Friday, March 11, 2005
Better Red than Mislead
Christopher Bradford -- the Grasshopper of Let Us Reason -- comments on the discrepency between limited-geography models of the Book of Mormon, and the persistent North-American bias of persistent North-American Saints.
For those not familiar with the debate: BYU prof John Sorenson proposed in his influential 1985 book An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon that Book-of-Mormon peoples may have occupied only a tiny area of a particular Central American penninsula.
Dr-Brother Sorenson's theory flies in the face of Mormon mythology about the genealogy of North-American natives. While it's been widely embraced by Mormons Who Read FARMS Publications, it doesn't seem to have made the rounds of either Tom Murphy or a sizable number of Primary choristers, who -- in my ward at least -- continue to sing Book of Mormon Stories with feather fingers and tom-tom thighs.
Here's the Practical Mormon's take:
Sorenson's right. Murphy's right. Joseph Smith is right. And my patriarch is right.
See, according to God -- by way of my patriarchal blessing -- I'm an Ephraimite; never mind that my genealogical records prove that my DNA is an all-American mix of Polish, Swedish, French-Canadian, and Mayflower English. In fact, so far as my DNA is concerned, that mysteriously dark-skinned woman married to my French-Canadian gggfather may mean I'm a "Lamanite."
And yet, my Patriarchal Blessing calls me an Ephraimite -- a designation I accept without question, because I believe I'm assigned to the tribe of Ephraim, regardless of my DNA.
Likewise, is it not reasonable to suggest that all Native Americans are assigned to the Lamanite branch of the Tribe of Joseph? And that their DNA is no more a factor in that assignment than mine is in mine?
And likewise, is it reasonable that we put a stop to the sharing-time war whoops? Please?