For six weeks in the summer of 2012, eight student scholars from all over the United States and from Europe met daily in the Maxwell Institute library to discuss and research the topic “The Cultural History of the Gold Plates.” This seminar was hosted by the Maxwell Institute and directed by Richard Bushman. The Summer Seminar Papers 2012 are the result of the research done by the students and were presented at a BYU symposium on June 23, 25, and 26, 2012.

The Moroni Principle: The Mormon Quest for Metal Plates during the Cheesman Years

Bryan W. Cottle

In 1973 respected non-LDS archaeologist Michael D. Coe contributed an article to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought titled, “Mormons and Archaeology: An Outside View.” In this piece he politely addressed the issue of Mormon archaeology giving credit to Mormon archaeologists when credit was due but also critiquing those whose approach was principally to use archaeological evidence to prove the Book of Mormon to be true. Towards the end of the article he stated, “nothing, absolutely nothing, has ever shown up in any New World excavation which would suggest to a dispassionate observer that the Book of Mormon, as claimed by Joseph Smith, is a historical document relating to the history of early migrants to our hemisphere.”1 Coe went on to comment that he had compassion for those Mormon archaeologists who went out of their way to use archaeological evidence to prove the Book of Mormon. Expanding on these feelings, he said that his compassion was “the same kind of compassion that one feels for persons who are engaged on quests that have been, are now, and always will be unproductive.”2 Coe’s comments certainly strike a nerve for Mormons who tirelessly research, work, and believe that archaeological evidence will eventually come to side with Book of Mormon claims. Even apart from Mormon scholars, many Mormons who envision the Mesoamerican world through a Book of Mormon lens would also find these comments upsetting.

In the context of Coe’s statements, important questions can be asked. Why do many Mormons, whether scholars or not, have an interest in gold pates and Mesoamerican research? What is behind the drive to find these evidences? The mere quest for such evidences would bring ridicule, especially since the few scholars even open to the idea of Book of Mormon historical possibilities are viewed as being outside of the mainstream in their own disciplines.3 In order to understand the power behind the Mormon quest for Book of Mormon evidences we must first understand the intimate relationship between Mormons and the divine. In the Mormon community, practitioners go through a conversion experience referred to as “gaining a testimony.” The concept of gaining a testimony is found in Moroni 10:4 where believers are instructed to pray about the Book of Mormon, asking God if it is true. As long as the question is posed with a “sincere heart” and “real intent,” it is promised that the Holy Ghost “will manifest the truth of it unto you.” However, the scripture goes beyond describing how to know the Book of Mormon is true. Moroni 10:5 indicates that through the Holy Ghost one may “know the truth of all things.” The important word in this passage is “know.” In testimony meetings it is the culture of Mormons to express their testimony gained through this procedure in terms of doubtless knowledge. This is what I will refer to as the “Moroni principle.” Through the Moroni principle, Mormons receive a paradigmatic experience in which they obtain a direct confirmation from the divine regarding the truthfulness of the world contained within the Book of Mormon. This direct confirmation is often hard for Mormons to explain. Culturally, Mormons have used descriptive phrases such as a “burning in the bosom,” a “tingling sensation,” or “an overwhelming feeling of peace” to describe the transcendence of the Holy Ghost confirming Book of Mormon truthfulness. This truthfulness is generally assumed to imply historicity.

After receiving a confirmation of this truthfulness, Mormons now possess new controlling assumptions- a new interpretive paradigm- that they use to organize and understand the world around them. For many believers this means the recognition of God in everyday events, be it recovering from an illness or arriving safely to a destination. In Robert Orsi’s terminology, the Moroni principle gives the believer “new combinations of reality, new experiences and perceptions,”4 perceptions that are based on an encounter with the supernatural in the course of everyday life.5 This encounter Orsi refers to as an abundant event.6 However, for a small minority of academically inclined Mormons the Moroni principle can function as an interpretive paradigm for evaluating archaeological data. When these Mormons look at artifacts in the course of their scholarship they don’t see or feel the supernatural such as a visible angel or the transcendence of the Holy Ghost. Instead they envision the presence of Nephites. Thus, in a slight contrast to Robert Orsi’s abundant events, the abundance they see is not supernatural as much as it is artifactual and historical. It is an abundance of sacred Book of Mormon-like records and evidences of an ancient world (see 2 Nephi 29:12). This historical abundance is formed after the initial experience of the supernatural in which they accept the world of the Book of Mormon as true. From this abundance, the new paradigm shifts their focus to artifacts and history without the involvement of the supernatural. The Moroni principle, in testifying of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, lends itself to a unique form of historic abundance- a historic abundance that comes from the historical claims of Mormonism. Hence, the Moroni principle is not just knowledge of the supernatural, but also knowledge of the historical.

