2023 Speakers & Talks

Restoration Torah Conference
Shavuot 2023 (May 26-27)

Jacob Vidrine is an independent historian, researcher, and student of Latter-day Saint theology. Born and raised in Utah, Jacob took a deep interest in seeking to understand the Restored Gospel as a young man, which religious interest indirectly led him into researching and writing on Mormon history. Jacob has presented his research at several religious gatherings and conferences, and to date has written and published 24 papers on Mormon history and theology in his magazine ‘One Eternal Round’.

    His presentation is titled:
The Restoration of Two Covenants

Dave Sanders was born in Petersburg Alaska to parents who were not Mormon of any type. His family moved to the lower 48 in 1987 and settled in Colorado and then in Western Idaho.  The passing of Dave’s father in 1991 caused him to begin questioning what happened to his dad after his death. After a long search he found Mormonism, which gave him the answers he was looking for, and he joined the LDS Church. He was a member of the LDS Church for just over twenty years where he served in a variety of callings from teacher to a member of the Bishopric. Through some experiences Dave had he discovered that there were some problems and inconsistencies in the LDS Church and this led him to Fundamentalism. The Restored Gospel is still the pillar upon which his life and family are established.
  He has been married to his wife Amber for 27 years and his wife Tonya for just about four months. He has six children with Amber, 3 grandchildren, and loves to spend time with them every chance he gets.
  By profession he has been a Land Surveyor for over twenty years. This profession has allowed him to live and work in states from Idaho, to Maryland, and quite a few spots in between, and has allowed he and his family to do some pretty cool things.
  When he is not working or hanging out with his family he can most likely be found reading whatever he can get his hands on about Mormonism, or talking to really great people about the Gospel on The Mormon Renegade Podcast, which he hosts.

    His presentation is titled:
The American Covenant: A Continuation of Israel’s Story

Hannah Stoddard is an accomplished author and filmmaker, and helped direct her first documentary film at the age of 16. She is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and has been directing Joseph Smith Foundation projects for over a decade. Hannah has often been invited to speak on various radio and video programs. She has worked as a history and literature teacher, graphic design artist, software developer, videographer, project manager, agriculturist and research assistant. Her work focuses on Church history and doctrine, answers to Latter-day Saint faith crisis questions, educational philosophy, culture, and defending the Prophet Joseph Smith. Hannah’s research supports the writings and teachings of ancient and latter-day prophets.

    Her presentation is titled:
Messiah Ben Joseph: Ancient Prophecy, Legends, & Tradition Testify of Joseph Smith.

Jacob Ryder was born and raised by faithful converts to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Phoenix Arizona. He served a full-time mission in Southern California speaking both English and Tongan where he developed a love for teaching the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Jacob is married to his High School sweetheart and they have 3 energetic children. Since his mission he has served in various church callings within the Elder’s Quorum, Young Men’s, and Sunday school. Jacob has a deep love for the Temple, priesthood, the second coming of Christ, and all things Israel. He spends all his free time studying the scriptures and has recently taken up learning Hebrew. Jacob shares his thoughts and testimony with others as the host of the, By Way of Commandment Podcast.

    His presentation is titled:
Rituals of Eternity: Becoming Kings and Queens Unto the Most High God

Eric Jessen is a retired Marine Fighter Pilot and a graduate of TOPGUN.  He seeks to enter into a True relationship with God through the direct application of the two great commandments in his daily life and to diligently teach his children to do the same.  In other words, to read the book and DO what it says.  Eric and his wife Bridget are the parents of seven children.  They have been married for 25 plus years.

    His presentation is titled:
The Sabbath

Sarah Bringhurst is a servant of Messiah. She is also a wife and a (homeschooling) mother of six children. She is passionate about studying all scripture and discovering truth. Learning about the biblical feasts and how they symbolize the spiritual progression of the children of the most high has been especially exciting to her. She enjoys digital design and creating lessons about the biblical feasts to facilitate the teaching of the Torah to children. 

    Her presentation is titled:
Restoring the Wisdom of the Ancients Through the School of the Prophets

Taylor Smith is happily married with a quiver full of beautiful children, currently living the dream in Morgan, UT. His favorite hobbies include studying and discussing Truth, spending quality time with his Family, promoting and defending Freedom, and playing and enjoying diverse kinds of Music.

    His presentation is titled:
Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness: Examining Claims That John Taylor Murdered Joseph and Hyrum Smith 

Joshua Erickson was raised by a father who was a scholar and lover of the Restoration and all things Israelite. His parents met at BYU where they were both members of the Orson Hyde Society for the Understanding of Israel (a.k.a. the Orson Hyde Club). His father has now passed away, but planted a loving seed in Joshua for those things. The seed grew slowly in earlier years, but has now blossomed and is continually growing. He is hoping to plant similar seeds in his own children (he has seven).
  Joshua was in the first graduating class of chemistry students from Utah Valley State College (now UVU), where he was one of two graduates. Later he acquired a MS in Chemistry at UCLA, and now works at Dugway Proving Ground where he loves his job.
  Joshua is the secretary of the Zarahemla Foundation, editor of the RTC Journal, and Author of, Wine of Your Own Make. He and his family currently live in Lehi, UT.

    His presentations are titled:
Orson Hyde and the Dedication of the Land of Israel (Friday)
The Levitical Word of Wisdom

Nathan Swasey grew up in the Utah-based LDS Church. As an adult he found the arguments concerning Torah to be perfectly compelling, and developed a love for the name of God. Although the members of the church were accepting and welcoming, and although he remains a believer in the Restored Gospel and in the prophetic mission of Joseph Smith, these things made it hard for him to stay in the Church. After leaving the formal Church he moved to Missouri to start a new life and there he has been refining his arguments among a hostile, oppositional people ever since.

    His presentation is titled:
The Burden and Birthright of Ephraim Today

Gene Hagloch is a sixth generation Latter-Day Saint. He served an LDS mission to Canada, married in the Salt Lake City LDS Temple, and has served on five bishoprics. He graduated from Utah State University in Business and Accounting, and worked professionally as an Accountant and Process/Information Analyst. Gene came to Torah in 2014, and is in his fifth year of Hebrew.  He is the owner and founder of the Albuquerque Institute of Biblical Law website, which can be found here.

    His presentation is titled:
The Temple Endowment and the Restoration of All Things

Kimberly Smith is a writer and researcher of church history. She is the Research Director for the Joseph Smith Foundation and author of several articles on the web including the article, “Answering the Claim: Did Joseph Smith Fight Plural Marriage”. Her research has contributed to the publication of three books: Seer Stone v. Urim and Thummim: Book of Mormon Translation on Trial, Faith Crisis Volume 1: We Were Not Betrayed!, and Faith Crisis Volume 2: The Progressive Rewriting of Church History. She is a wife, mother of four sons, and lives in North Logan, Utah with her family.

    Her presentation is titled:
Plural Marriage: Restoring an Ancient Priesthood Order and the Gathering of Israel

Tracy Roberts is a sixth generation Mormon who served a 25 month mission which was a 7 month extension of his original 18 month mission call. He served in the New Zealand Christchurch Mission from September 1984-October 1986 under the leadership of Grant L. Spackman and Dean D. Baxter.  His church service over the years includes Sunday School President, Elders Quorum President, Ward Mission Leader, Scout Master, and Stake Young Men’s Presidency.  Tracy is a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek and has genealogy taking him to the bloodlines of Aaron the first Priest and King David.  Of the 78 named Kohen Gadol, High Priest of the Temple at Jerusalem 59 of them are in his bloodline.  
   Tracy and his wife LaVieve are the parents of five children and six angel babies.  They were married in the Manti Temple on December 16, 1994.  He retired from the Utah County Sheriff’s Office and was awarded the rank of Colonel of the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and Colonel of the Sheriff’s Posse.  After his retirement he was recalled for two different funerals which changed the rank from honorary rank to a rank with time in service.
  Tracy has preached in many different churches and denominations through the years.  When asked which church he belonged to the response is, “I am a Bu-Hin-Jew-Funda-Morma-Bapta-Costal (Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Fundamentalist Mormon, LDS-Mormon, Baptist, Pentecostal); a man who seeks the truth wherever it can be found. Tracy loves to preach teach and expound the gospel of Jesus Christ (Yeshua HaMashiach) whenever a pulpit is given in any church and at any time.  
  He has a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University. 

    His presentation is titled:
Cleaning House: Receiving the Name of YeHoVaH on Your Forehead

The opinions of the conference presenters are their own.
The Restoration Torah Conference, and The Zarahemla Foundation, make no claims to represent the Community of Christ, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or any other entity.

%d bloggers like this: