Conference: New Perspective on Joseph Smith and Translation

If you’re at Utah State this Thursday night, there’s an exceptional opportunity to hear from some of the best in Mormon Studies: Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, Jana Riess, Rosalynde Welch, Sam Brown and others will be speaking. The concept of “translation” in Mormonism is incredible rich and one where our framing can take a number of different approaches: linguistic, philosophical, theological. These framings matter tremendously.

Anyways, the poster is linked to below, and if you have time Thursday I would strongly recommend attending.

New Perspectives on Joseph Smith and Translation


  1. Michael H says:

    Is the goal of this conference to more or less establish a looser definition of “translation” than perhaps traditionally held by scholars/laymen in order to make claims of Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling more plausible?

  2. Unfortunately, Thursday night will be too late. It’s 9 am – 5:30 pm Thursday, 3/16.

  3. Michael: no.

  4. Is there any plan for a live stream?

  5. Please post notes someone. I would love to hear this group, but I don’t live close enough.

  6. Video will probably surface relatively soon. Print much later.

  7. Michael H says:

    Steve: phew. I’ve heard the term stretched elsewhere for the purpose of apologetics so I wasn’t sure.

  8. Michael H. and Steve, they WILL DEFINITELYbe discussing a much looser definition of translation. You can listen to two podcasts on Mormon Matters and Mormon DIscussions Podcast where some of the speakers at the conference give a teaser and broach this topic of a looser definition of translation. They know all the 19th century themes and anachronisms throughout the Book of Mormon so they are going to dive in and see how those challenges relate to “translation.” Once the church officially approved the option of “revelation” in place of “translation” in the Book of Abraham essay, faithful scholars now feel less fear bringing that same concept over to the Book of Mormon translation. Should be a great conference. For those of us not in Utah, they said there will be video of the conference coming out.

  9. Michael H says:

    Ryan: Got it. Thanks!

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