Posted on

Found! A Literal Descendant of Aaron!

I’m excited to announce an interview with a counselor in the First Presidency!  His name is Jim Vun Cannon, and he is a member of the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, based in Independence, Missouri.  Never heard of him?  Well, here’s a little introduction to their church.  (Later we’ll discuss a Literal Descendant of Aaron!)

Jim:  I would say where we started out was we left the C[ommunity] of C[hrist, which] was called the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Of course I think you all know where that came from.

We left that in [19]84.  There were a number of people who went out to Restoration branches.  At that point, people were looking up, can the church—because everyone believed that the church had to have structure and order to it.

In 1999, a number of people started meeting together.  They were high priests and gathering other priesthood together to pray and to fast and to see what could be done.  What did the law actually allow?

It turns out we found in some of the writings of Joseph Smith III, and some personal testimony and revelation that came forth, we could indeed have a church restored again, so that’s what happened at that point.

So the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ is essentially a breakoff of the RLDS Church, officially organized in the year 2000, under the direction of a new prophet, Frederick L. Larsen.  He is a matrilineal descendant of Joseph Smith, and the Remnant Church believes in lineal succession.  Jim said, “We are approximately 2700 members.  About 1200 of those members are here in the United States, and the rest of those are in foreign fields.”  I met Jim in Idaho, as the church was holding a retreat for members in the Northwestern United States.  The most interesting thing I heard was this:

Jim Vun Cannon:  Our Presiding Bishop actually is a literal descendant of Aaron.

GT:  Oh really!

Jim:  Yes.  Kevin Romer is actually.  Yes

GT:  Ok.  Wow, that’s interesting.

Jim:  So yeah, that was new for us.

GT:  Oh.  I would assume that he got that through the patriarch.  Is that how you declare lineage?

Jim:  Yeah, typically the patriarchs will give you lineage.  In his particular case he had it from the patriarch and from the president of the church.  Both had testimonies of…

GT interrupts:  Oh that he was a literal descendant?

Jim:  literal descendant, yeah right.

GT:  Ok, so the interesting thing, that doesn’t happen very often in our church.  In fact I’m not aware of any.

Jim:  This is the first I know of.

GT:  Oh really!

Jim:  Yeah, I don’t know of any of our churches, yeah.

GT:  Oh, wow.  That’s interesting.  I know a bishop, and I don’t know any bishop that would want to do this but if a bishop that is a literal descendant of Aaron, he does not need counselors, which when you’re administering a ward, why would you not want to have counselors?  I don’t know.

Jim chuckles:  Yeah, he has counselors and he doesn’t want to give them up.  I can appreciate that.

GT:  Now is that a lifetime calling too, or is that just for a period of time?

Jim:  We kind of look at that as a lifetime calling too, right now at this point.  It’s really very new to us so we’re just kind of learning that.

In our next conversation we’ll talk more about Jim’s conversion to the Remnant Church.  Have you ever heard of the Remnant Church?  I want to thank media director Morgan Wigle for helping me arrange this interview.  Do you have any questions for Jim or Morgan?

Posted on

Best Reasons for the Baja Theory

This is our last conversation with David Rosenvall.  In our last few episodes we’ve tried to poke holes in David’s theory of the Baja Theory of the Book of Mormon.  In this episode, we’ll talk about strengths of the theory.

I think one of the other things that makes Baja a little unique is this concept of being isolated.  The text over and over seems to imply that they were alone.  They didn’t have encounters with other people.  They were always the kings.  They were always fighting with their brothers.  When they found the Mulekites they were so excited that they put it in their record.  When they found evidence of another culture that had been wiped out, they put it in their record.  So you have to have some location that seems very isolated.  How do you isolate a group of people for that long that they don’t talk about anyone else?  In a peninsula like Baja, even today is isolated from mainland Mexico, even with all we have, so it’s a great place for isolation.  It’s a semi-arid, isolated environments are probably two of the strongest strengths that we have.

