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Interpreter:
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Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture. Orem, UT: 2012-2018. https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 1 (2012). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2012.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 2 (2012). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2012.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 3 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 4 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 5 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 6 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 7 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 8 (2014). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2014.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 9 (2014). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2014.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 10 (2014). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2014.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 11 (2014). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2014.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 12 (2014). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2014.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 13 (2015). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2015.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 14 (2015). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2015.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 15 (2015). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2015.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 16 (2015). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2015.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 17 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 18 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 19 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 20 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 21 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 22 (2016). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2016.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 23 (2017). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 24 (2017). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 25 (2017). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 26 (2017). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 27 (2017). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 28 (2018). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2018.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 29 (2018). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2018.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship. Orem, UT: 2018-Present. https://journal.interpreterfoundation.org/.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 30 (2018). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2018.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 31 (2019). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2019.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 32 (2019). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2019.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 33 (2019). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2019.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 34 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 35 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 36 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 37 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 38 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 39 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 40 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 41 (2020). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2020.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 42 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 43 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 44 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 45 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 46 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 47 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 48 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 49 (2021). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2021.
Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, Volume 50 (2022). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2022.

Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture
     Volume 1 (2012)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Charity in Defending the Kingdom.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): i-ix.

With one striking exception, leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are, and always have been, flawed people. (No better quality of human is available.) “We have this treasure in earthen vessels,” the apostle Paul said, referring to the gospel and its mortal ministers, “that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (2 Corinthians 4:7).

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 1 (2012). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2012.
Bokovoy, David E. “‘Thou Knowest That I Believe’: Invoking The Spirit of the Lord as Council Witness in 1 Nephi 11.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 1-23.

Abstract: The Book of Mormon features an esoteric exchange between the prophet Nephi and the Spirit of the Lord on an exceedingly high mountain. The following essay explores some of the ways in which an Israelite familiar with ancient religious experiences and scribal techniques might have interpreted this event. The analysis shows that Nephi’s conversation, as well as other similar accounts in the Book of Mormon, echoes an ancient temple motif. As part of this paradigm, the essay explores the manner in which the text depicts the Spirit of the Lord in a role associated with members of the divine council in both biblical and general Near Eastern conceptions. .

Wright, Mark Alan, and Brant A. Gardner. “The Cultural Context of Nephite Apostasy.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 25-55.

Abstract: Nephite apostates turned away from true worship in consistent and predictable ways throughout the Book of Mormon. Their beliefs and practices may have been the result of influence from the larger socioreligious context in which the Nephites lived. A Mesoamerican setting provides a plausible cultural background that explains why Nephite apostasy took the particular form it did and may help us gain a deeper understanding of some specific references that Nephite prophets used when combating that apostasy. We propose that apostate Nephite religion resulted from the syncretization of certain beliefs and practices from normative Nephite religion with those attested in ancient Mesoamerica. We suggest that orthodox Nephite expectations of the “heavenly king” were supplanted by the more present and tangible “divine king.”.

Mitton, George L. “Book Review: Temple Themes in the Book of Moses, by Jeffrey M. Bradshaw.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 57-59.
Hamblin, William J. “‘I Have Revealed Your Name’: The Hidden Temple in John 17.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 61-89.

Abstract: John 17 contains a richly symbolic Last Discourse by Jesus, in which the disciples are assured a place in the Father’s celestial house or temple. To fulfill this promise Christ reveals both the Father’s name and his glory to his disciples. Jesus’s discourse concludes with the promise of sanctification of the disciples, and their unification—or deification—with Christ and the Father. This paper explores how each of these ideas reflects the temple theology of the Bible and contemporary first-century Judaism.

Sorenson, John L. “An Open Letter to Dr. Michael Coe.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 91-109.

Abstract: In August 2011 John Dehlin conducted a three-part interview with famed Mesoamericanist Michael Coe. Dehlin operates the podcast series Mormon Stories, which features interviews discussing the faith and culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This article examines a large number of dubious claims made in those interviews, providing clarifications, responses, and references to numerous sources dealing with those issues. Much more detail will be forthcoming in Dr. Sorenson’s new book, Mormon’s Codex.

Midgley, Louis C. “Atheist Piety: A Religion of Dogmatic Dubiety.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 111-143.

Abstract: The “Special Feature” of this mass-market secular humanist magazine consists of an introduction to “America’s Peculiar Piety” followed by a miscellany of brief, nonscholarly essays critical of The Church of Jesus Christ. The questions posed in the introduction to this flagship atheist magazine go unaddressed in the essays. Some of the essays are personal exit stories by former Latter-day Saints. One is an effort by Robert M. Price to explain away the Book of Mormon without confronting its contents. This is done by ignoring the details of Joseph Smith’s career in order to picture him as the equivalent of a bizarre, emotionally conflicted figure like Charles Manson or as the embodiment of one of a wide range of mythical trickster figures like Brer Rabbit, Felix the Cat, or Doctor Who. The assumed link between these mythical or legendary figures and Joseph Smith is said to be a Jungian archetype lodged in his presumably deranged psyche, leading him to fashion the Book of Mormon.

Another essay merely mentions the well-known criticisms of Joseph Smith by Abner Cole (a.k.a. Obadiah Dogberry), while others complain that the faith of the Saints tends to meet emotional needs or that their religious community has various ways of reinforcing their own moral demands. In no instance do these authors see their own deeply held ideology as serving similar personal and community-sustaining religious functions.

All of the essays reflect a fashionable, dogmatic, naive, and deeply religious enmity toward the faith of Latter-day Saints. The essays are also shown to be instances of a modern militant atheism, which is contrasted with earlier and much less bold and aggressive doubts about divine things. The ideological links between those responsible for Free Inquiry and some critics on the fringes of the LDS community are also clearly identified.

Review of Tom Flynn et al. “America’s Peculiar Piety: Why Did Mormonism Grow? Why Does It Endure?” Free Inquiry, October/November 2011, 21–41.So then, remember that at one time you Gentiles . . . were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God [atheos] in the world. (Ephesians 2:11–12 NRSV).

Midgley, Louis C. “Book Review: Latter-day Scripture: Studies in the Book of Mormon, by Robert M. Price.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 145-150.

Robert M. Price. Latter-day Scripture: Studies in the Book of Mormon. Self-published e-book, 2011 (http://www.eBookIt.com). 78 pp., no index, no pagination. $10.95.

Nicholson, Roger. “Mormonism and Wikipedia: The Church History That ‘Anyone Can Edit’” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 151-190.

Abstract: The ability to quickly and easily access literature critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been made significantly easier through the advent of the Internet. One of the primary sites that dominates search engine results is Wikipedia, an online encyclopedia that “anyone can edit.” Wikipedia contains a large number of articles related to Mormonism that are edited by believers, critics, and neutral parties. The reliability of information regarding the Church and its history is subject to the biases of the editors who choose to modify those articles. Even if a wiki article is thoroughly sourced, editors sometimes employ source material in a manner that supports their bias. This essay explores the dynamics behind the creation of Wikipedia articles about the Church, the role that believers and critics play in that process, and the reliability of the information produced in the resulting wiki articles.The fact that this [Wikipedia] article has been stable for months suggests that other Mormons have found the evidence unassailable. ((Comment posted by Wikipedia editor “John Foxe,” responding to an LDS editor on the “Three Witnesses” Wikipedia talk page, 27 January 2009.)).

Hancock, Ralph C. “To Really Read the Book of Mormon.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 1 (2012): 191-195.

Review of Grant Hardy. Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010. xix + 346 pp., with index. $29.95.

Volume 2 (2012)

Peterson, Daniel C. “The Role of Apologetics in Mormon Studies.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): i-xxxvi.

The following essay was presented on 3 August 2012 as “Of ‘Mormon Studies’ and Apologetics” at the conclusion of the annual conference of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) in Sandy, Utah. It represents the first public announcement and appearance of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, which had been founded only slightly more than a week earlier, on 26 July. In my view, that rapid launch was the near-miraculous product of selfless collaboration and devotion to a cause on the part of several people—notable among them David E. Bokovoy, Alison V. P. Coutts, William J. Hamblin, Bryce M. Haymond, Louis C. Midgley, George L. Mitton, Stephen D. Ricks, and Mark Alan Wright—and I’m profoundly grateful to them. This essay, which may even have some slight historical value, is something of a personal charter statement regarding that cause. It is published here with no substantial alteration.

Hedelius, Cassandra S. “Attacking Rather Than Explaining.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 1-16.

Abstract: In his book on Mormonism, the Reverend Andrew Jackson claims to explain “the teaching and practices of the LDS Church,” with an intended audience of non-Mormon Christians but also “interested Mormons.” He doesn’t succeed well. Although his presentation of Mormon history is mostly fair, his discussion of the faith of Latter-day Saints devolves into the usual anti-Mormon tropes, to which he adds a celebration of a simplified evangelical theology. What might have been a useful, straightforward account of The Church of Jesus Christ and its history ended up, instead, as a clumsy attack. Reverend Jackson eventually re-released his book under a different title as a warning against what he considers Mitt Romney’s reticence to publicly explain his faith to the Reverend’s specifications. The later iteration of Reverend Jackson’s opinions was not even revised beyond a new introduction, making plain his basic antagonistic agenda.

Review of Andrew Jackson, What Latter-day Saints Teach and Practice: Mormonism Explained, Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books [a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers], 2008. 208 pp., with four appendixes, name index, and scripture index. $29.64 (paperback).

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 2 (2012). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2012.
Harper, Steven C. “Evaluating Three Arguments Against Joseph Smith’s First Vision.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 17-33.

Abstract: Historically there have been just three basic arguments against the authenticity of Joseph Smith’s first vision. They all begin with the a priori premise that such a vision simply could not have happened. The arguments originated with the Methodist minister to whom Joseph related his vision, author Fawn Brodie, and the Reverend Wesley Walters. The minister’s critique is explained by Methodism’s shift away from ecstatic religious experience. Fawn Brodie is shown to have made innovative yet flawed arguments within the narrow scope allowed by her conclusion that Joseph was a charlatan—a conclusion that did not allow for alternative interpretations of new evidence. Walters is shown to make fallacious arguments of irrelevant proof and negative proof in his understandably determined effort to undermine Joseph Smith’s credibility. Close-minded believers in Joseph’s vision are similarly likely to make unfounded assumptions unless they become open to the rich historical record Joseph created. Belief in the vision should correspond to Christian empathy for and civility toward critics.

Midgley, Louis C. “Christian Faith in Contemporary China.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 35-39.

Review of Lian Xi. Redeemed by Fire: The Rise of Popular Christianity in Modern China. New Haven: Yale University, 2010. 352 pp., with glossary, bibliography and index. $45.00 (hardcover).

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., Jacob A. Rennaker, and David J. Larsen. “Revisiting the Forgotten Voices of Weeping in Moses 7: A Comparison with Ancient Texts.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 41-71.

Abstract: The LDS Book of Moses is remarkable in its depiction of the suffering of the wicked at the time of the Flood. According to this text, there are three parties directly involved in the weeping: God (Moses 7:28; cf. v. 29), the heavens (Moses 7:28, 37), and Enoch (Moses 7:41, 49). In addition, a fourth party, the earth, mourns—though does not weep—for her children (Moses 7:48–49). The passages that speak of the weeping God and the mourning earth have received the greatest share of attention by scholars. The purpose of this article is to round out the previous discussion so as to include new insights and ancient parallels to the two voices of weeping that have been largely forgotten—that of Enoch and that of the heavens. ((An expanded and revised version of material contained in this study will appear as part of Jeffrey M. Bradshaw and David J. Larsen, Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel (Salt Lake City, UT: Eborn Publishing, forthcoming, 2014). All translations from non-English sources are by the first author unless otherwise specifically noted.)) .

Tvedtnes, John A. “Variants in the Stories of the First Vision of Joseph Smith and the Apostle Paul.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 73-86.

Abstract: Some critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have noted that the different accounts of Joseph Smith’s first vision, though written by the prophet himself, vary in some details. They see this as evidence that the event did not take place and was merely invented to establish divine authority for his work. They fail to realize that the versions of Paul’s vision on the road to Damascus, in which the risen Christ appeared to him, also differ from one another. Indeed, they vary more than Joseph Smith’s accounts of his experience. This article examines those variants.

Reynolds, Noel B. “Rethinking the Apostle Peter’s Role in the Early Church.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 87-91.

Review of Martin Hengel, Saint Peter: The Underestimated Apostle. English translation by Thomas H. Trapp. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans, 2010. 161 pp., with indices. $18.00.

Skousen, Royal. “Why was one sixth of the 1830 Book of Mormon set from the original manuscript?” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 93-103.

Abstract: Evidence from the manuscripts of the Book of Mormon (as well as internal evidence within the Book of Mormon itself) shows that for one sixth of the text, from Helaman 13:17 to the end of Mormon, the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon was set from the original (dictated) manuscript rather than from the printer’s manuscript. For five-sixths of the text, the 1830 edition was set from the printer’s manuscript, the copy prepared specifically for the 1830 typesetter to use as his copytext. In 1990, when the use of the original manuscript as copytext was first discovered, it was assumed that the scribes for the printer’s manuscript had fallen behind in their copywork, which had then forced them to take in the original manuscript to the 1830 typesetter. Historical evidence now argues, to the contrary, that the reason for the switch was the need to take the printer’s manuscript to Canada in February 1830 in order to secure the copyright of the Book of Mormon within the British realm. During the month or so that Oliver Cowdery and others were on their trip to nearby Canada with the printer’s manuscript, the 1830 typesetter used the original manuscript to set the type, although he himself was unaware that there had been a temporary switch in the manuscripts.

Smoot, Stephen O. “Shaken Faith Syndrome and the Case for Faith.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 105-126.

Abstract: Michael R. Ash is a Mormon apologist who has written two thoughtful books and a number of insightful articles exploring a wide range of controversial issues within Mormonism. His recent book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt is an outstanding apologetic resource for individuals searching for faith-promoting answers that directly confront anti-Mormon allegations and criticisms. Ash does an excellent job in both succinctly explaining many of the criticisms leveled against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and articulating compelling answers to these criticisms.

Review of Michael R. Ash. Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. Redding, CA: Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, 2008. x + 301 pp., with index. $19.95 (paperback).

“Wherefore Didst Thou Doubt?”

(Matthew 14:31).

Midgley, Louis C. “Defending the King and His Kingdom.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 127-144.

Again, if the trumpet does not sound a clear call, who will get ready for battle?

1 Corinthians 14:8 NIV

Abstract: Some vocal cultural Mormons, busy asking themselves “why stay,” claim that it is not at all probable that there is a God, or that there even was a Jesus of Nazareth. They also ridicule the Atonement. In the language of our scriptures they are antichrists—that is, they deny that there was or is a Christ. Being thus against the King and His Kingdom, their trumpet does not give a clear sound; they are clearly against the one whom they made a solemn covenant to defend and sustain. Instead of seeking diligently to become genuine Holy Ones or Saints, they worship an idol—they have turned from the Way by fashioning an idol. They preach and practice a petty idolatry. Genuine Saints, including disciple-scholars, have a duty to defend the King and His Kingdom.

Gee, John. “The Apocryphal Acts of Jesus.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 2 (2012): 145-187.

Abstract: Numerous noncanonical accounts of Jesus’s deeds exist. While some Latter-day Saints would like to find plain and precious things in the apocryphal accounts, few are to be found. Three types of accounts deal with Jesus as a child, his mortal ministry, or after his resurrection. The Jesus of the infancy gospels does not act like the Jesus of the real gospels. The apocryphal accounts of Jesus’s ministry usually push a particular theological agenda. The accounts of Jesus’s post-resurrection teaching often contain intriguing but bizarre information. On the whole, apocryphal accounts of Jesus’s ministry probably contain less useful information for Latter-day Saints than they might expect.

Volume 3 (2013)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Reflecting on Gospel Scholarship with Abū al-Walīd and Abū Ḥāmid.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): v-xxxii.

The theologian, jurist, philosopher, and mystic Abu ?amid Mu?ammad b. Mu?ammad al-Ghazali (d. AD 1111 in his Persian hometown of Tus, after spending much of his career in Baghdad) has sometimes been characterized as the single most influential Muslim besides the Prophet Mu?ammad himself. The Andalusian philosopher and jurist Abu al-Walid Mu?ammad b. A?mad b. Rushd (d. AD 1198 in Marrakesh, modern-day Morocco, but ultimately buried in his family tomb in Córdoba, Spain) is generally considered to be the greatest medieval commentator—whether Jewish, Christian, or Muslim—on the works of Aristotle. Often known as Averroës, a corruption of his Arabic name, Ibn Rushd was respected even by medieval Christians. For example, Dante Alighieri, in his immortal Inferno, placed him only on the rim of Hell—in the relatively benign Limbo of unbaptized infants—and not among the torturous punishments of Hell’s lower levels.

Hedelius, Cassandra S. “Book Review: Comparing and Evaluating the Scriptures: A Timely Challenge for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 1-5.

Review of Paul F. Fink. Comparing and Evaluating the Scriptures: A Timely Challenge for Jews, Christians, Muslims, and Mormons. Lompoc, CA: Summerland Publishing, 2008. 166 pp. $16.95 (paperback and e-book format).

Tvedtnes, John A. “Biblical and Non-Biblical Quotes in the Sermons and Epistles of Paul.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 7-61.

Abstract: In 2010, BYU’s Neal A. Maxwell Institute published an article in which I demonstrated that the charge of plagiarism, frequently leveled against Joseph Smith by critics, is untrue. ((John A. Tvedtnes, “Was Joseph Smith Guilty of Plagiarism?” FARMS Review 22/1 (2010): 261–75.)) I noted, among other things, that the authors of books of the Bible sometimes quoted their predecessors. One of those authors was the apostle Paul, who drew upon a wide range of earlier texts in his epistles. This article discusses and demonstrates his sources.

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 3 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Midgley, Louis C. “Evangelical Controversy: A Deeply Fragmented Movement.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 63-84.

Review of Kevin T. Bauder, R. Albert Mohler Jr., John G. Stackhouse Jr., Roger E. Olson. Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism. Edited by Stanley N. Gundry, Andrew David Naselli, and Collin Hansen. Introduction by Collin Hansen. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. 222 pp., with scripture index and general index. $16.99 (paperback).

Abstract: Four Views on the Spectrum of Evangelicalism should be helpful to Latter-day Saints (and others) seeking to understand some of the theological controversies lurking behind contemporary fundamentalist/evangelical religiosity. Four theologians spread along a spectrum speak for different competing factions of conservative Protestants: Kevin Bauder  ((Bauder is a research professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Minneapolis, Minnesota.)) for what turns out to be his own somewhat moderate version of Protestant fundamentalism; Al Mohler ((In 1993 Mohler became the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.))  for conservative/confessional ((The labels used to identify the brand of fundamentalism/evangelicalism for which each author speaks are somewhat problematic. For example, to me it seems that Al Mohler speaks for the Calvinist/Reformed version of evangelicalism which is currently in ascendance within the Southern Baptist Convention.))  evangelicalism; John Stackhouse ((Stackhouse is professor of theology and culture at Regent College in Vancouver, Canada.))  for generic evangelicalism; and Roger Olson ((Olson is professor of theology at George W. Truett Theological Seminary at Baylor University.)) for postconservative evangelicalism. Each author introduces his own position and then is critiqued in turn by the others, after which there is a rejoinder. In addition, as I point out in detail, each of these authors has something negative to say about the faith of Latter-day Saints.

Larsen, Val. “In His Footsteps: Ammon₁ and Ammon₂.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 85-113.

Abstract: Mormon is a historian with a literary sensibility and considerable literary skill. Though his core message is readily apparent to any competent reader, his history nevertheless rewards close reading. Its great scope means that much that is said must be said by implication. And its witness of Christ is sometimes expressed through subtle narrative parallels or through historical allegory. This article focuses on parallel narratives that feature Ammon1 and Ammon2, with special attention to the allegorical account of Ammon2 at the waters of Sebus. To fully comprehend the power of the testimony of Christ that Mormon communicates in his Ammon narratives, readers must glean from textual details an understanding of the social and political context in which the narratives unfold. ((Peter Eubanks, Brant Gardner, Grant Hardy, and two reviewers at Interpreter read and helpfully commented on an a previous draft of this article.)).

Boylan, Robert S. “Book Review: Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics, by Bart D. Ehrman.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 115-118.

Review of Bart D. Ehrman. Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012). x + 628 pp, including bibliography and index. $39.95. Hardback.

Gardner, Brant A. “From the East to the West: The Problem of Directions in the Book of Mormon.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 119-153.

Abstract: The 1985 publication of John L. Sorenson’s An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon presented the best argument for a New World location for the Book of Mormon. For all of its strengths, however, one aspect of the model has remained perplexing. It appeared that in order to accept that correlation one must accept that the Nephites rotated north to what we typically understand as northwest. The internal connections between text and geography were tighter than any previous correlation, and the connections between that particular geography and the history of the peoples who lived in that place during Book of Mormon times was also impressive. There was just that little problem of north not being north. This paper reexamines the Book of Mormon directional terms and interprets them against the cultural system that was prevalent in the area defined by Sorenson’s geographical correlation. The result is a way to understand Book of Mormon directions without requiring any skewing of magnetic north.

Thompson, A. Keith. “Nephite insights into Israelite Worship Practices before the Babylonian Captivity.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 155-195.

Abstract: General historical consensus holds that synagogues originated before the destruction of the Second Temple in AD 70, and therefore probably originated during the Babylonian captivity. The suggestion in Philo and Josephus that synagogues may have originated during the exodus was discredited by some historians in the 17th century, yet the Book of Mormon speaks of synagogues, sanctuaries, and places of worship in a manner which suggests that Lehi and his party brought some form of synagogal worship with them when they left Jerusalem around 600 BC. This essay revisits the most up to date scholarship regarding the origin of the synagogue and suggests that the Book of Mormon record provides ample reason to look for the origins of the synagogue much earlier that has become the academic custom.

Foster, Craig L. “New Light and Old Shadows: John G. Turner’s Attempt to Understand Brigham Young.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 197-222.

Review of John G. Turner, Brigham Young: Pioneer Prophet (Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012), viii, 500, map, photos, notes, index.

Johnson, Hollis R. “One Day to a Cubit.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 3 (2013): 223-230.

Abstract: An investigation of ancient astronomy shows that a cubit was used not only as the metric of length (elbow to fingertip) but also as a metric of angle in the sky. That suggested a new interpretation that fits naturally: the brightest celestial object—the sun—moves eastward around the sky, relative to the stars, during the course of a year, by one cubit per day!.

Volume 4 (2013)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): vii-xiii.
Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. “Ancient Affinities within the LDS Book of Enoch Part One.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 1-27.

Abstract: In this article, we will examine affinities between ancient extracanonical sources and a collection of modern revelations that Joseph Smith termed “extracts from the Prophecy of Enoch.” We build on the work of previous scholars, revisiting their findings with the benefit of subsequent scholarship. Following a perspective on the LDS canon and an introduction to the LDS Enoch revelations, we will focus on relevant passages in pseudepigrapha and LDS scripture within three episodes in the Mormon Enoch narrative: Enoch’s prophetic commission, Enoch’s encounters with the “gibborim,” and the weeping and exaltation of Enoch and his people.

Bradshaw, Jeffrey M., and David J. Larsen. “Ancient Affinities within the LDS Book of Enoch Part Two.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 29-74.

Abstract: In this article, we will examine affinities between ancient extracanonical sources and a collection of modern revelations that Joseph Smith termed “extracts from the Prophecy of Enoch.” We build on the work of previous scholars, revisiting their findings with the benefit of subsequent scholarship. Following a perspective on the LDS canon and an introduction to the LDS Enoch revelations, we will focus on relevant passages in pseudepigrapha and LDS scripture within three episodes in the Mormon Enoch narrative: Enoch’s prophetic commission, Enoch’s encounters with the “gibborim,” and the weeping and exaltation of Enoch and his people.

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 4 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Rappleye, Neal. “Trusting Joseph.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 75-83.

Abstract: The “first steps” of Mormon history are vital to the faith claims of the Latter-day Saints. The new volume Exploring the First Vision, edited by Samuel Alonzo Dodge and Steven C. Harper, compiles research into the historical veracity of Joseph Smith’s First Vision narrative which shows the Prophet to have been a reliable and trustworthy witness. Ultimately, historical investigation can neither prove nor disprove that Joseph had a theophany in the woods in 1820. Individuals must therefore reach their conclusions by some other means.

Review of Samuel Alonzo Dodge and Steven C. Harper, eds. Exploring the First Vision. Provo, Utah: BYU Religious Studies Center, 2012. 338 pp. with index. $25.99If the beginning of the promenade of Mormon history, the First Vision and the Book of Mormon, can survive the crisis, then the rest of the promenade follows and nothing that happens in it can really detract from the miracle of the whole. If the first steps do not survive, there can be only antiquarian, not fateful or faith-full interest in the rest of the story.

Martin E. Marty ((Martin E. Marty, “Two Integrities: An Address to the Crisis in Mormon Historiography,” Journal of Mormon History 10 (1983): 9, capitalization altered.)).

Midgley, Louis C. “Confronting Five-Point Calvinism.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 85-92.

Review of Roger E. Olson. Against Calvinism. Foreword by Michael Horton, author of For Calvinism. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. 207 pp., no index. $16.99 (paperback).

Gee, John. “Whither Mormon Studies?” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 93-130.

Abstract: The proliferation of Mormon Studies is surprising, considering that many of the basic questions about the field have never been answered. This paper looks at a number of basic questions about Mormon Studies that are of either academic concern or concern for members of the Church of Jesus Christ. They include such questions as whether Mormon Studies is a discipline, whether those who do Mormon Studies necessarily know what is going on in the Church, or if they interpret their findings correctly, whether there is any core knowledge that those who do Mormon Studies can or should have, what sort of topics Mormon Studies covers or should cover and whether those topics really have anything to do with what Mormons actually do or think about, whether Mormon Studies has ulterior political or religious motives, and whether it helps or hurts the Kingdom. Is Mormon Studies a waste of students’ time and donors’ money? Though the paper does not come up with definitive answers to any of those questions, it sketches ways of looking at them from a perspective within the restored Gospel and suggests that these issues ought to be more carefully considered before Latter-day Saints dive headlong into Mormon Studies in general.

Givens, Terryl L. “Letter to a Doubter.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 131-146.

I understand that some doubts have arisen in your mind. I don’t know for sure what they are, but I imagine I have heard them before. Probably I have entertained some of them in my own mind. And perhaps I still harbor some of them myself. I am not going to respond to them in the ways that you may have anticipated. Oh, I will say a few things about why many doubts felt by the previously faithful and faith-filled are ill-founded and misplaced: the result of poor teaching, naïve assumptions, cultural pressures, and outright false doctrines. But my main purpose in writing this letter is not to resolve the uncertainties and perplexities in your mind. I want, rather, to endow them with the dignity and seriousness they deserve. And even to celebrate them. That may sound perverse, but I hope to show you it is not.

Hamblin, William J. “The Sôd of YHWH and the Endowment.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 147-154.

Abstract: In the Hebrew Bible, the Sôd of God was a council of celestial beings who consulted with God, learned His sôd/secret plan, and then fulfilled that plan. This paper argues that the LDS endowment is, in part, a ritual reenactment of the sôd, where the participants observe the sôd/council of God, learn the sôd/secret plan of God, and covenant to fulfill that plan.

Ricks, Stephen D. “Some Notes on Book of Mormon Names.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 155-160.

Abstract: This study considers the Book of Mormon personal names Josh, Nahom, and Alma as test cases for the Book of Mormon as an historically authentic ancient document.

McGuire, Benjamin L. “Josiah’s Reform: An Introduction.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 161-163.

In 1951 in The Improvement Era, Sidney B. Sperry published a short article titled “Some Problems of Interest Relating to the Brass Plates.” In this article he outlines several problems including issues related to the Pentateuch, Jeremiah’s prophecies, The Book of the Law, and the Brass Plates themselves. In many ways, Sperry laid down a gauntlet that has been taken up many times by LDS scholars looking for answers that help to explain these issues in the Book of Mormon within the context of the best current biblical scholarship.

Hamblin, William J. “Vindicating Josiah.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 165-176.

For an introduction, see Benjamin L. McGuire, “Josiah’s Reform: An Introduction.”

For a counterpoint, see Kevin Christensen, “Prophets and Kings in Lehi’s Jerusalem and Margaret Barker’s Temple Theology”

Abstract: Margaret Barker has written a number of fascinating books on ancient Israelite and Christian temple theology. One of her main arguments is that the temple reforms of Josiah corrupted the pristine original Israelite temple theology. Josiah’s reforms were therefore, in some sense, an apostasy. According to Barker, early Christianity is based on the pristine, original pre-Josiah form of temple theology. This paper argues that Josiah’s reforms were a necessary correction to contemporary corruption of the Israelite temple rituals and theologies, and that the type of temple apostasy Barker describes is more likely associated with the Hasmoneans.

Christensen, Kevin. “Prophets and Kings in Lehi’s Jerusalem and Margaret Barker’s Temple Theology.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 4 (2013): 177-193.

For an introduction, see Benjamin L. McGuire, “Josiah’s Reform: An Introduction.”

For a counterpoint, see William J. Hamblin, “Vindicating Josiah.”

Abstract: King Josiah’s reign has come under increasing focus for its importance to the formation of the Hebrew Bible, and for its proximity to the ministry of important prophets such as Jeremiah and Lehi. Whereas the canonical accounts and conventional scholarship have seen Josiah portrayed as the ideal king, Margaret Barker argues Josiah’s reform was hostile to the temple. This essay offers a counterpoint to Professor Hamblin’s “Vindicating Josiah” essay, offering arguments that the Book of Mormon and Barker’s views and sources support one another.

