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TitleWho Are the Children of Lehi?
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsMeldrum, D. Jeffrey, and Trent D. Stephens
JournalJournal of Book of Mormon Studies
Pagination38-51, 116
KeywordsAbrahamic Covenant; Ancient America; DNA; Genetics; Mesoamerica

By covenanting with Abraham, God promised him that through his seed all the families of the earth would be blessed—his seed would be as leaven within bread. This metaphor can likewise be applied to the children of Lehi, who introduced the Abrahamic covenant to the much larger indigenous Mesoamerican population. The larger gene pool with which the children of Lehi assimilated makes it very likely that no genetic evidence will ever substantiate an American–Middle Eastern link, although Native American populations show a strong affinity with Asian populations. The assumption that all modern-day Native Americans are descended exclusively from Book of Mormon peoples is not required by the scriptures. The genetic link, however, may be less important than the nongenetic transmission of memes, including ideas, behaviors, information, languages, and divine kinship.