I’m attending the 2018 FairMormon Conference at the Utah Valley Convention Center today. The crowd is even bigger than last year, maybe 300 people I’m guessing. I missed yesterday’s session due to family responsibilities, but the program today has been terrific with many highlights, including the report from Jeffrey Bradshaw about the stories of many individuals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he just completed a mission. I’m looking forward to learning from tomorrows speakers as well, with the exception of the one at 1:00 PM, which will be given by me on some of the tentative discoveries from exploring the ancient motif of dust as applied so appropriately and artfully in the Book of Mormon.
Some presentations today include:
- Sara Riley, “’Even as Moses Did’: The Use of the Exodus Narrative in Mosiah 11-18,”
a careful and insightful analysis of the many subtle allusions to the Exodus found in the Book of Mosiah.
- Brad Wilcox, “‘Have You Been Saved By Grace?’ How Do We Respond?,” a powerful, illuminating, and entertaining presentation on the power of grace and how to help other Christians better understand our views on how grace leads to salvation by understanding what salvation actually means.
- Steve Densley and Geret Giles, “Barriers to Belief,” a much-needed and highly valuable discourse on the role of mental health issues (various forms of anxiety, for example) in responding to complex or difficult aspects of the LDS faith. By better understanding the needs of others who think and respond differently than we do, we can better minister to their needs.
- Jeffrey Bradshaw, “Stories of the Saints in the DR Congo,” a remarkable and inspiring review of the lives of many individual Latter-day Saints in the DR Congo. This will motivate many of us to be more attentive to the needs of our brothers and sisters in Africa and elsewhere.