Stuart Fergusen

Stuart Ferguson - Not an Archaeologist

Latter-day Saint Thomas Stuart Ferguson was the founder of BYU’s archaeology division (New World Archaeological Foundation). NWAF was financed by the LDS Church. NWAF and Ferguson were tasked by BYU and the Church in the 1950s and 1960s to find archaeological evidence to support the Book of Mormon. After 17 years of diligent effort, this is what Ferguson wrote in a February 20, 1976 letter about trying to dig up evidence for the Book of Mormon: can’t set Book of Mormon geography down anywhere – because it is fictional and will never meet the requirements of the dirt-archaeology. I should say – what is in the ground will never conform to what is in the book.

CES Letter, Page 12

It is surprising that The CES Letter includes references to Thomas Ferguson because his works are dated and he was not a professional anthropologist or geologist.

Born in Pocatello, Idaho, on 21 May 1915, Thomas Stuart Ferguson received degrees in political science and law from the University of California and practiced law in Orinda, California. He died March 16, 1983.

Ferguson expended an immense amount of time, money, and energy into authenticating the Book of Mormon through archaeological research, which he performed and supported. He became disenchanted because he could not correlate the geography with the descriptions found in the Book of Mormon.

Ferguson’s books and articles were published from 1941 to 1962.

Ferguson's memory has been kept alive, not because of his enduring scholarship and field research studies, but by critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who are less interested in accuracy than in promoting a critical agenda.

John L. Sorenson’s 826 page book, Mormon’s Codexis a dense presentation of several hundred artifacts and cultural evidences supporting a specific ancient setting for the Book of Mormon. His  research is not conclusive, but critics who reference Ferguson’s works should also acknowledge the abundant parallels Sorenson has identified. Sorenson's work transcends Ferguson's dated and amateur research in many ways including depth of study, field investigation, and scholarship.