- What to Expect
JOIN US for the 2019 FairMormon Conference, August 7-9, 2019, at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo, Utah.
The FairMormon 2019 Conference has great accommodations, new lunch menus, books you’ve never seen before, and a fantastic lineup of speakers and topics. All that we need now is… YOU!
About the Conference
The FairMormon Conference is an annual event that brings together a variety of people from a variety of areas. Each comes with a unique perspective on history, science, or theology, and all come with a desire to help discuss issues that are sometimes challenging to testimonies and faith.
The FairMormon Conference is a great way to get informed. Our conference is geared toward providing information and answers needed to faithfully deal with criticisms leveled against the Church and gospel.
Each year we strive to present speakers that address wide-ranging topics. We invite you to join us for a frank, thought-provoking, faith-building, and enjoyable experience. Come see what the excitement is all about!
What to Expect
The presentations last 50 minutes with a 10-minute break in between, plus an hour lunch break. There is a single track – no simultaneous classes – so you will be able to attend all presentations.
You are welcome to bring a laptop to take notes, though outlets are few. You should be able to find an outlet somewhere to top off during lunch. Wifi will be available.
Dress code: Casual to business casual.
Location: Utah Valley Convention Center, Provo, Utah.
Everyone is invited.
All Three Days – See the entire conference! Save 30% over the per-day price.
$102.99 (without lunch $85.99)
Two-Day Pass – Select any two days for the conference. Save 10% over the per-day price.
$88.99 (without lunch $73.99)
One-Day Pass – Select any one day of the conference.
$48.99 (without lunch $39.99)
You’ll notice our ticket prices have increased slightly. We’ve fought for years to keep the prices the same, but are finally at a point where we need to raise them a bit to better fulfill our mission. If ticket prices more closely reflect the actual cost of producing the conference, it will free up donated funds for other worthy efforts that have previously been out of reach. We sincerely hope that this slight increase will not prevent any of you from joining us in Provo this year.
Interested in an even better value?
For a limited time, use your Sustaining Membership discount to purchase your tickets for an additional 20% off. That means if you use your discount to purchase all three days, you get to attend the 2019 Conference for 50% off – only $82.24! (Less than the price of a two-day pass!)
Not a sustaining member yet but want to take advantage of this incredibly value? Become a sustaining member today! Purchase a sustaining membership first, then your 2019 Conference tickets, and receive the same discount.
NOTE: Online ticket pre-sales end July 31. After that, all ticket sales will be at the door, without lunch, and will cost $15 more per day. Streaming sales will be available before, during, and after the conference.
Conference streaming is available for your Windows, Android, Apple, and Roku devices. This is a way for you to have your own FairMormon Conference in your home or office. The price for streaming the conference into your home or to your phones, computers, or tablets is $29.95 for all three days. The streaming will be available live and then archived content will be available for a limited time beginning a few days after the conference. Thus those who are in different time zones can take advantage of this opportunity.
NOTE: Streaming will continue to be available for purchase through the conference and will remain available for purchase for several months after the conference.
Streaming includes both audio and video. Due to the nature of streaming, some presentation content may be illegible. When you sign up, in the notes section, please mention which device or devices you are planning on using (Roku, iPhone, iPad, Android tablet, etc.).
Become a Sponsor
Multiple sponsorship opportunities are available. Contact DeeAnn Cheatham at [email protected] for more information on becoming a sponsor and for guidance on what sponsorship level will work best for you.
Matthew L. Bowen is an assistant professor of Religious Education at Brigham Young University–Hawaii where he has taught since 2012. He holds a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he also earned an M.A (Biblical Studies). He previously earned a B.A. in English with a minor in Classical Studies (Greek emphasis) from Brigham Young University (Provo) and subsequently pursued post-Baccalaureate studies in Semitic languages, Egyptian, and Latin there. In addition to having taught at Brigham Young University–Hawaii, he has previously taught at the Catholic University of America and at Brigham Young University. Bowen is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles on scripture- and temple-related topics and two forthcoming books on scriptural onomastics. Bowen grew up in Orem, Utah, and served a two-year mission in the California Roseville Mission. He and his wife, the former Suzanne Blattberg, are the parents of three children, Zachariah, Nathan, and Adele.
