Here are my observations from Roots Tech.
Most members of the Church still believe the Hill Cumorah is in New York. Relatively few realize that LDS intellectuals have been teaching a "two-Cumorahs" theory. When they hear about this, they are skeptical.
Then when I show them Letter VII and the other teachings of the prophets that confirm Letter VII, they are even more perplexed by M2C (Mesoamerican/two Cumorahs theory).
Inevitably, they ask why the intellectuals promote M2C. I usually explain that they originally thought they were vindicating what they thought were Joseph Smith's statements in the Times and Seasons. Now that we realize Joseph not only didn't write those anonymous articles, but he had no involvement with them, the intellectuals claim those articles were not the basis for M2C. This revisionist history doesn't work, though; as I've shown, M2C originated specifically because of those anonymous articles.
Now, M2C has a life of its own, thanks to confirmation bias. The M2C intellectuals will continue to insist that the illusory correspondences between Mayan civilization and the M2C interpretation of the Book of Mormon are valid, but they have the fundamental problem that they are repudiating the prophets for no reason except to defend M2C.
Education is the key.
Once members of the Church learn what the prophets have consistently taught, it's an easy choice between the prophets and the intellectuals. The M2C intellectuals argue that the prophets were merely expressing their opinions and that they were wrong, but that's an ineffective argument for most members of the Church.
This is why the M2C citation cartel never publishes articles from those who support the New York Cumorah and the North American setting (Moroni's America and the Heartland). They know that most members of the Church will reject M2C if they are presented with both settings on a side-by-side basis.
As a reminder, the M2C citation cartel includes FairMormon, BYU Studies, BookofMormonCentral, the Interpreter, Meridian Magazine, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, and BMAF.org. All of these groups collude to suppress information that contradicts M2C, as do many BYU/CES teachers, including those who teach the Book of Mormon classes at BYU. They all reject the prophets as ignorant speculators who misled Church members about the New York Cumorah for 180 years.
As if that's not bad enough, when members learn about all the evidence that corroborates the prophets, they reject M2C completely.
That's why, in the Internet age when the M2C citation cartel cannot continue to suppress information forever, M2C is destined to disintegrate.
I'll resume the Cumorah series next week, when we will get into the evidence.
For now, here is my handout. Feel free to share it.
Of course, this opens the door for the intellectuals to teach their students that the prophets are wrong about other topics as well. According to the intellectuals, the prophets are correct only when they agree with the intellectuals.
|BYU Studies M2C map|
|BYU fantasy map|