We’ll talk about the narrow neck of land.

There’s only one place you can actually see mainland Mexico from Baja.  It’s in the area just a little bit north of halfway down here at a place called Bajia De Los Angeles where you can actually see across here.  Everywhere else you can’t actually see, which is interesting because the text talks about, in this very location, the text says where the sea divides the land.  We assume they could see it, so here it’s about 40 miles.  Everywhere else it gets up into 60, 70, 80 miles.  The only place they could have seen mainland Mexico is right where it was described, right where the narrow neck, the line of defense.  We actually look at that geographically that their one location, and the only on Baja where you have a place that you can across, it’s kind of exciting.

You might want to watch this episode on YouTube.  We will zoom in on his map as he talks about different geographical features of the Baja Peninsula that he thinks correlate with the Book of Mormon.  (Don’t forget to check out our previous post on DNA.)  I hope you check out our conversation….

 

Posted on

Solved! DNA & Book of Mormon

Or has it been?  In this episode we’re going to talk about the thorniest of all topics when it comes to DNA & Book of Mormon.  Former bishop Simon Southerton, an Australian researcher and expert on DNA, says he lost his testimony when he discovered that Native American peoples had Asian DNA rather than Middle Eastern DNA.  We’re continuing our discussion with David Rosenvall.  How does David respond to this?  He has a theory I’ve never encountered before!

David:  If you go back to the Book of Ether we know that story happened long before Lehi and his descendants.  We’re talking probably the Tower of Babel.  At that time there was a family, Jared and his family, and the brother of Jared and his family, and their friends, so a large group of people left where we think the Tower of Babel was.  We assume that it was down in the area of Iraq today.  In the Book of Ether it states that they went northward.  From there they crossed into a quarter where man had never been and they built boats and crossed some large inland sea.  After they crossed this inland sea with boats they built all by themselves, it says the Lord wanted them to continue on to the Promised Land.  Eventually they got to a great sea, they called it, and they camped near a mountain.

Well it just so happens if you want to go look on Google Earth, there’s only one mountain on the entire eastern seaboard of China today, and it’s actually the birthplace of Taoism.  It’s almost the birthplace of China. So we have this large group of people that came across from Tower of Babel and settled on the seashore.  Four years after they had been there, the Lord had chastised them for not praying and Ether goes and builds these boats and he needs instructions on how to build them.  They’re a little different than the boats they built before.  He says they built eight boats.  Those eight boats then take 345 days I believe it is, or about that, to cross over to wherever they got to.  It just so happens that the ocean currents across the northern Pacific without a sail take about exactly that time.

So out of all these people coming over on these eight barges, probably about 13 families because it says there were 22 souls that arrived with them, they spread across North America.  Eventually one of those families, Ether’s descendants kill themselves off, but that doesn’t suggest that everyone else got killed off, and they probably dispersed all across North America.

So when Lehi gets wherever he’s going, let’s assume Baja for a second, there’s probably a thousand more years of people spreading across there.  There could have been and probably would have been people in North America, however it appears wherever he went they were in isolation.  They never came in contact with anyone except the Mulekites and they knew that there was a people who killed themselves up north.  That’s about all that they knew.

Now let’s go back to DNA.  In North America, our hypothesis is that you have at least everyone that came over with Jared and his brother who dispersed for thousands of years, and if you assume that there are some that didn’t come across the ocean who were also related to them, who may have been a big part of how Asia became, there’s a good chance that the people of North America and the people of Asia are going to have the same DNA.  The difference is they used boats to get them across and maybe the Bering Sea but at least the boats according to the Book of Mormon.  So I always say DNA is the best evidence that the Book of Mormon is true because in there is the Book of Ether that talks about a group that was in Asia and a group that’s in North America that are related.

I’ve never understood the DNA fight if you will.

Have you ever heard this before?  Check out our Intro and comparison to Mesoamerica.

Don’t forget that there are just a few days left to sign up for our contest for a free book!