Session 301 (8:00 – 9:15 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: The “Diaspora” of the Histories of Emma Smith in the Various Restoration Branches by Taunalyn F. Rutherford

Abstract: Echoing the theme of “Restoration Diaspora: All Roads Lead From Nauvoo” this paper examines the “diaspora” of the histories of Emma Smith in various restoration branches. As roads have led away from Nauvoo, members who trace their spiritual roots back to Joseph Smith have looked to the First Lady of the Restoration in building identities. This paper will give an overview of the ways Emma Smith has been depicted in history and examine what these historical narratives say. Additionally it will ask how historical treatment of Emma Smith–a constant in Nauvoo history–reveals important insights into denominational identities of those from divergent paths of the Restoration.

Biographical Sketch: Taunalyn Rutherford is a Doctoral Candidate in History of Christianity and Religions of North America at Claremont Graduate University. Her research interests include global Mormonism, Missiology/Contextual Theology and Restoration Women’s Studies. She is an adjunct instructor of religion at Brigham Young University.

Title: Emma Smith & The 1869 Utah Affidavits by Johnny Stephenson

Abstract: In August of 1843 William Clayton wrote in his journal that Joseph Smith told him that if he took the Partridge sisters to be his plural wives, that Emma would divorce and leave him, indicating that Emma had not participated in any marriage between the sisters and her husband Joseph earlier that year as claimed by the Partridge sisters.
In 1869 several women (including the Partridge sisters) made affidavits that Emma did participate in a marriage ceremony involving the girls and her husband Joseph, though Emma denied until her death that Joseph practiced polygamy. There are some serious problems with the affidavits that Emily and her sister Eliza signed in 1869, along with their subsequent statements about Emma Smith’s participation in their marriage to Joseph.

Other women also made affidavits and statements attesting to Emma’s involvement in her husband’s plural marriages. This paper will explore the questions surrounding Emma’s statements, the testimony of those who claim she was actively involved in at least four of Joseph’s marriages, and the controversy surrounding the claims made by Emma and those that would later claim that she was lying.

Biographical Sketch: Johnny Stephenson is an independent historian and research consultant. An article he co-wrote with H. Michael Marquardt titled “Origin of the Baptism for the Dead Doctrine” will be appearing in the Spring 2017 Issue of the John Whitmer Historical Society Journal.

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Session 302 (8:00 – 9:15 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: The Patriarch and Lucy’s Double Log House: Roads Leading Back, “I dig Nauvoo” by Paul DeBarthe

Abstract: Archaeological investigation of Block 156, Lot 2, has demonstrated the location of the double log house where the Patriarch, Joseph Smith Sr. and Lucy Mack Smith lived when he died in 1840. As the common denominators for all the “roads leading from Nauvoo,” the home of the parents of the prophet became the first focus of, the new archaeological investigation established in 2012 by Lach MacKay, Paul DeBarthe and Bob Smith and continuing today. With volunteers from the Community of Christ, the Mormons (coordinated by Robert Smith of the Samuel H. Smith lineage), Restorationists (Alan Smith group from Mount Ayr, Iowa), and local and regional people interested in their history, we have uncovered the plowed out remains. Numerous volunteers from the Smith family have participated, some anticipating later investigations of other family properties such as the Hyrum Smith home, barn and office. The roads leading from Nauvoo are leading back to Nauvoo for the crew and volunteers who continue this investigation. Their hopes for an accurate legacy to be left for those studying history are being fulfilled as plans for reconstruction are being made. Friendships developed in the dig help to bridge and heal old wounds.

A slide presentation will explain the process and illustrate numerous artifacts found including dishes, flatware, buttons and coins verifying the identity of the site.

Biographical Sketch: Paul DeBarthe began his archaeology in 1971 at the Joseph Smith Summer Kitchen and Bee House under the direction of Robert T. Bray in the University of Missouri-Columbia, field school. He worked as crew chief on the Times and Seasons in 1975, then became the on-site archaeologist for excavation of the Mansion Hotel and Latrine complex. The U of Mo investigation concluded with the William Law site excavation in 1984. In 2005 a one week test under the auspices of the University of Nauvoo was conducted in the Homestead backyard demonstrating continued interest by volunteers. In retirement from teaching, Paul has volunteered to return to further examine the artifacts and sites of the Mormon period. His other archaeological work includes historic and pre-historic sites in the Mid-West, Virginia and excavations in Polynesia and Mexico.

