FAIR Conference 2013

I was invited to speak at the very first FAIR Conference, which took place at Ben Lomond, California in 1999.  (If anyone is interested, my presentation from that year, “A Tale of Two Restorations,” comparing the restorations of Joseph Smith and Alexander Campbell, is available here.)  At that first gathering, the number of speakers almost exceeded the number in the audience, but still it was a lot of fun, and somehow I’ve managed to get back every year since.  The second year it was held at Alta, and then at the Provo Women’s Center (who knew Provo had a Women’s Center?), then at UVU, and for the last number of years at the Southtowne Exposition Center in Sandy.  This year’s edition will be August 1-2 (it’s always the first Thursday and Friday in August) at the new Utah Valley Convention Center near the Marriott in Provo.  Below is the schedule of presentations.  If anyone is interested in coming, here is the registration info.  Once again I’ll be there, keeping my attendance streak intact for another year.  Here are the scheduled presentations:

Thursday Schedule
Time Speaker/Event Presentation
8:00 am Registration
8:50 am Opening
9:00 am Michael R. Ash Shaken Faith Syndrome, Part Deux
10:00 am Ron Barney Joseph Smith’s Visions
11:00 am Panel Discussion
Neylan McBain
Valerie Hudson
Wendy Ulrich
Kris Fredrickson
Maxine Hanks
Charity Never Faileth: Seeking Sisterhood Amid Different Perspectives on Mormon Feminism
12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Ralph Hancock Mormonism and the New Liberalism: the Inescapability of Political Apologetics
2:00 pm Morris Thurston “Kidnapping” at Palestine Grove: Missouri’s Final Attempt to Extradite Joseph Smith
3:00 pm Snack Break
3:15 pm Seth Payne Why Mormonism Matters: Pastoral Apologetics and the LDS Doubter
4:15 pm Robert Kirby Why It is Important to Laugh at Ourselves
5:15 pm Closing
Friday Schedule
Time Speaker/Event Presentation
8:30 am Registration
9:00 am Lynne Wilson Was Joseph a Product of the Second Great Awakening
10:00 am Rosalynde Welch Disenchanted Mormonism
11:00 am Don Bradley The Original Context of the First Vision Narrative: 1820s or 1830s
12:00 pm Lunch
12:50 pm FAIR Business
1:00 pm Mark Alan Wright Heartland as Hinterland: The Mesoamerican Core and North American Periphery of Book of Mormon Geography
2:00 pm Maxine Hanks Working With the Church: Another Narrative
3:00 pm Snack Break
3:15 pm Panel Discussion
Don Bradley
Janet L. Eyring
Bill Reel
Maxine Hanks
The Loss and Rekindling of Faith
4:15 pm Dan Peterson  Toward a More Effective Apologetics
5:15 pm Closing


  1. Maxine Hanks, one of the “September Six,” at an LDS apologetics conference. That, in itself, is worth the price of admission.

  2. Oregon Mum says:

    This marks the second time that I have ever wished that I lived in Utah. The first was recently when I heard about the presentations being given by the Givens.

  3. If you can’t make it in person, streaming will be available:

  4. What a line up! This group of apologetic presenters presents a vastly-different image than the stereotypical Daniel Peterson flavor and image of FAIR. Where are the hard core conservatives? Chased out, or boycotting? (Sorry to be so provocative.)

  5. Ralph Hancock and Dan Peterson are both speaking. So some of the hard core conservatives are still there.

    Good to see Robert Kirby on the list. His Salt Lake Tribune pieces are fantastic.

  6. Mormon Soprano says:

    Wow. This looks like a really great conference! Thank you for blogging all the details. I’m going to see if I can get myself down there. Like Mike, I am extremely intrigued for the chance to hear Maxine speak. All I know is that she was rebaptized last year. Her journey and perspective is sure to be epic. – MoSop

  7. I’ll be there, Kev!

  8. Sharee Hughes says:

    Kevin, I’ll be volunteering at the registration desk. Be sure to drop by to say hi, as I’ve wanted to meet you for a long time.

  9. Kevin Barney says:

    Great, I’ll look for you, Sharee!

  10. European Saint says:

    It’s not difficult to be labeled a “hard core conservative” in our current political and moral climate. Just sayin’.

  11. Good point, European Saint. Apologies for being a bit polemical.

  12. Will videos of the individual sessions be available after the conference?

  13. Kevin Barney says:

    Juliathepoet, no. Eventually transcripts of the presentations will appear on the FAIR website.

  14. Just to clarify Kevin’s response re. videos of the conference:

    FAIR is a non-profit organization that generates some of its modest income from the sale of conference audio and video. Videos of this year’s presentations will be sold after the conference is over. After a couple of years the videos will be posted on YouTube for free.

    Some presenters prefer not to be videotaped, or at least to have review and approval of their recordings. Maxine Hanks has asked for approval of her video. So there is a possibility it may not be released.

  15. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks, Mike, for the more correct response.