John L. Sorenson (born April 8, 1924)[1] is an emeritus professor of anthropology at Brigham Young University (BYU) and the author of An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon as well as many other books and articles on the Book of Mormon and archaeology.

Sorenson first did archaeological work in Mesoamerica while pursuing a master's degree at BYU. From January until June 1953 he was involved in the New World Archaeological Foundation's initial fieldwork (under the direction of Pedro Armillas) in the state of Tabasco in Mexico.[2]

Sorenson holds a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles. He began teaching at BYU in 1963, and he later established the BYU's anthropology department. He also served as head of Social Sciences for General Research Corporation based in Santa Barbara, California, and was the founder of Bonneville Research Corporation.

For a time he served as editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies.

Sorenson has authored or co-authored some 200 books and articles including Mormon's Codex: An Ancient American Book (2013), An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (1985), Transoceanic Culture Contacts between the Old and New Worlds in Pre-Columbian Times: A Comprehensive Annotated Bibliography (with Martin Raish, 1988), Images of Ancient America: Visualizing Book of Mormon Life (1998), Mormon’s Map (2000), and World Trade and Biological Exchanges before 1492 (with Carl L. Johannessen, 2004).

While being a proponent of the historicity of the Book of Mormon,[3] Sorenson has also attacked the poor scholarship that some have used in defending the Book of Mormon.[4]

Sorenson is the father of 8 children, all boys, has one adopted daughter, 23 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren. He has served as bishop of the BYU 99th Ward.


  1. ^ "Community development in the American West : past and present nineteenth..." Copyright Catalog (1978 to present). United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2010-01-25.[failed verification]
  2. ^ Peterson, Daniel C. (2004), "On the New World Archaeological Foundation", FARMS Review, 16 (1): 221–233
  3. ^ Sorenson, John L. (September 1992), "I Have a Question: I have heard that the sizes of the Nephite and Lamanite populations indicated in the Book of Mormon do not make sense. What do we know about their numbers?", Ensign: 27-28[original research?]
  4. ^ Sorenson, John L. (Spring 1976), "Instant Expertise on Book of Mormon Archaelogy", BYU Studies, 16 (3), archived from the original on 2013-10-01


Further readingEdit