Despite all the scriptures directly, pointedly stating the land was preserved for ONLY the righteous (see 2 Ne 1:5-9, 1 Ne 13, 2 Ne 3:2, 2 Ne 10:10-12, 3 Ne 20:14, Ether 2:5-9, etc)...
FAIR and other mopologists pick out a few stray verses to show that the BoM implies there were other less righteous groups here that were not obeying God and had not been swept away as prophesied.
*Captain Moroni's Wars: (Alma 43) the claim is-- the Lamanites were recruiting for their war efforts among Amerindians, and vastly outnumbered the nephites for this reason.
...FAIR quotes v.13-14 to claim that the descendant Lamanites number about the same as the descendant Nephites. But they neglect to see an interpretation where the word "descendants" in v.14 refer to the list at the end of v.13. In other words, the dissenters from the Nephites numbered about equal to the remaining Nephites. And that means the Lamamite numbers were increased by recruiting from among apostate Nephites, decimating them by half!
...FAIR then uses Alma 43:51 (same chapter) to illustrate that suddenly the Nephites looked vastly outnumbered by the large Lamanite war machine. They neglected, however, to note that in v.44 "many of the Nephites were slain by their [Lamanite] hands". So, even if we were to agree with FAIR that at the start the total Lamanite population equaled the Nephite population, by v. 51 more Nephites had been slain (in v.44) and now we can see why the Lamanites were more numerous. None of this requires any so-called Amerindian recruitment.
*Zoramites: (see Alma 31:35) FAIR uses the words "our brethren" to imply that not all the zoramites were of Lehi's seed and so it must mean they are "others".
...simply, "brethren" here just as easily could mean "nephite" in the context that Alma is on a mission there and even refered to his companions in v. 32 to indicate who he meant as "our". The FAIR broader definition of "our" is not as applicable for this reason.
*Bountiful: (see Alma 50:32) claim is people of Bountiful were "others"
...silly. Bountiful was populated by nephites (Alma 22:33), who feared the lamanites sweeping toward them (and later were conquered (Alma 51:28)) such that they were thinking of forming an alliance, as proposed by Morianton (a nephite with a tattling maid). That's all 50:32 was mentioning.
*Sherem: (see Jacob 7) the claim is-- the population was too small for them not to know everyone, and Sherem had never met Jacob, the chief Nephite priest (see Jacob 7:1-26), and he had come from some other settlement.
....But Sherem called him "Brother Jacob" and contended that he perverted the Law of Moses, and that Sherem believed in the scriptures. If he was a Bering Strait migrant, these would not be true.
*Amulek: (Alma 8) the first claim is-- Amulek introduced himself to Alma with the words, "I am a Nephite" (v.20). Since Ammonihah was nominally under Nephite rule Amulek's statement seems nonsensical to mopologists, unless many, perhaps most, of the people in the land of Ammonihah did not consider themselves to be Nephites, by whatever criteria.
...V7-9 show that Ammonihah was thought of as a Nephite city, v.11-12 says they were not members of Alma's church nor believed, but were a part of his gov rule. So when Amulek sees Alma, he wants to let him know he's different than the non-believers. "And the man said unto him: I am a Nephite, and I know that thou art a holy prophet of God." Duh?
*Second Amulek claim: (Alma 10:1-3) he states his lineage to the people of Ammonihah. Some critics have believed he wouldn't do this if the city were Nephites, cause they'd all already know they were nephites. Therefore, he did it because the people of that city weren't really Nephites or Lamanites, but "others".
...Amulek gives his reason for rolling out the family tree in v.4--" I am also a man of no small reputation among all those who know me..." In fact, it would seem the counter argument makes more sense. That Amulek (and by inference Mormon) would take the time (and space on the plates) to give his lineage means that it was of utter most importance to the Ammonihahs. If they were "others" from Beringa travelers, they'd give a flying fig about Giddonah, Ishmael and Nephi. Accordingly, I think Joe Smith had created the Mormon character as very interested in keeping it because his lineage was about to come to an end.
FAIR concludes by quoting J. Sorenson: "Hereafter, readers will not be justified in saying that the record fails to mention 'others' but only that we readers have hitherto failed to observe what is said and implied about such people in the Book of Mormon."
Right, focus on failing to see what's "implied", while ignoring what is plainly there. Typical FAIR thinking.
A more reasonable explanation for all of this is when Smith or whoever made-up the BoM wrote it, they assumed population growth rates that were not realistic, while trying to maintain a single hypothesis (the one commonly held at the time) of ancient Hebrews colonizing America.
All in all, FAIR squints very hard to find verses that imply there might have just possibly been "others" who are lost in the text, came from pre-flood Bering Strait Migrations and were evil enough to often join the Lamanite war cry.
They find these crystal ball revelations while ignoring direct, pointed scriptures stating the land was preserved only for righteous people ("where never had man been...preserved for a righteous people...and whatsoever nation shall possess it shall serve God, or they shall be swept off" (Ether 2:5-9)).
This is not a new argument being used by the apologists. I used to subsribe to FARMS and used the articles when I taught gospel doctrine.
I was deeply disturbed by the DNA evidence against the BOM, so I focused a lot of attention on the articles defending this. Several years ago, there were articles suggesting the same thing, that the BOM implies or suggests that others lived among the Nephites and Lamanites. These articles go through the population numbers and acknowledge that the populations could not explode that fast on their own without combing with other groups.
They talk about 2 Nephi 1:10,11 that when the people dwindle in unbelief then g_d will bring in other nations and take the land away from them. They state that since Laman and Lemual were already in a state of apostasy, that other people were already in the land or being brought in.
They are ignoring that in v.8 it states that the land was as yet kept from the knowledge of other nations.
I have kept all my FARMS articles, but am in the process of getting rid of them, if anyone wants them, now is the time to speak up.
But the church taught that when Lehi and his family landed, there was "no one" here and they could populate at will on a human-barren land of milk and honey....suddenly there were "others??" Something to blame the DNA on?? Ok...