many ways the LDS Church focuses on three beings that make one God whereas Nicene theology focuses on One God in three distinct beings.
I would also be concerned that this sounds very much like fringe thinking. It certainly is not a mainstream topic. --StormRider 17:21, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
I am very open to alternative suggestions in how to describe it. If you think the word "support" is better, then I think that it is a good alternative. Most christians don't know about open theism at all either, so I think that LDS people are in the same situation too. Anyway, Wikipedia allow the protestant (and perhaps mostly evangelical) view about Open Theism to be in Wikipedia. I was thinking that it would be fair to give LDS their view of it too. It would be more neutral I think. Can protestants say that they own the word "open theism"? LDS people have been thinking in somewhat this way since 1830. They were first (in the latter-days), even if they didn't called it Open Teism. The way LDS people think is very similar to open theism. It seems to be many different views in how protestants understand what open theism really is. Perhaps it is possible to include LDS, and say that it is one of the options in how to interpret open theism. At least I think so. I would never ever argue against the First Presidency and the Apostles.
I sometimes use the word Godhead, and other times the word Trinity (and also explains that it is an alternative scripture interpretation to the creedal interpretation in Nicaea 325). lds.org 90.231.11.211 (talk) 18:25, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Article organization and sequencing[edit]

Could I suggest a reorganization with two major subsections: theology/doctrine and church structure /practices? Any concerns or objections before I proceed? WBardwin (talk) 04:10, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

Good idea. --StormRider 17:21, 26 April 2010 (UTC)
did a quick reshuffle. But I decided to leave three major sections: 1. Church theology and doctrine, 2. Ordinances and covenants, and 3. Church structure and practices. I did very little rewriting but did split one section into two. Would it be good to add a tithes and offerings section to doctrine? Opinions welcome, of course. WBardwin (talk) 03:40, 30 April 2010 (UTC)

Differences with mainstream Christianity[edit]

While a small portion of the core beliefs in this article have been spelled out, other differences between Mormonism and Christianity have been skipped. Why? Readers may want to know that the Mormons believe in ascension to godhood (Our Heavenly Father Presented a Plan for Us to Become like Him), that Jesus and Lucifer were brothers (A Savior and Leader Was Needed), that Jesus had three wives (Journal of Discourses 2:82), or that their God originated from the planet Kolob (Abraham 3:2-3). While I'm sure these differences are not a big deal to the average Mormon, they certainly set the LDS apart from mainstream Christianity. I believe there should be a section within the wiki that clearly identifies how their branch of Christianity is different others. Erikeltic (Talk) 12:19, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

There's a whole article about it: Mormonism and Christianity. VernoWhitney (talk) 13:49, 9 June 2010 (UTC)

There do not appear to be any references to Lucifer or Kolob in that article.108.27.94.74 (talk) 01:41, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Archaeological Evidence[edit]

The text currently states: "Much debate has taken place on the subject of whether archeology supports or denies the Book of Mormon's authenticity." Needless to say, this is a very misleading statement. Archaeological and genetic evidence conclusively refute the Mormon view on the origins of the American Indians, as their migration to the New World occurred thousands of years before the appearance of the Jewish people in history, and since American Indians are most closely genetically related to certain East Asian peoples. I will rephrase this statement to something like, "The stories in the Book of Mormon are not supported by archaeology or genetics" (sources will be provided), or I will remove the statement altogether. Which is better? -Thucydides411 (talk) 07:55, 29 July 2011 (UTC)

According to LDS theology, the Jewish people which are presented in the opening books of the Book of Mormon are only one group of people who traveled to the American continent. After their arrival, they find that there are other groups who currently inhabit the land. This appears to match your information, that there were people on the American continent thousands of years before the Jewish people. An entire book within the Book of Mormon is dedicated to a group of people that were on the continent long before the migration of the Jewish people. If you were to ignore these groups then I would agree with you, however because of these groups the topic is very much worthy of debate. Therefore, I am debating your decision. Lothimos (talk) 15:29, 29 July 2011 (UTC)
There is no genetic or archaeological evidence for the presence of a Jewish tribe in the Americas at any time before the arrival of Europeans in the 15th century. The genetic evidence points to a Central Asian lineage, and the migration occurred long before there was any tribe that might rightly be called Jewish, i.e. thousands of years before the appearance of Abrahamic traditions in the Levant. If you can point to some evidence to the contrary, please mention it here and we can review the changes I am making. -Thucydides411 (talk) 03:39, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
In making your argument, you have stated the same things that I said for making my argument. This leads me to believe that this subject is very worthy of debate, and that the original wording would be better suited for this article (either that, or you just didn't read my comment very well). Let me restate again, in simpler terms, what Book of Mormon presents:
1 - A Jewish family leaves Jerusalem, travels to the New World. The family grows.
2 - Turns, there are other people here who are not Jewish. They intermix with these groups.
3 - Come to find out that there have been other groups that have been here for quite a while. They find a record of a people who migrated to the New World around the time of the tower of Babel, which predates Abraham. This is the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon.
This is the same evidence that you are using in your argument, with the exception of one family who happens to be Jewish, which then intermingled with the other groups that were already here.
fairlds.org has a fairly lengthy list of works that include evidence to support the argument at http://www.fairlds.org/Book_of_Mormon/Archaeological_Evidence_and_the_Book_of_Mormon.html
byu.edu has several works and reports that support the argument as well.
I believe that the correct way to represent this information is that it is debatable. This would be the most fair and NPOV way to present it. If we really wanted to present it correctly, both viewpoints should be added to the article, but again, this would show that the authenticity of the Book of Mormon as a debatable issue, contrary to what you wish to express. Lothimos (talk) 18:02, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
This is a scientific issue, and not a religious issue. That means that you have to cite archaeological, genetic, or other similar evidence for your claims, and not religious texts. I've amended the text of the article and provided references to scientific articles which present reasonably well, I hope, the state of scientific research on the origin of the indigenous peoples of the Americas. You say that there is intense debate over the question of whether Amerindians have any Jewish ancestry. Search PubMed or Google Scholar for scientific articles which even entertain the idea of ancient Jewish immigration to the New World. You won't find any. That's because there is not debate within the scientific community on this issue. As an aside, the link you provided references only religious journals. You need to find articles published in peer-reviewed scientific journals, preferably ones that don't mention a religious affiliation in their name. -Thucydides411 (talk) 20:20, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

I think I've provided good references in support of my change to the article. If anyone wants to revert back by edit, then please provide a rationale here, or at least add references to scientific papers in the article. I also don't see why the previous revert removed the references I added. That only serves to obscure the current state of research in the field from readers of Wikipedia. -Thucydides411 (talk) 15:38, 3 August 2011 (UTC)

