Below you will find possible speakers for our 24th Conference. The schedule will change as we confirm all speakers.
David R. Hocking President, BeaconLight Books, LLC.
David and his wife Teresa are parents to 3 children and “Grammy and Grampy” to 9 grandchildren. Born in Hyannis, Massachusetts, he has a rich New England heritage. As a young Deacon, he helped clear the Joseph Smith Memorial in Sharon, VT for camp grounds. Now living in Raleigh, NC, he enjoys being close to the “land of Lehi.” He loves gardening and is an accomplished guitarist, a talent he was able to use in the England South Mission in 1971-1973 as a member of the Family Portrait Singers, at BYU in the Young Ambassadors (1969-1970) and in several dance bands.
David received an A.S. degree in Electronics Engineering in 1971 and a B.S. in Microbiology in 1975 from BYU. He has worked for 43 years in Sales and Marketing in the Biotechnology industry. He has authored a book on hemoglobin disorders as part of the newborn screening programs utilized in State Health Laboratories. He has invented a 5-minute test to detect the various forms of Sickle Cell Disease in newborns, children and adults. The test requires no equipment and is being used in over 30 low-resource countries to help save lives.
BeaconLight Books, LLC, was formed to illuminate sacred texts. He has been reformatting scripture to help readers better understand them with increased comprehension. He is the Managing Editor of The Annotated Book of Mormon which has been created to help readers understand the everlasting gospel as explained in the text, together with what the modern prophets and apostles have taught about it. The text has been formatted so readers can identify natural conversations, poetic speech patterns, prophecies, and the words of God. The annotations include prophetic commentaries on quoted scripture and the use of colored text. These elements bear witness to the divinity of this ancient text by drawing upon Hebrew tradition—much different from the nineteenth century rural America known to Joseph Smith.
Ken Krogue President insidesales.com, Entrepreneur, International Speaker
Ken will be discussing what Mormon may really have been trying to warn us about as he selectively chose these stories from the records of the civilizations he perused under the inspiration of God. Of special interest was what was happening to the rising generation of young people in the days of King Mosiah and the persecutions of the humble followers of Christ. Ken will compare this with the striking similarities to the wholesale departure of the Millennials from all churches, even our own, (perhaps especially our own.) Ken will also discuss attempts that have been made to introduce and encourage civility, unity and mutual truth-seeking in this critical discussion.
(NOTE: Ken is requesting the opportunity for this talk to be shared both live and recorded with all parties to the current debates about Book of Mormon evidence, geography, and DNA. Ken hopes he will be asked to discuss this topic with all parties involved. Ken is grateful that Firm Foundation has offered a platform for Ken to speak on this sensitive subject and invites all those who have a stake in this crucial conversation and its effects upon our children and young people to attend and be actively engaged.)
Bio for Ken Krogue:
Ken Krogue is a social media and digital media entrepreneur and a Founder of InsideSales.com, inContact, Silver Support, and Mobaliz International. Mobaliz is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) social media marketing agency whose recent projects include SearchIsaiah.org, EternalCore.org, and Friends in All Nations. Friends in All Nations is the foreign language video project funded and developed for the Social Media Ministering Pilot Program for YSA Stakes in Utah County where Ken served as Co-Chair for the last 3.5 years. Ken and his wife Crystal are the parents of five amazing children and 7 wonderful grandchildren.
Ken Krogue is the co-founder of InsideSales.com, which was the first company to combine hosted CRM with built-in phone dialer software and the pioneer of Lead Response Management (LRM). This blog is Ken’s outlet to post ideas, cool companies that serve the Inside Sales industry, best practices, new research, tips, random musings, motivational poetry and interesting thoughts. Ken has several other blogs, one is a 20 year project of Ken’s about philosophy and learning to think based on the collection of writings of Ken’s mentor called ChaunceyRiddle.com.
Ken speaks at 20+ events each year including The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), LeadsCon, Utah Big Business Expo, Utah Valley Entrepreneurs Forum (UVEF), B2B Leads Roundtable, InsideSales.com Seminars at Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, Provo Tech-X, Omniture Summit, and the Salt Lake Chamber Business to Business Expo.
Ken married his favorite redhead, Crystal Cornwall, from Inkom, Idaho. They met as they served as missionaries for their church in South Carolina in 1986, and married in 1987. They have five children and live in Alpine, Utah. Ken loves to read lots of books, drive one of his several compressed natural gas (CNG) cars, talk about losing weight, work with the Boy Scouts of America, coach little league football, watch BYU (Jimmer) and Navy sports, and keep in touch with friends.
Ken is a strategic thinker, sales and marketing tactician and is recognized for combining permission marketing strategies with remote selling tactics. Ken is the inventor of technological systems to increase productivity in web-based sales and marketing environment with several patents pending and is currently breaking new ground with work on lead response management research in conjunction with his good friend and business partner Dave Elkington and Dr. James Oldroyd of MIT.
Ken has been recently recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in the Inside Sales Industry by the American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP.) Ken was also President and the AA-ISP Salt Lake City Chapter.
Most recently an article by Inc. Magazine highlights the research done by the InsideSales.com team called “How to Best Harness Inbound Marketing Leads.”
Additional research done by the team at InsideSales.com and Harvard Business Review was done in March 2011. The research is summarized in an article called, “The Short Life of Online Sales Leads”
Betty “Red Ant” LaFontaine Navajo Educator, Speaker 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.
Wayne N. May was born and raised in Wisconsin. He is a 49 year convert to the LDS Church and has served in four Branch Presidencies, three Elder Quorum Presidencies, Seminary Instructor, Gospel Doctrine Instructor, Veil worker at the Oakdale Minnesota Temple, and currently is serving as Gospel Doctrine Teacher of the Menomonie Wisconsin Branch, Oakdale, Minnesota Stake. His wife Kristine is active with Wayne in the archaeological discoveries of the Midwest. Together they publish the quarterly magazine Ancient American which has been in continuous print for 27 years and covers the pre-Columbian Americas. Wayne and Kristine are the parents of seven children, and grandparents to twenty two.
Wayne is author of five books on the subject of Book of Mormon Archaeology in North America. They are titled; This Land: Zarahemla and the Nephite Nation; This Land: Only One Cumorah; This Land: They Came from the EAST; book four is This Land: America 2,000 B.C. to 500 A.D and book five is This Land: Willard’s Cumorah Land. Wayne gives firesides to members and non-members alike, wherever he is invited to present. He has been presenting information on the topic of North America’s archaeological data from New York to California since 1994 which demonstrates how it applies to the Book of Mormon timeline and diffusion in the Western Hemisphere.
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.
Amberli Nelson, MBA Ancient Sacred Jewish Symbology Expert
Amberli Gustin Nelson received a B.S. in Sociology from Brigham Young University (’94) and recently completed her Master’s Degree in Athletic Administration from CUI (2014). A busy wife and mother of seven, Amberli has a deep and abiding love of truth, knowledge and greater understanding and therefore she thoroughly enjoys reading about and researching subjects she is most passionate about which include: sacred symbology, The Book of Mormon, early LDS church history, and Jewish religious customs, beliefs and traditions. She has become an expert on ancient Jewish practices, especially those involving the Laws of Moses. She delights in sharing this knowledge with others and does so with energy and enthusiasm. Amberli has discovered compelling new evidence that the ancient Hopewell Mound Builders may have been living the laws of Moses based on archaeological findings of the essential materials required for obedience to those laws. Her incredibly powerful new presentation was a tremendous hit at our Spring 2012 National Conference and she has some incredible new information to share. Her presentation was titled – Connections Between Jewish Family, Cultural and Religious Practises and Those of the Ancient Hopewell Civilization. Amberli has a life-long passion for researching ancient scriptures, customs and symbols – especially in connection with the Law of Moses. She delights in traveling, learning and in sharing her knowledge with others and does so with great enthusiasm and passion. Amberli and her family reside in Salem, Utah.
Rian Nelson FIRM Foundation Management- Author, Editor, Speaker
Rian Nelson has always loved the Book of Mormon and its heroes, and after 40 years of searching for the location where Nephi and Moroni lived, served, and fought for their freedom has finally been realized. They lived right where the Prophet Joseph Smith said they did, in the United States of America.
Rian loves the Lamanites. He served a mission to Fiji and Kiribati, his parents met each other while each serving the Navajos, Apaches, and Hopis in New Mexico and Arizona, and his son served his mission among the Lamanites of Alaska. Discovering about new heroes, Zelph and Onandagus has inspired him. New found secondary evidences (Archaeology and Geology) has added to his previous testimony and inspired him to create art, maps, and handmade relics, to inspire others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
His passion for truth has been ignited by the description of a “mound” from Rod Meldrum, the location of the “narrow neck of land” from Jonathan Neville, the amazing “finds” from Wayne May, the inspiration of the James Stoddard family, and the testimony from the “Prophets Sword” through Jolene and Howard Smith. Rian thanks his friends Val Chadwick Bagley, Ken Corbett, and Kendra Burton for creating art, and cartoons of Rian’s favorite heroes, and a special thanks to Steve Blake who taught Rian a new talent; creating “cool relics.”
