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October 18-19, 2019–Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson

We are thrilled to welcome Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, the co-directors of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, as our October 2019 speakers.

Throughout the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, art has played an important part of our faith.  Within months of the Church’s official formation, the prophet Joseph Smith received a revelation calling for the selection of sacred hymns.  “For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, and the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads.”  (D&C 25:11).

And in the late 1800’s, as construction on the Salt Lake City temple was nearing completion, the First Presidency sent five artists to Paris to study painting so that they could more beautifully decorate the sacred interior spaces of the “House of the Lord”.

President Spencer W. Kimball began a 1967 speech to the faculty and staff of Brigham Young University by saying: “In our world, there have risen brilliant stars in drama, music, literature, sculpture, painting, science, and all the graces.  For long years I have had a vision of members of the Church greatly increasing their already strong positions of excellence till the eyes of all the world will be upon us.”  Later in the same speech he said: “We are proud of the artistic heritage that the Church has brought to us from its earliest beginnings, but the full story of Mormonism has never yet been written nor painted nor sculpted nor spoken.  It remains for inspired hearts and talented fingers yet to reveal themselves.” (fn to Gospel Vision of the Arts speech).

Today, almost 180 years after the Lord’s instruction to prepare a hymnal for use by Church members, and more than 50 years after President Kimball’s call to Latter-day Saints to achieve the highest levels of artistic excellence, the full depth, breadth, and beauty of the artistic contributions of Latter-day Saints is still being revealed.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to meet Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, the visionary founders of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts, and to learn more about this unique organization that is devoted to exploring the artistic heritage of our people and revealing a fuller story of our faith.

Please join us!

DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, October 18, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, October 19, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE TOPIC:

“What Is the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts Up To?”

Founded as the Mormon Arts Center in 2017, the New York City-based Center for Latter-day Saints has already held three successful summer festivals, published award-winning books, released twenty podcast episodes, created the “Come Follow Me (Art Companion)”, and has commenced work on a comprehensive catalog of music compositions by Latter-day Saint composers, along with several other significant objectives.  The two founders of the Center, Richard Bushman and Glen Nelson, will explain how it all began and what it hopes to accomplish.  They will also offer some answers to the question: “How can Latter-day Saints teach their children about our rich artistic tradition?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SPEAKERS:

Richard Bushman was born in Salt Lake City in 1931 and brought up in Portland, Oregon.  He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University and taught at Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware.  He retired as Gouverneur Morris Professor of History at Columbia University in 2001 and was visiting Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011.  He is the author of a number of books including Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. He served as Co-General Editor of the Joseph Smith Papers until 2012, and in 1997 founded the Mormon Scholars Foundation which fosters the development of young LDS scholars.  He is now co-director of the Center for Latter-day Saint Arts in New York City.  With his wife Claudia Bushman, he is the father of six children and twenty grandchildren.  He has served as a Bishop and Stake President and currently is Patriarch of the New York Young Single Adult Stake.

As a librettist and poet, Glen Nelson has created texts and collaborated on four operas, and multiple cantatas, oratorios, art songs, and choral works with composers Murray Boren, Royce Twitchell, Lansing McLoskey, Daniel McDavitt, and Ethan Wickman. He is the author of twenty books, the most recent of which is Joseph Paul Vorst, which was the subject of a retrospective exhibition of the artist at the Church History Museum. As a ghostwriter, four of his books have been New York Times bestsellers. He founded Mormon Artists Group in 1999. He is the co-director of Center for Latter-day Saint Arts. In 2018, the Church History Museum acquired for their permanent collection the Glen and Marcia Nelson Collection of Mormon Art, which included 169 works by Latter-day Saint artists—paintings, sculptures, photographs, drawings, prints, textiles, artists’ books, and ephemera—dated from 1875 to 2017.

