The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) is an informal collaboration of academics devoted to Mormon apologetics. The group is formally part of the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts at Brigham Young University (BYU), which is operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
FARMS supports and sponsors what it considers to be "faithful scholarship", which includes academic study and research in support of Christianity and Mormonism, and in particular, where possible, the official position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This research primarily concerns the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, the Old Testament the New Testament, early Christian history, ancient temples, and other related subjects. While the organization allows some degree of academic freedom within these topics, FARMS is committed to the conclusion that Latter-day Saint scriptures are authentic, historical texts written by prophets of God.
FARMS was organized in 1979 as a private not-for-profit organization. In 1997, FARMS became part of Brigham Young University after an invitation by Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and chairman of the BYU Board of Trustees. In extending the invitation, Hinckley noted: "FARMS represents the efforts of sincere and dedicated scholars. It has grown to provide strong support and defense of the Church on a professional basis. I wish to express my strong congratulations and appreciation for those who started this effort and who have shepherded it to this point."
In 2001, FARMS ceased to become a separate entity and within Brigham Young University, which consolidated FARMs with a number of related academic concerns to form the Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts. However, the title FARMS is still used informally to refer to a distinctive cluster of BYU faculty and staff.
A number of periodicals and books have been published under the FARMS imprint, including:
- Journal of Book of Mormon Studies (http://farms.byu.edu/publications/jbmsmain.php). A scholarly journal, published semiannually, devoted to the latest research on the Book of Mormon.
- FARMS Review (http://farms.byu.edu/publications/reviewmain.php). A review journal, published semiannually. It focuses on books and articles written about Mormonism and the Book of Mormon.
- Insights (http://farms.byu.edu/publications/insightsmain.php). A newsletter, published semimonthly, providing updates on the latest FARMS research, as well as current events, reports on conferences and symposia, scripture insights, and announcements of new publications.
FARMS has also republished many of the writings of LDS scholar Hugh Nibley in the 14-volume Collected Works of Hugh Nibley.