Two LDS Idahoan Scientists: D. Jeffrey Meldrum & Trent D. Stephens

About these men:

D. Jeffrey Meldrum holds a PhD in anatomical sciences with an emphasis in physical anthropology from SUNY at Stony Brook.  As an associate professor of biology at Idaho State University, he teaches human anatomy and evolution.  His research in evolutionary morphology and paleontology centers on primate and human locomotion.”  Make sure you check out his online notes about the infamous Sasquatch.

Trent D. Stephens holds a PhD in anatomy and embryology from the University of Pennsylvania.  He is a professor of biology at Idaho State University, and his research in embryology and teratology focuses on the mechanisms of limb development.”

I just read their article, “Who Are the Children of Lehi?” in The Book of Mormon and DNA Research (The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2008).

They conclude:  “We probably will never find a genetic marker for the children of Lehi, for the children of Abraham, or even for the “Children of God.”  Ultimately we are impressed by the realization that the fundamental question of the veracity of the claims of the Book of Mormon lies beyond the ken of modern DNA research.  The final implications of the book, as a witness of the prophetic calling of Joseph Smith and as another testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ, remain within the realm of faith and individual testimony” (182).

I find Trent’s description of his wife intriguing:

“Kathleen’s father was not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints when the children were born.  Her mother was.  When the children were still very young, her father joined the church.  A year later the family went to Idaho Falls Temple and was sealed for time and all eternity.  Kathleen knows no more about the Catholic Church than most any other Latter-day Saint [biological parents were Catholic].  She grew up with a strong Latter-day Saint heritage and is a devout member of the church.  I know of few women who are stronger in the faith.  It is her belief, and mine, that she was meant from the premortal existence to be with her brothers and her parents.  Because her parents were not able to have children, she and her siblings came by another means to live with their loving parents” (175).

“In my wife’s case, and mine, I believe, memes are stronger than genes” (176).

Interesting words coming from a scientist.

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