You must never put Wikipedia in the position of stating a fact that is not directly supported by an acceptable reference or statement from an expert. I reverted your edit because Wikipedia cannot say there is no debate. Wikipedia does not know and you have not provided a reference to support that. Doing a google scholar search and then making the deduction that because you could not find any information there was no debate only means that you could not find any debate on Google. Does this make sense to you?
Therre is no problem making a statement that is directly supported by references. In this situation, use your information to state what experts state; nothing more and nothing less. I personally don't like broken links and try to correct if possible. However, a reference is never deleted in favor of another reference that only disagrees. Use both references and let the reader make their own decisions. -StormRider 06:32, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
You have again removed all scientific references from the sentence and replaced it with a little article by a Mormon religious scholar, not a scientist. I at least provided review articles summarizing what the scientific community thinks. Those are the expert opinions you keep on asking for. Yet you don't seem to think those articles are worthy of inclusion here. Instead, we get the say-so of a religious scholar at an LDS institute that there is a debate about whether the Amerindians had direct contact with the Israelites. Let me summarize his evidence for the Book of Mormon's correctness:
"John L. Sorenson and M. Wells Jakeman tentatively identified the Olmec (2000—600 B.C.) and Late Pre-Classic Maya (300 B.C.—A.D. 250) cultures in Central America with the Jaredite and Nephite cultures, based on correspondences between periods of cultural development in these areas and the pattern of cultural change in the Book of Mormon"
"Stronger evidence for contacts may be found in the Tree of Life motif, a common religious theme, on Stela 5 from Izapa in Chiapas, Mexico. Jakeman, in 1959, studied Stela 5 in detail and concluded that it represented the sons of a legendary ancestral couple absorbing and perhaps recording their knowledge of a munificent Tree of Life. This can be compared favorably to the account of Lehi's vision in the Book of Mormon (1 Ne. 8)."
"The presence of a bearded white deity, Quetzalcoatl or Kukulcan, in the pantheon of the Aztec, Toltec, and Maya has also been advanced as indirect evidence of Christ's visit to the New World. The deity is represented as a feathered serpent, and elements of his worship may have similarities to those associated with Christ's atonement."
These are astoundingly weak arguments. If this were to pass as science, I could prove to you that the Romans went back in time and settled Hawaii in 15000 B.C. I don't want to get into a revert war with you. I therefore ask of you again what I wrote on your user page. Find a paper in any respected scientific journal which is unaffiliated with the Mormon faith that argues that the Amerindians descend from or had contact with the Israelites. Post the link here in the talk pages. If you can't support what is written in the article now, then the article should be changed. I've made an effort to consult the scientific literature, and as I've said, I've been honest in my search. I didn't conceal any links supporting your views. I simply could not find any papers in archaeology that even mentioned the idea that ancient Israelites might have been in the New World. I think you'll find the same. -Thucydides411 (talk) 01:52, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
This is your edit to the article:
"As a scientific hypothesis, idea of a Jewish origin for the indigenous peoples of the Americas finds no support within mainstream archaeology or genetics.[2][3]"
Do your references state that there is no support with in "mainstream archaeology"? No, they do not. Alas, this is your deduction, your POV. Wikipedia does not accept your POV or anyone else's as valid. I explained this above.
If this needed to be in the article, the addition may read something such as:
Either quote or summarize a statement from the study on Mitochondrial DNA and Y chromosome diversity. For example, IF the study said, our research shows that the ancestors of present day Indian populations came from China, then I would use that in a quote or summarize it. You now have offered that this analysis has shown no correlation between scholars that are LDS and scholars that are no LDS.
Do you understand the need for neutrality in articles and why Wikipedia must never be presented as an expert of anything. We record what experts say, we never make personal deductions and then enter them as if experts are saying it. -StormRider 16:22, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

The request has been to find scientific research supporting a specific religious view without using any religious affiliated journals. Fair enough. I think it is important to note that the only people who are going to point out these evidences are those who are looking for them in relation to that religion. Thus I find it difficult to believe that there are many intellectuals researching this that would suddenly say, 'Wow! I found something that identifies with what those weird Mormons were talking about! Neat!'. Most related research about the evidence relating to the Book of Mormon are going to be made by those who are either trying to support the Book of Mormon, or those trying to oppose it. I like to believe that most researchers within the scientific community at large are trying to find what is factual without a specific bias.

With this in mind, I searched for research of links that may have come from the Middle East, and indeed found much debate over the subject. Now, making sure that I didn't cross the 'religious' line, I (to the best of my ability) omitted any documents that were promoting any form of religious viewpoint, that had been republished by the LDS college of BYU, or that had any author that was from the state of Utah (you know, just to be safe). Most of my research was within the genetics realm. Here is what I found (with included excerpts):

Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X (The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 73, Issue 5, November 2003, Pages 1178-1190)

A maximum parsimony tree of 21 complete mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences belonging to haplogroup X and the survey of the haplogroup-associated polymorphisms in 13,589 mtDNAs from Eurasia and Africa revealed that haplogroup X is subdivided into two major branches, here defined as "X1" and "X2." The first is restricted to the populations of North and East Africa and the Near East, whereas X2 encompasses all X mtDNAs from Europe, western and Central Asia, Siberia, and the great majority of the Near East, as well as some North African samples. Subhaplogroup X1 diversity indicates an early coalescence time, whereas X2 has apparently undergone a more recent population expansion in Eurasia, most likely around or after the last glacial maximum. It is notable that X2 includes the two complete Native American X sequences that constitute the distinctive X2a clade, a clade that lacks close relatives in the entire Old World, including Siberia. The position of X2a in the phylogenetic tree suggests an early split from the other X2 clades, likely at the very beginning of their expansion and spread from the Near East.
...the few Altaian (Derenko et al. 2001) and Siberian haplogroup X lineages are not related to the Native American cluster, and they are more likely explained by recent gene flow from Europe or from West Asia
This work actually appears to build upon and reference the work of T. G. Schurr, who is one of the authors of the original Amerindian migration works supporting the Asian migration that was referenced.

Human Lymphocyte Antigens: Apparent Afro-Asiatic, Southern Asian, & European HLAs in Indigenous American Populations (New England Antiquities Research Association, by James L. Guthrie)

Three “non-Indian” alleles (B*21, A*33, B*7) are most important, each contributing about 10% of the atypical HLA total. Their presence seems to reflect an early Near Eastern influence on the American west coast (A*33), European input to eastern Eskimos (B*7), and an Afro-Asiatic influence in southwestern North America (B*21). These interpretations are supported by findings of atypical genes from other systems, especially immunoglobin, transferrin, Kell, and Rhesus.

Strong Amerind/White Sex Bias and a Possible Sephardic Contribution among the Founders of a Population in Northwest Colombia (The American Society of Human Genetics, 2000 November; 67(5): 1287–1295.)

These matches occur in haplogroup C and, on aggregate, imply that ~14% of the Antioquian [one of the ancestral peoples that has its origins in Columbia] haplotypes could have a Jewish ancestry.

Europeans colonised America in 28,000 BC (Though not necessarily a journal, still an interesting read. The Times, Saturday, February 19, 2000 By Roger Highfield, Science Editor, in Washington DC)

Dr Schurr said: “Haplogroup X was brought to the New World by an ancient Eurasian population in a migratory event distinct from those bringing the other four lineages to the Americas.” The haplogroup X occurs most among Algonkian – speaking groups such as the Ojibwa, and has been detected in two pre-Colombian north American populations. Today, haplogroup is found in between two and four per cent of European populations, and in the Middle East, he said, particularly in Israel.

I stopped at four articles on genetics. I hope that's ok. There were more that I found, but reviewing them is quite time consuming. Most of the archaeological evidence I found was either reprinted by BYU, or quoted a scientific journal which I could not find. Cement is a big one that is listed in the Book of Mormon that a lot of critics point out, however it has been shown that it has been used in places such as Teotihuacan and other Mesoamerican architecture. A very debated object is the Bat Creek Stone. I found resources stating that it is considered by most to be Paleo-Hebrew, and I found resources stating that it is considered by most to be fraudulent. The Wikipedia entry is a good read on it regardless of which viewpoint you may have.

I assume that if someone wishes to show that there are no possible links to Jewish history in the New World that they will follow the same principles that were laid out by Thucydides411. Please provide information from a non-religious source (whether it be pro or anti) for any scientific evidence showing that there could have been no other pre-Columbian migration to the New World from the Middle East.

