Maxwell Institute

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John W. Welch’s recent Laura F. Willes Book of Mormon Lecture is now available online: “Hours Never to Be Forgotten: Timing the Translation of the Book of Mormon.”


In this lecture, John W. Welch meticulously tracks the timeline of the Book of Mormon’s translation. More details can now be known about the key events that anchor our historical understandings of the pace of translation, about witness testimonies that credibly document the impressive work, and other considerations regarding the keystone Restoration scripture.

Follow along with Welch’s lecture using the program booklet, which includes a translation timeline adapted from Welch’s edited volume, Opening the Heavens: Accounts of Divine Manifestations, 1820-1844 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies).

PDF Handout

About John W. Welch

John W. Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School. He was founding president of FARMS (the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies) in the 1980s. Since 1991 he has served as the editor-in-chief of the BYU Studies Quarterly, the latest issue being his 100th. He also served as the general editor of the Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, as a member of the Jewish Law Association, and on the executive committee of the Society of Biblical Literature section on Biblical Law. He was a member of the board of editors for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism. He was honored as the Karl G. Maeser Distinguished Faculty Lecturer at BYU in 2010, and since 2016 has served with the John A. Widtsoe Foundation as a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. His many authored or edited books include  Chiasmus in Antiquity (1981), The Sermon on the Mount in the Light of the Temple (London: Ashgate, 2009); the Legal Cases in the Book of Mormon (Provo: FARMS, 2008), and Sustaining the Law: Joseph Smith’s Legal Encounters (Provo: BYU Studies, 2014). He is married to Jeannie Sutton, who recently retired from the French Department at Brigham Young University. They have four children and seventeen grandchildren.

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