[Tom Murphy's sister is on another list I'm a member of, and she forwarded this statement he wrote in response to all the questions he has been getting, which are too numerous for him to reply to individually. I'm forwarding his statement with permission to some of the other lists where his current situation is being discussed, for the information of the members of those lists. I do not know Tom Murphy and AFAIK have never corresponded with him, and I have no further information to add to his statement below.]


<quote>

I did not desire nor invite the church disciplinary council. As far as I can determine the actions came in direct response to someone handing a copy of my article in American Apocrypha to my stake president. I do not desire excommunication and believe that it would be in the best interest of the church to halt the council.

I believe that the LDS Church could provide a great service for critically thinking members of the Church if it would permit open discussion of the Book of Mormon as fiction, perhaps even inspired fiction. The scientific and historical evidence is so overwhelmingly arrayed against traditional hemispheric and limited geographic interpretations that an open and honest discussion of an allegorical reading of the Book of Mormon is warranted. My desire is to help create such a space for Mormons.

Ultimately, it is up to my stake high council to decide if that view is out-of-bounds. I am not going to change my view or sweeten it to please the stake president or anyone else. The matter of fact is that of the thousands of Native American individuals and hundreds of tribal groups studied to date, not a single one of them has any evidence of a genetic tie to
ancient Israel within the time frame required by the Book of Mormon. Not even Scott Woodward of BYU anticipates that future data will change that scenario. The high council cannot change the science by excommunicating me and I refuse
to misrepresent the evidence to please them.

Cordially,
Tom Murphy

</quote>

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