Book of Mormon Stories

When I was young, Primary children, including myself, sang this little dity using questionable hand motions. By the time I was a Merrie Miss, though, we weren’t doing the actions anymore, because they were deemed (rightly so, I think) offensive. Perhaps coincidentally, we started singing less of this song. I have been under the impression that new hand motions would be developed to substitute for the former ones, but have not spent much time in Primary since I was 12, so I don’t know them.

I was very interested yesterday when the Primary chorister came in to nursery, where I was helping out, and selected this song to sing with the 1 and 2 year olds. She started out with the hand motions I knew: the opening book, the pointing to self. I was waiting to learn the new motions for the questionable text, “are about the Lamanites in ancient his-to-ry”–aren’t those Book of Mormon stories also about the Nephites?–and couldn’t quite believe my eyes when she put her two fingers behind her head, imitating a head-dress. The waving arms of the sea, the open hand indicating the land, and then the characaturist crossed arms and head bow.

I went home and questioned my more Primary-savy family members, none of whom knew different motions. They confirmed that their own units used these. I looked on and only found the ASL version, which seems a better use of our hands than what we have been doing; but are not a substitute, just a different language.

Does anyone know different motions?

Am I the only one bothered by teaching 1-year-olds these racially inelegant movements?