Presentation: Laman and Nephi as Key-Words: An Etymological, Narratological, and Rhetorical Approach to Understanding Lamanites and Nephites as Religious, Political, and Cultural Descriptors
Don Bradley is a writer, editor, and researcher specializing in early Mormon history. Don recently performed an internship with the Joseph Smith Papers Project and is completing his thesis, on the earliest Mormon conceptions of the New Jerusalem, toward an M.A. in History at Utah State University. He has published on the translation of the Book of Mormon, plural marriage before Nauvoo, and Joseph Smith’s “grand fundamental principles of Mormonism” and plans to publish an extensive analysis, co-authored with Mark Ashurst-McGee, on the Kinderhook plates. Don’s first book was The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Missing Contents of the Book of Mormon.
Tad R. Callister
Tad R. Callister was serving in the Presidency of the Seventy and as a member of the Second Quorum of the Seventy when he was called as Sunday School general president. He has served in a number of Church callings including full-time missionary in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission, bishop, stake president, regional representative, mission president, and Area Seventy.
Brother Callister received a bachelor of science degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California–Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in tax law from New York University Law School. He spent most of his professional career practicing tax law. He and his wife Kathryn Louise Saporiti are the parents of six children.
Elder Craig C. Christensen
Elder Craig C. Christensen was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on October 5, 2002. At the time of his call he was serving as a member of the Fifth Quorum of the Seventy in the Utah South Area.
As a General Authority, Elder Christensen served as President of the Mexico South Area from 2003 to 2007 while living in Mexico City. He has also served in various departments and assignments at Church headquarters, such as Executive Director of the Priesthood and Family Department. He is currently serving in the Missionary Department.
Elder Christensen graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He went on to earn a master of business administration from the University of Washington. Over the years, he has been a visiting instructor of business and religion courses at several universities, including Brigham Young University.
At the time of his call as a General Authority, Elder Christensen was a self-employed businessman in the retail automotive, insurance, and real estate development industries. He previously worked as an executive with several privately owned companies and with an international accounting and consulting firm based in San Francisco, California.
Elder Craig C. Christensen was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on March 18, 1956. He married Debbie Jones in March 1978. They are the parents of four children.
Brian C. Hales
Brian C. Hales is the author of Setting the Record Straight: Mormon Fundamentalism and also Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto, which received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. In addition he co-authored the 1992 publication The Priesthood of Modern Polygamy: An LDS Perspective, and is webmaster of mormonfundamentalism.com. Brian works as an anesthesiologist at the Davis Hospital and Medical Center in Layton, Utah, where he serves as Secretary of the Medical Staff. He also served as President of the Davis County Medical Society in 2009.
An active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brian has fulfilled many Church callings and is a former full-time missionary. He has presented at the Mormon History Association meetings, Sunstone Symposiums, and the John Whitmer Historical Association meetings on polygamy-related topics. His articles have also been published in Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, and the Journal of Mormon History. In addition to his historical works, Brian has authored three books on doctrinal themes entitled The Veil (Cedar Fort, 2000), Trials (Cedar Fort, 2002), and Light (Cedar Fort, 2004). Brian published the three-volume Joseph Smith’s Polygamy by Greg Kofford Books in 2013.
Presentation: Supernatural or Supernormal? Scrutinizing Secular Sources for the Book of Mormon
Scott A. Hales has been a historian/writer for the Church History Department since 2015. He currently works as a writer and story editor for Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days, the new four-volume narrative history of the Church. He has a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MA and PhD in American Literature from the University of Cincinnati. He has published scholarly articles on Mormon and American literature in several academic journals, including Religion and the Arts and The Journal of Transnational American Studies. He currently lives in Eagle Mountain, UT with his wife and five children.
