Last Wednesday, Rod Meldrum visited Nauvoo and gave a presentation on DNA and the Book of Mormon. His attempt was to make the case that DNA studies do indeed prove the validity, accuracy, and historicity of the Book of Mormon. The videos arguing that DNA disproves the Book of Mormon have been circulating for many years now, and he was offering his response. The presentation was interesting, if tragically unorganized and disconnected, but he made some valid points. I did not agree with all of his conclusions, nor did I disagree with them all.
If for no other reason, his presenation did get me thinking. Meldrum’s claim, a part of which I’d never heard before, was that:
(1) The Book of Mormon is an historic document, detailing people, locations, and events which really took place
(2) The Hopewell moundbuilders are the closest descendants to the Lamanites
(3) DNA proves (through his understanding of Haplogroup X) that Native Americans have genetics from the Israel region
(4) Joseph Smith believed the Book of Mormon to have occurred in the United States
(5) The events and locations in the Book of Mormon are mostly throughout Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri. Particularly, he emphasized his belief that the city of Zarahemla was directly across the river from Nauvoo’s present location. Continue reading