"And then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, (the American Indians) and I will bring my Gospel unto them. And I will show unto thee, O house of Israel(the American Indians), that the Gentiles shall not have power over you, but I will remember my covenent unto you." Book of Mormon, 3rd Nephi, 16:11-12



Early LDS Church Leaders hopes for the American Indians, who are the chosen people of the house of Israel, the Covenant people of God, to whom this land is promised.

Interview with Pottawattamie Chiefs
(From Wilford Woodruff's Journal)

The Indian chiefs remained at Nauvoo until the Prophet returned and had his trial. During their stay they had a talk with Hyrum Smith in the basement of the Nauvoo House. Wilford Woodruff and some others were present. They were not free to talk, and did not wish to communicate their feelings until they could see the great Prophet.

At length, on the 2nd day of July, 1843, President Joseph Smith and several of the Twelve met those chiefs in the courtroom, with about twenty of the elders. The following is a synopsis of the conversation which took place as given by the interpreter: - The Indian orator arose and asked the Prophet if the men who were present were all his friends. Answer - "Yes."

He then said--"We as a people have long been distressed and oppressed. We have been driven from our lands many times. We have been wasted away by wars, until there are but few of us left. The white man has hated us and shed our blood, until it has appeared as though there would soon be no Indians left. We have talked with the Great Spirit, and the Great Spirit has talked with us. We have asked the Great Spirit to save us and let us live; and the Great Spirit has told us that he had raised up a great Prophet, chief, and friend, who would do us great good and tell us what to do; and the Great Spirit has told us that you are the man (pointing to the Prophet Joseph). We have now come a great way to see you, and hear your words, and to have you to tell us what to do. Our horses have become poor traveling, and we are hungry. We will now wait and hear your word."

The Spirit of God rested upon the Lamanites, especially the orator. Joseph was much affected and shed tears. He arose and said unto them: "I have heard your words. They are true. The Great Spirit has told you the truth. I am your friend and brother, and I wish to do you good. Your fathers were once a great people. They worshipped the Great Spirit. The Great Spirit did them good. He was their friend; but they left the Great Spirit, and would not hear his words or keep them. The Great Spirit left them, and they began to kill one another, and they have been poor and afflicted until now.

"The Great Spirit has given me a book, and told me that you will soon be blessed again. The Great Spirit will soon begin to talk with you and your children. This is the book which your fathers made. I wrote upon it (showing them the Book of Mormon). This tells what you will have to do. I now want you to begin to pray to the Great Spirit. I want you to make peace with one another, and do not kill any more Indians: it is not good. Do not kill white men; it is not good; but ask the Great Spirit for what you want, and it will not be long before the Great Spirit will bless you, and you will cultivate the earth and build good houses like white men. We will give you something to eat and to take home with you."

When the Prophet's words were interpreted to the chiefs, they all said it was good. The chief asked, "How many moons would it be before the Great Spirit would bless them?" He [Joseph] told them, Not a great many.

At the close of the interview, Joseph had an ox killed for them, and they were furnished with some more horses, and they went home satisfied and contented.

Gathering of Israel by Joseph Smith Jan. 6, 1836.

"Much has been said and done of late by the general government in relation to the Indians (Lamanites) within the territorial limits of the United States. One of the most important points in the faith of the Church of the Latter-day Saints, through the fullness of the everlasting Gospel, is the gathering of Israel (of whom the Lamanites constitute a part) that happy time when Jacob shall go up to the house of the Lord, to worship Him in spirit and in truth, to live in holiness; when the Lord will restore His judges as at the first, and His counselors as at the beginning; when every man may sit under his own vine and fig tree, and there will be none to molest or make afraid; when He will turn to them a pure language, and the earth will be filled with sacred knowledge, as the waters cover the great deep; when it shall no longer be said, the Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, but the Lord lives that brought up the children of Israel from the land of the north, and from all the lands whither He has driven them. That day is one, all important to all men.

"In view of its importance, together with all that the prophets have said about it before us, we feel like dropping a few ideas in connection with the official statements from the government concerning the Indians. In speaking of the gathering, we mean to be understood as speaking of it according to scripture, the gathering of the elect of the Lord out of every nation on earth, and bringing them to the place of the Lord of Hosts, when the city of righteousness shall be built, and where the people shall be of one heart and one mind, when the Savior comes: yea, where the people shall walk with God like Enoch, and be free from sin. The word of the Lord is precious; and when we read that the veil spread over all nations will be destroyed, and the pure in heart see God, and reign with Him a thousand years on earth, we want all honest men to have a chance to gather and build up a city of righteousness, where even upon the bells of the horses shall be written "Holiness to the Lord."

