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Slide 31 of 56
The First Book of Nephi (the first book of the Book of Mormon) describes the family of Lehi, a descendant of Joseph, Son of Jacob, and his wife Sariah, who lived in Jerusalem about 600 B.C. The Lord warned Lehi to leave Jerusalem, because the people were seeking to kill him because he had prophesied concerning their iniquity. Lehi had four sons. Lehi’s youngest son, Nephi, was more righteous than Laman, the firstborn, so he became the leader.
Nephi was told to build a ship to travel to a new promised land. He and his brothers and their wives landed in the Americas ~592 B.C. From there, division arose among the brothers Nephi and Laman. The Nephites kept the law of Moses and constructed a temple. The unbelief of the Lamanites led God to put a curse of black skin on them, whereas the Nephites were described as “white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome.”
The Lamanites battled the Nephites and in 326 A.D. killed all of them except Moroni, who was given the account by his father Mormon, who wrote on gold plates and buried them at Cumorah Hill in New York State. Joseph Smith said that he was told about these plates, and spent three years translating them by the help of God. The accounts from these plates became the Book of Mormon.
The Book of Mormon and other standard works of the LDS church claim that the Lamanites, descended from the Hebrew Laman, were the principle ancestors of Native Americans. This claim can be tested directly through modern genetic studies...