PS: Sorry for the delay, I do not have much time to devote to Wikipedia and it's been a fairly busy week. Lothimos (talk) 19:15, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for finding these articles, Lothimos. I'll deal with the first three, as the fourth is a newspaper article.
We should first note that the second article, by James Guthrie, was published in the New England Antiquities Research Association Journal, which is not peer-reviewed. The article was originally published in the journal Pre-Columbiana ([1]), a subsidiary of Science Frontiers, which upon inspection seems to be a clearinghouse for pseudo-scientific research on pre-Columbian cross-hemispheric contact. Another article, from the same edition of Science Frontiers which announces the founding of Pre-Columbiana, proclaims that an ice-covered lake has been found on Mars ([2]). You'll note as well that James Guthrie retains the copyright to the article, which is an indication that it was never published in a major journal. In fact, I can't find any other article written in the field of biology by James Guthrie. The NEARA website you linked states his credentials thus: ``Over the years, Jim Guthrie has published numerous articles in the NEARA Journal on many subjects. Now, his long interest in micro-biology has culminated in a comprehensive article on human lymphocyte antigens and their dispersal into indigenous American populations." We therefore shouldn't attach any weight to this article, which does not seem to come from an expert in the field, nor to have been published in a journal respected by the profession.
The first article, on mtDNA haplogroup X, is very interesting. It does not, however, claim or suggest that there was a recent (after the closing of the landbridge) migration to the New World. The line you cited states that Siberian haplogroup X lineages are the result of gene flow (something akin to geographic diffusion of genes over many generations). The critical passage in the paper regarding Native American ancestry is this:
These findings leave unanswered the question of the geographic source of Native American X2a in the Old World, although our analysis provides new clues about the time of the arrival of haplogroup X in the Americas. Indeed, if we assume that the two complete Native American X sequences (from one Navajo and one Ojibwa) began to diverge while their common ancestor was already in the Americas, we obtain a coalescence time of 18,000 ± 6,800 YBP, implying an arrival time not later than 11,000 YBP.
In other words, the authors state that their work supports an arrival time for the genes they studied in the New World that predates the time inferred from the Book of Mormon by several thousand years.
You seem to have misinterpreted the goal of the third paper. It studies the genetics of a settlement founded after the arrival of Europeans in the Americas. From the abstract:
Historical and genetic evidences suggest that the recently founded population of Antioquia (Colombia) is potentially useful for the genetic mapping of complex traits. This population was established in the 16th–17th centuries through the admixture of Amerinds, Europeans, and Africans and grew in relative isolation until the late 19th century.
The paper does not claim that the Sephardic ancestry present in the population comes from the early Amerind settlers. Indeed, it speculates that the Sephardic component derives from Spanish settlers:
These data indicate that ~94% of the Y chromosomes are European, 5% are African, and 1% are Amerind. Y-chromosome data are consistent with an origin of founders predominantly in southern Spain but also suggest that a fraction came from northern Iberia and that some possibly had a Sephardic origin.
In short, the selection presented above does not suggest a controversy within the scientific community over the historicity of Mormon accounts of the origins of Amerindians. -Thucydides411 (talk) 21:33, 5 August 2011 (UTC)
Listen, I'm not trying to convince you that the Book of Mormon is true. I'm not expecting you to be convinced of the plausibility of any religious belief. The goal of this discussion is to determine whether or not this topic is debated, and whether this should be pointed out within the article. No matter how many peer-reviewed articles we throw at the subject they cannot prove that the Book of Mormon is true, or that the Book of Mormon is not true. I can throw up article after article about evidence that does not match up with the Book of Mormon, but until we have learned every piece of science that there is to be learned within this universe we cannot say that we know for sure. I'm assuming that there will be many more valuable things that are found within the realm of Amerindian genetics that will be both fascinating and valuable. In the same regard, even if it was found that a family traveled from the mid-East to the western hemisphere at exactly 600 BC, this does not prove that the Book of Mormon is true either. All it would prove is that a family from the mid-East traveled to the western hemisphere at 600 BC.
Does this debate take place within the scientific community? Is this a requirement for something to be of debate? Of course this is not a requirement. Most of the debating is not going to happen within this realm. The debate is going to be with those who want to support the Book of Mormon, and those that want to oppose it. I believe that I have also pointed out that there is evidence to suggest that there are others that may have migrated to the western hemisphere at some point in the pre-Columbian past, and that not all genetics flowed just from Siberia. I could not find anything that debated this peer-reviewed article (admittedly, I didn't look very hard), so perhaps you are right in this respect; there is no debate in the scientific arena. But I believe this would be a faulty notion, and faulty misrepresentation to say otherwise. I'm fairly certain the only way that the debate could be ended once and for all is if some Deity showed up on earth and either confirmed or denied the book.
As for the articles, it does appear that the third article is post-Columbian. My bad.
As for the second article, I believe that not all science is found by peer-review. Also, just for fun, I thought this NASA announcement fit well: ([3])([4]) I didn't take the time to find the related peer-reviewed article found in the Science journal.
And we cannot responsibly believe that just because the first article (which actually is peer-reviewed) shows that people from the middle east may have come to the western hemisphere long before the Book of Mormon times, that other groups could not have come at a later date. Otherwise I may have to rethink that whole Columbus thing...
Again, no matter how much science we throw at it, non of it can prove that the Book of Mormon is true, or that it is not true. All it can prove is that there is actually a debate going on.
Thank you for your input. I have enjoyed researching the subject. Lothimos (talk) 21:41, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
You have shown that there is a debate about the Book of Mormon's authenticity. What I have shown is that this debate is not within the scientific community, and is not based on peer-reviewed science.
Just to make this clear, I want to correct one point you made: the paper on the X haplogroup does not claim that people from the Middle East migrated to the Americas. It states that "These findings leave unanswered the question of the geographic source of Native American X2a in the Old World." This is actually somewhat unrelated to the Book of Mormon, since the paper also states that the X2a subgroup split off more than 11,000 years ago. There is nothing in the article that supports the Book of Mormon account, as far as I can tell.
We also should not present pseudoscience as real science. There is a very good reason why peer review is used in science, and why certain journals enjoy credibility in their respective fields and others do not. There are journals that require other experts in the field to review an article, make suggestions for changes and corrections, and give their opinion as to whether a paper has scientific merit. There are others that have no such process, or that simply publish things for their sensational value. Pre-Columbiana evidently falls into this category, as it publishes articles by non-experts, with sensational claims that experts in the field reject and would not okay for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. If we include non-peer-reviewed material, we are likely including opinions not supported by scientists in the field.
If this is indeed just a debate between "those who want to support the Book of Mormon, and those that want to oppose it," as Lothimos has said, then what I wrote in the article should be acceptable. Based on the above discussion, here is what I propose for the article:
"The Book of Mormon's account of Israelite immigration to the New World finds no support within the fields of genetics or archaeology.(references to scientific articles) The LDS holds that archaeological evidence supports the Book of Mormon's authenticity.(references to LDS websites)"
Is this an acceptable compromise? -Thucydides411 (talk) 03:15, 7 August 2011 (UTC)
Thucydides411, your a good man. er... Wikipedian. I appreciate the compromise. Your version supports both viewpoints well, but I think that the first line may cause many of the LDS faith to want to change it still. How would you feel if we added the word 'conclusive' in there so that it read "The Book of Mormon's account of Israelite immigration to the New World finds no conclusive support within the fields of genetics or archeology." I think this would support your point very well, but also keep it from being altered by those that are LDS and adamant that there is scientific evidence. If you feel it better represented with the first version, then use that. The second sentence I think would be better stated as "The LDS Church believes that there are archaeological evidences to support the Book of Mormon, and that there will be other evidences found within the fields of archeology and genetics that will support the Book of Mormon that may be discovered in the future."
I think this brings both points of view to the table very nicely. What are your thoughts on this revision? Either way, we need a note to see the talk pages in the Edit Summary.
Thank you again, Lothimos (talk) 15:45, 8 August 2011 (UTC)
I don't see the value of noting that certain things might be discovered in the future, but we can note that the LDS Church believes it has archaeological evidence in support of the Book of Mormon. The word "conclusive" in the first sentence would be misleading though, as it suggests that the archaeologists and geneticists have some evidence they consider viable in support of the Book of Mormon. We could use the word "mainstream" to denote the difference between peer-reviewed archaeology disconnected from BYU, etc. and LDS-affiliated archaeology. With these changes, the relevant lines in the article would read:
"The Book of Mormon's account of Israelite immigration to the New World finds no support within mainstream genetics or archaeology.(references to scientific articles) The LDS Church believes that there is archaeological evidence to support the historicity of the Book of Mormon, and that genetic evidence may be found in the future.(references to LDS websites)"
-Thucydides411 (talk) 18:04, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

Thucydides411, I will caution you that because YOU agree with something does not make it so. Just because YOU discuss it to your satisfaction you decide to end it does not make it so. Don't edit the article again until there is consensus. This is the way Wikipedia operates. Doing otherwise only means you want to engage in edit warring.

One, you have provided no reference to support that there is "no debate" in the scientific community. You are not a reference; you are not an expert; and you will NOT put Wikipedia in the position of being an expert.

Tconsensusnsus is achieved when all parties are in agreement on an action. You are NOT the individual to decide wconsensusnsus is achieved given that your actions demonstrate your interest in editing to meet your agenda rather than neutrality.

Third, a scholarscholarhcolar regardless of their religious background. As long as a reference meets Wikipedia standards of reliability, it is acceptable.