"The Book of Mormon has made known who Israel is, upon this continent. And while we behold the government of the United States gathering the Indians, and locating them upon lands to be their own, how sweet it is to think that they may one day be gathered by the Gospel!"  DHC 2:357.

History of the Church, by Joseph Smith page 118

At this time a great desire was manifested by several of the Elders respecting the remnants of the house of Joseph, the Lamanites, residing in the west - knowing that the purposes of God were great respecting that people, and hoping that the time had come when the promises of the Almighty in regard to them were about to be accomplished, and that they would receive the Gospel, and enjoy its blessings. The desire being so great, it was agreed that we should inquire of the Lord respecting the propriety of sending some of the Elders among them, which we accordingly did, and received the following

Revelation to Parley P. Pratt and Ziba Peterson, given October, 1830 (D & C 32)

1. And now concerning my servant Parley P. Pratt, Behold I say unto him that as I live I will that he shall declare my Gospel and learn of me, and be meek and lowly at heart.

2. And that which I have appointed unto him is that he shall go with my servants Oliver Cowdery and Peter Whitmer, Jun., into the wilderness among the Lamanites.

3. And Ziba Peterson also shall go with them; and I myself will go with them and be in their midst; and I am their advocate with the Father, and nothing shall prevail against them.

4. And they shall give heed to that which is written, and pretend to no other revelation, and they shall pray always that I may unfold the same to their understanding.

5. And they shall give heed unto these words and trifle not, and I will bless them. Amen.

Immediately on receiving this revelation, preparations were made for the journey of the brethren therein designated, to the borders of the Lamanites, and a copy of the revelation was given them. They bade adieu to their brethren and friends, and commenced their journey, preaching by the way, and leaving a sealing testimony behind them, lifting up their voice like a trump in the different villages through which they passed.

The Mission to the Lamanites: (page 183)

As the "mission to the Lamanites" is a very prominent event in early Church history, it is proper that the labors of the brethren engaged in it should be spoken of more fully than appears anywhere in the prophet’s narrative, and at this point, following the letter of Oliver Cowdery, seems as appropriate a place as will be found to speak of it.... After leaving Kirtland, on their journey westward, they visited the Wyandot tribe of Indians near Sandusky, Ohio, with whom they spent several days. "We were well received," writes Elder Parley P. Pratt, "and had an opportunity of laying before them the record of their forefathers, which we did. They rejoiced in the tidings, bid us Godspeed and desired us to write to them in relation to our success among the tribes further west, who had already removed to the Indian territory, where these expected soon to go." Aut. P. P. Pratt p. 54

On arriving in Independence two of the company secured employment, while the other three crossed the frontier and began their labors among the Indians. They visited the Shawnees, spending one night with them, and the next day crossed the Kansas River and began their labors among the Delawares. They sought an interview with the chief of the Delawares, known among the whites as Chief Anderson. He was the grand sachem of ten nations or tribes, and consequently possessed of large influence. He had always opposed the introduction of missionaries among his people, and therefore did not at first extend a very hearty welcome to the brethren. However, through an interpreter, the brethren made known their errand and explained to him the Book of Mormon and the information it contained for his people. They asked to be heard before a full council of his nation, a proposition which the chief took under consideration until the next day. Next morning the conversation with the Delaware Chief was renewed, but he was not inclined at first to call the council. But as he began to understand better the nature of the Book of Mormon, he changed his mind and asked the brethren to suspend the conversation until the council could be assembled. A runner was dispatched to the tribes, and in about an hour forty leading men were assembled and seated in grave silence to hear the message concerning the book of their forefathers. At the request of the Chief, Oliver Cowdery in substance delivered the following address:


"Aged Chief, and venerable council of the Delaware nation; we are glad of this opportunity to address you as our red brethren and friends. We have traveled a long distance from towards the rising sun to bring you glad news: we have traveled the wilderness, crossed the deep and wide rivers, and waded in the deep snows, and in the face of the storms of winter, to communicate to you great knowledge which has lately come to our ears and hearts and which will do the red man good as well as the pale face.

"Once the red man were many; they occupied the country from sea to sea - from the rising to the setting sun; the whole land was theirs; the Great Spirit gave it to them, and no pale faces dwelt among them. But now they are few in numbers; their possessions are small, and the pale faces are many.

"Thousands of moons ago, when the red men’s forefathers dwelt in peace and possessed the whole land, the Great Spirit talked with them, and revealed His law and His will, and much knowledge to their wise men and prophets. This they wrote in a Book, together with their history and the things which should befall their children in the latter days.