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August 9-11, 2019–Thomas A.Wayment

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Thomas A. Wayment at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, August 9, 2019, and in Arlington on Saturday, August, 10, 2019, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, August 11, 2019. His study group topic was “The Translator’s Art and the Legacy of the King James Bible”. His fireside topic was “Translating the New Testament for Latter-day Saints”.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment signs a copy of his book “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints” in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment (right) visits with Miller Eccles Study Group attendees after his presentation in McKinney, Texas, on August 9, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas in Arlington, Texas, on August 10, 2019.

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Thomas A. Wayment talks about his book: “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints” at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on August 10, 2019.

August 9-11, 2019 — Thomas A. Wayment

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to welcome BYU professor Thomas A. Wayment as our August 2019 speaker.

In the introduction to his groundbreaking new book “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-Day Saints,” which was co-published by BYU’s Religious Study Center and Deseret Book, Thom wrote:

“This translation is not an attempt to replace the King James Bible for Latter-day Saint readers, but it is an invitation to engage again the meaning of the text for a new and more diverse English readership. … This translation intentionally engages the possibility that the New Testament can be rendered into modern language in a way that will help a reader more fully understand the teachings of Jesus, his disciples, and his followers. … I hope this attempt to translate the Greek of the New Testament will not be seen as combative or even controversial.  Instead, I hope it can become a study tool, an aid to inviting readers into the text so that new meaning can be discovered, and new inspiration can be found.”

With the Church’s “Come, Follow Me” curriculum focused on the text of the New Testament this year, there is no better time than now to find out if Thom has been successful in accomplishing his goals.

We invite you to join us as we continue to seek new meaning and inspiration in the timeless text of the New Testament with Thomas A. Wayment.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, August 9, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, August 10, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, August 11, 6 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC

“The Translator’s Art and the Legacy of the King James Bible”

In this presentation Thom will discuss the different translation events of the Restoration, and he will compare his translation process to that of the Book of Mormon, the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, and the King James Bible.  He will walk the audience through these various translation experiences in order to explain and clarify the similarities and differences. He will focus his attention on what it means to translate, and how the Restoration has promoted the concept of authority to translate and how it has also connected that endeavor to prophetic authority. In that context, he will discuss some of the difficulties and challenges he has faced in producing a new translation of the New Testament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Translating the New Testament for Latter-day Saints”

In this presentation, Thom will share some of the experiences that led him to translate the New Testament, the insights he gained while doing so, what went into producing the notes for “The New Testament: A Translation for Latter-day Saints,” and how he envisions this new translation working for Latter-day Saints as they seek inspiration in their study of the New Testament.

THE SPEAKER:

Thomas A. Wayment is a professor of classical studies at Brigham Young University, where he previously worked as a professor of ancient scripture and as publications director of the Religious Studies Center. He received his BA in Classics from the University of California at Riverside and his MA and PhD in New Testament studies from the Claremont Graduate School. Dr. Wayment’s research interests include papyrology, community formation, and Christianity at Oxyrhynchus.  He is the author of numerous articles for the Church’s “Religious Educator” magazine.

April 12-14, 2019 — Steve Harper

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Steven Harper at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, April 12, 2019, and in Arlington on Saturday, April 13, 2019, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, April 14, 2019. His study group topic was “How Joseph Smith Remembered His First Vision: A Theory Based on the Accounts and the Psychology of Memory”. His fireside topic was “Why Latter-day Saints need Saints”.

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Steve Harper speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks with Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees after his presentation in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper signs a copy of “Saints” at a Miller Eccles Study Group Texas meeting in McKinney, Texas, on April 12, 2019.

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Steve Harper speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on April 13, 2019.

April 12-14, 2019 — Steve Harper

© BYU PHOTO 2018
All Rights Reserved

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas is thrilled to welcome Steven C. Harper as our April 2019 speaker.

The accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision have been controversial from the beginning.  In the years immediately following his theophany, Joseph Smith told his story to multiple audiences on multiple occasions, and he published two accounts of the First Vision while he was still alive.  Several other documents and first-hand descriptions related to the First Vision have also been published.

The many accounts of the First Vision have created fertile ground for historical investigation, especially by critics who have been unwilling to accept the faith claims inherent in the Prophet Joseph’s story.  The criticisms have been so persistent that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints decided in 2013 to publish an essay explaining how variances among the accounts can be reconciled.

Steven C. Harper is the leading historian of the First Vision, having published numerous articles on the topic, as well as two books: Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and the forthcoming First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019).  His study group presentations on April 12 and 13 will include some of the research findings contained in his forthcoming book.

Steve was also the editor, managing historian, and one of the authors of, Saints, volume 1.  He will offer six reasons why Latter-day Saints need Saints at a devotional fireside in Arlington on April 14.

Please join us for these informative presentations.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, April 12, 7 pm (McKinney)
Playful Corp.
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, April 13, 7 pm (Arlington)
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, April 14, 6 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“How Joseph Smith Remembered His First Vision: A Theory Based on the Accounts and the Psychology of Memory”

To a nerdy historian like Steve Harper, the best thing about the Harry Potter stories is the pensieve, the magical bowl of memories in which an observer can sift through another person’s past. Steve’s talk will be the closest thing to looking in the pensieve at Joseph Smith’s memories of his first vision.  It has become common to account for variety in Joseph’s first vision accounts by saying he intended them for different audiences. However true that may be, it’s not the best explanation. Steve will provide a better one based on intimate knowledge of all the vision accounts in light of what we now know about the way memories form and get recalled.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Why Latter-day Saints need Saints

Are you one of the 340,000 people who has a print copy of Saints in one of fourteen languages? Are you one of the 834,000 people who have installed Saints in your Gospel Library app and read or listened to a combined 80 million chapters so far this year? Would you like to learn more about where Saints came from and hear six reasons why Latter-day Saints need Saints? Steve Harper was a general editor, the managing historian, and one of the writers. He’ll speak to us about what he learned along the way and what it feels like to lose your memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE SPEAKER:

Steven C. Harper is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University.  In 2012 Steve was appointed as the managing historian and a general editor of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days.  He was named editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly in September 2018. He earned an MA in American history from Utah State University and a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.  He began teaching courses in religion and history at BYU Hawaii in 2000 and joined the Religious Education faculty at BYU in 2002.  That year he also became a volume editor of The Joseph Smith Papers and the document editor for BYU Studies. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2011–2012.  His first book was Promised Land (Lehigh University Press, 2006), a study of Lenape or Delaware Indians’ responses to a fraudulent 1737 land deal in colonial Pennsylvania.  He also authored Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 2008), Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019), along with dozens of articles.

January 25-26, 2019 — Jonathan Stapley

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Jonathan Stapley at study group meetings in McKinney on January 25, 2019, and in Arlington, on January 26, 2019.  His topic was “Women, Liturgy, Authority” and was based on the findings contained in his 2018 book The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology.

Jonathan Stapley speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas on January 25, 2019, in McKinney, Texas.

Jonathan Stapley signs a copy of his book “The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology” at the Miller Eccles Study Group Texas event in McKinney, Texas, on January 25, 2019.

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas participants visit with each other and enjoy refreshments after Jonathan Stapley’s presentation in McKinney, Texas, on January 25, 2019.

Cris Baird welcomes Miller Eccles Study Group attendees to Jonathan Stapley’s presentation in Arlington, Texas, on January 26, 2019.

Jonathan Stapley speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group attendees in Arlington, Texas, on January 26, 2019.

 

January 25-26, 2019 — Jonathan Stapley

Jonathan StapleyThe history of Latter-day Saint ordinances is fascinating, and thanks to the excellent work of Jonathan Stapley, has recently become much more accessible.  In early 2018, Oxford University Press published Stapley’s landmark work The Power of Godliness: Mormon Liturgy and Cosmology.

