Book of Mormon Symposia Expand

A greater number of conferences and symposia than ever before have concentrated our attention this summer and fall on the Book of Mormon. Here is a brief description of several of these programs, making particular note of instances where F.A.R.M.S. directors or advisors are involved. In many cases, copies of the papers presented at these symposia can be obtained by writing to the organizers or to the participants.

On Monday, November 24, 1986, a Consultation on Studies of the Latter-day Saints will be held at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel as a part of the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. The session, organized and chaired by F.A.R.M.S. Research Board member Gordon C. Thomasson, will examine the Mormon concept of scripture (canon). Presentations will include papers by W. D. Davies, Kent P. Jackson, John W. Welch, David J. Whittaker, Truman J. Madsen, and M. Gerald Bradford.

On October 10-11, the Second Annual Book of Mormon Symposium, organized by the BYU Religious Studies Center, was held on the Brigham Young University campus. The theme of the symposium was 1 Nephi, and lecturers included Daniel Ludlow, John Welch, Alan Parrish, Paul Cheesman, John Sorenson, Rex Reeve, Robert Parsons, Paul Hoskisson, Monte Nyman, Truman Madsen, Gerald Lund, Donl Peterson, Stephen Robinson, Phillip Flammer, Robert Matthews, Rodney Turner, Clark Johnson, Robert Millett, and Susan Easton Black, with a keynote speech by Elder Neal A. Maxwell. The proceedings of the symposium will be published by the BYU Religious Studies Center.

Also in October, Book of Mormon programs were sponsored by the Society for Early Historic Archaeology in Provo, Utah, and by the Foundation for Research on Ancient America, in Independence, Missouri. In Missouri, for example, Bruce Warren spoke on “Dating the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ,” and Garth Norman discussed “Similarities in Jaredite and Nephite Measurement.” Bruce and Garth are F.A.R.M.S. Research Board members.

Many other conferences have been held in conjunction with the LDS Church Educational System’s preparation for this year’s seminary curriculum on the Book of Mormon. On August 14-15, the Annual CES Symposium was held in Provo. A booklet is now available from CES containing copies of many of the papers presented.

John W. Welch, John L. Sorenson and Les Campbell have spoken about “Recent Developments in Book of Mormon Research” either at the CES Symposium, or at Seminary and Institute faculty meetings in or from St. George, Arizona-New Mexico, Salt Lake City, Utah Valley, Boise, Logan, Northeastern States, Bountiful, and Richfield. John W. Welch also delivered a presentation entitled “The Book of Mormon as a Tabernacle of our Faith” on Wednesday, September 17, as part of the rededication exercises for the Provo Tabernacle.

Stephen Ricks has also been busy. He presented a paper entitled “Magic and Methodology: The Case of the Hebrew Bible” at the international meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in Jerusalem this August. He will speak on “The Throne Theophany Motif in the Quran” at the national meeting of the Middle East Studies Association to be held in Boston in late November.