“…wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them” (2 Nephi 5: 21)

“And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgressions and their rebellion against their brethren” (Alma 3: 6)

For almost 200 years, The Mormon Church has taught that Native Americans and Polynesians are descended from ancient seafaring Israelites. My 2004 book, Losing a Lost Tribe: DNA, Native Americans and the Mormon Church (Signature Books), questioned the widespread LDS belief that First Nations people are descended from Book of Mormon Lamanites and carry a dark skin because of a divine curse. 

During the last 10 years scientists have been combing our entire genome for its ancestral secrets. In addition to discovering Neanderthal genes lurking in our DNA, these studies have shed much greater light on the origins, timing and route of human migrations into the Americas and the Pacific. No trace of pre-Columbian Israelite DNA has been found in the genomes of any of the thousands of indigenous people tested. DNA genealogy research continues to reveal the true history of indigenous peoples and, by implication, the 19th century origins of Mormonism’s keystone scripture.

Read more…

Sacred Curse

How Native American DNA Exposes Mormonism’s Lamanite Myth

New Essay: Out of the Shadows

LDS scholars (apologists) have actively defended the Book of Mormon as scientific and historical criticism intensified in the mid to late 20th century. The arrival of the Internet and social media is now exposing Mormon apologetics to a much larger audience. This greater transparency has spurred an increasing number of respected LDS academics to argue more publicly for a nineteenth century origin for these two sacred Mormon texts.

Read more…

“…you will become a hollow shell of the man that you once were.”

Vaughn J. Featherstone
(letter to Southerton, 1998)


“You don’t have to believe anything that isn’t true.” 

Henry Eyring
(father of Henry B. Eyring)

“Southerton continues to apply the pressure needed to destroy a myth that has long caused so much trauma to the mainland tribes, my people, and so many others.”

Forrest Cuch
Former Director of Indian Affairs, Utah

“Southerton expertly confronts the racism within the Lamanite myth, the importance of genetics and facts, and the ongoing harmful appropriation of Indigenous ancestry. These incorrect teachings continue to impact living people, making Southerton’s book an important contemporary addition to this topic.”

Sarah Newcomb
Tsimshian Tribe of the First Nations
Owner of the Lamanite Truth website

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