Title: Retreat from Nauvoo: Sidney Rigdon’s Escape to Pittsburgh and the Planted Seed of the Bickertonite Movement by Daniel P. Stone

Abstract: Aboard the steamboat Osprey, Sidney Rigdon retreated from Nauvoo. His first departure to Pittsburgh in the spring of 1844 had met with jubilant farewells as “Joe Smith and all the dignitaries came to the boat to bid us goodbye.” Unfortunately, his second departure in September resembled an exodus. Feeling betrayed by Brigham Young, Rigdon desperately wanted revenge. He determined to expose the Twelve’s apostasy, usher in Zion, and establish the kingdom of God in Pittsburgh. However, his unchecked zeal to establish the New Jerusalem in Pennsylvania had unforeseen consequences. A new religious leader would arise from Rigdon’s downfall, and that man was William Bickerton.

Biographical Sketch: Daniel P. Stone is the author of the first full-length biography on William Bickerton, which is forthcoming from Signature Books in January 2018. He has an MA and BA in history, and currently works as a researcher and archivist for a private archive in Metro Detroit. Over the years, he has taught at Florida Atlantic University and the University of Detroit Mercy.

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Session 303 (8:00 – 9:15 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: WHAT Stops a Diaspora? Four Lessons from the Histories of the True Believers by Russell L. Osmond, Ph.D.

Abstract: The entire Joseph Smith “Famous Fourteen Years” period (1830-1844) is fraught with resistance and antagonism (in the eyes of the “victims”). “Mobs” are a common denominator during these founding years; the term “mob” appears in every year and geography of the Joseph Smith experience from 1830 forward.
One key common denominator of all foundational scientific studies of human motivation is that an individual’s first response to “mob behavior” is best described by that individual’s most dominant internal personal motivator/motivation.

How does today’s compelling 8-Factor Motivation Model apply to the early “Restoration Diasporas”? This presentation reviews that question by reviewing the known motivational patterns of key leaders of the earliest “Restoration Diasporas”. Specific substantial leaders reviewed as they faced unexpected resistance include those disappointed that departed during the Kirtland Era, Whitmers dismayed in Jackson County, early members of The Twelve Apostles, and concluding with the Apostolic Interregnum.

Biographical Sketch:

  • Native of Star Valley, Wyoming.
  • Only white student in all–Black Junior HS in Alexandria, VA in 1957
  • Undergraduate at Wesleyan University (Middletown, CN) before LDS Mission to Chile then finished at U of Utah where selected as Woodrow Wilson Fellow and first Hinckley Institute Intern in Utah Governor’s Office
  • PhD from Syracuse University, 1979 in International Relations…punctuated by 10 years active duty as one of first LDS Chaplains selected to serve in USAF (followed by 13 more years in USAF Reserve where job was to review all new management and leadership literature every year for USAF Chief of Chaplains)
  • #2 Senior Officer in major New York Mutual Savings Bank where introduced creative behavior change tools/techniques still in use today because the results significantly differentiated that bank from all others
  • Founder of Change Strategies International, Inc in Atlanta, GA in 1984: actively consulted with most of Fortune 10 over next 33 years while pursuing Mormon history as a fascinating adventure in definition of “what is a FACT?”.
  • Published internationally on violence in Mormon history, cross-cultural communication, and Making Change Happen Without Violence
  • 3 Adult Financially and Emotionally Independent Children + 19 grandchildren!

Title: Missing Competitor: Influence of the Demise of Nauvoo’s Mormon Community on Warsaw, Illinois by Craig Ostler

Abstract: Warsaw, Illinois, was a competing community with Nauvoo. The editor of the Warsaw newspaper, Thomas C. Sharp, had an ongoing feud with the citizens of Nauvoo that lasted beyond the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith. At one point, he even promoted William Strang’s efforts to draw supporters to his claims and out of Nauvoo. Today, Warsaw is a small community and the 1840s downtown has all but disappeared. The question remains as to what happened in Warsaw in the years that followed the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo. Did the exodus from Nauvoo bring prosperity and greater opportunity to Warsaw and her citizens or did the lack of a clear nemesis spell doom? I propose to present a paper examining the influence of the demise of Nauvoo’s Mormon community on Warsaw.

Biographical Sketch: Dr. Craig James Ostler is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University, where he has taught for more than 20 years. As a young man he served in the Colombia, Bogota, mission and later received a degree in Spanish teaching at BYU. He received a MA in Educational Administration and his Ph.D. in Family Studies. He has published extensively on latter-day revelation and history including the 1200-page volume, Revelations of the Restoration: A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants and Other Latter-day Revelations, which he co-authored with Joseph Fielding McConkie. In addition to teaching and writing, he also produces documentary videos on Church history sites and events, which are available for viewing at

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Session 304 (8:00 – 9:15 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: Navigating a Turbulent Climate: The 1844 LDS Reform Sect, by Robert M. Call

Abstract: This paper will look at how the 1844 dissent movement formed, the nature of the dissent organization, and what became of the group both as a body and as individuals during the Mormon diaspora. The paper examines the social networks that were integral to the formation of a group identity, proposes that the dissenters established an extralegal congregation of the LDS Church and not a separatist church, and argues the group evolved into Sidney Rigdon’s 1845 Church of Christ rather than disintegrating after fleeing Nauvoo.

Relevance to JWHA: The dissenters examined in this presentation experienced the broad range of nineteenth-century Mormonism and some were leaders in several expressions of Mormonism including the Community of Christ. Some of those dissenters were William, Jane, and Wilson Law, Austin Cowles, James Blakeslee, and the Jacob Scott family. A portion of this presentation examines why the RLDS Church appealed to many of the 1844 Nauvoo dissenters.

Biographical Sketch: Robert M. Call completed a master’s degree in history at Utah State University in May 2017. He studies early Mormon history with a special interest in dissenters and the Succession Crisis. As an Accredited Genealogist®, Robert is adept at tracking individuals “obscure and prominent” throughout their lives which helps him understand how the Mormon community acted and reacted during the Mormon Diaspora. Robert is currently employed as a genealogist and is an adjunct instructor of church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.

Title: A Pilgrimage of Commemoration and Celebration: Annual Pageants of the LDS Church by Lloyd D. Newell

Abstract: Six outdoor historical pageants are produced every spring and summer as a celebratory and educational outreach of the LDS Church. The pageants dramatize personalities and events in LDS history and are held in large outdoor settings that accommodate thousands of spectators. The pageants are described as “symphonic dramas,” which merge historic personages and events with dramatic storytelling, music, dancing, and pageantry. Some dramatize the historical events near the sites where the events occurred. The pageants inform and outreach to both LDS and non-LDS audiences, as well as commemorate and celebrate important events and teachings of the LDS Church.

Biographical Sketch: Lloyd D. Newell is a professor in the Church History & Doctrine Department of Religious Education at Brigham Young University. He is the author of more than a dozen books and numerous articles. He has held the Moral Education Professorship at BYU and has been associated faculty in the BYU School of Family Life.

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Session 311 (9:45 – 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: The Appeal of 1840s Mormonism to Norwegian-American Immigrants: The Case of the Lars Hayer Family by Thomas J. Morain

Abstract: Following their immigration to the U.S., several Norwegian families converted to Mormonism in the turbulent 1840s and joined the Fox River settlement in La Salle County, Illinois. What was the appeal of Mormonism to these recent arrivals? And why did they resist attempts by Brigham Young to join the trek west but instead become the core of the local RLDS congregation? Focusing on the Lars Hayer family, this paper will explore four factors that impacted critical decisions: economics, religion, ethnicity, and family.

Biographical Sketch: Currently the director of government relations at Graceland University, Tom Morain is a former head of the State Historical Society of Iowa. He earned a PhD in American Civilization at the University of Iowa with one history emphasis in American religious history and taught Iowa history at Iowa State University before taking a job as director of history at Living History Farms. He has authored several books and numerous articles on local history, including several published in the JWHA journal. He has been cited with the highest awards for service by both the State Historical Society and Humanities Iowa. He is a past president of the John Whitmer Historical Association and a former board member of the Community of Christ Historic Sites Foundation. He is also the brother-in-law of the 2017 program chair for the JWHA fall conference.

Title: Joseph F. Smith’s Nauvoo by Richard Neitzel Holzapfel

Abstract: I am interested in Joseph F. Smith (1838-1918) and his experience understanding and interpreting Nauvoo– how his memories of Nauvoo may have shaped by his experiences after he lived there (1839 – 1846).

