Coming on Friday, 4 March 2022

Coming on Friday, 4 March 2022 January 25, 2022


Sharon Cooperative Education and Recreation Association?
The SCERA Theater, part of the much larger SCERA Center for the Arts, is located at 745 South State Street, Orem, Utah.
(Wikimedia Commons public domain photo)




I’m pleased to announce that Undaunted: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon — the Interpreter Foundation docudrama that has been created to deepen understanding of and to comment upon Interpreter’s theatrical film, Witnesses — will receive its red-carpet premiere on Friday, 4 March, during the annual LDS Film Festival.  And tickets for it and for the festival as a whole are now available.


“The various witnesses of the gold plates, both official and unofficial, represent the only temporal evidence for the Book of Mormon provided by the Lord himself. This film argues powerfully for the credibility of these witnesses.”


More precisely, a substantial portion of the docudrama — approximately ninety minutes of it, selected from the two-part whole, which has a total running time of 2.5 hours–  will be shown at 6:45 PM in the Clarke Grand Theatre of the SCERA Center for the Arts in Orem, Utah.


The screening will be followed by a Q&A session with the filmmakers and, most likely, with the docudrama’s executive producer.  (That would be, well, yours truly.  Sorry.)


We also plan to screen one of our “Snippets,” our witness-related short features, and to reveal our next film project.


Seating is limited, so, if you’re interested in being there for this premiere and for our announcement, buy your ticket now and mark your calendar.  I look forward to seeing you there.




In connection with the overall Witnesses project, back at the very beginning and at my request, Professors Thomas G. Alexander, James B. Allen, Richard Lloyd Anderson, and Richard L. Bushman provided the following endorsements of the importance of the Book of Mormon witnesses.  I’ve shared these here before, but I think this is a good time to revisit them.  They are still important and worthy of reflection:


Imagine the publication and distribution of the Book of Mormon without the testimony of the witnesses.  If there were none, Joseph Smith would have had to reply on his own word that he translated the plates.  Many, perhaps most, people would probably have rejected the word of an uneducated farm boy.  Joseph had enough difficulty even with the witnesses convincing others of the truthfulness of his story.  Other people including the eight witnesses saw the plates, but only the three witnesses saw them in the possession of the heavenly messenger who delivered them to Joseph.   The Lord asked them to testify to the truthfulness of Joseph’s ministry, which they did.  Most important, during their lifetimes all three witnesses left the church.  Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris returned to the fold, but David Whitmer remained in Richmond, Missouri, estranged from Mormonism throughout the remainder of his life.  Nevertheless, in spite of rumors to the contrary, all three continued to insist on the truth of their witness.

Thomas G. Alexander (Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley), Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Western History, Brigham Young University; former president of the Mormon History Association


The testimonies of the three witnesses is the closest we come to rational evidence for Mormon belief.  Three men attest to a sensory encounter with the gold plates and a divine being.  In an age of skepticism, when all religious belief is under attack, their statement becomes more relevant every day.

Richard L. Bushman (Ph.D., Harvard University), Gouverneur Morris Professor of History Emeritus at Columbia University; former Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University; former president of the Mormon History Association


The testimonies of the witnesses to the Book of Mormon make Joseph Smith’s account much harder to dismiss than it would otherwise be.  Plainly, since others announced that they, too, had seen and “hefted” and heard, this means that, whatever else it was, Joseph’s account must reflect more than merely private imagination or simple personal dishonesty.  If the witnesses are judged to be reliable men of good character, their declarations pose a serious challenge to anyone who considers the claims of the Restoration.

James B. Allen (Ph.D., University of Southern California), Lemuel Hardison Redd Jr. Professor Emeritus of Western History, Brigham Young University; former Assistant Church Historian, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; former president of the Mormon History Association


Thousands of authorized copies  of the Book of Mormon have reprinted the signed experience of the eleven Book of Mormon witnesses, Three who described that an angel held and turned the individual plates of an ancient New World Bible and Eight who narrated how they were given an ordinary experience of “hefting” the record and examining the carefully crafted characters on it. About 200 reported interviews with  these eleven are collected, which report the constant affirmation of these witnesses of seeing and lifting this historic, prophetic record, with its independent account of Christ visiting America.

Richard Lloyd Anderson [1926-2018] (J.D., Harvard University; Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley), Professor Emeritus of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University




In the meantime, the Interpreter Foundation continues to produce in its usual areas, as well.  These items went up earlier today:


Nibley Lectures: Come, Follow Me Old Testament Lesson 6 “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”: Genesis 6–11; Moses 8

During the Winter Semester of 1986 at Brigham Young University, Dr. Hugh W. Nibley, professor emeritus of ancient scriptures, presented a series of 26 lectures to an Honors class on The Pearl of Great Price. This class was videotaped in the Maeser Building and made available by FARMS as both video and audio recordings. The text was then transcribed and included in Ancient Documents and the Pearl of Great Price, published by Deseret Book.


Audio Roundtable: Come, Follow Me Old Testament Lesson 6 Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”: Genesis 6-11; Moses 8

The Interpreter Radio Roundtable for Come, Follow Me Old Testament Lesson 6, “Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord,” on Genesis 6-11, Moses 8, featured Steve Densley, Matthew Bowen, and Dan Peterson. The roundtable was freed of commercial and other interruptions and extracted from the 26 December 2021 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show. The complete show may be accessed at The Interpreter Radio Show can be heard on Sunday evenings from 7 to 9 PM (MDT), on K-TALK, AM 1640, or you can listen live on the Internet at


Come, Follow Me — Old Testament Study and Teaching Helps Lesson 6, January 31-February 6: Genesis 6-11; Moses 8—“Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord”

Jonn Claybaugh has, once again, generously contributed these brief but useful notes.


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