Book of Mormon in Zion Conference
Goals and Setup of Book of Mormon in Zion Conference
The Book of Mormon in Zion conference is held annually in Independence, Missouri. This unique gathering brings together members from a number of different Restoration movements in the Independence area who cherish the teachings of the Book of Mormon.
The symposium was started in 2009 by Patrick and James McKay, two leaders in the Joint Conference of Restoration Branches (JCRB). It was originally titled the Book of Mormon Festival. In 2012 the meetings began to include other Restoration faiths, with Keith Wilson and Richard Moore from Brigham Young University speaking, along with leaders from other faiths invited to be guest speakers. In the years that followed the planning for the symposium was carried out jointly by professors from BYU and Patrick and James McKay. In subsequent years, speakers from Community of Christ (COC), the Conference of Restoration Elders (CRE), The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, The Church of Christ (Temple Lot), and the Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) have all offered their insights into the teachings of the Book of Mormon.
Over the years Robert L. Millet, Brent Top, Barbara Morgan Gardner, Michael Hubbard Mackay, Alonzo Gaskill, Camille Fronk Olsen, Shon Hopkin, Tyler Griffin, John Hilton III, Gerritt Dirkmaat, Keith Wilson, Richard Moore, Casey Paul Griffiths and other BYU faculty have all spoken at the conference alongside fellow believers from other Restoration movements. Lynn Riderhour, a licensed Baptist minister who embraces the Book of Mormon has also spoken at the symposium. The conference also features a roundtable discussion involving ecclesiastical leaders from the local Latter-day Saint leadership and other churches in the Independence area. Traditionally one night of the symposium is held in a facility owned by a one of the Restoration churches in the area, and one night is held in the local stake center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The symposium provides a unique opportunity for these different branches of the Restoration to find fellowship and strengthen their shared faith in the Book of Mormon. Yearly meetings have become anticipated community events, which are generally attended by about 600-700 people.