Conference: Mormonism and the Internet, Utah Valley University

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, March 28th in SC 213a
12:00-1:00 p.m. ~ Author Readings (sponsored by the UVU English Department)
Joanna Brooks
Jana Reiss

Joanna Brooks will read from her new memoir The Book of Mormon Girl: Stories from an American Faith, which reveals what it’s like to grow up in a world where angels stand at our bedsides and ancestors know our names, where Coca-Cola is forbidden fruit and Marie Osmond is a style icon. This is a story about leaving behind the innocence of childhood belief and embracing the complications and heartbreaks that come to every adult life of faith.

Jana Riess will also read from her recently-released memoir Flunking Sainthood: A Year of Breaking the Sabbath, Forgetting to Pray, and Still Loving My Neighbor,  in which Riess recounts her year of attempting twelve different spiritual practices in a quest to become more saintly. Although Riess begins with great plans for success, she finds to her growing humiliation that she is failing–not just at some of the practices, but at every single one. What emerges is a funny yet vulnerable story of the quest for spiritual perfection and the reality of spiritual failure, which turns out to be a valuable practice in and of itself.

Thursday, March 29th in Library Auditorium
8:30-8:45 a.m. ~ Welcome

8:45-9:45 a.m. ~ Mormon Studies and the Internet

James Faulconer, “Professing on the Internet: What’s a Guy to Do?”
Ardis E. Parshall, “Blazing a New Trail: Doing History in the Age of the Internet”
Patrick Mason, “Mormon Blogs, Mormon Studies, and the Mormon Mind”

10:00-11:00 a.m. ~ Keynote Address

Joanna Brooks, “The Challenge of Mormon Studies for the Digital Age”

11:10-12:00 p.m. ~ Panel Discussion

James Faulconer, Ardis E. Parshall, Patrick Mason, and Joanna Brooks

12:00-1:00 p.m. ~ Break for Lunch

1:00-2:15 p.m. ~ Journeys of Faith on the Internet

John Dehlin, “Why Mormons Leave, and How the Internet is Helping”
Scott Gordon, “Fostering Faith and Countering Criticism: The Role of Apologetics in in the Information Age”
Rosemary Avance, “Seeing the Light: Mormon Conversion and Deconversion Narratives in On- and Offline Worlds”
2:30-3:45 p.m. ~ Panel Discussion

John Dehlin, Scott Gordon, and Rosemary Avance

5:30-6:45 p.m. ~ Reception for participants and invited guests

7:00-9:00 p.m. ~ Eugene England Memorial Lecture

Patrick Mason, “‘Blessed Are All the Peacemakers’:  Toward a Mormon Theology and Ethic of Peace”

Friday, March 30th in Library Auditorium
8:30-9:00 a.m. ~ Welcome

9:00-9:50 a.m. ~ Digital Religion and the Public Face of the Church

Buddy Blankenfeld and Lyman Kirkland, “Join the Conversation: Engaging the Media and Public through LDS Newsroom”
Greg Droubay,Who Are These People?: The Story of the ‘I’m a Mormon’ Campaign

10:00-10:50 a.m. ~ Keynote

Alan Cooperman, “Insights from the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s Survey of Mormons in America”
11:00-11:50 a.m. ~ From Blogosphere to Bloggernacle

Jana Riess, “One Voice in the Mormon Bloggernacle Choir: A Personal Journey”
Kristine Haglund, “Homemaking as Performance Art in a Gendered Babylon”

12:00-1:00 p.m. ~ Break for Lunch

1:00-1:50 p.m. ~  Avatars and Second Life: Mormon Identity and the Internet

David Charles, “Digital Religion, Convergence, and Pluralism”
Gideon Burton, “Evolving Mormon Identity in the Digital Age”
David Scott, “Seeing is Believing: The Virtual Construction of Mormon Identity and Belief in Second Life”

2:00-3:00 p.m. ~ Panel Discussion 

Jana Riess, Kristine Haglund, David Charles, Gideon Burton, David Scott
For more information, contact Boyd Petersen at

***The conference will be streamed live here.

BCC will be liveblogging both days of the conference.


  1. The conference will be streamed live at

  2. How exciting–that’s quite a who’s who list. I’m currently enjoying both Joanna’s and Jana’s books on my kindle. Glad to hear this will be streamed over the internet.

  3. rameumptom says:

    Thanks for the info. I hope to catch some on the Internet, while working.

  4. No luck getting the feed for the live stream and no one’s answering the phone at UVU TV. Bummer. Anyone know if the conference will be available in their past live stream archive?

  5. Darn. Hoped to catch some of this on my lunch break. Live feed is showing modern dance.

  6. Today’s lunch reading was really good. I hope to catch more of the conference the next two days.

  7. Any idea where a visitor should park at UVU? Hopefully, for free?

  8. Live stream should be working all day Thursday and Friday. We, unfortunately, were not able to get coverage of the reading today (which was AMAZING!) or of Patrick Mason’s EE memorial lecture. We will be filming the latter, however, and should get it onto Youtube before too long. Visitor parking is in tight supply at UVU, but it’s relatively cheap. You can find campus maps that show where the visitor parking is here:

  9. says:

    Make sure to click on “events” on the left side to start the conference feed and enable cookies in your browser!

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