Rian is an author, editor, and speaker. His new book is called, Moroni’s America-Land Bountiful Edition. He has written a previous book in it’s 6th printing titled “Moroni’s America-Maps Edition“, edited by Jonathan Neville. Also with Val Chadwick Bagley as cartoonist, Rian is also the editor of “It Came to Pass Where? “, and a coloring book series titled “The Book of Mormon in America’s Heartland.” He has also been a major contributor to the newly published 600 page “Annotated Book of Mormon” by David Hocking and Rod Meldrum.
Rian enjoys working with his good friend Rod Meldrum of The FIRM Foundation. Rian is the event coordinator for the Book of Mormon Evidence Conferences which are held twice each year. In April 2019 the 23rd event was held at Davis Conference Center in Layton, Utah where over 6,000 guests attended and listened to over 90 amazing speakers and 160 different presentations on subjects such as, Book of Mormon, Church History, United States Constitution, Signs of the Times, New Millennial Science, Self-Reliance and other LDS topics of importance.
Rian is married to his eternal companion Stacy, has two married children, Kinley (Tim) and Caden (Shireen), and a two-year-old grandchild named Brooklyn. He currently serves as a Sunbeam Teacher in Bountiful, Utah.
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 lettervii.com, and moronisamerica.com.
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.
Dean W. Sessions Author of the Universal Model and founder of the New Millennial Science Website: universalmodel.com
Dean W. Sessions is the author of the Universal Model (UM) and founder of the Millennial Science Foundation. Sessions has a B.S. Degree in Science from Brigham Young University and in 1990, Sessions began studying in both archeology and geology where a number of important new discoveries in these fields were made over the next few years. From this initial research and experimentation, a number of inaccuracies in theoretical aspects of modern science was found leading to the realization that a complete revolution in science needed to take place.
As the director of scientific research and discovery for the Universal Model, A New Millennial Science, Sessions continued investigations in the 1990s with the aid of several research assistants. Thousands of peer reviewed scientific journal articles were gathered from all the general fields of science, as well as in-depth experimentation was conducted both in the field and in the laboratory. By 2000, the official writing and documenting of the Universal Model began. On 15 October 2016, Volume I of the UM was released to UniversalModel.com to the public. Volume I, II and III will contain a total of 32 chapters with a total of about 2,000 pages when completed. Mr. Sessions has spoken to thousands of individuals sharing the hundreds of new scientific discoveries found in the UM and explaining why we are such an important part of the wonderful Creation that surrounds us.
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 Website: josephsmithfoundation.org
James F. Stoddard III is the father of 10 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 president of the Joseph Smith Foundation, including LDS Answers, ZionTube, FAQs, Papers, InspiraWiki and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the co-author of Seer Stone v. Urim & Thummim: Book of Mormon Translation on Trial and the producer or executive producer of seven documentary films. James has worked in private, public, religious, corporate and home education as well as Web development, software engineering, videography and natural health. He is the owner of IntegriVizion, a family business specializing in film production, Web development and graphic design. James spends any free moments working on Highland Cathedral Estate, a planned family retreat and learning facility with perennial gardens and walking trails specializing in experimental farming techniques and four-season food production. He currently serves on the Firm Foundation Executive Advisory and Strategic Planning Board. He also authors many papers and articles on the Web. James has worked as a release time Seminary teacher and as an instructor at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC). His research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.
L. Hannah Stoddard Director – For Our Day Film Series Website: josephsmithfoundation.org
L. Hannah Stoddard is the co-author of Seer Stone v. Urim & Thummim: Book of Mormon Translation on Trial. She is the founder of Joseph Smith’s Legacy and the producer or director of six documentary films. In addition to directing Joseph Smith Foundation projects for over a decade, she is often invited to speak on various radio and video programs. Hannah helped direct her first documentary film, beginning at age 16. She has worked as a history and literature teacher, graphic design artist, software developer, videographer, project manager, agriculturist and research assistant. Her work focuses on Church history and doctrine, answers to Latter-day Saint faith crisis questions, educational philosophy, culture and defending the Prophet Joseph Smith.
Documentary Films – For Our Day: Covenant on the Land (2013), For Our Day Divinely Sanctioned Governments (2013), Statesmen & Symbols: Prelude to the Restoration (2014), The Prophet Joseph: More than we know (2015), Unlocking the Mystery of the Two Prophets: Revelation 11 (2017), Hidden Bloodlines: The Grail & the Lost Tribes in the Lands of the North (2017).