"This Book was written on plates of gold and handed down from father to son for many ages and generations.

"It was then that the people prospered and were strong and mighty; they cultivated the earth, built buildings and cities and abounded in all good things, as the pale faces now do.

"But they became wicked; they killed one another and shed much blood; they killed their prophets and wise men, and sought to destroy the Book. The Great Spirit became angry and would speak to them no more; they had no more good and wise dreams; no more visions; no more angels sent among them by the Great Spirit; and the Lord commanded Mormon and Moroni, their last wise men and prophets to hide the Book in the earth, that it might be preserved in safety and found and made known in the latter-day to the pale faces who should possess the land, that they might again make it known to the red men, in order to restore them to the knowledge of the will of the Great Spirit and to His favor. And if the red men would then receive this Book and learn the things written in it and do according thereunto, they should be restored to all their rights and privileges; Should cease to fight and kill one another; should become one people; cultivate the earth in peace, in common with the pale faces, who were willing to believe and obey the same Book and be good men and live in peace.

"Then should the red men become great and have plenty to eat and good clothes to wear, and should be in favor with the great spirit and be His children, while He would be their Great Father and talk with them, and raise up prophets and wise and good men among them again, who should teach them many things.

"This book which contained these things, was hid in the earth by Moroni, in a hill called by him Cumorah, which hill is now in the state of New York, near the village of Palmyra, in Ontario County.

"In that neighborhood there lived a young man named Joseph Smith, who prayed to the Great Spirit much, in order that he might know the truth, and a Great Spirit sent an angel to him and told him where this Book was hid by Moroni, and commanded him to go and get it. He accordingly went to the place and dug in the earth and found the book written on golden plates.

"But it was written in the language of the forefathers of the red men; therefore this young man, being a pale face, could not understand it; but the angel told him and showed him and gave him knowledge of the language and how to interpret the Book. So he interpreted it into the language of the pale faces, and wrote it on paper and caused it to be printed, and published thousands of copies of it among them, and then sent us unto the red men to bring some copies of it to them, and to tell them this news. So we have come from him, and here is a copy of the Book, which we now present unto our red friend, the Chief of the Delawares, which we hope he will cause to be read and known among his tribe; it will do them good."


"We feel truly thankful to our white friends who have come so far and been at such pains to tell us good news, and especially this new news concerning the Book of our forefathers; it makes us glad in here" - placing his hand on his heart. "It is now winter; we are new settlers to this place; the snow is deep; our cattle and horses are dying; our wigwams are poor; we have much to do in the spring - to build houses and fence and make farms; but we will build a council house and meet together, and you shall read to us and teach us more concerning the Book of our fathers and the will of the Great Spirit."

Elder Parley P. Pratt in his report of the matter adds: we continued for several days to instruct the old chief and many of his tribe. The interest became more and more intense on their part, from day to day, until at length nearly the whole tribe began to feel a spirit of inquiry and excitement on the subject. We found several among them who could read, and to them we gave copies of the Book, explaining to them that it was the Book of their forefathers. Some began to rejoice exceedingly and took great pains to tell the news to others in their own language. The excitment now reached the frontier settlements in Missouri, and stirred up the jealousy and envy of the Indian agents and sectarian missionaries to that degree that we were soon ordered out of the Indian country as disturbers of the peace, and even threatened with the military in case of non-compliance. We accordingly departed from the Indian country and came over the line, and commenced laboring in Jackson county, Missouri, among the whites. We were well received and listened to by many, and some were baptized and added to the Church.

"Thus ended our first Indian mission, in which we had preached the Gospel in its fulness and distributed the record of their forefathers among the three tribes, viz.; the Catteraugus Indians near Buffalo, N. Y.; the Wyandots, of Ohio, and the Delawares west of Missouri." Aut. P. P. Pratt pp. 56-61.



