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Intellect

Book of Mormon scholar to discuss "Mormon's Sources" in BYU lecture Sept. 8

John L. Sorenson, professor emeritus of anthropology at Brigham Young University and a leading expert in Book of Mormon cultures and geography, will present the second biennial Laura F. Willes Center Book of Mormon Lecture Thursday, Sept. 8., at 7 p.m. in the Assembly Hall of the Gordon B. Hinckley Alumni and Visitors Center.

Admission is free, and the public is welcome.

The lecture, “Mormon’s Sources,” reflects an intriguing question that Sorenson has been unable to address systematically in his Book of Mormon research until now: Where did Mormon obtain his historical information? That is, was it all on the large plates? He will take up this and related questions drawing on methods and perspectives sharpened over decades of scholarly investigation.

Sorenson has authored more than 200 books and articles, including "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon" (Deseret Book and FARMS, 1985). That study matched empirical data from scientific research with hundreds of geographical, historical and cultural details gleaned from the Book of Mormon narrative. His ongoing research in this area continues to flesh out a coherent, plausible model with a text-based criteria that is valuable to those attempting to place the peoples and events of the Book of Mormon within a real-world setting.

He was closely involved with the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) for 28 years, including five years as editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.

Since his retirement from BYU, Sorenson has pursued research in the cultures of Book of Mormon peoples, ancient civilizations and social dimensions of Mormonism. A common thread running through his academic work has been processing massive volumes of detail in order to formulate general statements and to make cultural workings more transparent.

The lecture is sponsored by the Laura F. Willes Center, which was formed in 2007 to encourage and support research on the Book of Mormon and is an integral part of BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.

For more information, contact Paul Hoskisson, 801-422-4329, pyh@byu.edu.

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