Your Friday Firestorm #16

But before the great day of the Lord shall come, Jacob shall flourish in the wilderness, and the Lamanites shall blossom as the rose.

(D&C 49:24)



  1. What’s in a name? that which we call a Lamanite
    By any other name would smell as sweet;

  2. This one’s easy. It’s just a prophesy that pretty much all of the Anglo members of the church will turn apostate and be killed off by Native American converts. Right?

  3. Oh, yes- the Indian casino prophecy.

  4. It’s obviously a reference to La Reconquista.

  5. Just look at how many Miss Universe winners come from Latin America, and you’ll see the fulfillment of the prophecy that Lamanites shall blossom as the rose. :)

  6. I just hope they flourish better than Ms. Hedger did in her trumpet solo. Nice link.

  7. Brian D.

    Very good!

  8. This prophecy is fulfilled in dollar remittances to Central America, made possible by illegal immigration.

  9. The Lamanites will chenge the world.

  10. Extreme Dorito (#1) said it nicely.

    Here’s a question I have from this verse. If we accept a limited-geography model of the Book of Mormon, then “American Indians” may not directly correspond to “Lamanites.” So which group did Joseph Smith refer to here?** Elsewhere in the D&C, when Joseph called the American Indians “Lamanites,” I assume that he was really meant “Indians,” which he (mistakenly?) believed were direct descendents of Lehi. But the verse Steve cites here has an Isaiah-esque repetition of an idea, so it appears that “Lamanites blossoming” is a restatement of “Jacob flourishing.” The verse seems to be a reference to the actual descendents of Israel (and Lehi), whoever they are.

    **I am assuming that the words in the D&C were inspired by the Lord, but are not a transcription of His words — i.e., Joseph recorded the inspiration in his own words.

  11. Peter LLC says:

    I dunno; after the demise of the International Indian School in Brigham City it’s hard to see how we’ll ever get those hard drinkin’ fellas off the reservation to blossom like anything.

  12. Peter LLC

    it’s hard to see how we’ll ever get those hard drinkin’ fellas off the reservation to blossom like anything.

    Ignorant at best, rascist at worst. That is truly stupid thing to say.

    There is a thriving and healthy Native American community, both inside and outside of the Church.

  13. In 1975 President Kimball said, “When the Navajos returned from Fort Sumner after a shameful and devastating captivity, there were only 9,000 of them left; now there are more than 100,000. There are nearly 130 million Lamanites worldwide… I rejoice that it has been my privilege to carry the gospel to the Lamanites from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic, from the reaches of Canada to southern Chile, and in the islands from Hawaii to New Zealand.” Apparently the borders are a little wider than we originally suspected.

  14. Do you think Mormons sometimes confuse Lamanites with Latin Americans in general?

    Anyway, it clearly refers to Evo Morales.

  15. Given Kimball’s expansive sense of Lamanitehood, and the very generous concept of ancestry and group belonging that would necessarily underpin it, I’m surprised that he didn’t talk about carrying the gospel to the Lamanites in Bangladesh, Germany, and the Congo.

  16. No one in Particular says:

    Re: 8. Given the size of the countries of Central America (any one has the population of a single large US coastal city, right?), I will assume that you either: 1. know too many Salvadorans, 2. happen to live near some folks I know in Atlanta, or 3. have made the generalization that Mexico is ‘Central America.’ Since I know neither Mexicans nor Central Americans who would accept that, its a little like saying members of the Church aren’t Christians.

    Re: 14. All the Mormons I know certainly do, and actual Latin American Mormons are often among the most insistent. And yes, this is definitely Evo’s prophecy; maybe he should start cultivating Mormon support and begin telling neighboring countries to elect additional ‘Lamanite’ leaders?

  17. Steve Evans says:

    MAC, I think it’s safe to say that Peter LLC was speaking sarcastically.

  18. J. Nelson-Seawright,

    Ich bin Lamanite?

  19. Orson Scott Card used this prophecy as a setup for the final story in his post-apocalyptic book, THE FOLK OF THE FRINGE.

  20. Ignorant at best, rascist at worst. That is truly stupid thing to say.

    Whoops, did I click on the Friday Warmfuzzies thread by mistake?

    Anyway, here’s an FYI for you just so’s you don’t think that I’m the only ignorant, racist and stupid one around here:

    “The thought was that this boarding school could provide a better education for these children. It could give them an opportunity to manage a successful life off of the reservation,” said Shirley Hardman, a Cache Valley resident for more than 50 years. “Some people thought that there were alcohol problems on the reservation and that without a school, it would create a cycle of non-productivity and alcoholism.”

  21. CE said:

    But the verse Steve cites here has an Isaiah-esque repetition of an idea, so it appears that “Lamanites blossoming” is a restatement of “Jacob flourishing.”

    I had this strange thought after reading the above that perhaps the usage of ‘Lamanite’ here was similar in the way ‘Gentile’ is used in the Bible.

  22. MAC,

    Steve’s right; and while sarcasm is no virture, ignorance of the context of my comment is still no excuse to call someone an ignorant racist. Just because you are unaware of the dismal state of attempts to rehabilitate Native Americans doesn’t mean that I am:

    A summary is given of the deplorable conditions surrounding the operations and facilities of the seventy-seven federal boarding schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. One school, the Intermountain Indian School in Brigham City, Utah, reflects total disregard for educational, physical, and psychological needs of the Native American.

  23. Because it is sarcastic doesn’t mean it isn’t racist? or stupid?

    The failure of attempts to rehabilitate reflects on those attempting the rehabilitation, not those they feel the need to rehabilitate. The “blossom(ing) as a rose” is hardly limited to the boarding school experience, and your links are not really helpful.

  24. JA Benson says:

    I believe in the Jacob/Lamanites prophesy. DNA does not stay in one area for long. Slavery, war, migration and your occasional traveling wanderer have spread the “Lamanite DNA” far and wide.

    It does not matter if the BoM lands were limited geography model; enough time has passed that the remnants of the seed of Lehi could be scattered all over the Americas. For example the Cherokees are a combination of Northeastern Amerindians and Amerindians that came up from Mexico area. The Navajos 500 years ago were Amerindians in far north Canada. Also many White and African North Americans carry in their genes Amerindian DNA. The people who are blossoming like a rose could be a lot of diverse people.

  25. JA Benson, right, if all we require to assign someone to a lineage is at least one ancestor, then most people on Earth belong to most lineages.

  26. Anyway, it clearly refers to Evo Morales.

    Evo Morales? No, Eva Mendes!

  27. Rez Lurker says:

    #12 Peter LLC,

    “it’s hard to see how we’ll ever get those hard drinkin’ fellas off the reservation to blossom like anything.”

    It is always disappointing to see racism in the Church. Would you honestly make this comment within earshot of a Native member of the Church?

    Fact is that there are many active, contributing members of the Church on reservations. Many of them attend small remote branches and receive limited fellowship. Others travel long distances to attend off reservation units where they may only be able to attend Sunday meetings and receive limited fellowship. But they continue to attend and contribute.

    The fact that you defend your initial comment is pretty telling. May I suggest that you keep those warm and fuzzy sentiments to your own little self, they certainly don’t contribute to the discussion at hand.

  28. T.R.T.C.

    I had that same thought…the family of Lehi/Nephi/Laman were descendants of Joseph…they were the “branches that ran over the wall” (Gen 49:22) and from the tribes of Manasseh/Ephraim.

    So is it possible that the particular verse could also mean that before the second coming, that Jacob(Israel) will flourish in the wilderness (somewhere other than his homeland)and that Ephraim/Manasseh will blossom like a rose?

    Just a thought-and opinion-nothing more :-)

  29. I’ve been curious about this verse for years & have often wondered if it’s a prophecy that had the potential to be fulfilled at one point, but that we’ve gone instead in a more expansive direction (towards global missionization and outreach/uplift) instead of in a more intensive direction (honing in on American Indians) – I think in part because the paternalism of some of our earlier relationships with native American tribes & converts wasn’t necessarily always helpful or in their best interests.

    I think Kimball’s use of the word Lamanite to mean all indigenous peoples of the New World & the Pacific (anything “discovered” after Columbus, sorta) is fascinating. I doubt Joseph Smith would have recognized that definition (or would he?). I feel like even though Kimball was one of the least racist Church leaders of his time, he’s still thinking in terms of skin color without saying so. Ie, Lamanite = brown skinned folks anywhere in the world who aren’t of African descent. Which I think is often the (unconscious) folk Mormon theology of race – a “trinary” system (white, African-descent black, and Lamanite).

  30. My mother’s parents served two missons on American Indian reservations and loved the people a great deal. Conversions were never large in numbers, but their main focus was teaching reading and writing and job skills-helping them elevate themselves as a people more than anything. My father’s mother was half Cherokee-but you wouldn’t know it by looking at her or any of her children. (as a frighteningly pasty white redhead myself, I used to curse her for not passing on at least some pigment to her posterity!)

    I also grew up near an Indian reservation and for the most part, they truly kept to themselves, preferring their own cultural celebrations and beliefs to those of the surrounding community. I can’t say that I ever saw any racism or heard anything negative against them as a people, and an Indian boy and his sister close to my own age had been adopted by a local white couple and they were welcomed by the community and our school student body. The brother often spoke of the horrible conditions he lived in on the reservation-everything from drunk relatives to abuse and going hungry. We had several Indian foster children in our home over the years and their reports of “home” were just as bad.

    I’m not saying that ALL Indian people live like that, or that there aren’t many who rise above their circumstances and become blossoms just like anyone else. I’m saying from my own experience that the majority of the ones I grew up around sound similar to the ones Peter described. But then again, with my own Scottish heritage and a father that was either a practicing or recovering alcoholic all of his life, stating the facts in my family wasn’t ever viewed as racism.

  31. JA Benson says:

    Amerindians are missing an enzyme involved with alcohol metabolism (ADH). This enzyme causes differences in response to alcohol and alcohol related illness. A little reading of the history of Amerindian and the subjugation and emasculation of them as a people further fueled depression and feelings of helplessness. These factors are the reason for alcholism in Native Americans. So many Americans turn a blind eye to the plight of the Native Americans.

    I have great confidence in them as a people. Many tribes and individuals are taking the steps to reclaim their heritage. There are beautiful spiritual traditions and beliefs in the Native American culture. Native Americans need confidence in themselves and in their culture. Amerindians are/will blossom as a rose; this I have no doubt of.

    When we respect them and their ways; this will open doors to our Lamanite brothers and sisters opening their hearts to receive the Gospel.

  32. Tona (#29),

    There are many LDS Polynesians who believe that they are descendants of Lehi by way of migrations of Hagoth (mentioned in Alma 63:4-10) or others. I think it is pretty clear that Pres. Kimball believed that descendants of Lehi were prominent if not dominant in all the Native American and Polynesian populations he mentioned.

  33. JA Benson-

    I’d love some sources on that missing enzyme for personal study. My father was an alcoholic by the time he was 13 and it devastated his life in so many ways. He was sober for the 27 years before he died, but told me once that it had been the same constant struggle every day of those 27 years…that the urge never left him…that the desire to drink never abated. And given that his mother was half Indian, I’m wondering if the enzyme deficiency played a part in it somehow. I’ve also studied the role that genetics play in the alcoholism/depression/ADHD group of behaviors now for more than 8 years and would love to add your information to my growing notebooks and library. :-)

  34. #33 ABISH
    The enzyme ADH is in high doses in Asians and missing in NA peoples. Asians have a difficult time becoming addicted to alcohol and NA peoples are highly susceptible see:

    You can google the information and do research. I only have basic knowledge. We have some NA ancestry as well. I have told my kids, that besides the WofW, their NA ancestry is also a big reason why they should NEVER try alcohol. Since you are Cherokee aka The Principle People (chosen people); you might enjoy reading _History Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee Indians_ by James Mooney. Mooney was the first white historian to spend a substantial amount of time with the Cherokee in the late 1800’s. I remember reading about how a group of the eastern branch of the tribe went on a crusade to rid the tribe of alcoholism. They were very successful in their efforts.

    Which branch are your people from? Do you have any family stories about the “Trail of Tears”? JoannaBensonatcomcastdotnet

    PS We are very ADD too.


  35. Thanks Joanna! I look forward to reading more about it.

    My father’s mother and father died before I was born and although my father adored his mother (I was mostly told this from his siblings) he didn’t talk much about her so I have no idea which branch she was from. I really need to contact my aunt who would have any family history on her and find out what she knows. Now you have me curious!

  36. It is very important if there are any stories to get them and record them. THere are very few recorded stories of the Trail of Tears. If you have any they need to be preserved.
    Good Luck!

%d bloggers like this: