The 20th International Book of Mormon Evidence Conference will be held Sept 15-16, 2017 at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah . The theme of the conference is “One Cumorah”. Each speaker has been invited to shed some light on that theme during their presentation.
The current list of potential speakers with their main focus in parenthesis, are as follows:
Bagley, Val Chadwick (Heartland Cartoons)
Clifford, Jill & Mark (Heartland Tours)
Doane, David (Judah and the Book of Mormon)
George, Anthony & Lorraine (Ohio Archaeology)
Goodman, Kels (Heartland Movies)
LaFontaine, Betty (Navajo Educator)
Littlebear, Shawn (Cheyenne Medicine Man)
Meldrum, Rod (All things Heartland)
Neville, Jonathan (Video, not in person)
Osmond, Alan & Suzanne (Book of Mormon)
Openshaw, Pam (US Constitution)
Sessions, Dean (New Science)
Smith, Howard Carlos (Keeper of the Prophets Sword)
Smoot, Steve (Lost American Civilizations)
Stoddard, Hannah (Nephite Remnant)
Stoddard, James (Nephite Remnant)
This list above will be updated as we confirm speakers for the Sept 2017 Conference. It may change at any time. Last updated Aug. 17, 2017 Note: Jonathan Neville will be out of town, but he has agreed to tape a video for us on his new topic called, “Why Mormons need the Book of Mormon”. You will love his presentation.
See Schedule of Speakers Here
20th Book of Mormon Evidence Conference Speaker Bio’s
Val Chadwick Bagley
Author, Artist, The Cartoonist Guy
Val Chadwick Bagley is an American cartoonist and illustrator. He has illustrated many Latter-day Saint childrens books as well as regularly contributed cartoons to LDS magazines The New Era and The Friend. Although he is sometimes confused with Pat Bagley, editorial cartoonist for the Salt Lake Tribune, the two are not related.
Although he was raised in Southern California, Val Chadwick Bagley loves to tell people he’s from Wyoming, which is true….. Val was born in Afton, Wyoming where he lived with his parents until he was just 6 weeks old. His father then moved his family to Southern California where Val grew up. Growing up in California, near Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm, was the perfect environment for Val to develop his artistic skills. With encouragement from his mother, he decorated a bulletin board at home each month. He’s been decorating, drawing, coloring and entertaining people ever since. The opportunity to share his testimony, love of the Book of Mormon, and his engaging sense of humor has enabled him to use his talents to create several books and card games for the LDS market. Val’s had many nicknames throughout his life but the one his wife loves the most is Valiant. He loves our Father in Heaven and our Savior, Jesus Christ; has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon; a deep love and respect or the Prophet Joseph Smith and is grateful for the church and the solid foundation it is in his life. He is valiant in always giving his best and trying to do his best every day. Sharing his testimony through art has blessed Val and his family as well as Latter-day Saint people worldwide.
Jill & Mark Clifford
Owners of Legacy Tours and Travel
Legacy Tours has been conducting tours with Rod Meldrum since 2010. Owners Mark and Jill Clifford and Kris Kimball enjoy helping guests explore the amazing sites introduced in Rod’s book: Discovering the Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland. Mark, Jill and Kris love to travel! They realize there is no better way to understand a subject than to visit the sites, see the places and walk the paths of history. They believe you can have an incredible tour that educates you, inspires you and also lets you have unique and fun experiences.
Mark and Jill graduated from Brigham Young University. Mark has a degree in psychology and Jill has her degree in Humanities. Mark studied abroad in Russia and has traveled throughout Europe and Great Britain. Jill studied abroad in Israel, Austria and Prague. Mark has also been involved in real estate and hotels. Jill taught high school English. Mark and Jill have four children.
Kris Kimball is married with 3 children and 4 beautiful grandchildren. Kris loves to travel and has an unquenchable desire to seek after knowledge and truth. She traveled in 2009 and 2010 on humanitarian expeditions to Kenya which included building a school in Mygunami, a small village outside of Mombasa. Out of all of her travels around the world, Israel is her most favorite. She loves visiting the homeland of Jesus Christ, it always increases her love and testimony of her Savior.
