In the 1960s-1970s, Jose Davila and John Brewer independently discovered and translated various Nephite and Jaredite writings in central Utah. Though they regarded themselves as scientists, Davila and Brewer modeled their enterprise on the Joseph Smith story and the LDS prophetic tradition and actively sought acceptance by Church authorities and Mormon academics. After some initial encouragement, their activity was gradually marginalized. It was partly by differentiating itself from men such as Davila and Brewer that Book of Mormon archaeology became the formal discipline it is today.
Christopher C. Smith