|Since Hugh Nibley: Remarkable New Findings on Enoch and the Gathering of Zion
|Edwin E. Gantt
|Agentic Sexuality: How a Latter-day Saint Perspective Can Rescue Humanity from the Tyranny of the Abstract
|Jennifer Ann Mackley
|Discovering Church History: The Wilford Woodruff Papers Project
|Brittany Chapman Nash
|Let’s Talk About Polygamy
|Stephen O. Smoot
|Abraham and the Stranger at Sodom and Gomorrah: Reading the Bible and Navigating LGBT Identity
|Through a Glass, Less Darkly: The 20th Century History of Genesis and Evolution
|Worldview Apologetics: Revealing the Waters in Which We Swim
Michael R. Ash, a FairMormon member for more than twenty years, has been featured in nearly 90 podcasts and 30 videos. In more than two decades of writing LDS-themed material, and as a former weekly columnist for Mormon Times (owned by the Deseret News), his works include over 160 on-line articles, as well as articles in periodicals such as the Ensign, Sunstone, Neal A. Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.
Michael is also the author of four LDS books. In 2008 FAIR published his book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt (which is available in English, German, and Italian). Mike quickly followed this publication with his second book, Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith. In 2015 Michael published Bamboozled by the CES Letter: An honest response to the .pdf pamphlet entitled “Letter to a CES Director”, and this year he has introduced his newest book, Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: The Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author.
Presentation: Rethinking Revelation and the Human Element in Scripture: The Prophet’s Role as Creative Co-Author
Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (PhD, Cognitive Science, University of Washington) is a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Florida (www.ihmc.us/groups/jbradshaw; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_M._Bradshaw). His professional writings have explored a wide range of topics in human and machine intelligence (www.jeffreymbradshaw.net). Jeff has been the recipient of several awards and patents and has been an adviser for initiatives in science, defense, space, industry, and academia worldwide. Jeff has written detailed commentaries on the Book of Moses and Genesis 1–11 and on temple themes in the scriptures. For Church-related publications, see www.TempleThemes.net. Jeff was a missionary in France and Belgium from 1975–1977, and his family has returned twice to live in France. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of four children and fourteen grandchildren. From July 2016-September 2019, Jeff and Kathleen served missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission office and the DR Congo Kinshasa Temple. They currently live in Nampa, Idaho.
Presentation: Since Hugh Nibley: Remarkable New Findings on Enoch and the Gathering of Zion
Rebekah Clark is co-author of the book Thinking Women: A Timeline of Suffrage in Utah and works as a historian for Better Days, a nonprofit public history organization dedicated to expanding education about Utah women’s history. She holds a law degree from the J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University, studied as a visiting student at Harvard Law School, and practiced law in Boston for four years. She graduated with a degree in American History and Literature from Harvard University, where her honors thesis focused on Utah women’s activism in the national suffrage movement. She has worked at the LDS Church History Department and taught as an online adjunct faculty member at BYU-Idaho. Her work has appeared in journals such as the Utah State Historical Quarterly, the Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, Pioneer Magazine, and BYU Law Review and in podcasts by the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Church News, What’s Her Name, Zion Art Society, and the Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. In addition to her work with Better Days, she currently serves on the board of the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team. Rebekah lives in Highland with her husband Andrew and their five children.
Presentation: “The Gospel of Equal Rights”: Latter-day Saint Suffragists, 1870-1920
Ryan Dahle has a bachelor’s degree in English education from Brigham Young University – Idaho. He has teaching experience in secondary education and works as a researcher for Book of Mormon Central, where he is currently the project manager for Evidence Central. He and his wife Jennie have four children and live in Idaho.
Presentation: Evidence Central
Keith A. Erekson
Keith Erekson is an award-winning author, teacher, and public historian who has published on topics including politics, hoaxes, Abraham Lincoln, Elvis Presley, and Church history. He grew up in Baltimore, served a mission in Brazil, and earned advanced degrees in history and business. He works for the Church History Department in efforts to encourage outreach and historical engagement.
Presentation: Real Vs. Rumor
Paul J. Fields, PhD, is a consultant specializing in research methods and statistical analysis. He has worked with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship on stylometric and authorship attribution studies of the Book of Mormon and other documents related to the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He received his doctorate from Pennsylvania State University. During his academic career he was on the faculty of the United States Naval Postgraduate School and Brigham Young University.
Presentation: Book of Mormon Voices
Edwin E. Gantt
Edwin E. Gantt is currently Professor of Psychology at Brigham Young University and a Research Fellow of the Wheatley Institution. He received his doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from Duquesne University. He is the author of over 80 scholarly articles and book chapters. His primary research interests revolve around the questions of moral agency and the relationship between religion, science, and psychology. He is co-author (with Richard N. Williams) of Hijacking Science: Exploring the Nature and Consequences of Overreach in Psychology, editor of the textbook series Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Psychological Issues, and Co-Editor of the journal Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy (the official journal of the Association of Latter-day Saint Counselors and Psychologists). He teaches courses in the History and Philosophy of Psychology, Personality Theory, Qualitative Research Methods, Psychology of Religion, and (his favorite) LDS Perspectives on Psychology. He and his wife Anita live in Springville and have four wonderful sons, two amazing daughters-in-law, and two beautiful grandsons.
Presentation: Agentic Sexuality: How a Latter-day Saint Perspective Can Rescue Humanity from the Tyranny of the Abstract
Brian C. Hales is the author or co-author of several books dealing with Joseph Smith and plural marriage. He and his wife, Laura Hales are co-webmasters of JosephSmithsPolygamy.org. He is also the author of several articles dealing with the origin of the Book of Mormon. Brian is currently pursuing an MA degree (history) at Arizona State University.
Presentation: Mind the Gap
Tarik D. LaCour
Tarik D. LaCour is a Ph.D student in philosophy and MA student in neuroscience at Texas A&M. Primary research interests are in philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of mind, moral psychology and epistemology. He is a traditional Latter-day Saint and author of the blog Mad Dog Naturalist. He has interest in developing rigorous apologetic arguments rooted in an empirical philosophical approach and plans on continuing his contributions to Latter-day Saint apologetics.
Presentation: Intro to Mormon Natural Theology
Jennifer Ann Mackley
Jennifer Ann Mackley, JD, is the Executive Director of the Wilford Woodruff Papers Foundation, which she co-founded with Donald W. Parry in 2020. In addition to her legal practice as a partner in Mackley & Mackley, PLLC, Jennifer has authored or edited 21 books including Wilford Woodruff’s Witness: The Development of Temple Doctrine. She has been serving as a historian for the Wilford Woodruff Family Association since 2014 and has made numerous presentations and podcasts based on her research of Wilford Woodruff’s life and, through his records, the development of temple doctrine in the 19th century. Jennifer served in the Minnesota Minneapolis Mission and has been a temple worker in the Provo, Washington, D.C, Chicago, Salt Lake, and Seattle temples. She and her husband Carter are the parents of three adored children.
Presentation: Discovering Church History: The Wilford Woodruff Papers Project
Kirk Alder Magleby is the Executive Director of Book of Mormon Central. Kirk was born in Salzburg, Austria, and raised in Utah and Arizona. He served a mission for the Church in Peru. Kirk has a degree in economics from BYU and has spent his life in entrepreneurial as well as religious and humanitarian pursuits. Kirk is currently the Executive Director of Book of Mormon Central. He and his wife, Shannon, have 4 children and 10 grandchildren.
Presentation: Unforgettable Hugh Nibley
Steven Mayfield was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He received a B.S. degree in Police Science from Weber State. During his career, he was the Deputy Sheriff of Jefferson County, Colorado, and a Crime Scene Photographer/Crime Lab Tech for the Salt Lake City Police Dept. While at SLCPD he worked under the direction of George Throckmorton, who was one of the forensic document examiners involved in the Mark Hofmann case. Steven is a documentation collector of things “Mark Hofmann”: books, newspaper/magazine articles, material found on social media, recordings of items off radio, and TV/podcasts on Hofmann. He has given presentations on Hofmann at multiple conferences, and he shared some of his material with the producers of “Murder Among the Mormons.”
Presentation: The Mormon Murders – The Hoffman Forgeries
Brittany Chapman Nash
Brittany Chapman Nash is a specialist in Latter-day Saint women’s history and coedited the award-winning four-volume Women of Faith in the Latter Days series and Fearless in the Cause: Remarkable Stories of Women in Church History. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Humanities from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Victorian Studies from the University of Leicester in England. Brittany worked as a historian for ten years in the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has served on committees in the Mormon History Association, Better Days 2020, and Young Women general board. She is a member of the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team, a group dedicated to popularizing the history of Latter-day Saint women. Brittany lives with her husband, Peter, and two young children in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she enjoys working at home with her little ones. She loves learning people’s stories, helping plants to grow, and watching cooking shows with her husband.
Presentation: Let’s Talk About Polygamy
Daniel C. Peterson (PhD, UCLA) is a professor of Islamic studies and Arabic at Brigham Young University and founder of the university’s Middle Eastern Texts Initiative. He has published and spoken extensively on both Islamic and Mormon subjects. Formerly chairman of the board of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) and an officer, editor, and author for its successor organization, the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, his professional work as an Arabist focuses on the Qur’an and on Islamic philosophical theology. He is the author, among other things, of a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God (Eerdmans, 2007). Dan currently serves as the president of the Interpreter Foundation.