You edit with a heavy hand and a disregard for your fellow editors. What is the problem of just working together, waiting an appropriate time period, and then editinconsensusoncensus is achieved? -StormRider 08:23, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

StormRider, where were you when we were discussing this edit? Do you just hover like a specter over the article and revert it every time something is written that you personally disagree with? Your reverts are very disruptive, and you have shown blatant disregard for the discussions on this talk page. If you cannot control yourself, refuse to engage constructively here and participate in the discussion that Lothimos and I have been having over the past days, and continue to revert the article to your personally preferred version, then we will have no other option than to call in an administrator. I hope we can avoid that. The framework of our discussion on this section is detailed above. Read this section in the talk page. Read the references. I am not an expert, you are not an expert and neither is Lothimos, but we have referenced experts and looked through the published literature. Indeed, most of the discussion here has centered around the question of whether there are scientific papers supporting the Book of Mormon's account. If none can be provided, Wikipedia cannot claim there is a scientific debate. -Thucydides411 (talk) 14:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
Since were still on the subject, I just thought I would chime back in. I've continued to research this as time has allowed and have found that there may be debatable evidence found within the peer-reviewed scientific community that we have not previously discussed. I figured that I would actually do my homework on it before I submitted my findings here for review though, and this is taking some time. I would certainly consider it worthwhile to receive input from other editors as well. Thucydides411 is a smart individual, but it is true that neither him, nor I, make a community. Whether I can confirm this or not, either way, I will let you know what I find. In light of this, I am going to choose to remain neutral on this editing decision for the time being until I can post my additional findings here, though I think the above compromise was for the most part fair. Again, I would find it valuable to know what the other editors of this article think. Lothimos (talk) 19:59, 9 August 2011 (UTC)
A specter? It now may be time for you to review some of Wikipedia's policies; begin with assume good faith of other editors. If you need an explanation, I work and don't edit very often; however, I have contributed to Wikipedia for several years. If you need proof of that, just look at my contributions/edit history. A discussion does not take place for Wikipedia when it is only you making the decisions and declaring consensus when only you are the only one that agrees. This is another policy that you might need to review: consensus. If you think an administrator will help, please do so. That is not something to be feared by anyone.
You still have yet to grasp why you have been reverted. I will state this again, but you should reread the sentence repeatedly until you undestand: "NEVER PUT WIKIPEDIA IN THE POSITION OF STATING A FACT; ONLY EXPERTS PROVIDE FACTS." No, do not continue reading; repeat it until you get it!
Do you have an expert that says there is no debate? Are you the source for such a statement because YOU cannot find any? A scholar is a scholar regardless of their religious affiliation. Should we discount all Christian scholars on topic of Christianity? Just because you cannot find a statement that supports your position, then the only thing you can say is that YOU CANNOT FIND A REFERENCE. Do you get this yet??? -StormRider 08:52, 13 August 2011 (UTC)

This talk section is already very long, and while I don't really want to make it any longer there is more information that should be reviewed, as I mentioned in my last comment. The debate within the talk page has been whether or not it can be debated that mainstream science supports the events that are recorded in the Book of Mormon.

In order to determine this, we should make sure that we have some clear definitions on what these mean.

First of all, mainstream science, as noted above, has been defined as scientific evidence that can be found within a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Second of all, for something to be scientifically supported, there must be some scientific evidence that lines up with the claim.

The Book of Mormon claims to be a compilation of multiple records. This compilation was not meant to be a historical record, but a record of those whom they considered prophets. According to the Book of Mormon, other records were maintained that contained the general history of the people, so the Book of Mormon claims itself to be an incomplete record historically. If we consider this claim, it would mean that there are events and encounters that are not contained within it. There is no way to be sure that the groups mentioned within are all completely composed of descendants of the originating progenitors who are mentioned, though it should be safe to assume that most of them are. However, even with this claim considered, the Book of Mormon does claim to contain some history that we can examine with some surety. The Book of Mormon claims that two families left Jerusalem at about 600 BC, and traveled to the Western Hemisphere. Another group also left from Jerusalem shortly after the first group, and also traveled to the Western Hemisphere. The only genetic information we have about these two groups is that one of the original two families was a descendant of Joseph of Egypt. If we are to believe Biblical history, this shows that at least one familial line should carry genetic markers for the Near East. If we are not using Biblical history, we can only assume that these groups originated from, or intermingled with the people in Jerusalem. The other family, and the additional group are unknown for sure, however it would be doubtful that they would be in Jerusalem and not have these same Near East genetic markers. Upon arriving in the Western Hemisphere, there is discovered at least one other group of an unknown ethnicity residing here, of which we have only one documented descendant.

So, in order to determine whether or not these claims are supported within mainstream science we must determine if there is some scientific evidence that there are traces of Near East descendants found within the pre-Columbian Amerindian (aka: Native American) population.

Studies on genetics in the 1980s within the scientific community showed that the majority of the Amerindian population appears to have originated within Siberia. mtDNA haplogroups A, B, C, and D were found in both the Amerindian population sampled, and also within the population of Siberia. This has remained the primary focus of Amerindian genetic research within the scientific community, however it is not the only focus within this realm.

However, in 1998 Virginia Morell published a report in Science, pointing out the discovery of another haplogroup that was found in Native Americans, and groups within Europe and Asia minor, including certain Israelis. This haplogroup was not found within Asia. This haplogroup was termed as haplogroup X.

"Anthropologists have recently been puzzled by surprising features on a handful of ancient American skeletons that resemble those of Europeans rather than Asians, the presumed ancestors of the first people to cross the Bering Strait into the Americas. Now a new genetic study may link Native Americans and people of Europe and the Middle East, offering tantalizing support to a controversial theory that a band of people who originally lived in Europe or Asia Minor were among this continent's first settlers. The new data come from studies of a genetic marker called Lineage X, which has been found both in living Native Americans and in certain groups in Europe and Asia Minor, including Italians, Finns, and certain Israelis--but not in any Asian population."
Morell, V., "Genes May Link Ancient Eurasians, Native Americans," Science, 280: 520 (April 24, 1998) ([5])

That was until 2001, when Miroslava V. Derenko published a discovery of haplotype X found within Siberia. Derenko debated that haplotype X had several genetic differences between that of the Amerindians and those found in Europe and Asia minor, but found similarities between the Amerindians and a single Siberian group known as the Altaians which was found to have the haplotype X marker at a frequency of 3.5%. However it was noted that Altaians were missing the 16213A and 200G variants that were common in Amerindian haplotype X markers.

"Despite a shared consensus RFLP haplotype, substantial genetic differences exist between the American Indian and European haplogroup X mtDNAs. Phylogenetic analysis and coalescence estimates for American Indian and European haplogroup X mtDNAs exclude the possibility that the occurrence of haplogroup X in American Indians is due to recent European admixture."

"Haplogroup X mtDNAs were detected only in Altaians, at a frequency of 3.5%."

"Nevertheless, the X mtDNAs that we detected in the Altaian sample do not bear the 16213A and 200G variants that are characteristic of most American Indian haplogroup X mtDNAs"
Derenko, M.V., et al., "The Presence of Mitochondrial Haplogroup X in Altaians from South Siberia," American Journal of Human Genetics, 69(1): 237-241 (July 2001) ([6])

However further analysis of haplotype X, which was published by Ripan S. Malhi in The American Journal of Human Genetics discovered that "a substantial number of Native Americans in multiple geographic regions also lack the np 16213G mutation and therefore have haplotypes identical to those of European and Asian members of haplogroup X." Malhi assumes the theory of a single source of the Western Hemisphere population, though he does mention that it is a highly debated topic.