Master’s Degree Middle Eastern Studies; Master’s Degree Agricultural Economics
David Doane holds a Master’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from Brigham Young University. He has traveled extensively in North America, Europe, the Middle East and India during his 35 years in the information technology (IT) industry.
His lifelong passion for the history, cultures and religions of the Middle East springs from his Jewish heritage and subsequent conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ when he was 22 years old. His unique abilities to understand the meanings of scriptures spring from his Jewish heritage, extensive Book of Mormon research, educational experiences, and world travels.
Have you ever wondered who the Remnant are? What do the scriptures and Joseph Smith say, and what do the native Americans say about themselves? And, what is the role of the Remnant in the future?
Learn about how the Lord will personally gather His covenant people, the Remnant, fulfilling the Abrahamic covenant in part, as promised nearly 4000 years ago, and foretold in a number of native American histories.
Anthony & Lorraine George – Mound Builder Researchers
Tony and Lorraine have been researching the Mound Builder culture most of their lives. Tony was born and raised in southern Ohio, otherwise known as Hopewell Central, and follows in the footsteps of his father’s passion. Lorraine, his high school sweetheart, joined with him on an early date to Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, and the rest is history, literally. Having been surrounded by countless earthworks during their life and working closely with current archaeologists, they share enthusiasm and excitement and their love of history with countless visitors to Ohio.
Parents to six boys, they have been active in the Church in Ohio, and Tony was recently released as Bishop of the Chillicothe Ward.
Film Producer Hidden in the Heartland
Kels has been in the film business for 25 years, best known for the creation of “Will it Blend”, one of the most successful viral ad campaigns of all time, garnering over a half a billion views on YouTube. He has also produced a number of feature films such as “Handcart”, “The Latter-Days of Elvis Presley”, “Wayward” and “The Last Eagle Scout”. His current project “Hidden in the Heartland” is a new series that follows the research providing evidence of the Book of Mormon locations in North America. Look of his new film titled “Season 2 of Hidden in the Heartland” to be released in 2017.
Kaye Starr Heninger – Book of Mormon Musician
Kaye Starr Heninger is a composer, pianist and choir director, with a focus to create musical nuance from the Book of Mormon that will penetrate the heart of the listener. She earned her Bachelor degree in Music at BYU, and since 1991 has used her talents by traveling with her choir all over the world. As a busy Mom, she has had to use the quiet hours of the night to gain inspiration for countless melodies, harmonies and rhythms as she sought to depict sacred passages from the Book of Mormon. She has stirred many musicians to help her present those sounds, and finds it an amazing phenomenon to see the proudest and toughest of individuals cry when they hear her music! For three years in a row (2006-2008) Kaye Starr’s music, text and narrative scripts won the coveted Deseret Dramatic Recognition Awards from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Each script and narrative program contains 12-15 original pieces of music, and the titles of her award-winning programs are as follows: •A Great and Marvelous Work •Voices from the Dust •Our Land, Our Liberty •The Power and the Promise Joseph Smith, Prophet of God •Songs of the Prophets Kaye Starr founded and directs “The Kaye Starr Singers,” works with the missionary program and Church leaders, and has presented in all the western United States, plus Alaska (2004-2005-2006), Hawaii (2007) and Ohio (2014). They have sung in Israel (2000) and when they toured in Guatemala (2013), hundreds of new investigators received lessons from the missionaries—and many joined the Church—as a direct result of Kaye Starr’s music. For several years in the 1990s—and in 2011—hundreds were introduced to the Church in Queensland, Australia, when the Kaye Starr Singers toured that country. Just recently (March 2016) her choir toured New Zealand with a dozen presentations of powerful and penetrating Book of Mormon music. Lives were changed and brand-new hearts were created as listeners pondered the messages of the music. She lives with her husband, Brent E. Heninger, in Layton, Utah, and they are the parents of 12 children.
Betty “Red Ant” LaFontaine
Native American “Navajo” Educator and Teacher
Betty “Red Ant” LaFontaine is a full blooded Diné (Navajo) born of the Red Clay Bottom Clan, for the Salt Clan. Raised on the Navajo Reservation, she lived most of her youth in New Mexico in the traditional ways of the Diné.
Betty is the middle child of eleven children, most of whom continue to live on the Reservation. Her father is Charlie (Man in the White Meadow) White, and her mother is Helen Yazzie White. Her ties to her family and homeland remain strong. Her family was taught by missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in about 1967 her mother was baptized by LeGrande Richards. Her mother later took out her endowments in the Mesa Arizona Temple. Helen served as a Relief Society President in her hometown of Crownpoint, New Mexico, and has always been very sensitive to the Spirit, despite her lack of a formal education. Betty did the Temple work for her father Charlie, after he passed away.
At age five, Betty began her formal education. While attending school she was taught English as a second language. She was not permitted to speak her native tongue during the school day. Betty’s mother Helen chose to have Betty attend the LDS Indian Student Placement Program, giving her access to a better education and an introduction to the modern world. During her seven years in the program, Betty met her husband of 38 years, Mike LaFontaine originally from Florida, and is of Chippewa heritage. Mike’s parents are Melvin J. and Dellene M. Peterson LaFontaine. Mike and Betty were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple in 1982 and they currently live in Orange Park, Florida where they have been for 25 years, spending time with their beautiful 5 children and 18 grandchildren.
As a modern urban Indian, Betty’s passion is to educate others about the realities of reservation life, and the history and culture of her people. Betty loves helping others become outstanding members of their communities, and especially loves strengthening her brothers and sisters in the LDS Church. As an Indian educator, Betty makes presentations about her native culture, life-ways, heritage to school assemblies, clubs, groups, organizations, and business employees. Betty has served in Relief Society, Young Women, and as a teacher in Sunday School, and Primary. She is from the tribe of Manasseh. Her testimony of the veracity of the Book of Mormon has engendered in her an interest in recent archaeological and DNA evidences and the ties she has to her heritage and native culture. Her Native American brothers and sisters are a chosen yet scattered people and her passion is to bring them home to the Savior where they may lead in building the New Jerusalem.
Shawn Terry Littlebear
LDS Cheyenne Medicine Man
Shawn Terry Littlebear was born Terry Lynn Scabby in Hammon Oklahoma in 1963 to Cheyenne Indian Parents Robert and Mary Hamilton Scabby. At the age of 2 he was taken from his parents and placed into an Orphanage in Tipton, Oklahoma. Along with his siblings he stayed there until December 1976. Then he was placed into the LDS Church Indian Placement Program out of Kansas City, Missouri, where he was placed into a home in the countryside in Jackson County. Four months later he was moved to Utah. He Joined the church in 1977 and graduated from Provo High School in 1981. He joined the U.S. Navy in 1982 and received an Honorable Medical Discharge in 1983. After his service changed his name to Shawn Terry Littlebear. He moved to Oklahoma to be near his mother and attend school at the local junior college, graduating with a two year Associates Degree in Commercial Arts. He also began to be involved in his tribes culture and traditions and became one of its leaders. He has three girls and is now teaching the ways of his people. In 2009 he was taken through the Provo Temple by his foster dad and was called to serve a mission in Oklahoma. After his mission he began to gather genealogy and history and piece together the history of his people… and he continues today…
Rodney L. Meldrum is a researcher, author, and national lecturer on the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, with an emphasis on the scriptural and physical evidences recently discovered indicating North America as the most likely location where its epic history played out.
He served for seven years as senior scientific researcher on a natural sciences book, was President and CEO of High Country Gourmet, Inc., Orem, Utah, and more recently was Director of Business Development for Interact Medical, a leading LMS (Learning Management System) developer for surgeons and patients in the medical device industry.
He and his wife, Tonya, are the parents of four children. He is a fifth-generation member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, served a mission in Milan, Italy, and has served faithfully in many church leadership callings, most recently Young Men’s President, High Priest Group Instructor, and currently Sunday School President of his Provo, Utah, Ward.
