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2020 Temple on Mount Zion Conference

Conference Presenters

Presenters and Speakers


R. Jean Addams

R. Jean Addams is a lifetime Mormon History enthusiast, independent historian, and author. He and his wife Liz reside in Woodinville, Washington. He recently completed his twentieth year as a volunteer Institute of Religion instructor. He holds a BS in Accounting and an MBA from the University of Utah and is happily retired. Addams has presented and published several articles dealing with the “Redemption of Zion” and the “Church of Christ (Temple Lot).” His most recent articles include: “Zion’s Printing & Publishing Company: From the Redemption of Zion to Corporation,” (Journal of Mormon History, April 2020) ; “The Return of the LDS Church (1900-1907) to Jackson County and the Redemption of Zion,” (John Whitmer Historical Association Journal, Fall/Winter 2018); “The History and Acquisition of the Original Temple Lot Property in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri,” (Mormon Historical Studies, Spring 2019); and “A Contest for Sacred Space,” The Ancient Order of Things: Essays on the Mormon Temple (Signature Books, 2019). He is the author of Upon the Temple Lot: The Church of Christ’s Quest to Build the House of the Lord, (John Whitmer Books, 2010). Addams is a past president of the John Whitmer Historical Association, and a member of the Mormon History Association, the Sons of the Utah Pioneers, and the Missouri Mormon Frontier Foundation. His interests, besides family, include fishing and skiing.



Matthew L. Bowen

Dr. Matthew L. Bowen is an associate professor of Religious Education at BYU–Hawaii. He was raised in Orem, Utah and graduated from Orem High School. He served for two years in the California Roseville Mission (1994-1996) and graduated from BYU in 2000 with a BA in English and a minor in classical Greek (with post-Baccalaureate studies in Egyptian and Semitic languages, 2001-2003). He earned an MA and PhD in Biblical Studies from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. He is married to the former Suzanne Blattberg. They are the parents of three children: Zachariah, Nathan, and Adele. He is the author of numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, as well as the recent book Name as Key-Word: Collected Essays on Onomastic Wordplay and the Temple in Mormon Scripture (Salt Lake City: The Interpreter Foundation and Eborn Books, 2018).



Jeffrey M. Bradshaw

Jeffrey M. Bradshaw (PhD, Cognitive Science, University of Washington) is a Senior Research Scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition (IHMC) in Pensacola, Florida (; His professional writings have explored a wide range of topics in human and machine intelligence ( Jeff has been the recipient of several awards and patents and has been an adviser for initiatives in science, defense, space, industry, and academia worldwide. Jeff has written detailed commentaries on the Book of Moses and Genesis 1–11 and on temple themes in the scriptures. For Church-related publications, see Jeff was a missionary in France and Belgium from 1975–1977, and his family has returned twice to live in France. He and his wife, Kathleen, are the parents of four children and fourteen grandchildren. From July 2016-September 2019, Jeff and Kathleen served missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo Kinshasa Mission office and the DR Congo Kinshasa Temple. They currently live in Nampa, Idaho.



David Calabro

David Calabro is the Curator of Eastern Christian and Islamic Manuscripts at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library, Saint John’s University. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. His research in Near Eastern ritual, narrative, and sacred space has led to several published articles and a book currently under contract with Penn State University Press/Eisenbrauns. He has also published articles on the Book of Mormon and other ancient scriptures of the Restoration. He lives in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, with his wife Ruth and seven children.



Van C. Evans

A trained sociologist, Dr. Van C. Evans worked in South America for more than 20 years, leading many archaeological, humanitarian, and research expeditions to Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and Bolivia. He won a BA in Philosophy from the University of Utah, and masters degrees from the University of Utah and University of Pennsylvania. He received his Ph.D from Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis and has published articles in academic journals and book chapters in the area of philanthropy. He is the author of Willka Wasin Wiraqocha: The House of the Lord, and is fluent in Spanish and conversant in Quechua.



Barbara Morgan Gardner

Barbara Morgan Gardner is associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. A native of Salem, Oregon, she holds a master’s degree in educational leadership and foundations and a doctorate in educational psychology. She also did postdoctoral work at Harvard University. Dr. Gardner was institute director in Boston, Massachusetts, serving more than 100 colleges and universities in the area and acting as chaplain at Harvard University and MIT. She continues to serve as chaplain-at-large for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She also serves on the BYU Interfaith Outreach Council. She and her husband, Dustin Gardner, are the parents of two daughters and make their home in Highland, Utah.



John Gee

John Gee is the William (Bill) Gay Research Professor in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages at Brigham Young University. He has authored more than one-hundred fifty publications on topics such as ancient scripture, Aramaic, archaeology, Coptic, Egyptian, history, linguistics, Luwian, rhetoric, Sumerian, textual criticism, and published in journals such as British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan, Bulletin of the Egyptological Seminar, Enchoria, Ensign, FARMS Review, Göttinger Miszellen, Issues in Religion and Psychotherapy, Journal of Academic Perspecitves, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Journal of Book of Mormon Studies, Journal of Egyptian History, Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, Lingua Aegyptia, Review of Books on the Book of Mormon, Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur, and Interpreter, and by such presses as American University of Cairo Press, Archaeopress, Association Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, E. J. Brill, Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Near Eastern Studies, Czech Institute of Egyptology, Deseret Book, de Gruyter, Harrassowitz, Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale, Macmillan, Oxford University Press, Peeters, Praeger, Religious Studies Center, Society of Biblical Literature. He has published three books and has edited eight books and an international multilingual peer-reviewed professional journal. He served twice as a section chair for the Society of Biblical Literature.



Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye

Jasmin Gimenez Rappleye is a content manager, web developer, and graphic designer for Book of Mormon Central. She graduated from Brigham Young University in 2015 with a Bachelor’s degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and has since enjoyed producing and marketing content on the Book of Mormon for members of the Church. Jasmin has presented at conferences for FairMormon and Book of Mormon Central. Her areas of academic interest include Latter-day Saint Temple Liturgy, the cultural contexts of the Book of Mormon, and Women in the Priesthood.



Stephen D. Ricks

Stephen D. Ricks, a native of Berkeley, California, received his bachelor’s degree in ancient Greek and his master’s degree in Classics from Brigham Young University, and his PhD in ancient Near Eastern religions from the University of California, Berkeley, and Graduate Theological Union. He is currently Professor of Hebrew and Cognate Learning at Brigham Young University, where he has been teaching for nearly forty years.



Mack Stirling

Mack Stirling, a native of Leeds, Utah, a 1975 graduate of BYU in chemistry and a 1979 graduate of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, is a retired cardiothoracic surgeon living in Traverse City, Michigan. His service in the Norway Mission (1971-1973) kindled a passion for theology and scriptural studies. He and his wife, Dixie, have four married daughters and 13 grandchildren.

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