Excerpts of N. America preferred site for LDS film By Sharon Haddock, Deseret News, Published: Friday, Oct. 2, 2009 9:23 p.m. MDT
LDS filmmaker Kieth Merrill says he picked the background for "The Testaments" by default and if he had it to do over, he would have sought locations in North America rather than Central and South America.
Speaking Friday at the Book of Mormon Prophecies Conference at the Zermatt, Merrill said he believes evidence supports a North American backdrop in the "promised land" for the Book of Mormon stories, wars and visits from Jesus Christ.
"I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I can't say I know where it all took place," Merrill said as he addressed a packed house as the conference's keynote speaker. "I'm the guy who made the biggest, most expensive film (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) has ever made, and I put it in the wrong place."
Merrill said his mental map has been altered by DNA experts who are not finding hard evidence that the Book of Mormon people ever lived in Central America and by researchers such as Rod Meldrum, the author of the new DVD "DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography." Meldrum and other researchers argue that the Nephites and Lamanites lived in the same basic area of the United States where the LDS Church was founded.