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Modern LDS apologists downplay the pre-21st-century false notion that when Lehi’s company landed in the western hemisphere (around 600 BC) there were no people to be found. Given the ample proof of our populated continent(s) upon their arrival, Church leaders are in denial that any such claims were made; going so far as to change the introduction to the Book of Mormon. However, the fact remains, that the actual text of the Book of Mormon still perpetuates this falsehood…

“[I]t is wisdom that this land should be kept as yet from the knowledge of other nations; for behold, many nations would overrun the land, that there would be no place for an inheritance. Wherefore, I, Lehi, have obtained a promise, that inasmuch as those whom the Lord God shall bring out of the land of Jerusalem shall keep his commandments, they shall prosper upon the face of this land; and they shall be kept from all other nations, that they may possess this land unto themselves.”

The Book of Mormon – 2 Nephi 1:8-9 (Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1977), 50.