Constitution and Bylaws

Constitution

Article 1: Name

The name of the organization shall be the Book of Mormon Studies Association (hereafter “BoMSA” or “the Association”).

Article 2: Purpose and Values

The purpose of the Book of Mormon Studies Association is to support academic study of the Book of Mormon from a variety of disciplines. To this end, we gather a community of scholars to promote understanding of the Book of Mormon through historical, theological, text-critical, literary, or other relevant methodologies. 

The BoMSA is committed to the highest standards of academic scholarship, to the mentoring of young scholars and graduate students, and to promoting equity and rigor in the study of the Book of Mormon conducted in an irenic spirit. It therefore especially sponsors and promotes work that situates itself within the academy. It also recognizes the need for scholarship representing all the various religious communities that sustain a relationship to the Book of Mormon, and for scholarship undertaken by those without affiliation with any of these religious communities.

Article 3: Membership

Membership is eligible for all who affirm the stated purpose of the Association, and it remains contingent on a member’s accepting the organization’s stated purpose and values. Membership is granted to those who present at annual meetings and express a desire for membership, as well as to those who request membership in writing from the BoMSA executive committee. Members of the organization of the former sort are contributing members, while members of the latter sort are affiliate members. (Affiliate members who present at the annual meetings of the Association after becoming members are moved to contributing membership status.)

Membership records will be maintained by the executive committee in order to facilitate communication between members of the Association and for the information of committee members. Contributing members and affiliate members may withdraw themselves from membership at any time by submitting a written request to the executive committee. In an extreme case, membership of an individual may be suspended by the executive committee if the member’s conduct disrupts or harms the organization’s purposes or proceedings.

Article 4: Officers

The governing body of BoMSA is the executive committee, which has authority over and is responsible for governance of the Association. The executive committee consists of three officers: the president and two vice presidents—one of the latter with primary responsibilities for fiduciary concerns, the other with primary responsibilities for communications. Temporary additional members may be added as needed by the president with the unanimous approval of the executive committee. As the organization grows, provision will be made to expand the size of the executive committee to five officers.

Officers shall be appointed by popular vote during the annual business meeting. Terms of office begin at the close of the meeting at which their election is reported. The term of service for officers shall normally be three years, but may be adjusted to fit the conditions of their availability.

The executive committee shall meet as often as necessary to conduct business. The president shall have primary responsibility to call and arrange such meetings. Note that electronic or virtual meetings are acceptable.

As vacancies may occur in the executive committee, the president may appoint temporary replacements in consultation with the other officers. Temporary replacements shall serve until the membership elects a replacement at the annual business meeting. In case the office of president becomes vacant, the longest-serving vice president shall serve as president until the president is formally replaced at the next annual meeting. For purposes of measuring officers’ terms of service, a year shall be measured from one annual meeting until the next.

Article 5: Advisory Board

The Association may wish to appoint a board to serve in an advisory capacity to the executive committee. In such a case, the advisory board would consist of at least three seats with term limits to be determined by the executive committee and voted upon by membership at the annual meeting, with the expectation that such terms will be longer than term limits traditionally associated with executive committee positions. The advisory board is intended to make recommendations regarding the purpose and values of the Association, serve as the Association’s arm for institutional affiliation, and assist with raising funds. It is to have no legislative, administrative, or programmatic authority and is advisory only. The primary objective of the advisory board is to support the goals and longevity of the Association. The Book of Mormon Studies Association has not appointed an advisory board at this time.

Article 6: Nominations

Nominations for eligible positions are made in advance of the business meeting at the annual conference. The vice president over communications shall solicit nominations from the membership of the organization at least one week prior to the annual business meeting. Any member in good standing may make a nomination. Voting occurs at the annual business meeting. Contributing members and affiliate members may both vote, although contributing members’ votes are doubly weighted. The vote is decided by simple majority at the meeting. (Absentee votes will be considered but must be submitted to the executive committee in advance of the business meeting.) The president conducts the business meeting, while the vice president with responsibility for communications collects and counts the votes.