"Brown et al. (1998) demonstrated that Europeans assigned to haplogroup X lack a mutation at np 16213 in the HVSI that all Native Americans exhibit. However, the larger sample size of individuals assigned to haplogroup X in the present study reveals that a substantial number of Native Americans in multiple geographic regions also lack the np 16213G mutation and therefore have haplotypes identical to those of European (Brown et al. 1998) and Asian (Derenko et al. 2001) members of haplogroup X." "The timing of initial entry into the Americas is uncertain. Through use of estimates of mtDNA diversity and rates of mtDNA evolution, a broad range of dates (11,000–43,000 years BP) have been estimated [citations removed]. Although researchers have recognized the need to incorporate population history in their estimates, the wide range of dates reported in the literature for the peopling of the Americas suggests that accurate models of Native American population history, accurate models of the evolution of mtDNA, and sufficient sampling of populations in the Americas have not yet emerged."
Malhi, R.S., et al., "The Structure of Diversity within New World Mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups: Implications for the Prehistory of North America," American Journal of Human Genetics, 70(4): 905-919 (April 2002) ([7])

And then in 2003 Maere Reidla publishes a more detailed analysis of haplotype X in The American Journal of Genetics. It was discovered that "haplotype X is subdivided into two major subhaplogroups, designated X1 and X2." X1 is found mostly in Africa, whereas X2 is spread widely throughout West Eurasia. This report finds that the Native American haplogroup X mtDNAs derive from X2 and that the Altaian and Siberian haplogroup X lineages are not related to the Native American cluster.

"The results of this study point to the following conclusions. First, haplogroup X variation is completely captured by two ancient clades that display distinctive phylogeographic patterns—X1 is largely restricted to North and East Africa, whereas X2 is spread widely throughout West Eurasia. Second, it is apparent that the Native American haplogroup X mtDNAs derive from X2 by a unique combination of five mutations. Third, the few Altaian (Derenko et al. 2001) and Siberian haplogroup X lineages are not related to the Native American cluster, and they are more likely explained by recent gene flow from Europe or from West Asia. Fourth, the split between “African” X1 and “Eurasian” X2 subhaplogroups of X is phylogenetically as deep as that within the branches of haplogroup U that also differ profoundly in their phylogeography. Thus, subhaplogroup U6 is largely restricted to North Africa (as X1), whereas subhaplogroup U5 is widespread in West Eurasia (as X2). The phylogeographic patterns and the coalescence times that we obtained here suggest that the basic phylogenetic structures of the mtDNA haplogroups in West Eurasia and North Africa are as ancient as the beginning of the spread of anatomically modern humans in this region. Finally, phylogeography of the subclades of haplogroup X suggests that the Near East is the likely geographical source for the spread of subhaplogroup X2, and the associated population dispersal occurred around, or after, the LGM when the climate ameliorated. The presence of a daughter clade in northern Native Americans testifies to the range of this population expansion."
Reidla, M., et al., "Origin and Diffusion of mtDNA Haplogroup X," American Journal of Human Genetics, 73:1178-1190 (Nov. 2003) ([8])

This shows that mainstream science actually supports the migration of at least a small group of people from the Middle East to the Western Hemisphere before Columbus, as the Book of Mormon claims. Mainstream science also supports at least one other group of people migrating to the Western Hemisphere prior to the migration of this haplogroup, which the Book of Mormon also claims.

However, as mentioned above, there is one problem with the claims of the Book of Mormon that must also be addressed. Examining the estimates of the entry of haplogroup X into the Western Hemisphere we find that the time range can vary anywhere from 12,000 years before present (YBP) to 36,000 YBP depending on specific factors. These time-frames are estimated from phylogenetic analyses, based on the time frames that are found within evolution; being millions of years. They correctly correlate with estimated dates found within fossil records.

However, upon analysis of known living and recently deceased records, it has been shown that this measurement may be inaccurate.

Thomas Parsons in a report that was published in Nature Genetics found that this estimate to be off by about 20 fold. This placed the entire age of mtDNA at about 6,500 YBP, which the author states is "clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans". I'm sure Bible lovers really like this one, because it matches up with time frames estimated by Bible scholars for the Bible.

"Here, we report a direct measurement of the intergenerational substitution rate in the human CR. We compared DNA sequences of two CR hypervariable segments from close maternal relatives, from 134 independent mtDNA lineages spanning 327 generational events. Ten substitutions were observed, resulting in an empirical rate of 1/33 generations, or 2.5/site/Myr. This is roughly twenty-fold higher than estimates derived from phylogenetic analyses. This disparity cannot be accounted for simply by substitutions at mutational hot spots, suggesting additional factors that produce the discrepancy between very near-term and long-term apparent rates of sequence divergence. The data also indicate that extremely rapid segregation of CR sequence variants between generations is common in humans, with a very small mtDNA bottleneck."

"The observed substitution rate reported here is very high compared to rates inferred from evolutionary studies. A wide range of CR substitution rates have been derived from phylogenetic studies, spanning roughly 0.025-0.26/site/Myr, including confidence intervals. A study yielding one of the faster estimates gave the substitution rate of the CR hypervariable regions as 0.118 +- 0.031/site/Myr. Assuming a generation time of 20 years, this corresponds to ~1/600 generations and an age for the mtDNA MRCA of 133,000 y.a. Thus, our observation of the substitution rate, 2.5/site/Myr, is roughly 20-fold higher than would be predicted from phylogenetic analyses. Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an age of the mtDNA MRCA of only ~6,500 y.a., clearly incompatible with the known age of modern humans."

"While our results are at odds with those of phylogenetic studies, they are in excellent agreement with a recent report that also directly measured the CR substitution rate." (op. cit. p. 365; footnotes omitted; the report mentioned in the last paragraph is Howell, N. et al., in Am. J. Hum. Genet. 59, 501-509, 1996)."
Parsons, Thomas J., et al., A high observed substitution rate in the human mitochondrial DNA control region, Nature Genetics vol. 15, April 1997, pp. 363-367 ([9])

Turns out that Parsons was not the only one who ran into this issue. Turns out that Ann Gibbons reported this as well, coming to a similar conclusion of a 20-fold variance when examining the DNA remains of Nicholas II, the last Russian tsar.

"Mitochondrial DNA appears to mutate much faster than expected, prompting new DNA forensics procedures and raising troubling questions about the dating of evolutionary events."
Gibbons, A., "Calibrating the Mitochondrial Clock," Science, 279(5347): 28-29 (January 2, 1998) ([10])

N. Howell has also shown that the mitochondrial genome may evolve much more rapidly than previously thought. Howell's work notices this specifically within the mitochondrial noncoding D-loop within humans. Howell's analysis shows that there may be a timing difference up to 200-fold from phylogenetic time frames, underneath the correct circumstances.

"In a similar manner, genealogical analysis indicates that the divergence rate in the coding region is ~200-fold higher than that derived from phylogenetic approach."
Howell, N., "How rapidly does the human mitochondrial genome evolve?" American Journal of Human Genetics ([11])

If we assume that our timing rate is actually off by about 20 percent we would find that the estimated arrival of haplogroup X to the Western Hemisphere would be 2,400 YBP to 7,200 YBP (389 BC to 5189 BC), however this is only speculative.

So while mainstream science supports the claim of the arrival of a haplogroup found within the Middle East to the Western Hemisphere prior to Columbus, the time frame that is currently used to measure this genetic migration is debated within mainstream science.

Therefore I must conclude that 'debatable' would be the most proper way to state this, as this does show some support within mainstream science.