(Excerpts of sermon delivered in the Twentieth Ward Meeting House, Sunday, Feb 7, 1875)

Assorted Gems of Priceless Value p. 10

There is one thing which I am about to read which has not yet been fulfilled, and which we must fulfill before Zion is redeemed. I will read it: - "Behold, saith the Father, I will bring the fulness of my Gospel from among them, and then I will remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my Gospel unto them." Now then, we are here in this land, the house of Israel are scattered all around us, some in the great basin, some in Arizona, some in Idaho, some in Colorado, some in Montana, some in one place, some in another - I refer to the American Indians, all remnants of Joseph and belonging to the house of Israel. They have become very degraded in consequence of the apostacy and wickedness of their ancient fathers. This people - the Latter-day Saints, before they can ever return to build up the waste places of Zion and receive their inheritances in Jackson County, Missouri, have got to exert themselves to bring the remnants of Joseph to a knowledge of the truth. We have not made any very great exertions in this direction unto the present time. The Lord has given us time since He brought the fulness of the Gospel from among the Gentiles to lay a foundation so that we could commence this missionary work in behalf of and among the remnants of Joseph. We have got the foundation laid, we have succeeded in building many cities, towns, villages, etc., for some four hundred miles north and south - we have got our farms fenced and our water ditches dug, and we have begun to prosper in the land, so that now, I think, is the time for us to wake up our minds in relation to the scattered remnants of the house of Israel. "Behold, then will I remember my covenant which I have made unto my people, O house of Israel, and I will bring my Gospel unto them."

It seems that the Lord is working among that people, and that He is determined this prophecy shall be fulfilled whether we take it in hand or not. What do my ears hear? What do we all hear? Messengers are visiting these wild tribes in the basin, and in the region round about hundreds of miles apart. These messengers come to them, and they speak in their own language in great plainness, and tell them what to do. They tell them to repent of their sins and to be baptized for the remission thereof; tell them also to cease roaming over the country and to cultivate the land; tell them to go to the Elders of this Church and receive the ordinances under their hands.

Who are these messengers? Read the Book of Mormon and you will find what God promised to do for the remnants of Joseph fourteen hundred years ago, about the time that most of them were becoming wicked and corrupt. The Lord said when their record should come forth in the latter days that He would send His messengers to them, and among these messengers He mentioned three persons who lived some eighteen hundred years ago, three of the Twelve who were chosen on this land. The Lord made a promise to these three that they should administer, as holy messengers in the latter days, for and in behalf of the remnants of the house of Israel, which should fall into a low and degraded condition in consequence of the great wickedness and apostacy of their ancient fathers; that they should be instruments in His hands in bringing these remnants to the knowledge of the truth. We hear that these messengers have come, not in one instance alone, but in many instances. Already we have heard of some fourteen hundred Indians, and I do not know but more, who have been baptized. Ask them why they have come so many hundred miles to find the Elders of the Church, and they will reply: - "Such a person came to us, he spoke in our language, instructed us and told us what to do, and we have come in order to comply with his requirements."

Journal of Discourses, Vol. 17:299-300.

An Apostle of the Mormon Church, Wilford Woodruff stated in 1855:

"I want to know now, if the Mormons can really and truly realize our true position with regard to the Lamanites (the American Indians), or do you consider them inferior? Do you ever read the Book of Mormon? If you do, do you believe and realize the truth of its sayings and also what the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith? These are the things that we have in our possession; we have them in the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the History of Joseph Smith. Do you read them? If you lay them to heart as the things of God, you will feel that it is necessary to do our duty to our red brethren. When the Priesthood was restored, I knew then that if it were not for the Israelites (The American Indians), the Gentiles might go to hell and be damned. The Lord would not take much pains with us anyhow, were it not for the promised seed (the American Indians). Instead of them being inferior to us in birthright, they are superior in birthright; and they stand first in many instances, with regard to the promises of God in particular.

In 1875 Orson Pratt, a Mormon apostle stated that many have flattered themselves that we the Mormons are the ones, it is not so. We have got to be helpers, we have got to be those who cooperate with the Indians, for the Lord will have respect unto them, because they are of the blood of Israel, and the promises of their fathers extends unto them.

Brigham Young stated that what the Mormons did for the Indians determined whether the Mormons went up or down. And he stated also that when the Lord brought in the Indians to save the Mormon religion, we would be the servants and the Indians the masters.

Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt in an 1851 address to the American Indians said; "You are a branch of the house of Israel. You are descended from the Jews, or rather more generally, from the tribe of Joseph, which Joseph was a great prophet and ruler in Egypt.’ Early church leaders were anxious for the opportunity to convert the Indians, and stressed that the American Indians had to be converted before the foretold gathering of Israel.The American Indians are to know that their choice birthright is of the house of Israel, and they are Gods covenant people numbered in the first covenant. There is a second great work to take place in the Mormon religion to convince the Lamanites (the American Indians) of the Book of Mormon which has already gone forth among them. The field is ready to harvest, and the laborers are few.