In looking through Brigham Young University’s Special Collections, I have discovered that this Moroni principle functioned as an archaeological paradigm for past BYU professor Paul Cheesman. Cheesman’s archaeological work was a lifelong effort to bring attention to, and also prove, the Book of Mormon. However, to more strongly show the power of the Moroni principle, I will compare Cheesman to his fellow Mormon archaeologist Thomas Ferguson. While Cheesman successfully applied his Mormon paradigm to the archaeological record, Ferguson’s Mormon lens was shattered by the inconsistencies and frustrations he encountered during his quest. The reason for the different outcomes of these two archaeologists is found in their approaches. Cheesman’s work indicates that he set out to sustain the knowledge he had derived through the Moroni principle. Ferguson set out to test his testimony against archaeological discoveries. This subtle but greatly important difference indicates different levels of openness to the possibility of disconfirmation. Despite their different stories, a comparison between these two will highlight the power of the Moroni principle in the Mormon quest for Book of Mormon evidences.

Paul Cheesman and the Quest for Metal Plates

Dr. Paul Cheesman’s professorship in the Department of Religious Education at Brigham Young University spanned from 1963 to 1986. Although his life eventually focused on researching, finding, and collecting pre-Columbian artifacts- archaeology was not the original career choice for Cheesman. Cheesman originally desired to practice general medicine, but family matters made him decide to obtain a degree in Education at San Diego State University in 1944.7 After a short career as a science teacher and serving as a Navy Chaplain during the Korean War, Cheesman decided in 1955 to move his family to Florida and obtain a business degree from the University of Miami. It was through a job opportunity in Florida that Cheesman would discover his love for archaeology.

Cheesman became President of the Foster Corporation, “a Central American conglomerate and construction company owned by his brother-in-law, Grant Foster.”8 It was in this position, while overseeing a Panama Canal project, that Cheesman uncovered his first cultural artifact. This moment spawned an intense desire for collecting and preserving artifacts in Mesoamerica. Of course having a deep conviction of Mormonism, Cheesman related these artifacts to the history of the peoples in the Book of Mormon.9 Over the next several years, as a businessman Cheesman collected and exhibited these artifacts until he decided to return to teaching. In 1963 Cheesman was hired by BYU’s Religion Department, and a year later he started taking anthropology classes at BYU in order to become more qualified in his archaeological pursuits. From this point on Cheesman’s life centered on Book of Mormon archaeology.

The use of the word “quest’ is proper for discussing the archaeological work of Cheesman. The 1955 artifact discovery began his long trail of travels and research around the world. He looked for writings on metal plates and anything that would help substantiate the Book of Mormon, or at least lead people to take it more seriously. Cheesman’s tireless efforts clearly show up in his correspondence. He traveled to Mexico, Guatemala, Panama, Ecuador, and Columbia, just to name a few. He desired to go all over the world. In 1984-85, shortly before he retired, Cheesman wrote letters to museums in Sri Lanka, Egypt, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, China, Austria, Germany, and Iran asking if these museums would give him permission to photograph some of their artifacts for research.10 This quest maintained full determination throughout all his years at BYU.

