He has written numerous articles about the ancient Maya online and in the IMS EXPLORER newsletter.
Mark has traveled extensively in Mesoamerica and explored the ancient ruins including Teotihuacan, Palenque, Tulum, and Izapa, Mexico; Copan, Honduras; Tikal, Guatemala; and Lamanai, Belize, studying the glyphs, art, architecture and artifacts of the Ancient Maya.
Mark was born in California and served an LDS mission in Florida, USA.
He and his wife, Sally, currently reside in Oregon. They have six children and 15 grandchildren.
Cheney has given presentations at firesides on Ancient America and the Book of Mormon, and college classes on the World of the Ancient Maya. He is currently an LDS Sunday School teacher.
A DOZEN FUN THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT MARK F. CHENEY
1) Mark's favorite animal is the jaguar! (Duh! Okay, got that one out of the way.)
2) Mark went to Florida and Georgia on a mission in the mid-sixties.
3) He was a skin and scuba diver since age 16, and used to make his own wetsuits. He has been diving in California; Cozumel and other locations in Mexico; Florida Keys, Belize Cayes; Oahu, Hawaii, and in Utah and Nevada!
4) His favorite children’s video is The Jungle Book (original Disney cartoon).
5) He took Tae Kwon Do right after high school, and taught 4 of his six kids, three of whom won trophies at Karate Meets.
6) Mark was a Private Eye in two states for five years who specialized in Missing Persons Investigations. He once spoke to a Romance Writers’ Group on how to set up a false identity.
7) His hobby is the study of the Ancient Maya and he has written numerous non-fiction articles about them for Explore the Maya World, the Institute of Maya Studies (IMS) EXPLORER – Miami Science Museum – and for the Book of Mormon Archaeological Forum (BMAF.org). He has traveled to ancient cities in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras. He has also taught classes on the Ancient Maya in two different colleges. He has given fireside talks on “Dinosaurs and Zero Population Growth” (anti-ZPG), the Dead Sea and Nag Hammadi scrolls, and Ancient America and the Book of Mormon.
8) Mark was on the swim team in high school, and has a granddaughter who is now a team swimmer.
9) Cheney likes to buy unusual foods at the grocery store or farmers’ market and try them out.
10) He had a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 and has no fear of mayonnaise.
11) He wrote a prize-winning poem about shrimp!
12) Mark makes and sells driftwood sculptures at a local art gallery, mostly of fish which he calls “Fish Sticks”.
MARK OF THE JAGUAR is a landmark novel, a Book of Mormon adventure AFTER 421 A.D. and before Columbus!
Based on real archaeological finds in Mesoamerica, the land of the Maya, this tale follows a young man as he is trained as a shaman, healer, scribe and stonecutter, as he accepts the challenge given by his old mentor from his death bed.
Yax Kan will do what is needed to find the truth about Kukulkan, the white and bearded god represented by the feathered serpent. Who is he? Is he worthy of worship - even to the point of human sacrifice?