DNA, the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, and more

Short, but clear, video about this topic:

I’m excited to introduce Dr. Ugo Perego all the way from Italy. This is going to be the first of several conversations where we’re going to talk about DNA. You can think of this first episode as DNA 101 as we learn a little bit about DNA science, but we will continue to learn more about this big topic

DNA evidence seems to show that Native Americans came from Asia rather than from the Middle East as the Book of Mormon implies. Dr. Ugo Perego is a population geneticist. How does he explain this?

If you’ve listened to my interviews on the Book of Mormon, I’ve asked a few people, like Jim Vun Cannon and David Rosenvall about the Lemba Tribe in Africa. They’re a tribe that has Middle Eastern DNA, unlike Native Americans who don’t.

I asked Dr. Ugo Perego about this tribe and we’ll get a good introduction into the Lemba Tribe. We’ll also talk a little bit about Viking DNA. Can that be distinguished from Columbus DNA? Check out our conversation…

In January 2014, the LDS Church produced a new Gospel Topics Essay on DNA and the Book of Mormon. I asked Dr. Ugo Perego if he had anything to do with writing that essay. I think you’ll find his answer very interesting.

We’ll also talk about Rodney Meldrum’s claim to have found DNA in Native Americans here in the Americas. Check out our conversation…..

Some people have been critical of Dr. Perego’s work, especially with regards to these paternity tests. In this episode, Ugo will discuss this criticism. Is he trying to hide something? Check out our conversation…

Joseph’s Smith Polygamy and (unsupported) Claims of Polyandry

Anthony Sweat uniquely frames this discussion.  Similar to animal sacrifice in the Old Testament, Antony suggests that this practice of polygamy isn’t our revelation.  Instead, polygamy was from another time for another people.

Nobody has done more research on this topic than Brian Hales.  Brian encourages more transparency.

Latter-day Saints Q & A provides insights in his three-video series:

10-minute summary from a Church historian:

Short video about when Joseph first began to think about polygamy.  First revelations on the topic were before 1832.

Brian Hales has done incalculable amounts of work on this topic.  See his website: Joseph Smith’s Polygamy.  His site includes a search engine, a lists of all wives, and all known details associated with each wife.

A recent presentation by Brian Hales on this topic:

Greg Smith discusses polygamy at a 2016 conference in Rome:

Gospel Tangents discusses the restoration of the priesthood in 1829, and its relevance to Fannie Alger.  Peter, James, and John bestowed the Melchizedek Priesthood.  That fact in 1829 helps answer this question:  was Fannie sealed to Joseph and with what authority?

Elijah restored the keys to direct others to seal and be sealed.  This occurred in Kirtland in 1836.  Keys are not priesthood.  Joseph held the priesthood since 1829.

Though Joseph didn’t orally share the Elijah Kirtland visitation, it was immediately dictated and put in a journal.

A candid discussion about the young women Joseph married:

side note:  a non-LDS miller — Jacob Hawn of Hawn’s Mill, Missouri — married a woman at the age of 15.  Jacob’s first wife died, and Jacob 2nd wife was 15.  Young for us, but not too young for that time.

There is no solid evidence of sexual relations with women Joseph was sealed to by eternity-only ordinances, including young Helen Mar Kimball.  Helen was 14 years old when sealing occurred.  Significant evidence exists, however, for Jacob Hawn (wife was 15), Edgar Allen Poe (wife was 13), and others of that time did have sexual relations with their young wives.

Sealings to Young Brides:  from Brian Hales’ site, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy

Geneticist Ugo Perego shares his research as part of understanding Joseph’s polygamy.   Ugo himself performed some of the experiments to demonstrate lack of paternity.

Episode 6: DNA Detective Work – Ugo Perego

From Brian Hales’ research.  Joseph was sealed to a 14 year-old young woman.  All the evidence points to an eternity-only sealing.  No evidence of sexual relations.

John C Bennett was not a polygamist.  He was a serial adulterer.

This controversy, involving William Law, led to Joseph’s death.  William Law started the Nauvoo Expositor newspaper, which was unlawfully destroyed in an order by Joseph Smith.

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Blake Ostler shares insight in this podcast:

Stephen Jones is Real presents a new lens with which to consider these old issues.