Now I understand that this is a religious topic, and as such, emotions tend to run high and people are very opinionated, however getting upset at someone will only cause them to become defensive. It is evident that everyone participating (myself included) in this discussion has done that at some point. It's probably wise to avoid commenting immediately after reading the most recent responses. Everybody take a deep breath and lets discuss this, knowing that we all share different view points. Lothimos (talk) 00:15, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for going through all of the effort to look through these articles, Lothimos. As you summarized, the scientific literature quotes a a time range of 12000 to 36000 years before present for the arrival of haplogroup X in the Americas. There is also recent work which suggests that mtDNA mutation rates may be faster than previously thought, but this work is in conflict with philogenetically-determined mtDNA mutation rates. These articles do not, however, give arrival estimates for haplogroup X in the Americas, and do not alter the stucture of the philogenetic trees in the articles that deal with haplogroup X (that is, they do not alter the relationships between various populations, just their divergence times). We therefore haven't found any literature claiming that populations possibly deriving from the Middle East arrived in the New World before 12000 years ago. Revising the estimates given in the scientific literature based on different mutation rates that we have found elsewhere is original research. Besides going against the Wikipedia policy (no OR), it is also dangerous, in that we run into the problem that none of us are experts in the field. Applying our own corrections to molecular clocks without knowing how those clocks are calibrated, or how they vary between short-range and long-range timescales (see this paper, for example: [12]), could easily render our original "research" useless.
It should also be noted that haplogroup X is hypothesized to have arrived in the Americas over the landbridge, Beringia, which disappeared some 7000 years ago. It would be helpful for everyone involved to review the following articles: Haplogroup X (mtDNA), Settlement of the Americas and Genetic history of indigenous peoples of the Americas. These seem to give a good overview of current scientific thinking on Native American origins, including the issues we've been discussing here. Note that the latest possible migration dates are given as 8000 years BP.
We're still looking for literature that cites a migration date consistent with the Book of Mormon. As for Storm Rider's remarks, we cannot claim there is scientific debate over the Book of Mormon's authenticity if we cannot find any such debate in the scientific literature. There are creationist publications that argue that the Earth is 6000 years old, but Wikipedia doesn't claim that there's a scientific debate over whether the Earth is really billions of years old. We deal with peer-reviewed science, not pseudoscientific publications funded by religious organizations. -Thucydides411 (talk) 15:28, 14 August 2011 (UTC)
I personally don't care if we say there is a debate or not a debate, my position is that no editor can make a declarative statement without direct support of a reliable reference. The only thing that I have done with Thucydides edits is reject them because they attempted to put Wikiepdia in the position of an expert. Not one of us is an expert on any of these topics; reading a few articles does not make us an expert. Make no delarative statement unless it is directly supported by an expert and you won't see me raise an issue.
As an aside, the dates you are presenting also negate the entire Biblical account of creation as well as the Book of Mormon's story about some Jews that traversed the sea. I have always found it interesting. -StormRider 12:48, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
In my humble opinion, I believe that saying there is no support for the Book of Mormon claims in mainstream science is faulty. I believe that debatable is probably the most neutral way to express it. I have shown that there is support within mainstream science for a migration from the Middle East to the Western Hemisphere using mtDNA evidence. I have also shown within mainstream science that the mtDNA timetables that we currently have in use may be overestimated, which means that the migration time used to measure the introduction of these people from the Middle East may be much earlier than estimated. These Wikipedia articles help to strengthen this argument even more. They include evidence of other groups here previous to haplogroup X, just as the Book of Mormon claims. They include research that shows that all Amerindians may have came from one group, which fits well with the Book of Mormon story, but again the book makes no claim one way or the other on this. There are also theories included on these pages that involve a boat based migration, which is claimed by the Book of Mormon. The only thing that is off is the time frames.
I hate to call you on it, but Thucydides411 will not be happy until we can find both the migration for the Middle East, and a shortened time frame of this migration found within one article. However with Thucydides411, being both a physics and history major, is probably also aware that a study for a skewed genetic time line, and a study for genetics from the Middle East will never be found within the same report. A scientific report will never contain two disparate findings within the same report. They focus on one topic, and the disparate findings are published in another report. He has also specified that we cannot use any scientific findings from the one accredited University that may actually be looking for it, or that may have the most interest in it, because this group may have a religious bias no matter how objectionable the researcher may be. While I would prefer to assume good faith, I am getting the feeling that this is not about maintaining a neutral point of view, but about an editor wanting to convince others that his viewpoint is correct. I may have a strong belief about this, but I believe that Wikipedia is not the place for this. I believe that Wikipedia must retain it's neutral standpoint in all things. Again, I must apologize to you Thucydides411. I respect your viewpoint and feelings on the matter, but just cannot be comfortable with saying there is no support. As apparent in the earlier discussion, I would be if I found none.
You are correct that the recent work which suggests that mtDNA mutation rates may be faster than previously thought is in conflict with philogenetically-determined mtDNA mutation rates. This is why there is a debate about it in the first place. You are also correct that the phylogenetic trees were not mentioned by any of these articles, however a phylogenetic tree only represents a hypothesis of the order in which evolutionary events are assumed to have occurred. This means that each theory of the population of the Western Hemisphere should have a different phylogenetic tree anyway. Lothimos (talk) 17:10, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
Lothimos, let me respond to your interpretation of the above points we've discussed in detail:
"I have shown that there is support within mainstream science for a migration from the Middle East to the Western Hemisphere using mtDNA evidence."
You have indeed shown that there is support for a migration of a population from western Eurasia to the Western Hemisphere. The closest living surviving relatives of those who carried the X haplogroup into the New World are the Altay people of Siberia, who have a high prevalence of the X2e haplogroup, the most closely related haplogroup to X2a.
"I have also shown within mainstream science that the mtDNA timetables that we currently have in use may be overestimated, which means that the migration time used to measure the introduction of these people from the Middle East may be much earlier than estimated."
You have found articles that claim that over short timescales, the substitution rate in mtDNA is much faster than those estimated using divergence times known from the fossil record. The article acknowledges that it is describing a short-range effect ("Using our empirical rate to calibrate the mtDNA molecular clock would result in an age of the mtDNA MRCA [most recent common ancestor] of only ~6500 ya, clearly incompatible with the known ago of modern humans. Even acknowledging that the MRCA of mtDNA may be younger than the MRCA of modern humans, it remains implaysible to explain the known geographic distribution of mtDNA sequence variation by human migration that occurred only in the last ~6500 years"), and explores various mechanisms by which the short-range substitution rate might be inflated with respect to the long-range substitution rate. I provided you with another article that discusses this difference, which you seem not to have noticed. Here is another: [13]. I suggest there's a reason why you haven't been able to find any articles which claim a divergence time of 2600 years ago or later for haplogroup X2a. It's most likely because people in the field are aware of the difference between mtDNA substitution on short and long timescales, and know that they can't just apply data from recent generations, which are wildly at odds with substitution rates inferred from known divergence times in the more distant past, to determine distant divergence times. Since you haven't found any paper claiming a recent divergence time for X2a, you've done your own calculations, apparently unaware of the pitfalls discussed above. As they say, "A little learning is a dangerous thing."
"These Wikipedia articles help to strengthen this argument even more. They include evidence of other groups here previous to haplogroup X, just as the Book of Mormon claims. They include research that shows that all Amerindians may have came from one group, which fits well with the Book of Mormon story, but again the book makes no claim one way or the other on this."
You want to have it both ways here. Did they all come at the same time, or were there other groups pre-existing in the Americas? If both possibilities are compatible with the Book of Mormon, then neither is evidence for the book.
"I hate to call you on it, but Thucydides411 will not be happy until we can find both the migration for the Middle East, and a shortened time frame of this migration found within one article."
Exactly. That's the premise we've been working on. Peer-reviewed science is the measure here, not your extrapolations (see two points earlier). And you haven't produced one peer-reviewed scientific paper making the claim you now say has support within mainstream science.
"The only thing that is off is the time frames."
By at least 6000 years.
We're back at our starting point now. Is there any peer-reviewed paper claiming a recent Near-Eastern origin for the indigenous peoples of the Americas? If not, we can't claim the existence of a scientific debate. -Thucydides411 (talk) 18:23, 16 August 2011 (UTC)
I must apologize, the comment from the Middle East should have read, "I have shown that there is support within mainstream science for a migration from the [Near] East to the Western Hemisphere using mtDNA evidence." However contrary to your point above, I did explicitly find evidence "that the Native American haplogroup X mtDNAs derive from X2 and that the Altaian and Siberian haplogroup X lineages are not related to the Native American cluster."
I must also apologize, because I assumed that my comment "that there is a debate about it" was sufficient for the evidence that was presented. Your two articles do seem to suggest that there is a debate going on, as both present two different rates and methods to determine mtDNA time frames. I have not had much time to research this yet, but what I have found has either been religiously biased (not LDS) or has been about the debate in specific. I did find an interesting read that points out that mtDNA calculations are inaccurate when compared to archaeological dating, and points that are theories that we are using to create the mtDNA clock are probably worth reviewing. Most research I have found on this does indeed assume an exponential decay model, including the two articles that you have provided. Of course there are articles that debate this model as well ([14]). The only thing that anybody seems to agree on is that mtDNA time frames are inaccurate. Again, I will see what else I can find.
"If both possibilities are compatible with the Book of Mormon, then neither is evidence for the book." That's why I said it fits well, but the book claims neither. Just for a quick review for those of us who are following at home, Lehi's group leaves Jerusalem, then another group leaves Jerusalem. Other group finds evidence of a previous group before them, with one recorded living descendant (the majority having perished). Descendant man hangs out with 'other' group for a while and then it is unknown what happens to him (we don't know if he has kids, gets married or gets evicted by catapult), just that he is no longer with 'other' group. Lehi's group finds 'other' group. Again, there is not enough information to be had either way.
I'm not expecting every detail within mainstream science to line up with the Book of Mormon. I don't expect mainstream science to line up very well with the Bible either. I just think that saying that there is no evidence and that there is no debate to be inaccurate. I believe that it would be accurate to state it as such:
Much debate has taken place on the subject of whether archaeological or genetic research supports or denies the Book of Mormon's authenticity.[4]([15])([16]) The Book of Mormon's account of Israelite immigration to the New World finds little support within mainstream genetics and archeology([17])([18]), the predominant theory being that the American Indian population came from Siberia.([19])([20])([21])
Again, I think that there has been much debate on the subject by experts within their field, whether in science or theology. I agree that there is little support within mainstream science, but I don't think it is accurate to say that there is no support. Of course, those references would have to be wrapped up in nice and proper ref tags and cites. The one that is actually a reference is the existing cite on that line in the article. (Does anyone know the record for longest discussion? Did we hit it yet?) Lothimos (talk) 02:00, 21 August 2011 (UTC)


