Sunday, February 5, 2017

BMAF BMC Book of Mormon Conference 2017

For 13 years, BMAF sponsored a "Book of Mormon Lands" conference. My reports of recent conferences are in the articles entitled "BMAF 2013,"and "BMAF 2014." No conference was held in 2015. The 2016 conference was held on April 16th, at which time we announced that BMAF had merged with Book of Mormon Central (BMC). Videos of BMAF 2016 are on YouTube:

BMAF BMC 2017 will be held on Saturday, March 18th at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo.
BMAF BMC Book of Mormon Conference 2017
As with all images on this blog, click to enlarge.

Warren Aston (Brisbane, Australia) is world's greatest living Book of Mormon explorer. He has helped put not just one but two pins on the map - Nahom in Yemen and Nephi's Bountiful in Oman. His current passion is Ramah/Cumorah. I will spend February 19th through 25th with him in Mexico along with Javier Tovar (Hidalgo, Mexico) and Doug Christensen (Twin Falls, Idaho). A 2015 interview with Warren Aston (audio + transcript) is in the BMC Archive.

Why is North American prehistory so riddled with fraudulent artifacts? Fame and Fortune. Its the PT Barnum effect "There's a sucker born every minute" and "Every crowd has a silver lining." Richard Stamps, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Oakland University, will discuss one of the most egregious frauds in the history of archaeology, the bizarre "Michigan Relics." He will show us how to distinguish authentic antiquities from hoaxes.

Matt Roper is one of the leading Book of Mormon scholars in the Church. He is a Research Associate with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship at BYU. Authors have different styles in the way they use words. Can computer programs demonstrate that the Nephite masterpiece was written by multiple authors using different writing styles? Roper will discuss the current state-of-the-art in stylometry aka wordprints.

The world of Book of Mormon Studies changed forever on the morning of Wednesday, August 16, 1967 when Jack Welch found Chiasmus in Mosiah 5:10-12 while on his mission in Regensburg, Germany. 2017 is the 50th anniversary of that momentous discovery. Jack and Jeannie Welch will receive the Father Lehi and Mother Sariah Awards for lifetime achievement in Book of Mormon Studies. Jack Welch is almost certainly the leading Book of Mormon scholar in the Church today.

As he was beginning his work of translation, Joseph Smith copied characters from the plates. Martin Harris took the sample characters and their translation to Luther Bradish in Albany, Samuel Mitchill probably in New Brunswick, NJ, and Charles Anthon in New York City. Copies of the characters exist today. Their successful translation would be a bombshell in the Book of Mormon world. Jerry Grover will discuss his noteworthy attempt at translation, beginning with the bar and dot numerals.

Book of Mormon Central began publication on January 1, 2016. What has been accomplished? What is currently being worked on? What exciting new ideas are being talked about? Neal Rappleye, BMC Operations Manager, and others of the staff will give a lively "State of the Foundation" address. We intend this recap and prospectus to be a standard feature at our annual conferences going forward.

Taylor Halverson knows Biblical Hebrew, so he reads the Book of Mormon with wonderful insights. He is a popular Deseret News and LDS Living columnist, so he communicates effectively. He is an executive at Book of Mormon Central, so he is familiar with current scriptural scholarship. Halverson will discuss literary and doctrinal patterns he sees in the Old Testament and Book of Mormon. You may want to take a Book of Mormon Cruise with Taylor in May.

Register for BMAF - BMC 2017 here. The $20 fee includes a box lunch.

Come for book signings, engaging videos, lovely music, art displays, and time to interact with some of the world's top Book of Mormon scholars. Mostly, though, come because you love the Book of Mormon, want to understand it even more profoundly, and want to help many more of God's children around the world feast upon the words of Christ it contains.