Plural Marriage from a Woman’s Perspective – Mormon Polygamy Answers 3/3:

Brian Hales responds to the significant challenges on the topic:

Brian’s wife, Laura Hales, discusses the topic:

Debunking the anti-Mormon CES Letter and its extreme claims:

Ugo Perego, geneticist, contributes to an issue of paternity:

Joseph discusses the (almost-all-made-decades-later) claims against Joseph outside of Nauvoo:

An interesting view on the social conditions:

Van Hale touches on the topic of Lust in the 19th Century in a recent Mormon Miscellaneous podcast.

Items discussed:
  • Book of Mormon printer’s manuscript purchased for $35M by LDS Church
  • Political sexual teenagers several decades ago.
  • Plural Marriage vs Polygamy, Polyandry, Spiritual Wifery
    Many more women than men
    Women can demand marriage from righteous men
  • LDS condemns Lust
  • Sources:
    Brigham Young
    Jesse Haven
    John Gunnison
    Orson Pratt
    Helen Mar Whitney
    George Q. Cannon
  • Brigham Young – 38 children with 12 of his 49 plural wives

Mountain Meadows Massacre

This video discusses the horrors of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, what led up to it, if Brigham Young ordered the massacre, the aftermath and some lessons we can take from this stunning and horrific event.

The Mountain Meadows Massacre took place just a year after the Handcart Rescue. Richard Turley and Emily Utt discuss both events and consider what factors can lead us toward tragedy or heroism.

Barbara Jones shares her insight with Gospel Tangents on this horrible tragedy:


Geneticist Ugo Perego shares his research as part of understanding this tragedy (near the end). 

Ugo first talks about DNA and Joseph Smith’s polygamy, followed by DNA and the Book of Mormon.

Click below to hear Ugo on LDS Perspectives Podcast:

Episode 6: DNA Detective Work – Ugo Perego


Wonderful podcast about an awful part of our history:

Episode 66: After the Mountain Meadows Massacre – Richard E. Turley

The Mountain Meadows Massacre (MMM) used to be a top 3 for LDS critics.  However, because of exhaustive research this topic no longer occupies such a position.

In the recent past the LDS Church utilized massive resources to look at every journal & every possible connection to the MMM. The results were published by Oxford University Press. Nothing to hide.

Most critics don’t ever publish their jumble of claims in journals.  Instead, they repeat what they have heard, which isn’t always based on confirmed research. The most significant critical claims: blood atonement & God told Brigham to do it.

If critics are honest they’ll see Latter-day Saints were reacting to many factors at the time.  Of course, the Saints were not justified to murder.   Anyone.  And Brigham Young  didn’t hatch the plot.  He tried to stop it.  

Side note: Joseph’s supposed polyandry will likewise soon fall out of everyone’s top 3.  It’ll take more time and understanding of the research done by Brian Hales.

The above video is only 28 minutes long.  Continue to the end of Bro. Turley’s speech by watching #3 and #4 below:

Another video on this topic — by LDS geneticist, Ugo Perego — that discusses genetics that were long debated. Now, they’re understood and that understanding make the picture clearer.

LDS scholar Gene Sessions discusses the Mountain Meadows Massacre in his 2003 FAIR conference address:

DNA & the Book of Mormon

Short, but clear, video on this topic:

Awesome summary video below.  Key points to this discussion:

  •  founding Lehite population DNA uncertain
  • American indigenous populations were decimated after 1492, changing the genetic composition
  • descendants can’t be genetically linked to ancestors after 100s of years pass

Episode 6: DNA Detective Work – Ugo Perego

No, DNA evidence doesn’t (and cannot) refute the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.  This is worth watching!
Michael Frank Whiting is the director of the Brigham Young University (BYU) DNA Sequencing Center and an associate professor in BYU’s Department of Integrative Biology. Whiting received his bachelor’s degree from BYU and his Ph.D. from Cornell University. Dr. Whiting is a widely respected expert on DNA and genetics.
Whiting has also written on why the critics of the Book of Mormon on DNA issues have overstated their case.  He gives a superb speech below:

Dr Ugo Perego speaks at the FairMormon Conference in Kungsbacka, Sweden, 18 June 2016.

Ugo is a world expert on DNA and Native Americans.

More from Ugo on DNA, the Book of Mormon, and Native American Genetics: