We have a great lineup of speakers for the 2006 FAIR Conference. Below you will find an overview of each speaker’s credentials and their presentation. If you would like to see the schedule of when the speakers will be addressing the Conference, visit our Conference overview page.
Wayne Arnett was raised in beautiful Western Montana and holds a B.A. in Political Science / Latin American Studies and an MPA (Master of Public Administration) from Brigham Young University. The author of Defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint: A Reference Guide, Wayne serves as Director of Publishing for The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR). He is Executive Director and part owner of The Wholesale Marketing Alliance and is a past president of the National Association of College Stores (NACS). Among Church callings, he has served as a gospel doctrine instructor, high priest group leader, high councilman, a member of two bishoprics and a branch presidency. A resident of Parker, Colorado; Wayne is married to the former Sherra Ann Layton and together they have eight children and sixteen grandchildren.
Presentation: Apologetics 101
Born and raised LDS, Mike is the father of three girls and the grandfather of one boy and two girls. He sells jewelry and electronics at a retail store in Ogden, Utah. Mike has been in several Elder’s Quorum presidencies and has taught the Priests, Elder’s Quorum, Gospel Doctrine for the Single Young Adults, and general Gospel Doctrine. His first real encounter with anti-Mormon literature came in about 1980 after reading The Kingdom of the Cults. About four years later, after seeing The God Makers, Mike became interested in LDS apologetics. He’s been an active participant in on-line LDS apologetics since 1990, and he currently owns and operates the MormonFortress.com Web site (a repository of apologetic articles refuting anti-Mormon accusations). He has authored dozens of articles for his own Web site and for FAIR. Some of his articles have also been published at MeridianMagazine.com. Mike has presented papers at several FAIR Conferences, two Sunstone Symposiums, and has been published in the FARMS Review as well as in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought
Presentation: Book of Abraham 201: Papyri, Revelation, and Modern Egyptology
Joseph I. Bentley is an attorney, graduating from the University of Chicago Law School and is a retired partner in the law firm of Latham & Watkins. He has contributed to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and co-authored, with Dallin Oaks, an article in BYU Studies entitled “Joseph Smith and Legal Process: In the Wake of the Steamboat Nauvoo.” For the past three years he is serving as a volume editor for the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Bentley is currently Chair of the Council for Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and International Board Chair of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society. In the Church he served a full-time mission in Argentina and has served as a high councilor, bishop, stake president, and regional representative. For the past decade he has served as Director of LDS Public Affairs for Orange County, California.
Presentation: Legal Trials of the Prophet: Joseph Smith’s Life in Court
Matthew B. Brown received his B.A. in history from Brigham Young University. He is the author of seven biographical, historical, and doctrinal books that deal with topics such as the Temple, the Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Plan of Salvation, the authenticity of the Restoration, and Gifts of the Spirit; with a forthcoming book on Prophecies of the Last Days. He has also published articles in the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies and the FARMS Review. His contributions to FAIR include a lecture at the 2004 conference on Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources, several articles connected with the One Nation Under Gods project, and papers that address issues such as inverted five-pointed stars, the Spalding-Rigdon theory, and the Articles of Faith. During the celebration of Joseph Smith’s 200th birthday Matthew was invited to lecture to the Prophet’s descendants at the BYU campus and also in Sydney, Australia.
Presentation: Revised or Unaltered?: Joseph Smith’s Foundational Stories
Claudia L. Bushman holds degrees in literature and American Studies from Wellesley College, Brigham Young University, and Boston University and now teaches history and American studies at Columbia University in the City of New York. She grew up in San Francisco and has lived in nine of the thirteen original states. Dr. Bushman is the author and editor of ten books including Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah, Building the Kingdom (with Richard Bushman), and Contemporary Mormonism: Latter-day Saints in Modern America, published in January of this year, as well as a variety of other American history books. She was the founding editor of Exponent II. Dr. Bushman is married to Richard Lyman Bushman and is the mother of six and the grandmother of nineteen. Having held all the usual Church positions, she now finds most of her Church work off the books in such areas as chairman of the Harlem Bridge Builders committee, producer of the Manhattan Temple Jubilee at Radio City Music Hall, and chairman of the committee to install a statue of Joseph Smith near Wall Street in New York in honor of his 200th birthday. The bronze Joseph has now come to the end of his scheduled run, and she will be happy to talk to anyone about his possible future.
Presentation: The Lives of Mormon Women
Brant Gardner is the Product Manager for a privately held software company. His academic background includes work towards a Ph.D. in Mesoamerican Ethnohistory as the State University of New York, Albany. His published works on Mesoamerica include an analysis of classical Nahuatl kinship terminology, an ethnohistoric investigation into the identification of the use of Coxoh to designate a people and language in Southern Mexico, and an examination of the Aztec Legend of the Suns.