Presentation: The Exodus and Beyond: A Preview of Saints, Volume 2: No Unhallowed Hand
Angela Hallstrom lives in Woodbury, Minnesota, with her husband and four children. Her fiction has received awards from the Utah Arts Council and has appeared or is forthcoming in Dialogue, the New Era, Irreantum, and Salt Flats Annual. She holds an MFA in creative writing from Hamline University and has served on the editorial boards of Water-Stone Review and Segullah. She is the author of the novel Bound on Earth and editor of the anthology Dispensation: Latter-Day Fiction. Angela is currently working on the official history of the church, “Saints.”
Presentation: Women’s Voices in Saints
René A. Krywult
Rene Krywult has been a member of FairMormon for over eighteen years and has been instrumental in founding the German-speaking FairMormon group. He is a software developer and project manager for a European financial institution. He is married to Gabriele Krywult, and they have four children and three grandchildren. His first publication was “Mormon Deification Compared to Orthodox Christian Theosis” in the magazine Spirituality in East and West of Dialog Center International, a Protestant network of organizations engaged in researching new religious movements. More articles on the FairMormon website followed. Rene’s particular focus is on comparing the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with those of both traditional Christians and the early Christian centuries. He had his first contact with anti-Mormonism at age 14, and from that time on one of his major interests has been to understand how anti-Mormon literature works, how to discern how reliable the information provided really is, and how to grow in faith while studying arguments made by the opposition.
Presentation: Fear Leads to the Dark Side: How to Navigate the Shallows of Internet (Mis)Information
Elizabeth A. Kuehn
Elizabeth A. Kuehn is a historian with the Joseph Smith Papers at the Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She is a co-editor on two volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers to be published in 2017: Documents, Volume 5: October 1835–January 1838 and Documents, Volume 6: February 1838–August 1839. She is a PhD. Candidate at the University of California, Irvine. She earned her MA in History from Purdue University and her BA in History from Arizona State University. She specializes in nineteenth-century financial records and women’s and gender history.
Presentation: Apostles and Their Wives 1839–41
Larry E. Morris
Born and reared in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Larry E. Morris received his B.A. in philosophy and M.A. in American literature, both from Brigham Young University. He works at Novell as a senior editor and formerly worked as an assistant editor for the Ensign.
Larry has published historical articles in such publications as BYU Studies, The John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, and Honolulu magazine. He is now working on a book about the members of the Lewis and Clark expedition. His most recent publication, A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon, is the first single-volume collection of documents to focus exclusively on the origin of the Book of Mormon.
Larry and his wife, Deborah, are the parents of four children and live in Salt Lake City, where Larry currently serves as Young Men’s president.
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, where he has taught Arabic language and literature at all levels, Islamic philosophy, Islamic culture and civilization, Islamic religion, the Qur’an, the introductory and senior “capstone” courses for Middle Eastern Studies majors, and various other occasional specialized classes. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Islamic and Latter-day Saint topics–including a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God (Eerdmans, 2007)—and has lectured across the United States, in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, and at various Islamic universities in the Near East and Asia. He served in the Switzerland Zürich Mission (1972-1974), and, for approximately eight years, on the Gospel Doctrine writing committee for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He also presided for a time as the bishop of a singles ward adjacent to Utah Valley University. Dr. Peterson is married to the former Deborah Stephens, of Lakewood, Colorado, and they are the parents of three sons.
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: “Time Vindicates the Prophet” – An analysis of criticisms raised against the Book of Mormon during Joseph Smith’s lifetime and the status of those allegations in 1844, 1930, and 2019.
Ben Spackman did ten years of undergraduate (BYU) and graduate work in ancient Near Eastern studies and Semitics (University of Chicago) before moving on to general science (City College of New York). Currently a PhD student in History of Christianity at Claremont Graduate University, Ben’s focus is the intertwined history of religion, science, and scriptural interpretation; most specifically, he studies the intellectual history of fundamentalism, creationism, and religious opposition to evolution in connection with interpretations of Genesis.