JFS recorded his memories of Nauvoo in letters, diaries, and speeches filtered through his Utah experience after making the journey to Utah with his mother, Mary Fielding Smith (1801-52), and other family members.

JFS eventually returned to Nauvoo to visit his childhood home in 1860. During this important visit, JFS met his aunt, Emma Smith Bidamon (1804-79), and his cousins. The visit providing another filter for how he understood the significant of Nauvoo for himself and the Latter-day Saints in Utah.

The story of Nauvoo was a contested story and JFS joined the battle to claim a stake in this battle. JFS’s recollections and experiences in Nauvoo shaped a narrative that for him was the correct interpretation of Nauvoo’s significance for the Restoration. He returned again to Hancock County in 1906 after he had authorized the purchase of the Carthage Jail in 1903. The decision to purchase the jail was the first efforts of the Utah Church to not only interpret the Nauvoo experience through a special lens, but to have a physical claim to the a Nauvoo legacy the Church had created.

Drawing primarily upon his personal letters and diaries, this paper will explore what he said and how his memory of Nauvoo was shaped by the lens of living in the Mormon kingdom established in the Great Basin by Brigham Young.

Biographical Sketch: Richard Neitzel Holzapfel is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from the University of California Irvine in history before coming to BYU in 1993. Richard is the author of a number of books and articles and received the JWHA “Significant Contribution” award for his book, Old Mormon Nauvoo (1839-46). He has served as board member of the JWHA in the past.

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Session 312 (9:45 – 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: Latter Day Apocrypha: The Hidden Book Explosion from Nauvoo by Ryan C. Tittle

Abstract: While Nauvoo is a confusing place in terms of Community of Christ theology, the daring experiments there in Scripture, ritual, and socialization planted the seeds for groups ever since the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, Jr. to revolutionize their theological purpose. This is best represented by the myriad number of Scriptures that emerged since 1844 including other revelations from the Prophet (LDS), revelations from splinter groups (RestorationLDS/RemnantLDS), and the experiments of James J. Strang. Latter Day Apocrypha attempts to delve into the abundance of this material and shed light back on the theological innovations of the founding Prophet.

Biographical Sketch: Ryan C. Tittle is a writer from Walker County, Alabama. He is currently a candidate for the MA in Religion at Graceland University’s Community of Christ Seminary. He is a member of the Birmingham, AL congregation of Community of Christ, where he teaches the course Discoveries in the Doctrine and Covenants. He is a graduate of Athens State University (BA, English), Bennington College (BA, Drama/Theater), and the Alabama School of Fine Arts. He lives in Sumiton, Alabama.

Title: Which Way Did They Go, George J. Adams? A Look at the Direction the Saints Went with Special Emphasis on the Tabbut Family of Indian River, Maine by Daniel Kelty

Abstract: The Saints left Nauvoo in four directions.

George J. Adams left for Maine and organized a colony in Palestine. Andrew and Phebe Tabbut joined his church and later moved to Minnesota.
Buckley B. Anderson and his family left Nauvoo for the west and then north from Manti, Iowa, to Otter Tail County and finally to the Minnesota branch in Saskatchewan Canada.
Jerusha Bemis went to Salt Lake and San Bernardino. She stayed in southern California. Arnold Potter went to Salt Lake and San Bernardino. He returned to Council Bluffs as the “Potter Christ.”

Biographical Sketch: Daniel Kelty is a member of the awards committee for JWHA and the historian for Headwaters Mission Center, Community of Christ. He has had two articles published in the Journal. He lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is a librarian by profession. He has two grandchildren.

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Session 313 (9:45 – 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: “Zion’s Landing”: Riverboats and Boatmen in Old Nauvoo by Michael Allen

Abstract: As Dennis Rowley wrote in BYU Studies in 1978, Nauvoo, Illinois, was very much a “river town,” and the Latter Day Saints became Mississippi rivermen during their brief residence. This paper will briefly survey the varied river life of old Nauvoo, spotlighting the different kinds of boats and boatmen who plied the waters of the Mississippi in the late 1830s and early 1840s.