Cheesman’s personal correspondence contains more than an indication of the places he visited. Various letters Cheesman wrote throughout his tenure at BYU indicate the Moroni principle’s influence on his archaeological paradigm. One such letter, dated January 18, 1974 contains a response to Michael Coe regarding the Dialogue article mentioned earlier. Responding to Coe’s conception of Mormons as having a mystique based on archaeological findings, Cheesman declared that he did not know of any Mormon who based their beliefs on archaeology. He further wrote, “ We treat archaeology as a discipline which enables us to find truth, recognizing the fallibility involved but also the value as a tool of investigation. Our basic belief in Mormonism involves a spiritual experience.”11 There are a few subtle things to note about this response. First, Cheesman nuances the importance of a spiritual experience that creates an individual’s basic belief in Mormonism. Second, Cheesman treats archaeology as a mere tool of investigation that enables one to find truth, but yet emphasizes the fallibility of it as a discipline. In these two points it appears that Cheesman placed truth on a spiritual level while indicating a caveat that archaeology was good for uncovering truth but still erred. The spiritual takes a paradigmatic importance.

After continuing to critique Coe’s article in various ways, Cheesman again returns to this theme at the end of his letter. Giving more insight into his archaeological paradigm, he states, “I suppose that I am trying to say that my source of truth does not completely come from the scientific method and that perhaps we can discuss this more personally at a future time.”12 This response in Cheesman’s letter gives the reader a sense that Cheesman placed a value on the spiritual experience, to such an extent that he let Coe know that his “source of truth” comes from beyond the scientific method. This perspective fits into the Moroni principle as Cheesman created his own paradigm for analyzing archaeological data.

More correspondence continues to lead to this conclusion. In 1974, Cheesman wrote what appears to be a proposition for BYU’s Religious Instruction College Centennial Program. In the proposal he asked for a budget of 10,000 dollars during BYU’s centennial year that would be focused on relating the Book of Mormon to present day Indian cultures. Cheesman strongly believed that BYU should have the greatest collection of knowledge regarding American Indians. To conclude the proposal Cheesman stated, “BYU offers the most desirable place for such a project since through revelation we have received much knowledge concerning these people. Should not BYU then be pre-eminent in this field of culture.” 13 Once again we see a pattern within Cheesman’s academic paradigm. He placed the idea of revelation or spiritual experience on the same level as the scientific method. The revelations contained within the Book of Mormon gave him the platform of knowledge on which to pursue the study of Native Americans and evaluate his data. But the question remains, does this pattern in Cheesman’s life connect directly with the premise contained in Moroni?

One final piece of correspondence, towards the end of Cheesman’s career, speaks directly to this connection. In a letter dated July 28, 1983, Cheesman responds to a letter he received from William Cackler in which Cackler posed certain questions to Cheesman. It is apparent that the first two questions Mr. Cackler asked were related to Mesoamerican travel routes since Cheesman responded by sending along sources concerning cement highways. The third and final question appears to have dealt with the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Cheesman responded by indicating how many authors were found within the Book of Mormon and reiterated that Joseph Smith was only a translator. He concluded, “A careful reading of the Book of Mormon will give you the information you requested concerning its authenticity. I would suggest that you look at Moroni, chapter 10, verses 3-5, which is near the end of the book.”14 In this particular discourse we see that Cheesman answers the question of authenticity specifically by pointing to the very scriptures the Moroni principle is derived from. It could be possible that Mr. Cackler was directing his questions to Cheesman solely in the process of religious investigation. This would explain the missionary toned response. However, when this correspondence is evaluated with the previous two we gain an understanding of the Moroni principle in Cheesman’s epistemology. Cheesman’s approach to the world around him took a paradigm shift in which the authenticity or validity of an ancient record could hold as much, if not more, weight based on revelation as opposed to the scientific method. This means that Cheesman sought to sustain the knowledge he obtained through the Moroni principle. Unfortunately, this procedure became problematic at times for Cheesman as he wrestled with the authenticity of the metal plates he investigated.

One of the best examples of Cheesman’s struggle with authenticity is the story of a Peruvian gold plate that was found in the Lambayeque area of Northern Peru. The plate itself was housed in the Hugo Cohen pre-Columbian collection in Lima, Peru. Cheesman had been granted access to the plate and rigorously worked to get the plate tested and evaluated by numerous scholars over the period of ten years. According to Cheesman’s personal correspondence, the earliest he sent photographs of the plate out for observation was in 1968. He also sent specimens of the plate out for spectrochemical analysis to two different labs. The results returned to him were far from promising.

