Because there are so many holes and flaws with the idea that the Book of Mormon geography took place in South America or Mesoamerica…
Holes and flaws:
1. There are two Cumorahs: the New York Cumorah is not the Book of Mormon Cumorah.
2. Moroni carries the gold plates, Urim and Thummim etc 2500 miles to New York but never mentions this.
3. Isthmus of Tuhantepec is North-South instead of East-West.
4. The Isthmus is 125 miles wide: not your typically 1.5 day march by a Nephite.
….A relatively new idea has emerged. Rodney Meldrum and many other LDS church members think that the correct area is actually North America around the great lakes, and he affirms that this is what Joseph Smith taught as well. You can view some of these ideas here (just click on an icon to view the video clips).
The problem is, that this idea contradicts these findings. The findings say that Native American’s came from Asia alone, not Israel. So Native American’s are not Lamanites. Even if there were advanced, lost Native American settlements around the great lakes, they have the wrong ancestors.
The argument; however, is that there might be a sliver of possibility that a very limited amount of Native Americans actually came from Israel like the Book of Mormon purports. FAIR (Mormon apologists) are skeptical of the North American location based on sketchy DNA evidence, but say that because scientific studies are not 100% iron-clad fact this gives room for the possibility. This sort of summarizes the theory.
During the 1800s, a common folklore was that Jews — particularly the Lost Ten Tribes — were the ancestors of Native Americans and the mound builders of North America. The Book of Mormon (first published in 1830) provides an example of this belief, as its narrative describes two waves of immigration to the Americas from Mesopotamia: the Jaredites (ca. 3000 – 2000 BCE) and an Israelite group in 590 BCE (called Nephites, Lamanites and Mulekites). The Book of Mormon depicts these settlers’ building magnificent cities, only to be later destroyed by warfare around 385 CE. Some Mormon scholars have considered The Book of Mormon narrative a description of the mound-building cultures.
The main problem with saying that evidence of a lost civilization in the great lakes area of North American proves the Book of Mormon is that Joseph Smith knew of this popular 1800’s debate over this possibility and was a fan of the protestant Roger Williams who actively preached about the lost Native American civilizations of North America. The Book of Mormon would be a lot more convincing if it was about an ancient civilization that Joseph didn’t already have an opinion, and knowledge about before he produced the book.
What do you think?