LDS Objections: Lamanites Were a Small Group in Central America

  • Doctrine and Covenants

    • section 28 says that the city of Zion will be built “on the borders by the Lamanites.” 

    • indicate that Mormon leaders were to “preach to the Lamanites”

    • relates the Lamanites to the “Indian tribes in the West”

  • Gospel Principles

    • teaches that “The Lamanites Will Become a Great People”

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Slide 44 of 56

Some Mormons claim that the Lamanites were only a small group of people who were geographically restricted to a particular location, such as Central America. However, other Mormon scripture indicates that the Lamanites are peoples on the North American continent.1 For example, Doctrine and Covenants Section 28 says that the city of Zion will be built “on the borders by the Lamanites.”2 Several Doctrine and Covenants Sections indicate that Mormon leaders were to “preach to the Lamanites”3 At one point, the text specifically relates the Lamanites to the “Indian tribes in the West”4 and that at least part of this boarders on the land of Missouri.5

In addition to the standard works, the standard Mormon teaching book, Gospel Principles teaches that the Lamanites are alive and numerous throughout the Americas:

“The Lamanites Will Become a Great People
The Lord said that when his coming was near, the Lamanites would become a righteous and respected people. He said, “Before the great day of the Lord shall come,... the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose” (D&C 49:24). Great numbers of Lamanites in North and South America and the South Pacific are now receiving the blessings of the gospel.”6

In order to claim that the Native Americans are not Lamanites, one would have to admit that much of Mormon scripture and official current teaching is false.

References Top of page

  1. Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites--Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile--Written by way of commandment, and also by the spirit of prophecy and of revelation--Written and sealed up, and hid up unto the Lord, that they might not be destroyed--To come forth by the gift and power of God unto the interpretation thereof--Sealed by the hand of Moroni, and hid up unto the Lord, to come forth in due time by way of the Gentile--The interpretation thereof by the gift of God. (Book of Mormon:Title Page 1:2)
    Mormon invites the Lamanites of the latter days
    to believe in Christ, accept his gospel, and be saved--All who believe the Bible will also believe the Book of Mormon. (Book of Mormon:Mormon 7:Heading)
    And now, behold, I would speak somewhat unto the remnant of this people who are spared, if it so be that God may give unto them my words, that they may know of the things of their fathers; yea, I speak unto you, ye remnant of the house of Israel; and these are the words which I speak:
    Know ye that ye are of the house of Israel. (Book of Mormon:Mormon 7:1-2)
    Which is my word to the Gentile, that soon it may go to the Jew, of whom the Lamanites are a remnant, that they may believe the gospel, and look not for a Messiah to come who has already come. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 19:27)

  2. And now, behold, I say unto you that you shall go unto the Lamanites and preach my gospel unto them; and inasmuch as they receive thy teachings thou shalt cause my church to be established among them; and thou shalt have revelations, but write them not by way of commandment. And now, behold, I say unto you that it is not revealed, and no man knoweth where the city Zion shall be built, but it shall be given hereafter. Behold, I say unto you that it shall be on the borders by the Lamanites. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 28:8-9)

  3. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Oliver Cowdery, at Fayette, New York, September 1830. HC 1:109-111. Hiram Page, a member of the Church, had a certain stone, and professed to be receiving revelations by its aid concerning the upbuilding of Zion and the order of the Church. Several members had been deceived by these claims, and even Oliver Cowdery was wrongly influenced thereby. Just prior to an appointed conference, the Prophet inquired earnestly of the Lord concerning the matter, and this revelation followed. 1- 7, Joseph Smith holds keys of the mysteries, and only he receives revelations for the Church; 8-10, Oliver Cowdery is to preach to the Lamanites; 11-16, Satan deceived Hiram Page and gave him false revelations. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 28:Heading)
    Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to David Whitmer, Peter Whitmer, Jun., and John Whitmer, at Fayette, New York, September 1830, following the three-day conference at Fayette, but before the elders of the Church had separated. HC 1:115-116. Originally this material was published as three revelations; it was combined into one section by the Prophet for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. 1- 4, David Whitmer is chastened for failure to serve diligently; 5- 8, Peter Whitmer, Jun., is to accompany Oliver Cowdery on a mission to the Lamanites; 9-11, John Whitmer is called to preach the gospel. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 30:Heading)
    And be you afflicted in all his afflictions, ever lifting up your heart unto me in prayer and faith, for his and your deliverance; for I have given unto him power to build up my church among the Lamanites; (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 30:6)

  4. Revelation given through Joseph Smith the Prophet to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson, October 1830. HC 1:118-120. Great interest and desires were felt by the elders respecting the Lamanites, of whose predicted blessings the Church had learned from the Book of Mormon. In consequence, supplication was made that the Lord would indicate his will as to whether elders should be sent at that time to the Indian tribes in the West. The revelation followed. 1-3, Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson are called to preach to the Lamanites and to accompany Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun.; 4-5, They are to pray for an understanding of the scriptures. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 32:Heading)

  5. And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites. (Doctrine and Covenants: Section 54:8)

  6. Gospel Principles 1997. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah, p. 268.


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