Over nearly three decades FARMS researchers and authors have made significant contributions to our understanding of the origins, the text, and the peoples of the Book of Mormon. This work has greatly enhanced our appreciation and comprehension of the cultures and authors who produced this record. The value of this work to every Book of Mormon student, even the necessity of our knowledge and understanding of these modern insights, is suggested by this counsel given the BYU student body by John Welch, the founder of FARMS:
"The Book of Mormon remains a book sealed by many seals. Proper tools and methods will unlock more and more of them and of its fullness to us. It is sealed to us by our unfaithfulness and lack of prayer. It is sealed to us by our inattention to detail and background information. It is sealed to us in part by its nature because it is an abridgment. It is sealed further by our failure to listen to the Brethren and to apply the teachings of the Book of Mormon to ourselves daily. It is sealed when we take its divine origins and simple elegance lightly. It is sealed when we fail to see the people of the book as they saw themselves. It is sealed when we don't blank out our eyes and when we don't stop hearing what we want to hear. We must sit back and let the Book of Mormon speak to us, instead of us to it. Now the book is supposed to speak from the dust; that doesn't mean the dust of our bookshelves. All this will take tremendous effort. But the promised rewards are more than worth it.
"With faith, diligence, and prayerful study, the locks will open and this book will be unsealed in our lives."
(From "Study, Faith, and the Book of Mormon,"