Laura Redford is a historian, scholar, and teacher specializing in United States urban history and Los Angeles history. She has taught at UCLA and Scripps College in Claremont, California. Currently, she is an educator at the Geffen Academy at UCLA, teaching in the upper school. Her work has been published in the Journal of Planning History and an online US history textbook, The American Yawp. Dr. Redford earned her PhD in history from UCLA, holds a master’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University, and an undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University. She served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pusan, Korea and has had a variety of assignments in the Church’s women’s organization, including councilor in the Los Angeles Stake Relief Society Presidency.
John W. (“Jack”) Welch is the Robert K. Thomas Professor of Law at the J. Reuben Clark Law School, where he teaches courses on Joseph Smith and the Law, Biblical Law, and Tax Exempt Organizations. He grew up in southern California before he studied history and Greek at Brigham Young University, Greek philosophy as a Woodrow Wilson fellow at Oxford University, and received his law degree from Duke University (1975). He returned to California to practice law in Los Angeles with O’Melveny & Myers (1975-80), during which time he founded the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) as a California non-profit corporation in 1979. He joined the BYU Law faculty in 1980, and served as an editor for Macmillan’s Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1991. That year he became the editor-in-chief of the premier Latter-day Saint scholarly journal, BYU Studies Quarterly, a position that he still holds. He was one of the organizers of the bicentennial conference for Joseph Smith at the Library of Congress in 2005, and has served on the executive committee of the Biblical Law Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. His wife Jeannie has taught for many years in the BYU French Department. Thanks to their four children and their spouses, they have 17 grandchildren.