Presentation: The Book of Mormon Witnesses: Sincerity and Reality
Jenny Reeder is the nineteenth-century women’s history specialist at the Church History Department for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She has a PhD in American history from George Mason University, and an MA from New York University in history, archival management, and documentary editing. Jenny is on the Church Historian’s Press Editorial Board, the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Advisory Board, the Mormon History Association’s book awards committee, and the editorial board of Mormon Historical Studies. She has taught at BYU Education Week and has been a featured speaker at BYU Women’s Conference, the BYU Easter Conference, and Time Out for Women. She recently published First: The Life and Faith of Emma Smith with Deseret Book, and past publications include At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women and Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies of the Restoration. She leads the “Discourses of Eliza R. Snow” project, collecting and publishing all of Snow’s sermons on the Church Historian’s Press website and a selection of discourses in an upcoming print volume.
Presentation: First: The Life and Faith of Emma Smith
Derek R. Sainsbury has worked for 26 years in the Seminaries and Institutes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Currently, he is an instructor in the Church History and Doctrine department at Brigham Young University. He holds a PhD in American History from the University of Utah. He is the author of “Storming the Nation: The Unknown Contributions of Joseph Smith’s Political Missionaries,” the award-nominated first book-length treatment of Joseph Smith’s presidential campaign. He has also authored other academic articles and conference papers. He volunteers for Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants Central. He resides in Bountiful, Utah with his wife Meredith and their three sons and three dogs.
Presentation: “We mean to elect him”: Electioneer Experiences during Joseph Smith’s 1844 presidential campaign
Hanna Seariac is a MA student in the Comparative Studies program at Brigham Young University. Her research interests are the intersections of Greco-Roman literature with literature from Second Temple Judaism and the first two centuries of Christianity, especially as it pertains to human sacrifices and the death of revolutionary figures. She graduated from BYU with a BA in Classical Studies. As an undergraduate, she worked as a research and teaching assistant for several professors in the Ancient Scripture and Religious Education departments. She is currently employed by the Neal A. Maxwell Institute as a research assistant for Chris Blythe on Mormon fundamentalism and by BYU Studies as a research assistant on the Thessalonians New Testament commentaries.
Presentation: Handmaids of the Lord: The Ancient Function of Women in Temple Ordinances
Stephen O. Smoot is a doctoral student in the department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literature at the Catholic University of America. He previously earned a master’s degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, with a concentration in Egyptology, and Bachelor’s degrees from Brigham Young University in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, with a concentration in Hebrew Bible, and German Studies. His areas of academic study and research include the Hebrew Bible, ancient Egypt, and Latter-day Saint scripture and history. From 2015 to 2020 Stephen was a research associate with Book of Mormon Central and is currently a research associate with the B. H. Roberts Foundation. Stephen served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in northern New England (the New Hampshire Manchester Mission), which included six months at the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial in Sharon, Vermont.
Presentation: Abraham and the Stranger at Sodom and Gomorrah: Reading the Bible and Navigating LGBT Identity
Presentation: An Egyptian Context for the Book of Abraham (Thursday evening)
Ben Spackman is a PhD candidate in American Religious History at Claremont. His dissertation examines the intellectual roots of LDS creationism and evolution in the 20th century. Prior to his work at Claremont, he received a master’s degree and did PhD work in Old Testament languages and literature at the University of Chicago. He is a guest editor of a special edition of BYU Studies dedicated to biological evolution and LDS faith, and writes at BenSpackman.com.
Presentation: Through a Glass, Less Darkly: The 20th Century History of Genesis and Evolution
Dr. Jeffrey Thayne graduated from BYU with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in psychology. He completed his doctorate in Instructional Technology and Learning Sciences at Utah State University. He runs the popular Latter-day Saint Philosopher blog, and spends time engaging in worldview apologetics (articulating and exploring the worldview assumptions that inform our faith). He currently resides in Washington state with his wife and two children.
Presentation: Worldview Apologetics: Revealing the Waters in Which We Swim
Carl R Trueman is a graduate of the Universities of Cambridge (MA) and Abderdeen (PhD) and formerly served on faculty at the Universities of Nottingham and Aberdeen and Westminster Theological Seminary (PA). Before joining the Grove City College faculty in 2018, he was the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life at Princeton University. He is married with two adult sons and is also an ordained minister in the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. He is the author of numerous books, including Histories and Fallacies and The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self, both from Crossway, and joint editor (with Bruce Gordon) of The Oxford Handbook of Calvin and Calvinism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).
Presentation: The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self: Cultural Amnesia, Expressive Individualism, and the Road to Sexual Revolution