News Story

"The Worlds of Joseph Smith" Conference

A two-day conference examining the contributions of Joseph Smith — the man who organized what has become one of the largest and fastest-growing churches in America — begins tomorrow at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.

Leading scholars from around the world will examine the historical, religious, social and theological contributions of Joseph Smith (1805-1844), who organized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1830. The Church began in Fayette, New York, and has grown into a worldwide faith with over 12 million members in more than 120 countries.

The two-day academic conference is co-sponsored by the Library of Congress and Brigham Young University. It coincides with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Joseph Smith.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, a member of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, will also be a featured speaker. Elder Oaks has previously served as a Utah Supreme Court justice, president of BYU and a professor of law at the University of Chicago.

An exhibit of books and other materials related to Joseph Smith, drawn from the collections of the Library of Congress and Brigham Young University, will be on display in the foyer during the two days of the conference.

The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. EDT on Friday, 6 May, and conclude at 4 p.m. EDT on Saturday, 7 May. All five sessions of the conference will be held in the Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress. It is open to the public at no charge, but seating is limited and tickets for each session are required. Each session will be broadcast via the Internet on and Information on broadcast times may be found on those sites.

The audio and video archives of Elder Oaks' presentation on the evening of 6 May will be available that same evening at 10 p.m. EDT on the Church’s Web site at The audio and video archives for the rest of the sessions will be available on the Church’s Web site by Thursday, 12 May, at 7 p.m. EDT.

Additional information on the conference can be found at:

Library of Congress website:
Brigham Young University website:

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