Hello all: this is an interesting discussion above, and I'm happy to see so many people researching human origins, especially from a genetic perspective, and looking up sources. As far as I can tell Wikipedia's articles on these issues aren't bad, and review the context of migrations, the populations and their genetic structure. The best review of all this is available here [[22]]; Perego's group has been publishing on this for some time.
"In the millennia after the initial Paleo-Indian migrations, other groups from Beringia or eastern Siberia expanded into North America. If the gene pool of the source population(s) had in the meantime partially changed, not only because of drift, but also due to the admixture with population groups newly arrived from regions located west of Beringia, this would have resulted in the entry of additional Asian lineages into North America. This scenario, sometimes invoked to explain the presence of certain mtDNA haplogroups such as A2a, A2b, D2a, D3, and X2a only in populations of northern North America (Torroni et al. 1992; Brown et al. 1998; Schurr and Sherry 2004; Helgason et al. 2006; Achilli et al. 2008; Gilbert et al. 2008b; Perego et al. 2009), has recently received support from nuclear and morphometric data showing that some native groups from northern North America harbor stronger genetic similarities with some eastern Siberian groups than with Native American groups located more in the South (Gonza´lez-Jose´ et al. 2008; Bourgeois et al. 2009;Wang et al. 2009; Rasmussen et al. 2010)."
"As for the pan-American mtDNA haplogroups, when analyzed at the highest level of molecu:lar resolution (Bandelt et al. 2003; Tamm et al. 2007; Fagundes et al. 2008; Perego et al. 2009), they all reveal, with the exception of C1d, entry times of 15–18 thousand years ago (kya), which are suggestive of a (quasi) concomitant post-LGM arrival from Beringia with early Paleo-Indians. A similar entry time is also shown for haplogroup X2a, whose restricted geographical distribution in northern North America appears to be due not to a later arrival, but to its entry route through the ice-free corridor (Perego et al. 2009). Despite its continent-wide distribution, C1d was hitherto characterized by an expansion time of only 7.6–9.7 ky (Perego et al. 2009). This major discrepancy has been attributed to a poor and possibly biased representation of complete C1d mtDNA sequences (only 10) in the available data sets (Achilli et al. 2008; Malhi et al. 2010). To clarify the issue of the age of haplogroup C1d and its role as a founding Paleo-Indian lineage, we sequenced and analyzed 63 C1d mtDNAs from populations distributed over the entire geographical range of the haplogroup."[5]
If you have access to this article, it should serve to clear up any misconceptions. Should I reference the paper in the main article? I don't mind asking a few [[23]] local [[24]] experts [[25]] before doing so if others feel that is appropriate. -Darouet (talk) 17:40, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
The complete article can be found here: ([26]). I have no problem appending that to the additional sources above. The article gives a good overview of haplogroup C1, specifying that the multiple variations found within this haplogroup may have come over within the same time frame, indicating that all variations of the C1 haplogroup may have come from an early arrival from Beringia. It doesn't really deal with much detail of haplogroup X at all, though it is mentioned a few times, as seen in your quotes above. The article does point out that "[w]hile debate is still ongoing among scientists from several disciplines regarding the number of migratory events, their timing, and entry routes into the Americas [citations removed], the general consensus is that modern Native American populations ultimately trace their gene pool to Asian groups who colonized northeast Siberia, including parts of Beringia, prior to the last glacial period" which works very nicely with the change which I earlier proposed. Interestingly enough, the articles referenced in your quote above point to admixture from the European/Near East as a possibility for some of the "additional Asian lineages into North America", as well as multiple migrations and sources of mtDNA within the Amerindian population. It then later uses another reference to show that X2a shares a similar entry time to that of C1d, which the author states that they could have come through the ice-free corridor. The author is fairly inclusive in the multiple theories of the Amerindian population. Before researching this topic I never knew that genetics was such a highly debated topic.
So including Darouet's point and attempting to represent both viewpoints, I have updated the proposed statement to read:
Much debate has taken place on the subject of whether archaeological or genetic research supports or denies the Book of Mormon's authenticity.[6]([27])([28]) The Book of Mormon's account of Israelite immigration to the New World finds little support within mainstream genetics and archeology([29])([30])([31])([32]), the general consensus is that modern Native American populations ultimately trace their gene pool to Asian groups who colonized northeast Siberia.([33])([34])([35])([36])
I included the direct quote from the article mentioned as it states this fact much more eloquently than my original version. Lothimos (talk) 07:29, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
The problem with Lothimos' proposed wording is that none of the scientific papers we've found mentions anything resembling the Book of Mormon account of Israelite immigration to the New World (i.e. a late divergence date for mtDNA haplogroup X2a, or any other haplogroup for that matter) as a possible hypothesis. It would be much for accurate to state that the debate over the genetic evidence occurs among Mormon scholars, but that the Mormon account is not entertained by mainstream genetics and archaeology as a plausible hypothesis.
Currently, the argument is as follows: X2a has a possible relation to modern-day Middle Easterners, as related haplogroups are prevalent in the Middle East, as well as Europe. The problem is that X2a diverged 11-18kya, and its concentration in the Native American populations of northeastern North America is consistent with migration from Beringia through the ice-free Mackenzie corridor. The land route ceased to exist 9kya, and the Mackenzie corridor opened up ~13kya. Both of these findings are consistent with an early migration of the ancestors of those carrying the X2a haplogroup. This briefly sums up one set of papers we have found. Lothimos has found papers detailing a scientific debate over what the relation between the short-term and long-term mtDNA substitution rate is. Several direct studies of the short-term substitution rate have found it to be an order of magnitude higher than the long-term rate. The long-term substitution rate is calibrated using known divergence times. More recent literature presented in the discussion above has developed models for why the effective substitution rate should decay, rather than be constant, while one paper has cast doubt on the direct short-term measurements, arguing for the lower, constant substitution rate. In any case, the literature (including the original article presented by Lothimos) states clearly that the short-term rate is not applicable to long timescales. We also have seen that recent papers on the peopling of the Americas do not use the higher, short-term substitution rate, even though the authors must certainly be aware of its existence. I think this sums up what we have found. I am sorry that I have not gone through and appended the references to every statement, but they can certainly be checked against the above discussion by the reader. What we have found in the literature does not suggest "little" support, but no support for what we might term the "Book of Mormon hypothesis" (migration of an Israelite population to the Americas less than 3kya) within mainstream genetics. -Thucydides411 (talk) 15:26, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
I'm not debating that this is not the primary theory. I am debating on whether or not it can be debated using mainstream science. I have kept evidence, such as paleo-Hebrew artifacts, out of this discussion because they do not meet your qualifications, as requested. It is apparent that we are at a stand still, unable to reach a consensus amongst the four of us. I have requested the input from additional editors within the Wikipedia community to see how the community actually feels about this, that we may resolve this debate. Lothimos (talk) 17:57, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
Hi Lothimos: the article I cited gives a complete mtDNA haplogroup tree (fig. 2), and is unambiguous about the timing of coalescence. I should note that the [Reidla et al. 2003] paper on the "Origin and Diffusion of myDNA Haplogroup X" is similarly straightforward. It would be wrong to give the impression that scientists are debating "whether archaeological or genetic research supports or denies the Book of Mormon's authenticity." They're not. Perhaps it would make sense to simply write, "Mormon scholars debate whether archaeological or genetic evidence supports the book of Mormon." -Darouet (talk) 17:29, 29 August 2011 (UTC)
This is not what I am debating. I would be very surprised to find mainstream science to be debating Mormonism, Catholicism, Lutheranism, Scientology, or the church of the flying spaghetti monster. I am debating on whether or not there is evidence in mainstream science that could debatably support the claims made by the Book of Mormon. Lothimos (talk) 00:29, 30 August 2011 (UTC)
Then you've lost sight of what our goal is. Our goal is not to do original research on the topic of genetics and Mormonism. We are not trying to do our own calculations based on claims made in different scientific papers to see if we can come up with a coalescence date of 600 B.C. for the X2a haplogroup. Our goal is to see whether there is any mainstream scientific literature that hypothesizes the arrival of Israelite settlers in the New World in a timeframe corresponding to the Book of Mormon. We obviously haven't found any such literature, because geneticists would find such a claim really outlandish. Every paper we have found gives a coalescence time of 9000+ ya, lending no support to the BoM account. That leaves us with two options:
1. State that there is no support within mainstream science for such a claim.
2. Leave this aspect completely out of the article, removing any reference to a scientific debate. We could still retain something like, "Mormon scholars have debated..." or "Much debate has taken place among Mormon scholars as to..."
Both options avoid making false claims, but the second option is less likely to get reverted. What I would not support is any change which claims any measure of scientific support for ancient Israelite migration to the Americas, since such a hypothesis is put forward exactly nowhere in the scientific literature.-Thucydides411 (talk) 19:28, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

