First off, let me be perfectly clear: I’m not claiming anthropological evidence of anything. But it was still a bit funny/startling to run across this news article about a possibly uncontacted tribe found in Brazil:
Skin painted bright red, heads partially shaved, arrows drawn back in the longbows and aimed square at the aircraft buzzing overhead. The gesture is unmistakable: Stay Away.
Behind the two men stands another figure, possibly a woman, her stance also seemingly defiant. Her skin painted dark, nearly black.
And here’s one of the accompanying photos:
Of course, what this called to mind were passages such as this in the Book of Mormon:
And the Amlicites were distinguished from the Nephites, for they had marked themselves with red in their foreheads after the manner of the Lamanites; nevertheless they had not shorn their heads like unto the Lamanites.
Now the heads of the Lamanites were shorn; and they were naked, save it were skin which was girded about their loins, and also their armor, which was girded about them, and their bows, and their arrows, and their stones, and their slings, and so forth.
And the skins of the Lamanites were dark, according to the mark which was set upon their fathers, which was a curse upon them because of their transgression and their rebellion against their brethren, who consisted of Nephi, Jacob, and Joseph, and Sam, who were just and holy men. (Alma 3:4-6)
Explanations of the Lamanite ‘curse’ tend to fall into one of three categories: a divine change of melatonin; a natural darkening due to more time outdoors plus wearing less clothing; or a cultural exaggeration (cf. Nibley et alis). Maybe the Lamanites just painted themselves.
In any case, it was startling to see a very recent photograph that looked so much like something straight out of the Book of Mormon. ..bruce..
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A question we might ask our Christian friends is if these people will ever have the opportunity to hear and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, or if they will be damned for eternity for never having that opportunity in mortality. Even today there are people who know nothing of Jesus or his gospel.
The restored gospel has provided a way for even these to accept what Jesus Christ has offered us. These will be taught in the spirit world, and the ordinances will be performed vicariously.