Reminder and Final Schedule: Church History Symposium

By February 25, 2009

From the Religious Studies Center, and as a follow-up to an earlier post, here is the finalized schedule for the “Preserving Latter-day Saint History” symposium to be held this Friday, February 27.



Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Since the announcement doesn’t cover it, we should mention that the conference will be taking place at the BYU Conference Center, which is east of the Marriott center and north of where DT used to be.

    Comment by Ben — February 25, 2009 @ 5:48 pm

  2. I’ll be there!

    Comment by Kent (MC) — February 25, 2009 @ 6:24 pm

  3. I’m glad to see the addition of JI’s own Christopher presenting on the Oliver Cowdery Letters.

    Comment by Jared T — February 25, 2009 @ 8:17 pm

  4. Looks outstanding. Will any of the presentations be transcribed and available on line?

    Comment by Corn Duck — February 25, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  5. Some of the papers will be compiled into a published book of the proceedings. I doubt there will be any official transcription online, but I’m sure that some of us JIers attending some of the sessions will be likely to share our notes here as we’ve done for similar events in the past.

    Comment by Jared T — February 25, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

  6. Jared or anyone,

    With Christopher presenting on Cowdery, has there been any movement to get Cowdery’s papers published? I believe many of you were just babes in your mothers arms when the project was first announced. I hope this is a sign people are back interested in seeing what Cowdery had to say and write.

    Comment by Joe Geisner — February 25, 2009 @ 9:33 pm

  7. Joe, perhaps others have more current info than me, but last I knew Richard Anderson had completed most of his portion of the editing, but with the downturn in Scott Faulring’s health, the project has slowed considerably.

    Chris is working on a separate project involving OC, which I’ll let him explain in more detail.

    Comment by David G. — February 25, 2009 @ 11:16 pm

  8. Just to tag along to what David said, Richard Anderson has basically everything finished up until Cowdery left the Church, but has put it on the shelf because a) Faulring’s health (though Larry Morris might be taking his place) and b) Anderson is swamped with Joseph Smith Papers stuff.

    Comment by Ben — February 25, 2009 @ 11:56 pm

  9. David,

    Thanks very much for the response.

    I will tell you a secret, but you can’t tell anyone! I have seen the completed “project” ten years ago or so. There was some ARC’s made available in, I believe, a three volume set. I can’t emphasize enough, the project was complete. Scott had finished his portion, even before the ARC’s came out. Scott was a work horse, an incredible scholar and deserves a great deal of admiration.

    Comment by Joe Geisner — February 25, 2009 @ 11:59 pm

  10. Joe, I think everyone around here would agree with you about Scott. When I worked briefly with him at the Smith Institute in 2005, he really impressed me not only with his scholarship but also his insistence of taking notice on a little-known young scholar (me). He didn’t have to do that, but it made an impact on me.

    As for when the actual project sees the light of print, I’m not sure when that will happen or what the hold up has been.

    Comment by David G. — February 26, 2009 @ 12:40 am

  11. Joe, I don’t have any additional information on the OC Papers, but second your hope that they see the light of day in the not-too-distant future.

    I am very interested in what Cowdery had to say and write, yes, although I am more interested in how his writings and his memory have been used by Latter Day Saints in subsequent generations. The paper I am presenting tomorrow specifically looks at the eight letters Cowdery wrote to Phelps that were published in the M&A in 1834-35. As you probably know, these letters constitute the first institutional attempt to publish a history of Mormonism. That alone is significant and deserves attention.

    But the printing history of these letters is equally fascinating. The letters were published at least ten times in the 19th century (and an additional few times in the 20th) by various Latter Day Saint groups (you can see a brief writeup on the Stangite publication of them here). How these various (and often competing) branches of Latter Day Saintism used Cowdery’s memory is revealing in a number of ways, and my remarks tomorrow will focus partially on that.

    Comment by Christopher — February 26, 2009 @ 1:00 pm

  12. Thanks Christopher.

    I wish you the best in your presentation tomorrow. I also wish I could attend, but living so far away from Utah and having to work causes all kinds of problems.

    Your paper sounds wonderful for someone like me. Cowdery has always caught my interest. I remember as a little boy being attracted to hist story even more than Smith’s. As an adult Smith’s has taken center stage, but I am still very interested in Cowdery.

    In the 1980s Hofmann spead the rumor he had seen the Cowdery History in the 1st Presidency vault. Dean Jesse then published the Cowdery history in PofJS vol. 1 and some even suggested this is the history John Whitmer was alluding. I have no idea, though the timing seems to be off.

    I am very excited to get the report of the conference and wish I could attend. I would love to hear all of those papers by those in this group. I would also like to hear Robin’s. I have found Robin to be quite good and interesting. The best to all of you presenters and attendees.

    Comment by Joe Geisner — February 26, 2009 @ 2:55 pm

  13. Good luck, Jared, Ben, and Chris. Way to represent. Wish I could be there.

    Comment by Elizabeth — February 26, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

  14. So, what’s the dress code? BYU casual? πŸ™‚

    Comment by Trevor — February 26, 2009 @ 10:12 pm

  15. Tuxedo and spats. πŸ™‚

    I’m sure just “normal” attire for attendees would be fine.

    See these photos of last years conference.

    Comment by Jared T — February 26, 2009 @ 10:23 pm

  16. See these photos of last years conference

    Especially the good lookin’ guy in stripes in the second picture down, right Jared? πŸ˜‰

    Comment by Ben — February 26, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

  17. That’s right, especially πŸ™‚

    Comment by Jared T — February 26, 2009 @ 10:56 pm

  18. How did the conference go?

    Comment by Joe Geisner — February 28, 2009 @ 2:54 pm

  19. A good lookin’ guy (wearing a dark suit and red tie instead of stripes this time) gave a very good presentation on the earliest development of the Church among the Mexicans (rather than Anglos living in the Mormon colonies in Mexico). I know it was a good presentation because of this fact: He used a lot of Spanish names and terms, giving an overview of more than a century of Mexican political, social, and religious history, including political parties and churches and leaders and their evolving causes and schisms, as background to the the Mexican nationalism that shaped expectations of the earliest Mexican investigators of Mormonism. All that was utterly unfamiliar to me, and oral presentations are always the most difficult way for me to grasp new material.

    Yet it was so well organized, and progressed in such a logical fashion, and was interesting enough to keep me making the effort, that I understood his arguments despite all the ways he might have lost me. *That* was a good presentation.

    Someone else will have to give a review of the conference overall. I only give sartorial and pedagogical reviews.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — February 28, 2009 @ 4:51 pm

  20. Thanks for the kind words, Ardis. It’s very much a work in progress, but I’m glad you were able to take some insights away from it.

    Comment by Jared T — February 28, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  21. Thanks Ardis.

    This reminds me of my experience reading Ron Walker’s “Wayward Saints”. Ron was able to present the English saints in a way I found quite engaging. Sounds like Jared did a great job.

    Comment by Joe Geisner — February 28, 2009 @ 11:30 pm


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