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Native people descendants of Abraham

Old Testament prophets Jacob and Joseph are the fathers of Natives of the Americas, said Jeffrey L. Simons, who with Larry EchoHawk presented the subject of "Roots of LDS Views Toward Native Americans."

"Joseph and Judah, two of the sons of Israel, are the forefathers of the people who came to this continent," said Brother Simons. "That connection is a very important connection to be made."He said that some of the first Europeans who came to the Americas "thought that the native people were descendants of the lost tribes of Israel. They didn't know that they were really the descendants of Lehi, but the significance of that is that connections were being made to these families of Abrahamic lineage."

He said that Lehi is a descendant of Manassah, son of Joseph, but his sons married descendants of Ephraim, another son of Joseph. Mulek, a figure introduced later in the Book of Mormon, is a descendant of King Zedekiah, a descendant of Judah.

After the Savior's visit, the population became a mixture of all the seed of these people. "In other words, today the Native Americans are a mixture of the seed of all these people. There are not any pure strains."

As such, he said, the blessings of the patriarchs apply to all.

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