FARMS was an entirely Mesoamerican-focused project.

According to wikipedia,

The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) was an informal collaboration of academics devoted to Latter-day Saint historical scholarship. In 1997, the group became a formal part of Brigham Young University (BYU). In 2006, the group became a formal part of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, formerly known as the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, BYU. BYU is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). FARMS has since been absorbed into the Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies.

FARMS supported and sponsored what it considered to be “faithful scholarship”, which includes academic study and research in support of Christianity and Mormonism, and in particular, the official position of the LDS Church. This research primarily concerned the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Old Testament, the New Testament, early Christian history, ancient temples, and other related subjects. While allowing some degree of academic freedom to its scholars, FARMS was committed to the conclusion that LDS scriptures are authentic, historical texts written by prophets of God. FARMS has been criticized by scholars and critics who classify it as an apologetics organization that operated under the auspices of the LDS Church.


In my view, FARMS started out with some very useful, groundbreaking material. Eventually it degenerated into an mean-spirited apologist journal. Its editor was fired by the Maxwell Institute.

The Maxwell Institute retains the FARMS articles in its archive, which in turn is being ported over to Book of Mormon Central, so I’ll comment on a few of them.