Nauvoo’s many construction projects created a huge demand for logs and lumber, so in 1841-42 the church dispatched a company of Saints northward to log and mill timber at a “pinery” on Winnebago Indian land abutting Wisconsin’s Black River. Steamboats had navigated western rivers for over twenty-five years prior to the founding of Nauvoo, and an average 365 steamboats worked the upper Mississippi River. Nauvoo became a significant steamboat landing, visited on average by five steamers each day. Always the entrepreneur, the Latter Day Saint Prophet, Joseph Smith, Jr., began steamboating in 1840. In addition, hundreds of flatboats, keelboats, and “lighters” landed and departed Nauvoo for points along the upper and lower Mississippi River. These simple craft were the most common and popular work boats on western rivers.

Biographical Sketch: Mike Allen, Professor of History at the University of Washington, Tacoma, and volunteer at Joseph Smith Historic Site, was born and raised in Ellensburg, Washington. After serving with the U.S. Marines in Vietnam, he worked for three years as a towboat cook, deckhand, and oil tankerman on the Mississippi, Illinois, Arkansas, Ouachita, and St. Croix Rivers and the Gulf of Mexico. He earned his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees, respectively, from Central Washington State College, University of Montana, and University of Washington, Seattle. He has taught at Tennessee Technological University, Deep Springs College, and Eastern Montana College.

Mike has authored or co-authored six books: A Patriot’s History Reader (New York Sentinel [Penguin Group] 2010), with Larry Schweikart and Dave Dougherty; A Patriot’s History of the United States: From Columbus’ Great Discovery to the War on Terror (New York: Sentinel {Penguin Group], 2004), withLarry Schweikart, #1 Amazon and New York Times Bestseller; A Patriot’s History Reader (New York, Penguin, 2009); The Confederation Congress and Creation of the American Trans-Appalachian Settlement Policy, 1783-1787 (New York: EdwinMellen, 2005); Frontiers of Western History: Origins, Evolution, and Future of Western History, ed., with Mary L. Hanneman (Needham, Massachusetts:Simon and Schuster Custom Press, 1997); Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination (Reno: University of Nevada Press, 1998); and Western Rivermen, 1763-1861: Ohio and Mississippi Boatmen and the Myth of the Alligator Horse (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1990), winner of the Phi Alpha Theta Book Award. He is currently writing a book titled Mississippi River Valley: The Course of American Civilization.

Mike Allen lives in Ellensburg and Tacoma. His three children are Jim, Davy, and Caroline.

Title: Noah Rogers: Around the World from Nauvoo to Nauvoo by J. Sherman Feher (Presenter) and Douglas S. Pike

Abstract: Joseph Smith Jr’s view of early Mormonism included global expansion, as missionaries were sent out to various places in the United States, Canada, England and beyond. This paper seeks to provide a perspective of early Mormonism and global expansion through the eyes of Noah Rogers. Noah Rogers was one of the first missionaries of the Restored Church to travel to the Society Islands (Tahiti). He had som interesting experiences on his mission from Nauvoo to these Islands with Addison Pratt, Benjamin Grouard, and Knowlton Hanks. His missionary service in the Society Islands coincided with the short-lived war between the Island’s native population in Tahiti and the French Protectorate, thus making proselytizing efforts very difficult under a stressful political, religious, and cultural environment. Then he continued around the world back to Nauvoo. Recently found information, including his diary, provides more perspective on his mission.

Biographical Sketch: J. Sherman Feher has an avid interest in Mormon History and Western U. S. History. He has presented two papers at the Mormon History Association’s Annual Conference. He has reviewed a number of books for the Journal of Mormon History and the Association for Mormon Letters. He was on the editorial staff of the Journal of Mormon History from 2008 to 2015. He has chaired sessions at MHA and JWHA Conferences.

Douglas S. Pike has been an avid amateur historian for the past 34 years with experience researching and writing about ancestors in the context of historic events in which they were participants. The greater focus has been on research associated with 19th century ancestors who were significant contributors to the early establishment and development of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Through research into original family sources, he has been successful in finding many unpublished facts and contributing information for these events. Doug’s interest began shortly after his participation in the early establishment of this faith in the Philippines (1976-78), and he remains an on-going researcher and contributor to documenting his family’s involvement in the faith. Married to Julie Lee Call, with whom he has raised 5 children. He is a professional consulting civil engineer and currently serves as Stake Patriarch in the Santa Barbara California Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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Session 314 (9:45 – 11:00 a.m., Saturday, September 23)

Title: Nauvoo Bogus by Joseph Johnstun

Abstract: Stories of counterfeiting have been attached to Mormons longer than the Book of Mormon has been around. In this session, Joseph Johnstun explores the Nauvoo-era stories and characters, and the adverse effect they had on relationships with non-Mormon neighbors.

