The 2020 FairMormon conference begins on Wednesday, 5 August 2020 — as I write, that’s tomorrow (i.e. mañana) — and it will be done virtually. Which isn’t altogether a good thing, obviously, since many of us enjoy the social aspects of it and the sheer power of gathering in a group. But it has this good aspect: You can watch it from anywhere. I encourage you to consider doing so:
Those who register for the conference will, as I understand it, have a somewhat extended period in which to watch the presentations.
During the three days of the conference, various “commercials” from the co-sponsoring organizations will be shown at intervals. The Interpreter Foundation has three. Each will be shown at least once daily. One of them, approximately 3.5 minutes long, includes a provisional poster image and a provisional movie trailer for our Witnesses theatrical film. (Since, thanks to the coronavirus, the premiere of the film will now not be occurring until the spring or the summer of 2021, there’s been very little reason to hurry with the trailer; there have been precious few theaters in which to show it and very few theater-goers to whom to show it. But Brandon Purdie and his associates went the extra mile to get it to us in time for FairMormon.)
I recorded a voice-over for that commercial just this morning, and these are the golden words that I spoke:
I’m going to show you a piece of “key art” along with a potential trailer for the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming Witnesses theatrical film, which is part of a larger ensemble of related projects. You’re the first audience to see these.
I hope that your interest was piqued by these materials. I hope that they made you want to go see the film in a theater when the coronavirus permits its release.
If you would like to have the film shown in your area, please contact us at
[special dedicated email address that I’m not inclined to publicize here just yet]
and we’ll try to make that happen.
The theatrical film will be the first part of a three-part overall undertaking, which will also include an accompanying docudrama and a flotilla of short 3-5-minute online videos. Altogether, we’re trying to engage candidly every serious issue that we can identify regarding the lives, the testimonies, and the character of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon—the Three, the Eight, and the several additional unofficial witnesses.
I also recorded my 2020 FairMormon remarks this morning, entitled “The Witnesses: Variety and Complexity.” The first five minutes or so of my presentation actually consist of three brief clips from the Witnesses film. It also includes still images from the movie. (Thanks to Mark Goodman, James Jordan, and Russell Richins for those materials.)
In the afternoon, I recorded a companion piece for 2020 BYU Education Week. It’s entitled “The Witnesses: Sincerity and Reality,” and I’m told that it will go online sometime in October. Along with additional still images from the Witnesses film and the three clips that appear in the FairMormon presentation, it also includes a fourth clip that’s roughly 2.5 minutes long.
I couldn’t have managed these two talks (and, specifically, all of the images and the technology that they required) without the generous help of my friend Tom Pittman and my wife. I’m grateful to them, and I hope that people enjoy their work.