IN THEIR ARMS AND UPON THEIR SHOULDERS: JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS UNSAFE TO BELIEVE IN THE BOOK OF MORMON, THE LAMANITES ARE MAD AS HELL! Since the first publication of the Book of Mormon, Mormons have covenanted with American Indians and Polynesians that they are the Lamanites. Recently, however, many Book of Mormon apologists have been cowed by evidence that American Indians are not trans-oceanic Israelites but descendants of Asiatic peoples, and as a result,have begun to retreat from traditional claims. But the Book of Mormon remnant are not so quick to surrender their birthright. Tribes such as the Havasupai have declined to participate in the National Geographic DNA definition of their history and religion. If Mormons are able to deny our paternalistic policies rather than betray our promises, if we can receive the example of indigenous peoples’ loyal to their myths rather than vainly attempting to reconcile our historical faith with contemporary science, we may yet discover a better response to genome research by being carried in the arms and upon the shoulders of the Lamanites.
CLIFTON H. JOLLEY and MARK D. THOMAS