Jonathan Neville – Author, Lawyer, Educator
lettervii.com – moronisamerica.com – bookofmormonwars.com
Jonathan Neville is a lawyer, businessman, educator and author who has written over forty books, including both nonfiction and fiction. He has studied Church history and the Book of Mormon for decades, but didn’t begin publishing in the field until 2015. As of July 2017, he has published ten books on these topics. He also writes for several blogs, including
Brother Neville approaches these issues like the criminal prosecutor he once was. He pursues the evidence wherever it leads and doesn’t simply “assume” anything or take anyone’s word at face value. When it comes to Church history, he follows the adage: “trust, but verify.” That process of verifying has led to some important new discoveries that he finds to be faith-affirming and corroborate what Joseph Smith said and what the Book of Mormon teaches.
For the last twenty-five years, Jonathan has lived in Utah, but he has lived in Europe for 8 years, in the Philippines, in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Tennessee, and Illinois. He has visited over 60 countries on every continent—including a Chilean base in Antarctica. He travels frequently with his wife Beverly, a PhD and Division Director for the Salt Lake County Health Department who is also a college professor and author, a popular speaker at BYU Education Week, and the author of an article in the Ensign in 2015. They have eight children, seven grandchildren, and no pets.
Tim Ballard, author of the Lincoln Hypothesis among other books, says Brother Neville’s book titled Moroni’s America is “a definite game changer… finally a complete, honest, and faithful look at Book of Mormon geography that deals with all the tough questions.”
Brother Neville’s book, Whatever Happened to the Golden Plates?, explains how Joseph Smith actually translated two separate sets of plates—only one of which came from Moroni’s box in the Hill Cumorah. This new understanding of Church history helps explain details that have puzzled historians for decades.
Brother Neville has spoken at firesides and conferences throughout the United States and in Europe.
Pamela Romney Openshaw
Author of Promises of the Constitution
Pamela Romney Openshaw found her passion for the Constitution and yearning for the politics of good, moral government while serving as an elected delegate from Nebraska to President Carter’s 1980 White House Conference on Families. She saw how political forces can distort procedures and policies so that they appear to represent the will of the American people, but it became obvious that powerful forces for both good and evil operate in the hearts of those who lead.
Her love of country, family, and life itself led her to begin speaking publicly for the Right to Life movement and into a private study of the morality of public policy. This fascinating journey left her concerned, yet hopeful, for the future of our country. She remains optimistic about the strength, integrity and willingness to act with her fellow Americans in the conservative Christian cause.
A college degree in education opened the door to teaching: in elementary school, high school, and public school special education. Those endeavors have been shelved as she currently invests her efforts in teaching about our inspired, dynamic and currently embattled United States Constitution. Her greatest love, other than God, family, and country, is teaching—and she loves teaching the truth.
Alan & Suzanne Osmond
Entertainer, Musician, Song Writer, Husband, Wife
For over 50 years, the Osmond name has been synonymous with world class entertainment. Alan Osmond, the oldest founding member of the Osmond Brothers Quartet, initially led the charge as elder statesman and spokesman for the talented siblings. Remarkably, he was eight years old at the family’s first performance! With each local performance, the Osmonds contributed to a groundswell of love and support that would soon spread around the globe. With the addition of Donny, brother, and Marie, sister, the Osmonds became an unmatched, worldwide sensation.
The Osmonds have been honored with over 33 gold and platinum records. A gifted writer, Alan is credited with co-penning many of their most recognizable hits. With a unique combination of charm, talent and charisma, the family has perfected a wholesome entertainment style that is all their own. From Japan to England to Los Angeles – the Osmonds are the first family of entertainment.
Dean W. Sessions
Author of the Universal Model and founder of the New Millennial Science
The Universal Model, A New Millennial Science (Thursday – Main Hall) – Answers Come From Questions in the Universal Model (Friday A – West Hall) – A Revolution in Science, The Universal Model (Saturday – Main Hall) – In 1990, Dean began studying archeology and made a number of important new discoveries, which led to answers of fundamental questions in many other areas of science. With researchers, Dean has performed thousands of experiments and traveled extensively to personally interact with Nature and find hundreds of extraordinary scientific discoveries. Dean and his family have all participated in this wonderful journey of discovery – finding out how Nature works and why we are such an important part of all the beauty that surrounds us.
