Kerry Shirts

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Kerry A. Shirts (born January 12, 1961) is a Latter-day Saint blogger and apologist, best known for his website The Backyard Professor. He is a native of Idaho Falls, Idaho and served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in St. Louis, Missouri. He attended Ricks College and Idaho State University where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in History.[1]

LDS Apologetics

Like other notable LDS apologists such as Jeff Lindsay, Michael R. Ash, and Daniel C. Peterson, Shirts work is often featured through websites and other online resources. Since 2007, blogging particularly among Latter-day Saints arose in part in response to Elder M. Russell Ballard’s admonishment to use the internet as a tool to share the beliefs of the LDS Church.[2] In addition to publishing several articles through his blog, Shirts also maintains a YouTube Channel featuring over eight-hundred[3] self-made videos on subjects relating to LDS apologetics, the Book of Mormon, and various Near Eastern topics. Shirts is a strong critic of anti-Mormonism[4] and has been published author for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS).[5] Shirts is also a researcher for the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research.[6]

The Book of Abraham

Shirts has written several articles on the Book of Abraham, and is probably best known for his research on the Joseph Smith Hypocephalus, or Hypocephalus of Sheshonq in identifying the Egyptian name Khnum Ra in connection with figures 1, 22, and 23, of Facsimile 2.[7]

Reformed Egyptian

Shirts is an advocate of Book of Mormon historicity[8] and believes that Reformed Egyptian, as described in Mormon 9:32[9] is validated through the comparison of the “caractors” of the Anthon transcript with the evolution of Egyptian hieroglyphic scripts to a proto-Semitic alphabet, paleo-Semitic, and eventually to Latin letters.[10]


Several critics of Shirts’ scholarship, particularly those from anti-Mormon backgrounds, regard Shirts as a “pseudo-scholar”[11] and offers an “in-your face”variety[12] of apologetics from a lay Mormon perspective.


  • -McGregor, Russell C. and Shirts, Kerry A., Letters to an Anti-Mormon FARMS REVIEW (Volume 11 Issue 1)

"A Review of Letters to a Mormon Elder: Eye Opening Information for Mormons and the Christians Who Talk With Them. Written by James R. White

  • -Shirts, Kerry A., Terminating Some Terminology between Evangelical Christians and Mormon Christians FARMS REVIEW (Volume 12 Issue 1) "A Review of Terminology. In the Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism.

Written by Jerald and Sandra Tanner


  1. About Me. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  2. Russell, Elder M. (2007-12-15). Ensign Article - Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  3. Kanaal van TheBackyardProfessor. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  4. Russell C. McGregor, and Kerry A. Shirts. Letters to an Anti-Mormon - Russell C. McGregor, and Kerry A. Shirts - FARMS Review - Volume 11 - Issue 1. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  5. Viewing Author: Kerry A. Shirts. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  6. Through the Maze of Anti-Mormonism:. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  7. Amun-Re/Chnum - Fig 1 on Hypocephalus examined in light of Egyptological/Archaeological Information. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  8. Scimeters in the Book of Mormon - a Nifty Touch!. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  9. Mormon 9. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  10. Kanaal van TheBackyardProfessor. YouTube. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  11. Infymus. Kerry Shirts. The Mormon Curtain. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.
  12. Mormon Church research resources. Retrieved on 2010-02-13.