Wilford Woodruff Conference at Yale

This upcoming conference at Yale is the same weekend as the conference on Mormonism and Politics at Princeton. It looks like there are going to be some interesting papers, but it is unclear exactly if any of them are going to be more than historical recitations. If you are in the area, please go and let us know how it was!

The only question is why this conference is being held at Yale. All but one of the presenters is BYU faculty (Richard Lambert is a US attorney in Utah who runs the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation). Further, there is only a small LDS population in New Haven. Why fly out 8 people to speak to 8 other people?

Wilford Woodruff: Mormon Missionary, Apostle, Church President
November 9-10, 2007
Sponsored by
Yale Divinity School
Mormon Historic Sites Foundation
BYU Religious Studies Center

Keynote Address (November 9)–8:00 p.m.
Thomas G. Alexander
“The Odyssey of a Mormon Prophet: Wilford Woodruff and the

Yale Presenters (November 10)–9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
9:00-9:50 a.m.
Alexander L. Baugh
“Images of Wilford Woodruff’s Life: A Photographic Journey”

Fred E. Woods
“Wilford Woodruff and the Gathering of Modern Day Israel, 1834-

10:00-10:50 a.m.

Cynthia Doxey
“Wilford Woodruff: Missionary in Herefordshire”

Scott C. Esplin
“Wilford Woodruff: A Founding Father of the Mormon Academies”

11:00-11:50 a.m.

Reid L. Neilson
“Wilford Woodruff on the PolygamyUnderground in Southern Utah”

Richard E. Bennett
“Wilford Woodruff and the Rise of Temple Consciousness, 1877-

LDS Fireside (November 10)–7:30 p.m.
Richard Lambert

Wilford Bruce Woodruff
“The Spiritual Legacy of Wilford Woodruff”

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  • Perhaps because Pres. Woodruff was born only an hour’s drive from New Haven in Farmington, CT, and having a conference at Yale sounds more prestigious, more academic, and less devotional than if it were to be held at BYU. Or possibly anywhere in Utah.

  • I attended the conference at BYU a few weeks back that David links to. It was a pretty good conference for the Utah County crowd (a nice mix of scholarship and devotion), but I’m not sure how this will go over with Yale Divinity School students (or anyone else who attends and is not a member of the church). While on the one hand it’s always nice to see Mormon conferences outside of the Wasatch front, there is the risk that this could do more harm than good.