Conversations about the religious and spiritual life on the other side of fundamentalism
190:  On the Erasure of Native Americans from the Book of Mormon Conversation: Thomas Murphy

190: On the Erasure of Native Americans from the Book of Mormon Conversation: Thomas Murphy

Credit: Janusz Sobolewski @Flickr

The Book of Mormon has been claimed by the LDS Church to be a history of Native Americans. While this proposition has been scaled back over the years it’s still somewhat present in a literalist view of the text. But why is it that Native Americans are rarely and then only selectively consulted in the conversation as to the book’s origins? Surely the church and Mormon scholars, should be beating a determined path to the door of Native Americans to receive their wisdom and input.

Thomas Murphy (Mohawk) and I discuss this dynamic;  why it might be? And, what is the potential for the faith in allowing for the very voices that are central to the Book of Mormon narrative.


  1. Tracy Austin

    Excellent podcast. I cannot believe the discourse between the Native American community has been so entirely lacking. Talk about a duh moment. Keep prodding, probing and shining the light on this. You are way ahead of the curve. I look forward to more light and knowledge in the future. I hope others will join you in the scholarship.

  2. Thanks for this discussion about decolonizing the Book of Mormon. I had so many moments of, “Whoa, that’s really obvious and yet it never occurred to me before,” particularly when Thomas started talking about ownership of artifacts and repatriation. Why had it never occurred to me that the golden plates, if they existed, should have been returned to the descendants of the people who wrote it? Clearly I still have a lot to learn. Mind officially blown.

  3. Dave

    Thomas Murphy should discuss some of these dna, cultural, linguistic, and artifact evidence.

    Nephite/Hopewell Fortifications and ruins

    Reformed Egyptian Four Surviving Characters

    Native American Traditional use of Sacred Metal Tablets

    Archeological Evidence of the West Sea Fortified Line

    Native American Hebrew like temples

    Book of Mormon Cloth and Fine Twined Linen

    Iroquios Lamanites

    Buried Nephite City and BOM Elephants

    Book of Mormon Breastplates

    Book of Mormon goats and cattle

    Book of Mormon Swords

    Book of Mormon DNA Evidence X2A’J

    1. Normandie Kent

      None of the things that Native Americans created or worked with have anything to do with Egyptians, Hebrews, Asians, Africans, or Europeans. Native Americans were isolated for at least 30,000 years until 1492 and the mass immigration of Invaders.

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