The question of where the Book of Mormon took place is of great interest to most latter-day saints. Yet confusion has reigned, with over 150 proposed geographies ranging in scale from the entire western hemisphere to that of a small country. Over the past several years the Heartland theory has challenged the Mesoamerica theories as the most widely accepted.
While the Heartland geography model has demonstrated its ability to resolve almost every Book of Mormon textual, prophetic and scientific question regarding its authenticity, questions resulting from temple dedicatory prayers and prophetic utterances regarding Lamanite connections with the peoples of Central America continue to hold some to the Mesoamerican ideas – despite overwhelming evidence in support of the Heartland geography.
Mesoamerica archaeologist Mark Alan Wright made a good-faith attempt to reconcile the two dominant theories in an article wherein he proposed a synthesis between the two models by having the main, or core population of the Nephites centered in Mesoamerica, with some small Nephite migrations resulted in forming a periphery people in the north. Thus, acknowledging Joseph Smith’s revelatory statements, such as Zelph, his letter to Emma and the altar at Adam-ondi-Ahman, that Nephites were in America’s Heartland.
Building on Brother Wright’s reconciliatory efforts, it became clear that a synthesis of both models could be attained simply by flipping his idea. Instead of the core Nephite lands being in Mesoamerica with a peripheral population migrating into North America, what if it was found that it was reversed? Suddenly everything works!
Join Book of Mormon scholar and best-selling author Rod Meldrum as he lays out a deeper understanding of not only where the Book of Mormon took place, but how the Mesoamerican peoples fit into what happened on in North America between the end of the Nephite civilization and the arrival of the European colonists. The story is absolutely fascinating!