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Mormon's Codex: An Ancient American Book [Kindle Edition]

John L. Sorenson
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Leading scholar and author John L. Sorenson brilliantly synthesizes in this volume his work from 60 years of academic study of ancient Mesoamerica and its relationship to the Book of Mormon.

Here Sorenson reveals that the Book of Mormon exhibits what one would expect of a historical document produced in the context of ancient Mesoamerican civilization. He also shows that scholars’ discoveries about Mesoamerica and the contents of the Nephite record are clearly related. Indeed, Sorenson lists more than 400 points where the Book of Mormon text corresponds to characteristic Mesoamerican situations, statements, allusions, and history.

Are we to simply suppose that mere coincidence can account for similarities of this magnitude? The parallels are too striking and too sweeping to answer in the affirmative. Even the greatest savant of the early 19th century—let alone a marginally literate frontier farm boy—could not possibly have produced a volume as rich in Mesoamericana as the Book of Mormon.

The only format in which a record such as the Book of Mormon could have been preserved is that of a native Mesoamerican book, referred to by scholars as a codex. According to the record itself, the text was compiled by a man named Mormon, who lived in the Mesoamerican isthmus area in the late fourth century. Mormon passed the record to his son Moroni, who survived him by more than 35 years and made modest additions to the text.

A significant contribution to the fields of Book of Mormon studies and Mesoamerican studies, Mormon’s Codex is John Sorenson’s magnum opus. It contains copious explanatory material, extensive footnotes, over 1,300 bibliographical references, illustrations, an appendix, and detailed maps. This long-awaited volume will appeal to informed general readers, archaeologists, and scholars alike

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Product Details

  • File Size: 4983 KB
  • Print Length: 826 pages
  • Publisher: Deseret Book (October 10, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F64T8SA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #516,390 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorenson's Magnum Opus September 11, 2013
In 1976, John L. Sorenson published "The Book of Mormon as a Mesoamerican Codex." That was followed by his 1985 landmark "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon." Now, at age 89, the dean of LDS Mesoamericanists has capped his life's work with a handsomely-illustrated, weighty volume that will define him to the next generation of Book of Mormon students and scholars. This book will become a classic and remain in print for decades as his 1985 piece has done. John and I have been friends since 1974. He is a meticulous scholar who grasps the big picture but pays attention to minute details. At BYU, his long rows of filing cabinets were legendary. Author of more than 200 scholarly works, Sorenson is in a class with Hugh W. Nibley and John W. Welch as scholars of Mormonism and particularly the Mormon canon. Sorenson and Welch worked together for nearly 30 years at F.A.R.M.S. (Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies), now the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. Heavily footnoted with an 85 page bibliography, "Mormon's Codex: An Ancient American Book" has thoughtful insights on nearly every page. Don't let the hefty price deter you. Serious students of the Book of Mormon should read this book which will occupy a place of honor in LDS and Restoration Branch libraries for years to come.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon September 9, 2013
This is the ultimate scholarly book placing the Book of Mormon events in an ancient Mesoamerican setting. Sorenson lists more than 400 points "where the Book of Mormon text corresponds to characteristic Mesoamerican situations, statements, allusions, and history." These correspondences, along with 1300 bibliographic references and a detailed index, make this book a must have.

As Sorenson writes, "the parallels are too striking and too sweeping" to think (1) that Book of Mormon events could have taken place anywhere but in Mesoamerica and (2) that a "marginally literate frontier farm boy" could possibly have produced a volume so rich in Mesoamericana.

Having carefully read and annotated Sorenson's earlier 1985 book "An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon," I could not wait to buy this latest work when it appeared on store shelves today--considering that the book must include over 28 years of additional scholarship on this topic. The immediate thing I noticed were the beautiful maps, more sharp in their topographical details, and this time in rich color. Also the beautiful photographs in the center section add a depth of immediacy to the text of Sorenson's book and especially the Book of Mormon text.

Coming in at over 826 pages, with a striking dust jacket, the book itself feels good in the hands.

An hour's perusal reveals that Sorenson continues his unswerving commitment to examining the text of the Book of Mormon itself in regard to its setting, rather than examining extra-textual statements about the Book's setting.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Powerful January 19, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I just finished this interesting book. Sorensen does a great job showing that the best explanation for the Book of Mormon is that someone who was intimately familiar with ancient Mesoamerican history must have written it.

Sorensen divides his evidence and arguments into two categories "broad" and "specific" or "special" correspondences. His task is to show that the Book of Mormon has numerous correspondences with Mesoamerican history in the correct time period. He does this effectively in my opinion, through mostly "broad" correspondences.

Instead of using "broad" or "special" I would use the terms "strong" "medium" "weak" and "deficient." All of the types of evidence he gives, even the "weak" evidence add to the force of the main thesis: that the Book of Mormon is about an actual Mesoamerican people. Some internet debaters assume that if one argument is not strong, then it is actually an argument AGAINST the proposition. But as a lawyer, I know that if I have ten weak pieces of evidence, an intelligent jury or judge will understand the cumulative case for the proposition is strong.

I would put most of Sorensen's evidence in the weak or medium categories, but there are so many of them that the intelligent reader will feel the force of the argument. I don't recall any of the arguments or evidences being deficient or questionable.

Nevertheless, there are several really strong (imho) arguments. To me, the strongest arguments have most of the following characteristics:
1. Joseph Smith wouldn't have known about it.
2. They fit Mesoamerican life in an exact particular.
3. They have an Old World connection as well.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for a specific audience. January 6, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In as much as I find myself recommending this book to others, who have a mutual interest, I must really like the content. Since I live in Guatemala, this book has heightened my awareness of pains taking research by many much more capable than myself. I am grateful for many scholars significant efforts (Sorenson's footnotes encompass 15 to 20% of the text) to bring to light much of what many scholars of history, archeology & anthropology have to offer). Though Dr. Sorenson has a specific agenda I feel he openly ask many poignant questions the everyday student would not have the point of reference to ask--then Dr. Sorenson presents the research and opinions of many scholars. The work is meaningful to me.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mormon's Codex: An interesting and problematic argument for the Book...
Dr. Sorenson (Ph.D. in Anthropology, UCLA; professor emeritus, BYU) argues the Book of Mormon is an historical document because it contains details about ancient Mesoamerica which... Read more
Published 7 days ago by Grant C. Price, Spanish Fork, Utah
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very scholarly book.
Published 1 month ago by Mary M. Parker
5.0 out of 5 stars great detailed information
great book, a lifetime work of Sorenson.
Published 1 month ago by Heinz
5.0 out of 5 stars Mormons Codex
The Mormons Codex proves that the book of Mormon is true, another testament of Jesus Christ. I am going to let others look at it , and get there views on the book.
Published 2 months ago by larry schmidt
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and carefully researched
This book was very easy to read for a nonscholar. The maps are very well researched. For anyone Mormon over non-Mormon who is curious about the geographic basis of the book of... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sean H.
3.0 out of 5 stars A good Summation!
Sorenson has published a lot of Book of Mormon material over the years. This book is a good accumulation of all of the evidence that he has put together in support of his position... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Allen B.
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable, professional, accurate and packed
I studied Book of Mormon archaeology from non-LDS sources first and found the Mesoamerican model to fit the scriptural and modern-day prophetic references. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Adam
5.0 out of 5 stars Presents a strong case that the events of the Book of Mormon took...
John L Sorenson an LDS scholar and has been studying ancient Mesoamerica for the past 60 years and has come up with a map of where he thinks the events of the Book of Mormon took... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jeffrey Van Wagoner
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