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Mormon Means, Immigrant Ends

By Jesse Fruhwirth
Posted // January 13,2010 - Many believe genetics prove the Book of Mormon is about as accurate as a Brothers Grimm fairy tale when it comes to the origins of American Indians, but that’s not a good enough reason for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to admit that Joseph Smith made it all up. And while the story makes some laugh and cry, it prompts some Mormon faithful to do good work.

Case in point: Newbie immigration attorney Aaron Tarin [see “Undocumented in Utah,” Jan. 7, City Weekly]. The Lamanite prophecy that the descendents of Native Americans— mixed-heritage Latinos included—are actually Israelites who will descend upon Utah, as God intends, has inspired Tarin to represent oft-abused illegal immigrants.

Online commenter Hayduke first pointed out the obvious flaws in the Lamanite theory, before being rebuffed by BlackMamba for trying to counter faith with facts.

Rant Control’s reaction was more inline with online commenter SJ, however. “I’ve been waiting for more people to call out the ‘faithful,’ who don’t understand this very basic doctrine from the Book of Mormon,” SJ said. “Racism makes them blind.”

Many stories that inspired Rant Control to do good works are fiction—albeit labeled as such—so I’m willing to look the other way if some details in the Lamanite story are, shall we say, fantastic. As tempting as it is for the fact-faithful to rip it to shreds, let’s give the Book of Mormon credit when it so clearly inspires true compassion.

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Posted // January 13,2010 at 14:23

Furry muff and point taken, Jesse. But I'm inclined to believe that Mr. Tarin's personal "illegal" experiences drive him to do what he does regarding Utah's "illegal" Latino community.