Archaeological Evidence (-2-)[edit]

I propose that you remove the Archaeological Evidence information entirely from the article. After all, this article is titled "Beliefs and practices" of LDS, not "Archaeological Proof for LDS Beliefs".

There's no need to try and prove or disprove what people believe by faith, within the context of this article. That's not the goal of this article. While it may all be a 'load', the goal of this page is to provide information on what LDS beliefs and practices are, not a critique of them. -- Avanu (talk) 23:53, 29 August 2011 (UTC)

There is a discussion involving this dispute at the Dispute Resolution Noticeboard. Regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 14:12, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Sorry, my bad. I did mention that I did request additional editors to review the dispute above. I did not realize that we needed a link to the dispute, though on retrospect it's obviously necessary.
Again, I also don't believe that saying there is no support to be accurate. I believe that there is little support. The most recent mainstream theory of genetics does not support it without additional references. It's also apparent that LDS scholars are not debating amongst themselves, but with other scholars, so "Mormon scholars have debated..." would be the more correct way to phrase that in my opinion. I still believe that the way it is currently phrased is even more accurate, as this accounts for not only scholars, but theological debates as well.
I believe that Avanu has a really good point there. This article is not about how measurable the beliefs of the LDS church are by science. It appears that we can all agree that we should just not include it, so this is probably the best way to go. I wish I would have thought of that sooner; thank you for your insight Avanu. Thank you Thucydides411 for increasing my knowledge and belief in the subject, though I know this was not your goal. I have learned a lot from this research. Lothimos (talk) 16:43, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

I've closed the DRN discussion, but I wanted to take a moment to commend everyone on the civil and objective nature of this discussion and willingness to take it to dispute resolution. If everything worked as well as this has, Wikipedia would be a much better place. Best regards, TransporterMan (TALK) 21:10, 31 August 2011 (UTC)

Non sequitur regarding homosexual activity[edit]

The current text reads:

Also, homosexual activity committed after the age of 16 will normally permanently bar a person from serving a mission for the church. If they do, they can “go forward as do all other members of the church.”

It seems something has gotten mangled because, the way I read the second sentence, it seems to imply " If they do (serve a mission), they can “go forward as do all other members of the church.” If my reading is correct, then the second sentence should be written more clearly. One possible rewording would be: However, if church members do serve a mission despite having committed homosexual activity, they can still "go forward as do all other members of the church." If what I have written above is NOT the intended meaning, then the text is despreate need of rewriting to make clear what is intended. In any event, the phrase "go forward" needs some explanation as it is not clear to me, a non-Mormon, what exactly it means to "go forward as do all other members of the church". --Pseudo-Richard (talk) 00:53, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Age for missionaries[edit]

Age of Missionaries has been lowered.

The article reads: "All male members are expected to serve a two-year mission at the age of 19, though there are high standards of worthiness and physical and mental health that prohibit many men from serving. Women may optionally serve a mission if they are over the age of 21 and not married, as may older married couples. Women serve a mission for a period of only eighteen months compared to two years for men."

However, recently the church has lowered the ages for men and women both. Men may request to go on a mission at age 18 and women at age 19.

I am not knowledgeable on editing Wikipedia, or the etiquette that is expected when it comes to these things. It is just an outdated fact that I noticed. Please excuse any offence I may cause.

173.106.41.136 (talk)Becky —Preceding undated comment added 05:45, 20 July 2013 (UTC)

W rgd defining doctrine?[edit]

... In answer the[...]question about what is [LDS] doctrine, Nate Oman, provides the most persuasive approach to this question in “Jurisprudence and Church Doctrine” because he takes the problem as a hermeneutical one, and he further seeks to explain why church doctrines should be normative for Mormons. ... [Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/peculiarpeople/2014/12/on-doctrinal-authority/#ixzz3MNDlkpZe ]

--Hodgdon's secret garden (talk) 19:28, 19 December 2014 (UTC)

Animals in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit]

Animals in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, currently a redirect to Beliefs and practices of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has been nominated at redirects for discussion (RfD). The redirect has a complex history and the discussion would benefit from the input of editors with relevant subject knowledge. Please comment at Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2015 September 8#Animals in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Thryduulf (talk) 22:20, 10 September 2015 (UTC)

Poor citations[edit]

Under the paragraph "God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost" is the bullet point "they are three separate and distinct beings." The citation points to Doctrine and Covenants 20:28, which reads "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen" Doesn't this affirm that these three are one being, much like trinitarians do? I know this is not what the modern LDS Church teaches, so perhaps this citation could be better? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ischus (talkcontribs) 03:10, 14 January 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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Polygamy[edit]

As the article comments 'the church is sensitive about its historical relationship with polygamy' and the development of its doctrine on the topic should surely be reflected in this article. I specifically came here looking for a balanced presentation on the issue, and instead found silence. This is disappointing. Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 07:28, 27 April 2016 (UTC)

I've therefore added a section in the family and marriage section with a link to a full article on the issue. Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 07:51, 27 April 2016 (UTC)
I reverted your changes because they violate Wikipedia's neutral point of view policies. You can twist the sources to make them appear to say anything that you like, but unless it's proven to be true, it's just your opinion. The Church may have once been reluctant to discuss polygamy, but only because it is a doctrine some find controversial. A little more research would have yielded the realization that polygamy as an issue has been given a neutral voice in this article. The Church has also opened up recently about its' former polygamy practices. They wrote an entire essay about it. That is a matter of record, and all of this has already been treated in the article. You can try to push for inclusion of this material, but unless and until a consensus (majority) backs it, IMHO, your edits are not neutral and have thus been reverted. --Jgstokes (talk) 00:33, 30 April 2016 (UTC)
Nah. 'polygamy as an issue has been given a neutral voice in this article'. You're having a laugh. There's one reference, in passing, to the term and a couple of footnoted references. If a person new to the whole issue came to this article they wouldn't get the information about that aspect of what makes the LDS church so unique. My proposed edit was an attempt to present the issue in context with a link to the fuller article. I didn't fully reference my edit - though all the statements are well documented elsewhere. I suspect you're trying to hide the issue, and so are guilty on the 'neutral voice' allegation. Ender's Shadow Snr (talk) 08:46, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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  5. ^ Perego et al. 2010, "The initial peopling of the Americas: A growing number of founding mitochondrial genomes from Beringia." Genome Research, vol.20 pp.1174-1179.
  6. ^ Ludlow, Daniel H. (2000). To All the World: The Book of Mormon Articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism. Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. pp. 13–14. ISBN 0934893470.  Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (|author= suggested) (help)