Howard Carlos Smith
Author – Lecturer – Keeper of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s Legion Sword
Howard Carlos Smith holds a B.S. Degree in Engineering from Utah State University, and a M.S. Degree from Brigham Young University. As a teacher and technical trainer he taught over 15,000 students. He served a mission in Florida and Puerto Rico. Howard and two others were the first missionaries on the island.
Howard learned of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s Nauvoo Legion sword through his Uncle Delbert Noble, a direct descendant of Joseph Bates Noble. Bates was a friend, body guard, bishop and brother-in-law to Joseph. The Prophet gave Bishop Noble the sword with instructions that it was to be hidden and brought forth in a future generation. The Noble family kept the sword “under wraps” for decades.
Howard recalls seeing and touching the sword for the first time while visiting his cousin Lamar Noble. Said he, “Holding the sword I felt a spirit like I’ve never felt before … almost like grasping the hand of the Prophet himself.” Howard said he felt inspired to research the sword’s details. Howard presents his historical research and findings as he discovered the secrets of the Prophet Joseph Smith’s legendary sword.
Howard is the author of Keeper of the Prophet’s Sword, Joseph Smith’s Sword, In That Day Miracles and Warnings, Angels and Translated Beings, and just off the press, Life is Quick in Passing. (2017)
Steven Edgar Smoot is President of the Family First Foundation and President of Excel Investment Corporation and Watchman Properties. He is Author of the book, Lost American Antiquities a Hidden History and co-producer of many documentaries, the two most known documentaries are The Lost Civilizations of North America and Demographic Winter the Decline of the Human Family. He has been an invited speaker on the Decline of the Human Family and Demographics at the European Union and at many World Congress of Families events worldwide. Steven has also spoken at many ancient origin conference’s on the silence and science surrounding America’s ancient civilizations. Answering the why, how and who questions as to why we haven’t heard more about these ancient mound building cultures. Steven will also be sharing findings showing how migration patterns and the trading of precious metals, tobacco and Indian slaves can answer an age old question as to how religious teachings and practices became common to ancient cultures on many continents. Inter-twined through each of his documentaries is a common thread that shows that society cannot always rely on today’s scientific and academic communities for scholarly truths. One would think that by using scientific methods that scientists would be encouraged to follow the evidences wherever they may lead and in time come to a truthful conclusion. But since the mid 1800’s as these documentaries reveal, Social Engineers have learned that they can use the sciences and their influential political positions as a powerful tool to crush dissent on the origin and evolution of man and a myriad of other social and political issues.
James F. Stoddard III
President – Joseph Smith Foundation
James F. Stoddard III is the husband of Leslie Sarah Stoddard and father of 9 children. He is a direct descendant of Asael and Mary Duty Smith, the Prophet Joseph Smith’s grandparents, and other LDS Church history figures. He is the founder of the Joseph Smith Foundation with its divisions Joseph Smith Academy, Joseph Smith Forum, and ZionVision.
He and his family are the producers of several professional documentaries including: Joseph Smith: More than You Know, For Our Day: Divinely Sanctioned Governments, For Our Day: Covenant on the Land and Creation and Evolution: A Witness of Prophets. James has worked in private, public, religious, corporate and home education as well as Web development, software engineering, videography and natural health. He also serves on the Firm Foundation Executive Advisory and Strategic Planning Board and authors many papers and articles on the Web. His research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.
L. Hannah Stoddard
Director – For Our Day Film Series
L. Hannah Stoddard is the producer of the documentary video, For Our Day: Divinely Sanctioned Governments and director of the film For Our Day: Covenant on the Land. She is a Co-Founder of the Joseph Smith Foundation Inspira Project, as well as the online youth organization – Maidens with a Mission.
Hanna has been home schooled and privately educated. She directs all Joseph Smith Foundation projects, including Joseph Smith Foundation FAQs, and InspiraWiki’s Timelines and Maps. She also co-directs Joseph Smith Foundation projects including Joseph Smith Forum, Joseph Smith Academy, and ZionVision. She has worked as a graphic artist, software developer, videographer, project manager and research assistant. Hannah’s research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.