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“The Book of Mormon tells that a small band of Israelites under LEHI migrated from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere about 600 B.C. Upon Lehi’s death his family divided into two opposing factions, one [Dark Skinned/wicked] under Lehi’s oldest son, LAMAN (see LAMANITES), and the other [Light Skinned/faithful] under a younger son, NEPHI (see NEPHITES).” 

Daniel H. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism – Volume 3 “Native Americans” (New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 981.