Recent Miller Eccles Study Group Texas presenter Jill Mulvay Derr praised the book:

“This imaginative and impeccably documented inquiry into the Mormon ordering of cosmos and community probes the connection between liturgical and ecclesiastical structures and casts new light on both.  Drawing upon his prodigious research in personal narratives and institutional sources that span decades of Mormon history, Stapley demonstrates how successive changes in Mormon rituals have affected the beliefs and experiences of ordinary women and men.  The book’s detailed and even-handed treatment of such complicated and contested issues as shifting conceptualizations of priesthood and women’s longtime participation in healing rituals makes it a fascinating read, a valuable reference, and a helpful bridge between the Mormonism of the present and its all-too-distant past.”

We hope you’ll join us to learn more about The Power of Godliness.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, January 25, 7 pm (McKinney)

**NEW LOCATION**
Playful Corp. (Office Building)
300 E. Davis Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, January 26, 7 pm (Arlington)

Baird Residence
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“Women, Liturgy, Authority”

Mormon conceptions of priesthood, gender, and authority are of intense social interest, but have proved challenging to understand for both scholars and believers alike.  In this presentation, Stapley will share several key findings from his book that connects the present to the past in comprehensible ways.  From the priesthood language of the Nauvoo Temple to the diverse liturgy of the church, Stapley will discuss the ways in which members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints order their universe.

The Power of Godliness Cover

THE SPEAKER:

Jonathan Stapley is an award-winning historian, scientist, and Chief Technology Officer of a company he founded.  Oxford University Press published his volume, The Power of Godliness in early 2018.  Stapley received his Ph.D. from Purdue University and has been active in the field of Mormon History for over a decade.  He also writes for the academic history Juvenile Instructor blog, and at By Common Consent, a Mormon blog.

October 19-21, 2018 — Jenny Reeder

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Jenny Reeder at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, October 19, 2018, and in Arlington on Saturday, October 20, 2018, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, October 21, 2018. Her study group topic was To Expound Scripture and Exhort the Church: Women Behind the Pulpit. Her fireside topic was Fire In My Bones: Women’s Stories from the Church Historian’s Press.

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Jenny Reeder speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group participants at a study group meeting in McKinney, Texas, on October 19, 2018.

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Jenny Reeder speaks to attendees of Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington, Texas, on October 20, 2018.

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Jenny Reeder’s presentation included highlights from the sermons included in “At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-Day Saint Women” published by The Church Historian’s Press.

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Miller Eccles Study Group Texas participants enjoy Jenny Reeder’s Presentation in Arlington Texas, on October 20, 2018.

October 19-21, 2018 — Jenny Reeder

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In the few months since its 2017 publication, At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses of Latter-day Saint Women has assumed a significant role in the recovery and access to Mormon women’s discourse.  A publication of The Church Historian’s Press, At the Pulpit is available in print, for free online, and in the LDS Library app.  In an effort to reach a larger portion of the Church’s worldwide membership, the book has even been translated into Spanish and Portuguese.

Kathleeen Flake praised At the Pulpit: “After years of basso profundo comes another sound out of the Mormon tradition, the voice of women preaching.”

David E. Holland said, “We owe much to the editors for this rich collection of materials. Their thoughtful choice of artifacts–ranging from sermons to prayers to charismatic hymnody–give us a vivid historical study of Latter-day Saint discourse…. We owe an even greater debt, however, to the women whose declarations of belief and whose engagements with theology appear here. They represent nearly two centuries of Mormon women’s determination to examine and express their faith.”

Please join us for a wonderful evening (or two!) as Jenny Reeder tells the story of Mormon women At the Pulpit.

STUDY GROUP DATES AND LOCATIONS:

Friday, October 19, 7 pm (McKinney)
Bettner Residence
311 N. College Street
McKinney, Texas 75069

Saturday, October 20, 7 pm (Arlington)
Baird Residence
3804 Indian Springs Trail
Arlington, Texas 76016

FIRESIDE DATE AND LOCATION:

Sunday, October 21, 7 pm
Arlington Stake Center
3809 Curt Drive
Arlington, Texas 76016

THE STUDY GROUP TOPIC:

“To Expound Scripture and Exhort the Church: Women Behind the Pulpit”

“Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak.” (1 Cor. 14:34).

