Challenging Issues, Keeping the Faith: A short history of LDS Mesoamerican scholars
At the behest of his friend David Palmer (who held similar views), Sorenson put together this thoughts in an unpublished manuscript that was eventually circulated among his colleagues and friends for critique and input. A number of his colleagues were so impressed that they recommended he seek a wider LDS audience. Eventually an editor at the Ensign magazine invited Sorenson to share some of the highlights of his research. This two-part series was submitted in 1983 and published in the September and October 1984 issues.
By the time Sorenson had submitted his article for the Ensign, nearly 1,500 copies of his manuscript were being circulated among the friends of friends who were originally given copies by Sorenson. The manuscript was updated and polished and in 1985 was printed by FARMS and Deseret Book under the title "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon."
Sorenson had raised the bar for New World Book of Mormon scholarship. While some of the ideas in his book have been rejected or modified by either himself or subsequent scholars, nearly all Book of Mormon scholars recognize that anyone discussing the Book of Mormon in an ancient New World setting would have to engage the arguments and evidence presented by Sorenson.
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