Presentation: Defenders of the Book: Surveying the New World Evidence for Book of Mormon Historicity
Brian M. Hauglid was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Near Eastern Studies from Brigham Young University, a Masters and Ph.D. from the University of Utah. Dr. Hauglid is an associate professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. He had taught in the Seminary and Institute program in the Salt Lake Valley for about a dozen years before coming to BYU. He is a member of the editorial advisory board for the Eastern Christian Texts Series in the Middle Eastern Texts Initiative and also serves on the editorial board for the Ancient Texts and Mormon Studies Series in the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship (Maxwell Institute). An avid researcher on the Book of Abraham, Dr. Hauglid is the Co-general editor (with John Gee) of the Studies in the Book of Abraham Series. With John Tvedtnes and John Gee he compiled and edited the first volume in the series Traditions about the Early Life of Abraham, in which he provides over a dozen translations of Arabic traditions about Abraham previously unavailable to the English audience. He also edited (with John Gee) the most recent volume (3) Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant, which contains a collection of pertinent scholarly papers on the Book of Abraham. (These volumes are also distributed through the University of Chicago Press). Dr. Hauglid has contributed articles on the Book of Abraham, New Testament, temple studies, and Islamic topics. He currently serves as a bishop in Spanish Fork. He is married to the former Tessa McNamara, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and they are the parents of three daughters.
Presentation: Investigating the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Myths and Realities
Marcus H. Martins, Ph.D., is chair of the Department of Religious Education at Brigham Young University Hawaii. He holds degrees in business management, organizational behavior, and sociology. A native of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Martins worked as a systems analyst and project manager for the Brazilian government and as a private consultant before moving to the USA in 1990. He previously taught at BYU and Ricks College, and has lectured on a variety of topics throughout the U.S., Brazil, China, and Japan. He has been nominated twice to the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and was elected Teacher of the Year by BYU Hawaii’s President’s Council in 2002. Among his topics of interest are strategic management in a global environment, computer technology, languages, law, politics, and world cultures. His current research focuses on temple symbolism, and the impact of globalization forces, technology, and immigration on the growth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Brother Martins joined the Church in 1972 and became the first Latter-day Saint with Black African ancestry to serve a full-time mission after the 1978 revelation. Since then he served twice as bishop, five times as stake high councilor, and also as temple officiator and translator of the Book of Mormon.
Presentation: A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
Mayfield was born and raised in the San Francisco area. He served an LDS mission in Colorado and Nebraska. He has served in the Church as Stake Young Adult President, Elder’s Quorum counselor and instructor, Sunday School teacher, and ward clerk. Steve received a B.S. degree in police science from Weber State College (University) in 1980. His law enforcement career includes FBI file clerk (San Francisco, 1973-1977), Deputy Sheriff Jefferson County Colorado (1981-1990), and since 1994 as a crime scene investigator for the Salt Lake City Police Department. For more than the last ten years Steve has worked under the direction of George Throckmorton, and has assisted him in a number of historical/questioned document cases (non-law enforcement) including “The Dead Lee Scroll.”
Steve has been involved with the Mormon History Association, Sunstone, Utah State Historical Society, and is the producer (and sometimes host) of Mormon Miscellaneous, a talk/interview/call-in program hosted by Van Hale over radio station KTKK in Salt Lake City. Steve does not consider himself a historian or writer, but a “documentation collector,” which includes newspaper and magazine articles, television videos, and tape recordings of radio news and programs on mostly Mormon issues. His large collection of material is in the process of being donated to the L. Tom Perry Library and Archives at Brigham Young University.
Presentation: Mythmaking and the Hofmann Case
Kim Östman is a native citizen of Finland. He holds an M.Sc. in communication microelectronics and is currently pursuing studies in comparative religion. His main research interests lie with Finnish Mormon history and with the relationship between Mormonism and Finnish society from the 1800s to the present. He has a forthcoming article in the Finnish Journal of Theology on the Latter-day Saint temple tradition and is finalizing an article discussing historical suspicions of Mormon missionaries as spies in Finland, targeted for the Journal of Mormon History.
