Faith Lecture to Detail 1923 Exploration of Latin America

  • September 11, 2014
September 11, 2014
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

A Men and Women of Faith lecture: “Exploring Book of Mormon Lands: Historian Andrew Jenson’s 1923 Latin American Expedition” will be September 11 at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall on Temple Square.

The Church History Library will host a Men and Women of Faith lecture: “Exploring Book of Mormon Lands: Historian Andrew Jenson’s 1923 Latin American Expedition” Thursday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. in the Assembly Hall. The presenters will be Justin R. Bray and Reid L. Neilson.  This event is free and open to the public.

After his emigration from Denmark to Utah in 1866, Andrew Jenson became a dedicated promoter of Church History all over the world.  While traveling with his companion, Thomas P. Page, on a church history trip to Latin America, Jenson collected information regarding demographics, politics, history, and culture, quickly discovering the “perfect religious liberty” of the people. This, and other factors, would eventually lead to the assignment of missionaries beyond the borders of Mexico, spanning farther into South America.  This lecture will discuss his suggestions to Church leaders that Latin America was ready to “welcome messengers who would declare unto them the true gospel of Jesus Christ.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Presenter Justin R. Bray attended Brigham Young University where he received his Bachelor of Arts in History and Latin American Studies in August of 2011.  Shortly thereafter, in September of 2011, Bray started his work as an oral historian for the Church History Library.  His current pursuit of a Master of Arts in History is underway at the University of Utah. Since Bray began working for the Library, he has published in several peer-reviewed journals, which include: the Journal of Mormon History, Intermountain West Journal of Religious Studies, NAMES: A Journal of Onomastics, and Mormon Historical Studies.  Beyond his work and research schedule, Bray is a beat writer for the Arizona Diamondbacks at Yahoo! Sports ( and enjoys spending time with his wife, Kara.  

Reid L. Neilson received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Relations as well as graduate degrees in both American History and Business Administration from Brigham Young University. Shortly after, Dr. Neilson’s PhD was completed in Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Neilson is the author of multiple books, essays, introductions, and papers and the editor of over many books. His authored work includes Exhibiting Mormonism: The Latter-day Saints and the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and Early Mormon Missionary Activities in Japan, 1901-1924. Neilson is currently the Managing Director of the Church History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and his wife, Shelly, enjoy being outdoors and traveling with their four children.