Article 7: Meetings

The Association shall meet annually at a time and place to be selected by the executive committee. Along with papers presented and any other activities, there shall be a business meeting involving the general membership of the Association. Officers whose terms of service expire in a given year shall hold office until the close of the annual meeting for that year, at which time their successors shall take office.

At present and for the foreseeable future, annual meetings will be held at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. As the executive committee sees fit, and with the confirmation of the membership by simple majority during the annual business meeting, the Association may move its annual meetings to other locations.

Those who have not presented before at a BoMSA annual meeting should submit a full paper for consideration before acceptance. Those who have presented at the annual meeting in the past may submit an abstract for consideration. (Invited contributions are an exception to this rule.) The executive committee, in selecting papers and proposals for inclusion in the annual conference, will take into consideration the Association’s commitment both to diversity and to rigor.

Article 8: Amendments

This constitution may be amended, after appropriate circulation of the proposed amendment, by a two-thirds majority vote of either the general membership or the executive committee, ratified by a simple majority vote of the other body during the business meeting. The constitution of the Association shall be revisited for purposes of amendment at least every three years.

Bylaws of the Book of Mormon Studies Association

Article 1: Dues

The executive committee may appoint annual membership dues in an amount fixed by the executive committee, subject to the approval of the general membership. Currently membership in BoMSA requires no annual dues.

Article 2: Duties of the President and Vice Presidents

The duties of the president shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • to conduct the meetings of the executive committee;
  • to oversee the preparation of the program for the annual meeting, including the selection of presenters and papers to be presented;
  • to oversee the practical arrangements of the annual meeting, including (if seen necessary) recommending a committee on local arrangements;
  • to conduct the business meeting of the Association in the course of the annual meeting.

The duties of the vice president with primary responsibility for communications shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • to manage correspondence for the executive committee;
  • to maintain records of membership for the organization and minutes from the annual business meeting;
  • to communicate with members regarding nominations and voting in connection with the annual meeting;
  • to oversee the Association’s digital presence, including but not limited to the website and social media platforms;
  • to assist the president in performing their duties, with special attention to the preparations for the annual meeting;
  • to act in place of the president when the president is not available.

The duties of the vice president with primary responsibility for fiduciary concerns shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

  • to collect all moneys due to the Association, to make appropriate purchases in connection with the annual meeting, and to pay the debts of the Association (payment of bills over $100 cannot be made without consultation with and confirmation by the vice president with primary responsibility for communications);
  • to maintain bank accounts in the name of the Association and to oversee the acquisition of funding for the Annual Meeting (including the appointment of a sub-committee for funding);
  • to maintain accurate records of the disposition of the Association’s funds;
  • to report on the state of the Association’s finances at meetings of the executive committee and at the annual business meeting;
  • to assist the president in performing their duties, with special attention to the preparations for the annual meeting.

Article 3: Nominations and Elections

Nominations and elections will occur during the business meeting as necessary.

In making their nominations, the membership shall strive to achieve a broad representation from among the more active members of the Association and to take into consideration any preferences expressed by the president. In particular, the membership shall strive to achieve diversity in gender, international representation, and religious affiliation (or non-affiliation) in the executive committee.

Candidates for office must be contributing members of the Association. Officers on the executive committee shall have graduate training relevant to Book of Mormon studies and shall have demonstrated academic integrity in research and publication.

Any ties shall be resolved by the current executive committee.

Article 4: The Executive Committee

The executive committee shall exercise the decision-making and oversight authority between meetings of the Association and shall act by majority vote. The executive committee shall report decisions made to the general membership as necessary.

Article 5: Amendments

These bylaws may be amended, after appropriate circulation of the proposed amendment, by a two-thirds majority vote of either the general membership or the executive committee, ratified by a simple majority vote of the other body during the business meeting. The bylaws shall be deliberately revisited for purposes of amendment at least every three years.

Constitution and bylaws first adopted by vote on October 13, 2018.