Presentation: An International Perspective: Opposition to Mormonism
in Finland, 1845-2006
Daniel C. Peterson
A native of southern California, Daniel C. Peterson received a bachelor’s degree in Greek and philosophy from Brigham Young University (BYU) and, after several years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo, earned his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Peterson is a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU, as well as a member of the board and associate executive director of its Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, which has produced a computer-digitized version of the Dead Sea Scrolls, electronically recovered damaged documents from the ruins of Herculaneum, Petra, and elsewhere, and is engaged in joint publishing ventures with such institutions as the Vatican Apostolic Library in Rome. He is the executive editor of BYU’s three-part Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, which includes not only the Islamic Translation Series but two sister series: Graeco-Arabic Sciences and Philosophy, and Eastern Christian Texts. These series publish dual-language editions of classical works of medieval Arabic and Persian philosophy, Arabic medicine and science, and early Coptic, Syriac, and Christian Arabic literature. (The University of Chicago Press distributes the volumes.) He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Islamic and Latter-day Saint topics. Dr. Peterson served in the Switzerland Zürich Mission, and, for approximately eight years, on the Gospel Doctrine writing committee for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He currently serves as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in his home ward. He is immediate past chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), and edits the FARMS Review of Books. Dr. Peterson is married to the former Deborah Stephens, of Lakewood, Colorado, and they are the parents of three sons.
Presentation: A Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced
Matthew Roper (MS from Brigham Young University), is a resident scholar at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at Brigham Young University.
Presentation: Adam in Ancient Texts and the Restoration
David Stewart, M.D., was raised in Massachusetts and Maryland. He was a presidential scholar at Brigham Young University, graduating with summa cum laude honors in molecular biology in just two years. He received his medical degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 1999. He completed surgical internship and orthopedic surgery residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch and completed fellowship training in pediatric orthopedic and scoliosis surgery at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Stewart is a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha medical honor society and has received numerous awards for excellence in clinical practice and medical research and for his contributions to international health. He is fluent in several Eastern European languages and is active in international medical charity and education work in Eastern Europe and Asia. He served a full-time LDS mission in Russia and has written on LDS topics including church growth, missionary work, and DNA and the Book of Mormon. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife and young children.
Presentation: DNA and the Book of Mormon
Brian Stubbs teaches English and linguistics at the College of Eastern Utah—San Juan Campus. He earned an M.A. in Linguistics from the University of Utah and completed coursework and comprehensive exams (ABD) toward a Ph.D. in Near Eastern languages and linguistics. Coursework in Hebrew, Arabic, Egyptian, and Aramaic was followed by years of personal study in those languages as well as several Native American languages. He is among the leading publishers of articles on the Uto-Aztecan language family in linguistic journals. Brian and his wife, Silvia Stubbs, are the parents of five children.
Presentation: A Few Hundred Hints of Egyptian and Northwest Semitic in Uto-Aztecan
Throckmorton recently retired from the Salt Lake City Police Department Crime Laboratory where he spent the last decade as the Director of the Lab. George has been in law enforcement for forty years and has been a Forensic Document Examiner for thirty-five of those years. George began his career with the Ogden City Police Department and has also worked for the San Diego Sheriff’s Crime Lab, Utah State Crime Lab, Utah Attorney General’s Office and the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office. He has also taught at the Institute of Applied Science in Chicago, Washington State University, Weber State University, and is presently teaching as an Adjunct Professor at the Salt Lake Community College.
Many interesting cases have crossed George’s path in the past thirty years including the Howard Hughes “Mormon Will,” the Dan and Ron Lafferty case, the Hi-Fi Shop Murders, and numerous others. However, by far the most interesting and complex case had to be the Mark Hofmann bombing/forgery case. This encompassed a full-time committment for sixteen months involving more than 600 documents. After more than twenty years, new Hofmann forgeries continue to resurface almost every year. George’s one and only wife Caroline continues to be by his side after forty years. They have four children (one of whom is following in his path working at the Salt Lake Police Crime Lab as a Crime-Scene Technician and Forensic Document Examiner).
Presentation: Mythmaking and the Hofmann Case
L. Wyatt, a technical writer and project manager by trade, is president of Discovery Computing Inc., a computer and publishing services company. He has written approximately fifty books explaining many facets of working with computers, as well as numerous magazine articles. Allen is also the Vice President of Operations for FAIR and serves as the orgination’s Webmaster and general editor. Allen joined the Church of Jesus Christ as a pre-teen in 1968, and has lived in various wards and branches in Ohio, Indiana, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, California, and Arizona. Among other callings he has served—in no particular order—as Elder’s quorum president (twice), YM president, bishopric counselor (two wards), branch presidency counselor, branch president, bishop, stake executive secretary, regional executive secretary, and ward mission leader.
Presentation: Zina and Her Men: An examination of the changing marital state of Zina Diantha Huntington Jacobs Smith Young