Mormon apostle Orson Pratt stated "We [meaning the Mormons] have forgotten the forlorn condition of the sons of Joseph, the American Indians. We have forgotten the predictions of the Holy Prophets among their fathers, who so earnestly prayed to the Most High for themselves, and their children to the latest generation, Whose prayers have been recorded in eternity, and preserved in the archives of Heaven, to be answered upon the head of their posterity in the last days. We have forgotten these things and are dwelling at ease in Zion, and neglecting the great redemption of Israel [the Lamanites].

"We have learned something, we are in possession of knowledge concerning these sons of the forest. Shall we therefore dwell at ease and allow the Indians to remain in ignorance of the great truths that we are in possession of concerning them? If so, woe be to these people [meaning the Mormons], or any other people that are entrusted with the sacred things committed to our charge, and who do not use them, for the redemption of those that are unacquainted with this knowledge. How do you think their fathers would feel to see their descendants, without knowledge of God and their ancestors? And then turn and see a people in their midst in possession of the sacred records and prophecies of their fathers, and yet that people, so careless and so much at ease that they used scarcely any exertion to impart the heavenly knowledge to them [the Lamanites].

"And if we do not accomplish this work of bringing this knowledge to the Israelites, we shall be accounted as salt that has lost its savor, and therefore is no longer good for anything but to be trodden under the feet of Israel, or our enemies. Who so will not extend the hand of mercy to help the Indians, will go down and lose their influence with God and all good men."

The last admonition of the Prophet Joseph Smith on June 23, 1844

"This day the Lord has shown to me that which was never shown to me before, that I have thousands of friends that never pretended friendship, while others have sought to crawl into my bosom because of my good feelings towards them, and now are the vipers and do seek my life; and if they shall take it they will pursue you; they will do it anyhow....I therefore will say unto you Saints and Elders of Israel:...you will yet be called upon to go forth and call upon the free men from Maine to gather themselves together to the Rocky Mountains; and the Redmen from the West and all people from the North and from the South and from the East, and go to the West, to establish themselves in the strongholds of their gathering places, and there you will gather the Redmen to their center from their scattered and dispersed situation, to become the strong arm of Jehovah."

Greatness of the Jaredites and Nephites by Joseph Smith, Sept. 15, 1842.

From an extract from "Stephen's Incidents of Travel in Central America," it will be seen that the proof of the Nephites and Lamanites dwelling on this continent, according to the account in the Book of Mormon, is developing itself in a more satisfactory way than the most sanguine believer in that revelation could have anticipated. It certainly affords us a gratification that the world of mankind does not enjoy, to give publicity to such important developments of the remains and ruins of those mighty people.

When we read in the Book of Mormon that Jared and his brother came on to this continent from the confusion and scattering at the Tower, and lived here more than a thousand years, and covered the whole continent from sea to sea, with towns and cities; and that Lehi sent down by the Red Sea to the great Southern Ocean, and crossed over to this land, and landed a little south of the Isthmus of Darien, and improved the country according to the word of the Lord, as a branch of the house of Israel, and then read such a goodly traditionary account as the one below, we can not but think the Lord has a hand in bringing to pass his strange act, and proving the Book of Mormon true in the eyes of all the people. The extract below, comes as near the real fact, as the four Evangelists do to the crucifixion of Jesus. -- Surely "facts are stubborn things." It will be as it ever has been, the world will prove Joseph Smith a true prophet by circumstantial evidence, in experiments, as they did Moses and Elijah. Now read Stephen's story: 

"According to Fuentes, the chronicler of the kingdom of Guatemala, the kings of Quiche and Cachiquel were descended from the Toltecan Indians, who, when they came into this country, found it already inhabited by people of different nations. According to the manuscripts of Don Juan Torres, the grandson of the last king of the Quiches, which was in the possession of the lieutenant general appointed by Pedro de Alvarado, and which Fuentes says he obtained by means of Father Francis Vasques, the historian of the order of San Francis, the Toltecas themselves descended from the house of Israel, who were released by Moses from the tyranny of Pharaoh, and after crossing the Read Sea, fell into idolatry. To avoid the reproofs of Moses, or from fear of his inflicting upon them some chastisement, they separated from him and his brethren, and under the guidance of Tanub, their chief, passed from one continent to the other, to a place which they called the seven caverns, a part of the kingdom of Mexico, where they founded the celebrated city of Tula."  T&S 3:921-922.



This website is not affiliated with any Church.  We sincerely believe the information on this site which we are trying to put out to the world is true.  We wish to be honorable, and put out only that which is the truth, and deceive no one.  It is our desire to promote people's knowledge and understanding of the very things necessary for their salvation.  We wish to enlighten all people and lift them up, and to hurt no one.  We believe this should be the goal of everyone who professes to be a Christian.