Ben taught volunteer Institute and Seminary for a dozen years in the Midwest, New York, and California, taught Biblical Hebrew, Book of Mormon, and New Testament at BYU, and TA’d a course on God, Darwin, and Design at Claremont. He has contributed to BYU Studies, Religious Educator, the Maxwell Institute, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Religion&Politics, the Salt Lake Tribune, and blogs occasionally at Timesandseasons and Benjamin the Scribe, where he writes extensively about Gospel Doctrine, scripture, evolution, and Genesis. He has presented lectures, firesides, and papers at various conferences, including the Joseph Smith Papers, the Mormon History Association, the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, the Maxwell Institute Seminar on Mormon Culture, the Mormon Theology Seminar, Mormon Scholars in the Humanities, BYU’s Sperry Symposium, BYU Late Summer Honors (lecture on Genesis and evolution), and this year, Education Week (Aug 21-24), on Reading the Bible in Context. He is a contributor to BYU’s ecumenical Reconciling Evolution project.
Ben has appeared on various podcasts: LDS Perspectives (on genre in the Bible, and Genesis 1), LDS MissionCast (on missionaries, prooftexting, and the Bible), and GospelTangents (on evolution, scripture, and religious history).
He typically juggles half a dozen writing projects at once, currently including a book on Genesis 1 for an LDS audience, a dissertation on post-1970 creationism/evolution conflict in the LDS Church and its early 20th century roots, a chapter on the Cain/Abel story in Genesis, a chapter on LDS approaches to scripture, and a paper on the intellectual background of early 20th-century LDS attempts to reconcile science with scripture (fossils, dinosaurs, pre-adamites, evolution, age of the earth, etc.). He recently received a grant from the Redd Center for research on LDS understandings of dinosaurs and the establishment of BYU’s two museums.
Presentation: A Paradoxical Preservation of Faith: How LDS Creation Accounts Compel Us to Recognize the Nature of Revelation
Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D., M.B.A., has been a psychologist in private practice, president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists, and a visiting professor at Brigham Young University-Provo. She founded Sixteen Stones Center for Growth, which offers seminar-retreats for Latter-day Saint women and their loved ones (see sixteenstones.net). Her books include Let God Love You; Weakness Is Not Sin; Habits of Happiness; The Temple Experience; Forgiving Ourselves; and national best-seller The Why of Work,coauthored with her husband, Dave Ulrich.
Presentation: Women, Men, and Priesthood Power
John W. Welch
John W. Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, where he teaches various courses, including Perspectives on Jewish, Greek, and Roman Law in the New Testament. Since 1991 he has also served as the editor in chief of BYU Studies. He studied history and classical languages at Brigham Young University, Greek philosophy at Oxford, and law at Duke University. As a founder of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, one of the editors for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism, and co-director of the Masada and Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at BYU, he has published widely on biblical, early Christian, and Latter-day Saint topics.
Presentation: Parables of Jesus Revealing the Plan of Salvation
The Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center is located across the street from the Convention Center. Not only is it convenient, but the Marriott is an upscale hotel providing rooms (standard room, 1 king or 2 queen beds) at the discounted rate of $131 per night (plus tax). This rate includes free in-room wifi and free onsite parking. This special FairMormon Conference room rate is only available through 10 July 2019.
You can make your reservation by phone or online.
- Call 1-800-228-9290 or 801-377-4700 and request the FairMormon Conference room block. (May be under the name “FAIR DEFENDING MORMONISM CONFERENCE.”)
- Click this link to book our special rate.
Provo Marriott Hotel & Conference Center
101 West 100 North
Provo, Utah 84601 USA
See this PDF as well as the map below: Downtown Provo Parking Map (PDF)
We are grateful to the help and support from the following sponsors: