The Maxwell Institute’s Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies was founded in 2007. We sponsor scholarly research and publications on the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Our mission is to increase understanding and appreciation for this scriptural text.
The Willes Center supports an interdisciplinary approach to the Book of Mormon with attention to literary, historical, religious, political, military, legal, social, economic, theological, and basic textual concerns. We also study the life of the Book of Mormon as a text—from inception to transmission and reception—from the ancient world through the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries. We believe the Book of Mormon deserves analysis as an ancient and as a modern text.
The Willes Center also seeks to enlist scholars beyond Brigham Young University, whether Latter-day Saint or not, to engage with the Book of Mormon in the wider academic community. We sponsor conferences, workshops, and symposia with other major universities in the country. Our work will engender greater respect for and understanding of the Book of Mormon as a religious text, fostering a climate of collaboration in which LDS scholars from various disciplines can dialogue with their non-LDS peers. In this climate, LDS and non-LDS scholars can study the Book of Mormon’s text in new and enriching ways.
—Brian Hauglid, Willes Center director