348-349: Simon Southerton, DNA, Lamanites and the Book of Mormon
May 21, 2012
Simon Southerton is a native Australian, geneticist, former LDS bishop, and author of the book “Losing a Lost Tribe: Native Americans, DNA and the Mormon Church.” Simon was a member of the LDS church for almost 30 years, serving a mission in Melbourne (1981-83), marrying in the New Zealand Temple in 1983, and serving in numerous church positions including four terms as Young Men President, a counselor in several bishoprics and branch presidencies, and finally as bishop.
While serving as bishop Simon began studying Native American DNA which he expected to have Middle Eastern origins, given the primary Book of Mormon narrative and longstanding church teachings to this effect. Discovering instead that Native American DNA was almost 100% of Asiatic origin, this seriously challenged Simon’s belief that the Lamanites are the ancestors of the American Indians, and that the Book of Mormon is a historical document. Consequently, Simon resigned from his calling as bishop in 1998 and left the church soon thereafter.