Non-Violent Reading of Book of Mormon – Claremont Conference


March 21, 2011 by J. Madson

You can watch my presentation here

Following our first session was this q&a

and videos for the whole conference here. Many great papers. Suggest listening to as many as you can.

18 thoughts on “Non-Violent Reading of Book of Mormon – Claremont Conference

  1. mormongandhi says:


    Thank you for posting this. I was of course hoping to be able to participate at such a wonderful and inspiring gathering, but thanks to you posting these videos I am able to see the quality and rigor of scholarship employed to advocate more peaceful and yet truly LDS responses to war. I personally really enjoyed listening to J. David Pulsipher’s presentation which presents Satyagraha (Gandhi’s Truth Force) as a more divine strategy on a continuum of strategies: that we do not have the choice between right and wrong in Mormonism, but rather a choice between what is more and less effective. Of course, it is an argument that seems to dismiss the level of commitment to certain basic principles of love, self-sacrifice and courage that a Just War strategy does not necessarily embrace.

    Thank you also for your very thoughtful presentation on the foundational narratives that are found in the Book of Mormon, and for underlining the importance of reading and interpreting scripture in the light of Jesus’ revelations and appearance to the Nephites. In that regard, I would also highly recommend Robert Rees presentation on the Children of Light: How the Nephites sustained Two Centuries of Peace.

    Thank you for being such a loud and clear voice in the LDS community on the power of love and on the power of Christ to bring about the “latter-day glory”…

  2. mormongandhi says:

    Are we likely to have the Keynote speaker presentation posted on vimeo as well? i am referring to Lance B. Wickman’s address to the audience.

    • J. Madson says:

      Yes I believe so and a second day worth of videos soon. Many more to come. But you prob won’t like it (wickhams). Unfortunately he wouldn’t let the q&a get recorded where people really challenged him

    • the narrator says:

      Unfortunately, Wickman asked that I not record his presentation. The rest of conference should be online in the next couple hours though.

    • mormongandhi says:

      Ah, well… Thank you, The Narrator for a well-recorded event. It was almost as if I was there, with the leisure of listening at the different presentations at my own pace. What about the papers? Ron mentions for example in his presentation that he wrote a paper that was not really what he ended up presenting – in that case, any idea on if the papers will be published in the Journal on Mormon Studies (or something similar)…. In any case, I am glad this seems to have been a very successful event.

  3. Ron Madson says:


    I also appreciated David Pulsipher’s lecture in that it helped bridge the polarity that existed in the conference between factions. Although he made it clear that the Ammonites were living the highest order–

    As for papers, I really do not know if they are doing anything other then just putting the lectures online. My lecture follows the pattern of my paper but the paper does review section 98 in greater depth. I think it will come out soon in the next mormon worker magazine even if it is not published with this Claremont conference group.
    thank you for your interest and input.

  4. Jose says:

    Can you relay some of Wickham’s comments during the Q&A when/where he was challenged? Might be hard, but what questions were asked and what/how did he answer those questions?

    • Ron Madson says:

      I have a fairly good recollection of the questions that were addressed to Elder Wickham and will do a summary (as best as I can) in a post that I will be posting either later today and tomorrow.

  5. Joseph says:

    I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen so far of these sessions. It clearly was an important conference. Congratulations to those who participated!

  6. Ron Madson says:

    I think if you have the time, all the conference addresses are worth listening to and/or getting their papers. However, for what it is worth if you only want to invest time in hearing a few I would recommend the following ones:

    Josh Madson’s (I’m prejudice) because of the insights/doctrinal value overall in approaching not just the BOM but how we read/interpret scripture/narratives—this was for me a paper that should be required reading for anyone who is serious studying peace/war issues in our faith

    David Pulsipher’s “The Ammonite Conundrum” –liked this one a lot. I really appreciated how he used the “slavery” example as to how there can be scriptural doctrine/rules “justifying” slavery but that there exists a “truth force” that transcends those words in scriptures that can be applied. anyway, very good presentation

    Kerry Kartchner—his first address and then in the plenary discussion he expressed what I consider the mainstream approach to war issue, that is, that we are duty bound to our government theologically and, therefore, we are required in our faith to support our government.Moreover, suggested that the “gospel follows the flag” My address was the antithesis of that position which I will post later and comment on. But it would be good to hear his position.

    Also, I enjoyed the presentations on my heroes, J. Rueben Clark (Michael Quinn’s); Eugene England (Loyd Ericson) and Hugh Nibley (Boyd Peterson).

    more later

  7. Joseph says:

    As a follow-up to my previous comment on this post, I do hope things are going better for Josh. He did a very good job under the circumstances, and I hope those circumstances have improved.

    I also am anxious to see Mormon Worker posters respond to the Libya situation.

  8. Harry says:


    Do you still have plans for finishing this paper? It remains on my list of things I’d love to read…

    • J. Madson says:

      yes. I have finished my final draft and am awaiting to find out when the book its in will be published. I may write a few posts (shortly) breaking down the paper into probably 4-5 posts

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