In early July 1830, Emma Hale Smith received a revelation dictated through her husband, Joseph Smith, about her role in the new Church of Christ.  Drawing on New Testament language, he described the office of her specific assignment as an “elect lady . . .  to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.”  Smith concluded the directive with a more general invitation: “this is my voice unto all.” (D&C 25:3, 16).

From that time, Mormon women developed a robust tradition of public speaking.  Amid the contentious atmosphere of American religious women both speaking and being silenced, Mormon women spoke. Their words strengthened each other, influenced the larger Latter-day Saint community, and forged collaborative relationships with others in both religious and civic associations.

In this presentation, Jenny Reeder will talk about the charge to speak; the process of selecting sermons and writing the book; and the role of women in contributing to Latter-day Saint discourse.

THE FIRESIDE TOPIC:

“Fire In My Bones: Women’s Stories from the Church Historian’s Press”

Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt was baptized in 1837. She and her husband settled in Mayfield, ten miles from Kirtland.  There, she later recorded, “I wanted very much to get the good will of my neighbors,” for she yearned to expound–to clear out of obscurity and to explain the truth of the gospel.  Leavitt visited local taverns or inns, speaking earnestly to anyone who would listen.  “I had some [thing] of more importance that was shut up like fire in my bones,” she wrote. At a visit to a sick neighbor, where a large group had gathered, Leavitt desired to exhort–to give strength and courage.  She remembered, “The Lord gave me great liberty of speech.”

Women have been and continue to be a key part of the Restoration.  They spoke, testified, expounded and exhorted. Their stories and experiences provide both scholarly information and devotional inspiration, demonstrating their institutional authority and how they lived their religion.  The well-being of women is crucial to the success of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We read their stories to know we are not alone.

Sarah Sturtevant Leavitt

THE SPEAKER:

Jenny Reeder is the 19th-century women’s history specialist at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Church History Department.  She currently works on the web team, where she has authored several History Topics essays to accompany Saints, vols. 1 and 2. She has edited two books: At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women with Kate Holbrook at the Church Historian’s Press, and Witness of Women: Firsthand Experiences and Testimonies of the Restoration with Janiece Johnson at Deseret Book.  Jenny has written chapters in edited collections such as Foundational Texts of Mormonism: Examining Major Early Sources (Oxford Press, 2018), Immediate Present (Mormon Arts Center, 2017), Women and Mormonism: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (University of Utah, 2016), and Women of Faith in the Latter Days, vol. 1 & 2 (Deseret Book, 2011 & 2012).  Jenny earned a PhD in American History at George Mason University, emphasizing women’s history, religious history, memory, and material culture. She has an MA from New York University in history, archival management, and documentary editing.  She speaks at Time Out for Women.

July 20-22, 2018 — Amy Tanner Thiriot

Miller Eccles Study Group Texas was pleased to host Amy Tanner Thiriot at study group meetings in McKinney on Friday, July 20, 2018, and in Arlington on Saturday, July 21, 2018, and at a fireside in Arlington on Sunday, July 22, 2018. Her study group topic was “Go Down Moses: The Black Mormon Pioneer Experience”. Her fireside topic was “In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions: The Black Mormon Pioneer Experience”.

Amy Tanner Thiriot speaks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees at a study group meeting in McKinney on July 20, 2018.

Amy Tanner Thiriot during her presentation in McKinney on July 20, 2018.

Amy Tanner Thiriot visits with study group attendees following her presentation in McKinney on July 20, 2018.

Amy Tanner Thiriot begins her remarks to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas at a study group meeting in Arlington on July 21, 2018.

Amy Tanner Thiriot displays an image of Jane Manning James while speaking to Miller Eccles Study Group Texas attendees in Arlington on July 21, 2018.