Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

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Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by RPJR »

Something has bugged me for a while. Nephi and his family were Israelites. It is well known that Israelites had beards and were not to mar them. So, if the Native Americans are their descendants why don't they have beards? Most Native Americans can't grow a beard. Sorry if this seems unimportant.
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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by DarkJedi »

The simple explanation is there is no credible DNA or other evidence that the Native Americans are in any way related to those of Middle Eastern descent.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by PazamaManX »

My take is that Lehi's family came to an already inhabited America. In the book of Jacob, it mentions that Sherem "came among the people of Nephi", implying that he came from somewhere else. So my assumption is that the Nephites and Lamanites integrated with already existing populations.

Between a small genetic impact and being a couple thousand years removed from Jewish practices, that would explain most of the differences between Native American and ancient Hebrews, whether with DNA or their traditions. That's how I look at it anyway.
"Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness, even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." ~ Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by Old-Timer »

A “faithful” and reasonable answer would be what PazamaManX said - and it fits the actual wording in the Book of Mormon (including the demographic population statements). (The Lamanites greatly outnumbering the Nephites in a relatively short time and being darker-skinned fits joining an indigenous people - including, possibly, of Jaredite descent who did not remain close enough to the original kingdom capital over time to be gathered and killed in a final battle.)

In other words, it is an interesting question, but it isn’t proof one way or the other of anything.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by RPJR »

Thank you.
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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by Minyan Man »

RPJR, I'm always interested why people come to this site.
I noticed that you didn't give an Introduction.
What is your story? Does it go beyond this topic?

I'm not trying to be "nosey". I'm just interested.
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Re: Native Americans/Nephites-Laminites

Post by Roy »

Welcome RPJR.

A less popular way to try to solve the problem is to look at the BoM as midrash (an ancient commentary on part of the Hebrew scriptures, attached to the biblical text. The earliest Midrashim come from the 2nd century AD, although much of their content is older). It can be inspired biblical commentary weaved into a historical fiction narrative.

If you decide that this path works for you, I warn you not to share it with other more traditional LDS believers. Many would look at it as heresy.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

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