2016 will be a significant year in Book of Mormon studies as many Church members worldwide will learn about the North American setting for the first time.
Wherever I go, the most common feedback I get from LDS members is "North American just makes sense. Central America never really made sense." Percentage-wise, in my experience fewer than 10% of members stick with the Mesoamerican theory once they learn about just these items:
- Letter VII,
- Joseph Smith's statements about the plains of the Nephites and Zelph,
- Benjamin Winchester at the Times and Seasons,
- D&C 125,
- the explanation of how the text itself describes North America, and
-the archaeological, anthropological, geological, and geographic data that supports the North American* geography.
This is going to be an awesome year for the Book of Mormon as Church members around the world will hear much more about all of these items.
*for Dan Peterson and the rest of the Interpreter citation cartel, North America means north of the Rio Grande, not Central America or Mesoamerica.