Midgley, Louis, Ricks, Shirley, Ricks, Stephen

Steadfast in Defense of Faith: Essays in Honor of Daniel C. Peterson


This festschrift – a collection of essays in honor of a scholar – is celebrating the scholarship of Daniel C. Peterson. Books will be available for shipping the week of August 7.

Certainly, Dan, in his long journey as a scholar, has demonstrated his personal disinclination to “stop the presses.” Within the 185 entries listed
in the select bibliography at the back of the book (representing only a fraction of his writings), we can discover fifty relating to the Book of
Mormon, thirty-three relating to the mutual endeavors of apologetics and discipleship, twenty-two demonstrating his professional mastery of Islam and the Middle East, fourteen on the existence and nature of God, nine on the gospel of Jesus Christ and the plan of salvation, and another nine on Joseph Smith and the Restoration.

As a striking indicator of Dan’s range of interests, we also find forty-four articles on miscellaneous topics of many kinds. The listing also contains several composite entries reflecting lengthy ongoing contributions, such as nine years of newspaper columns on world religions and editorship
of the Islamic Translation Series for the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS). But it does not detail, because it would be impossible to number, the countless presentations and lectures Dan has presented worldwide in both secular and religious settings.
And, of course, we must not forget Dan’s indirect efforts to promote wider scholarship in defense and advocacy of the faith through his teaching, advising, and research at Brigham Young University—as well as the key roles he has played in organizations such as FARMS and Interpreter to “support, publish, and distribute the apologetic work of others.” Despite Dan’s recent retirement from the faculty at BYU, he is yet far from retired. Neither are his many friends and admirers, as the contents of this volume demonstrate.

The chapters herein symbolize the mountain of significant and consequential apologetics research to which Dan and those whom he has inspired have contributed in generous measure. As in any work of scholarship, readers will find here a diversity of arguments, a variety of temperaments, and a profusion of different interests. But in all this, I hope they will also sense unity in the singular passion for faith that enlivens those who take seriously Peter’s apostolic charge to “give a reason for the hope that is in [them]” (1 Peter 3:15).


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1 The Covenant to Defend the Kingdom of God 3
John Gee
2 Reflections on the Genesis and Evolution of 25
the FARMS Review under the Editorship of
Daniel C. Peterson (1989–2011)
Shirley S. Ricks
3 Proving That the Church Is True 55
Steven T. Densley
4 The Restored Gospel and the New Liberalism: 99
The Inescapability of Political Apologetics
Ralph C. Hancock
5 David Hume: On Human and Divine Things 123
Louis Midgley

6 An Everlasting Witness: Ancient Writings on Metal 143
Noel B. Reynolds
7 On the Importance of the Original Manuscript 159
of the Book of Mormon
Royal Skousen
8 Archaeology and the Book of Mormon: 173
Thomas Stuart Ferguson’s Ambivalent Testimony
John E. Clark
9 The Apparent Genetic Discrepancy between 203
Mormon’s Narrative and the Origin of Native Americans
Michael R. Ash and Ugo A. Perego
10 “All Bleeding Stops . . . Eventually”: Helaman’s Warriors 223
and Modern Principles of Trauma Revisited
Gregory L. Smith
11 Joseph Smith and the Magical Contest 247
George L. Mitton
12 Material Plates, Spiritual Vision: Martin Harris, 271
Divine Materiality, and Seeing with “Spiritual Eyes”
Neal Rappleye
13 God, Humankind, and Eternal Progression: 299
Brigham Young and Church Doctrine
Thomas G. Alexander

14 Israel’s Alternate Altars: Israelite-Jewish Temples, 319
Sanctuaries, and Shrines beyond Jerusalem
Stephen D. Ricks
15 Unlocking Isaiah’s Closed Book: Figures of Speech, 331
Literary Devices, and Writing Techniques
Donald W. Parry
16 Sitting, Walking, Standing, and the Tantalizing Links 383
to Sacred Ceremonies in the Epistle to the Ephesians
S. Kent Brown
17 The Seven Seals in the Apocalypse of John: 395
Possible Cultural, Legal, and Imperial Contexts
John W. Welch

18 The Book of Commandments as Literature 423
Richard Lyman Bushman
19 Foundations of a Sacred Latter-day Saint Worldview: 443
A Literary Reading of Doctrine and Covenants 59
Steven L. Olsen

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