Biographical Sketch: Joseph Johnstun is an independent historical analyst living in Fort Madison, Iowa. He has been obsessively compiling information related to the murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith for nearly a quarter century, and hopes to soon have an exhaustive history ready for publication. His article, “Weapons Related to the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith” (JWHA Journal Fall 2015), won the Best Historical Article Award for 2016.

Title: Six Mormon-Warsaw Connections by Brian Stutzman

Abstract: Located 18 miles south of Nauvoo, Warsaw, Illinois, was the hotbed of hostilities toward the Mormons in the 1840s. Newspaper Editor Thomas Sharp’s fiery rhetoric fanned the flames of persecution. But this bustling river town had some interesting ties to the Mormon people. This presentation discusses some of these connections including: Was Warsaw the home to Brigham Young’s favorite wife?; Thomas Sharp’s famous Mormon relative; The Eliza Graham and Ann Fleming connection to the trial of those who murdered Joseph Smith; and the connection Thomas Sharp’s wife’s home had to the Carthage Jail.

Biographical Sketch: Brian Stutzman is a past speaker at the Warsaw Historical Association and at BYU-Idaho’s Know Your Religion program. He is a businessman and author from Idaho Falls, Idaho, with a career in both the telecommunications industry and commercial real estate. He has been researching the history of Warsaw for several years with a focus on the “Mormon Troubles Period” and is just completing a book about early Warsaw and the Mormons.

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Session 321 (11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m., Saturday, September 22)

Overall Title: Preserving Mother Nauvoo’s Material and Cultural Infrastructure and Artifacts for her Posterity

Abstract: This session will examine the place Nauvoo occupies for the two largest branches of Mormonism, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Community of Christ. Scholars and leaders from each faith will discuss the historical attachment of the City of Joseph as well as efforts made to preserve the city and its religious sites for future generations.


    • Sally Roth: Introduction / Discussant and Session Chair

Richard E. Bennett: The Historical Attachment of Nauvoo for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Mark A. Scherer: The Historical Attachment of Nauvoo for Community of Christ

Lachlan Mackay: Community of Christ and the Preservation of Nauvoo

Scott C. Esplin: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Preservation of Nauvoo

Biographical Sketches

    • Richard E. Bennett is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University and its former department chair. He is also the past-president of the Mormon History Association and award-winning author on nineteenth-century Mormon history.

Mark A. Scherer is the former world church historian of Community of Christ and author of its three-volume history, The Journey of a People. He is a past-president of the John Whitmer Historical Association and winner of the organization’s best book award.

Lachlan Mackay is a member of the Council of Twelve Apostles within Community of Christ. He also serves as Historic Sites director and was formerly the director of the Joseph Smith Historic Site in Nauvoo. He is a past-president of the John Whitmer Historical Association and recipient of the organization’s best article award.

Scott C. Esplin is a professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. He is an author of numerous articles on Latter-day Saint historic sites and a forthcoming book on the impact of Nauvoo’s restoration on faith relations in the city.

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Session 331 (6:00 – 8:00 pm, Saturday, September 23)

Presidential Address: Exploring RLDS Identity in the 1960s: The Joint Council Seminars of 1967, Peter A. Judd

Abstract: The 1960s witnessed some significant events and programs in Community of Christ’s changing identity, purpose, and mission. This paper will focus on three pivotal Joint Council Seminars held in 1967. After setting the context and briefly describing the events of the 1960s that preceded and followed the seminars, this presentation will discuss the rationale for holding the seminars, how and by whom they were planned, the format and content of the seminars, and their aftermath through to the year 1970.

Biographical Sketch: Peter Judd retired in 2005 after 34 years as a full-time minister for Community of Christ. He served as a member of the First Presidency and of the Council of Twelve Apostles after serving in various capacities on the church’s headquarters staff. A native of Enfield, England, he holds a BA degree from Graceland College, an MA from the University of Kansas, and an MDiv and a DMin from Saint Paul School of Theology. Peter is the author or coauthor of ten books as well as many articles, pamphlets, study resources, and other publications for the church. In retirement Peter works on several projects for the church’s international headquarters including editing books for church publication. He enjoys spending time with his two daughters and three granddaughters who live close by and sharing in ministry with his wife, Kris.

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