First, a Paul Clifford showed the plate to a Dr. Junius Bird at the Museum of Natural History in November of 1968. Dr. Bird indicated to Clifford that “in his opinion the plate was of modern work and definately [sic] was not old as far as the workmanship was concerned.”15 On August 21, 1961 Adon A. Gordus, a chemist at the University of Michigan, wrote Cheesman stating that in his metallurgical analysis of the plate he found that it had “contents a little too close to commercial 22 carat gold… or dental gold.”16 And finally on October 2, 1970 John H. Rowe wrote to Cheesman stating that based on his inspection of the photograph, he considered the plate to be “of recent or modern manufacture.”17 He continued to explain that he had received news that there “was a considerable business in Lima in the manufacture of gold objects which were sold as antiques.”18 By all physical evidence it appeared that the Peruvian plate was a bona fide fake.

However, the optimistic Cheesman did not see it this way. Instead, when Cheesman wrote his report (“The Mysterious Gold Plate of Peru”) after ten years of analysis, he left out all of this negative information and wrote only about the semi-favorable opinions he received. He reported on R.P. Anderson’s statement of March 14, 1969 stating that one of the plate’s glyphs represented “the ancient Egyptians mason’s square only inverted.”19 He also chose to highlight the fact that Alexander T. Stecker, from the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, believed that the “doughnut shaped symbols which appears three times [on the plate were] used in the Greco-Roman period by the Jews.”20 Perhaps the most surprising thing is that when John Rowe and Junius Bird were mentioned they were only noted in a list of “professors who have voiced opinions pro and con on the material.”21 As mentioned, Cheesman never goes on to state what those cons were.

In the end, what became critical to the positive analysis for Cheesman was the idea that there was a wavy pattern on the edge of the plate. This indicated that there was another piece to the plate, which was missing. He summarized his conclusion: “investigation has produced the above results with nothing accomplished as far as interpretation is concerned. Also, no other artifact has been found to compare this with. Since it seems to have been cut from another piece, perhaps that piece holds the secret to the Mysterious Gold Plate of Peru.”22 All that Cheesman was able to do was mention the positive attributes of the plate such as the possible Egyptian language link and the Jewish connection. He leaves the truth hanging onto the missing piece of the puzzle. Oddly enough, Cheesman later became more adamant about the plate than his earlier conclusion. In a June 5, 1984 letter to Barry Fell he wrote referring to the Peruvian gold plate, “I still have this in my possession and consider it authentic and valuable.”23

I think it would be unjust to Paul Cheesman to say that he was fabricating the evidence or lying to push for the plate’s authenticity. More likely is that the Moroni principle was an intricate factor in his evaluation process. Cheesman’s archaeological paradigm was to sustain the knowledge he had gained through revelation. He was merely reading the archaeological evidence differently based on his testimony, and within his epistemology that made complete sense. However, Cheesman constantly had this struggle of “sustaining” his testimony knowledge with the evidence before him. In one quick handwritten note, Cheesman sent along some material he gathered on plates he called “soper-savage.” He told Fell, “My analysis always has been that they were fake, but on the other hand I have photographs of over 1400 items- why would they make so many fakes?”24 Even when the plates before him looked fake, and Cheesman’s heart told him they were, he could not bear to settle his mind on the matter. Deep down inside Cheesman’s paradigm was meant to sustain his Moroni experience. Yet this is not the only reaction that can be found within the Moroni principle. Moving away from Paul Cheesman, it is important to describe an alternative case to the Moroni principle. This can be found in the life of Paul Cheesman’s near contemporary Thomas Ferguson.

Thomas Ferguson: A Brief Look at an Alternative Moroni Principle Story

Thomas Ferguson in many respects was similar to Cheesman. One major similarity is that Ferguson’s career path was also not originally focused on archaeology. In 1937 Ferguson obtained a degree at the University of Berkeley in political science and then went on to achieve a law degree in 1942. However while at Berkeley, fellow Mormon M. Wells Jackman influenced Ferguson into taking an interest in Mesoamerican history and archaeology in light of Book of Mormon historicity.25 This created the drive in Ferguson to search the world looking to prove the validity of the Book of Mormon. Ferguson, unlike Cheesman, did not go back to school to study anthropology but instead remained an amateur archaeologist. Ferguson was also different than Cheesman in the way he reacted to the Moroni principle. While Cheesman’s archaeological paradigm, under the Moroni principle, was to sustain revelatory knowledge through archaeological evidence, Ferguson’s procedure was to test his revelatory knowledge with archaeological evidence.

Ferguson took his first reconnaissance trip through Mexico and Guatemala in February of 1946. While on this trip Ferguson was elated when he discovered a “small wheeled dog made of pottery” which might have been a child’s toy.26 For Ferguson this provided evidence of a pre-Columbian wheel. Unfortunately, numerous people later criticized him stating that one such find was insufficient evidence to argue for pre-Columbian chariots.27 Although this did not discourage Ferguson, as he traveled around raising funds for the New World Archaeological Foundation, which he helped establish in 1952. The NWAF’s sole mission was to test several origin theories of Mesoamerica, with the organization including both LDS and non-LDS scholars. The NWAF continued to function for a few years with productive successes but nothing fully fitting the expectations of Ferguson. However, in May of 1954 Ferguson took a trip with John L. Sorenson to Chiapas hoping to find evidence of the city of Zarahemla, to which Ferguson believed they found unquestionable success. After having discovered numerous potsherds and figurines dating to the preclassic era Ferguson believed they had, “now located the great center of Nephite activity- the Zarahemla area,” and that time would eventually confirm this fact. 28

Time was not on this side of Ferguson financially and in January of 1955 Ferguson wrote a letter to the LDS First Presidency appealing for financial assistance. It is the contents of this letter that indicate Ferguson took the Moroni principle paradigm, but sought solely to test it based on archaeological evidence in only a scientific method form. He wrote, “To find the city of Jericho is merely to confirm a point of history. To find the city of Zarahemla is to confirm a point of history but it is also to confirm, through tangible physical evidence, divine revelation to the modern world through Joseph Smith, Moroni, and the Urim and Thummimm. Thus, Book of Mormon history is revelation that can be tested by archaeology.” 29 Note the importance of the word “tested” in comparison with Cheesman. Cheesman frequently placed a spiritual, revelatory nature in his paradigm of archaeological analysis sustaining what he considered truth. Cheesman, in other words, evaluated his data on those revelatory knowledge-based terms. Ferguson clearly was testing revelation based on archaeological evidence itself. He was not sustaining what he knew to be true but testing the validity of what he believed to be true.

Unfortunately, this approach over the next several years became discouraging for Ferguson. Important archaeological work was accomplished but the great expectations he had diminished. As Ferguson biographer Stan Larson wrote, the 1960s became a time of fading hope for Ferguson. Larson stated, “His major goal in life- that of proving that Jesus Christ really appeared in ancient Mexico after his resurrection- would never ‘be achieved,’ [Ferguson] wrote, ‘until significant ancient manuscript discoveries are made. I hope it happens during our lifetime. It could.” 30 The tragedy of Ferguson’s story is that his hope never came to be. With the discovery of the Joseph Smith papyri, Ferguson was certain that Joseph Smith’s prophethood would be confirmed. However, when scholars failed to match the text on the papyri with the text found in the Pearl of Great Price, Ferguson’s Moroni principle paradigm shattered. From this point on he believed that archaeological confirmation of the Book of Mormon was impossible. Ferguson took his faith experience, tested his revelatory knowledge, and concluded that archaeological evidence could not sustain the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith.


Book of Mormon archaeology has perplexed non-LDS scholars for decades, Michael Coe being an example of this reaction. It has also caused many non-LDS academics to wonder why Mormons are driven to such quests for metal plates and archaeological evidences. In evaluating the life of Paul Cheesman, in light of the Moroni principle, we can gain a greater understanding as to why many Mormons search for metal plates and archaeological evidences. It goes beyond stating that the Mormon faith dictates it. As Mormons receive a testimony experience of the Book of Mormon they have a connection with the divine in which they receive a new perception of reality. However, differing from Robert Orsi’s abundant events, many Mormons experience more than the initial supernatural transcendence. Many Mormons gain an abundance of artifactual and historical realities. While the transcendence of the Holy Ghost remains removed from the material world, the artificatual discoveries of Mesoamerica are very much a part of the material world. Under the perception of the Moroni principle, Mormons then wrestle with the Mesoamerican realities they know to be true, as opposed to the perspective worldview of scholars outside the LDS faith.

In regards to the Mormon quest for Book of Mormon evidences, we can note two ways in which Mormons are affected by the Moroni principle. The first way is the Cheesman method where they can sustain the revelatory knowledge they receive by using that same knowledge as the base for data interpretation. The second approach is the Ferguson method in which they can test the very nature of this revelatory knowledge with the archaeological data itself. Through this method Mormons can then determine for themselves if that revelatory knowledge computes with the world around them. However, there might be other ways in which Mormon scholars deal with the Moroni principle and the tensions it may cause. It is not true that every Mormon scholar must eventually move in the direction Ferguson pursued, giving up all hope for Book of Mormon historical connections. It is also likely that Mormon scholars influenced by the Moroni principle need not take the same approach Cheesman did during his research. Perhaps future studies might indicate more methods of dealing with the tension between the supernatural transcendence in the Mormon testimony experience and the artifactual and historic abundance Mormons deal with in the material world. However, as long as the Moroni principle provides not only the abundance of divine transcendence but also the artifactual and historical abundance generally associated with the historicity of the Book of Mormon, the Mormon quest for metal plates and Mesoamerican artifacts will continue well into the future.

1. Michael Coe, “Mormons and Archaeology: An Outside View,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 8, no. 2 (1973): 46.

2. Ibid.

3. Terryl L. Givens, By the Hand of Mormon: The American Scripture that Launched a New World Religion (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002), 148.

4. Robert Orsi, “Abundant History: Marian Apparitions as Alternative Modernity”, Historically Speaking 9, no. 7 (2008), 15.

5. Ibid, 14.

6. Ibid, 12-16. For a greater understanding of Orsi’s theory of abundant events, I recommend the full article.

7. P. Bradford Westwood, Biographical Sketch in MSS 2049, Registrar to the Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, 4.

8. Ibid.

9. Ibid, 5.

10. Miscellaneous Letters to Various Museums October 1984-1985 in MSS 2049 box 12, fd. 3, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

11. Letter from Paul R. Cheesman to Michael D. Coe, January 18, 1974, in MSS 2049, box 1, fd. 6, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

12. Ibid.

13. Paul R. Cheesman proposal titled “Religious Instruction College Centennial Program,” undated (placed with 1974 correspondence), in MSS 2049, box 1, fd. 6, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

14. Letter from Paul R. Cheesman to William F. Cackler Sr., July 28, 1983, in MSS 2049, box 12, fd. 3, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

15. Paul A. Clifford report of visit to Dr. Junius Bird, January 17, 1969, in MSS 2049, box 65, fd. 2f, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

16. Memo-Letter from Adon A. Gordus to Paul R. Cheesman, August 21, 1969, in MSS 2049, box 65, fd. 2f, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

17. Letter from John H. Rowe to Paul R. Cheesman, October 2, 1970, in MSS 2049, box 65, fd. 2f, Paul R. Chessman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

18. Ibid.

19. “The Mysterious Gold Plate of Peru,” undated, in MSS 2049, box 65, fd. 2f, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University. Although Cheesman does not cite R.P Anderson in his report, the March 14, 1969 letter from Anderson indicating this information is also contained in box 65, fd. 2f.

20. Ibid.

21. Ibid.

22. Ibid.

23. Letter from Paul R. Cheesman to Barry Fell, June 5, 1984, in MSS 2049, box 12, fd. 3, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

24. Letter from Paul R. Cheesman to Barry Fell, photocopied letter with penciled date December, 12, 1986, in MSS 2049, box 12, fd. 3, Paul R. Cheesman (1921-1991) Papers., L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University.

25. Stan Larson, “Thomas Stuart Ferguson and Book of Mormon Archaeology,” in Mormon Mavericks: Essays on Dissenters, ed. John Sillito and Susan Staker (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2002), 245.

26. Ibid, 247.

27. Ibid.

28. Ibid, 251.

29. Ibid, 252.

30. Ibid, 255.