What is FARMS?

"The Foundation for Ancient Research
and Mormon Studies"

In 1979, John W. Welch, an LDS attorney working in Los Angeles, established the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) as a tax-exempt foundation. Speaking often at firesides, Welch had seen great need for an organization that could coordinate and distribute research on the Book of Mormon.

In 1980 the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies moved to BYU when Welch accepted in position with BYU's law school.

In 1997, President Hinckley invited FARMS to become part of Brigham Young University. In extending the invitation, President Hinckley said: "FARMS represents the efforts of sincere and dedicated scholars. It has grown to provide strong support and defense of the Church on a professional basis. . . . I see a bright future for this effort now through the university."

In 2006, BYU organized the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship with FARMS as a core organization of that institute.

Book of Mormon research has been a major thrust of FARMS since it's organization in 1979. However, the stated "Purpose of FARMS" is much broader. A central focus has been the works of Hugh Nibley. This has expanded the FARMS focus to include the Book of Abraham, the apostasy and the New Testament. Their stated objective "includes the history, language, liturature, culture, geography, politics and law relevant to ancient scripture."

With the establishment of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute, that institute has become the FARMS external interface. The former FARMS website has become the Maxwell Institute website and the FARMS newsletter, the Insight, has become the Maxwell Institute newsletter.

The following website links are provided to aid in understanding the scope and objectives of the Maxwell Institute which now includes, in addition to FARMS, BYU Studies, the Center for the Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts (CPART), the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative (METI), and a Research Technology Group (RTG) that has developed and maintains a text retrieval and analysis program called WordCruncher.






Maxwell Institute subscriptions, are available for $25. This subscription includes the monthly INSIGHT newsletter, the twice yearly Book of Mormon Journal, discount prices on many books and other publications which relate to the serious study of the scriptures, and a one year access to the member section of the Maxwell Institute website. However, much of this website, which includes all of the above and the FARMS Review of Books, a multitude of papers, and video selections is available without this subscription.

link to Maxwell Institute website

Check out the Maxwell Institute Online. You can download many excellent articles, read the most recent and all past issues of Insight, and browse their latest catalog. If you're interested in the Book of Mormon, the Maxwell Institute and FARMS are a must!