Volume 5 (2013)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Introduction, Volume 5.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): vi-xiv.

Abstract:  This introduction to Volume 5 considers the modern notion of a cessation of Bible-like divine manifestations and revelations, a belief which Joseph Smith encountered when he told others of the First Vision. This perception of an end to miracles and visions had become common by Joseph’s time, as evidenced by various writers, and continues to the present day. The Latter-day Saints, however, continue to believe in modern-day revelation, which we believe gives us a unique vantage point for the study of the Bible and other scripture, as illustrated in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.

McGuire, Benjamin L. “Finding Parallels: Some Cautions and Criticisms, Part One.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 1-59.

Review of Rick Grunder. Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source. Layfayette, New York: Rick Grunder—Books, 2008. 2,088 pp. On CD-ROM. $200.00.

Abstract: Discovering parallels is inherently an act of comparison. Through comparison, parallels have been introduced frequently as proof (or evidence) of different issues within Mormon studies. Despite this frequency, very few investigations provide a theoretical or methodological framework by which the parallels themselves can be evaluated. This problem is not new to the field of Mormon studies but has in the past plagued literary studies more generally. In Part One, this review essay discusses present and past approaches dealing with the ways in which parallels have been used and valued in acts of literary comparison, uncovering the various difficulties associated with unsorted parallels as well as discussing the underlying motivations for these comparisons. In Part Two, a methodological framework is introduced and applied to examples from Grunder’s collection in Mormon Parallels. In using a consistent methodology to value these parallels, this essay suggests a way to address the historical concerns associated with using parallels to explain both texts and Mormonism as an historical religious movement.

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McGuire, Benjamin L. “Finding Parallels: Some Cautions and Criticisms, Part Two.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 61-104.

Review of Rick Grunder. Mormon Parallels: A Bibliographic Source. Layfayette, New York: Rick Grunder—Books, 2008. 2,088 pp. On CD-ROM. $200.00.

Abstract: Discovering parallels is inherently an act of comparison. Through comparison, parallels have been introduced frequently as proof (or evidence) of different issues within Mormon studies. Despite this frequency, very few investigations provide a theoretical or methodological framework by which the parallels themselves can be evaluated. This problem is not new to the field of Mormon studies but has in the past plagued literary studies more generally. In Part One, this review essay discusses present and past approaches dealing with the ways in which parallels have been used and valued in acts of literary comparison, uncovering the various difficulties associated with unsorted parallels as well as discussing the underlying motivations for these comparisons. In Part Two, a methodological framework is introduced and applied to examples from Grunder’s collection in Mormon Parallels. In using a consistent methodology to value these parallels, this essay suggests a way to address the historical concerns associated with using parallels to explain both texts and Mormonism as an historical religious movement.

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Gardner, Brant A. “When Hypotheses Collide: Responding to Lyon and Minson’s ‘When Pages Collide’” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 105-119.

Abstract: At the end of 2012, Jack M. Lyon and Kent R. Minson published “When Pages Collide: Dissecting the Words of Mormon.” They suggest that there is textual evidence that supports the idea that Words of Mormon 12-18 is the translation of the end of the previous chapter of Mosiah. The rest of the chapter was lost with the 116 pages, but this text remained because it was physically on the next page, which Joseph had kept with him.

In this paper, the textual information is examined to determine if it supports that hypothesis. The conclusion is that while the hypothesis is possible, the evidence is not conclusive. The question remains open and may ultimately depend upon one’s understanding of the translation process much more than the evidence from the manuscripts.

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 5 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Nicholson, Roger. “The Spectacles, the Stone, the Hat, and the Book: A Twenty-first Century Believer’s View of the Book of Mormon Translation.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 121-190.

Abstract: This essay seeks to examine the Book of Mormon translation method from the perspective of a regular, nonscholarly, believing member in the twenty-first century, by taking into account both what is learned in Church and what can be learned from historical records that are now easily available. What do we know? What should we know? How can a believing Latter-day Saint reconcile apparently conflicting accounts of the translation process? An examination of the historical sources is used to provide us with a fuller and more complete understanding of the complexity that exists in the early events of the Restoration. These accounts come from both believing and nonbelieving sources, and some skepticism ought to be employed in choosing to accept some of the interpretations offered by some of these sources as fact. However, an examination of these sources provides a larger picture, and the answers to these questions provide an enlightening look into Church history and the evolution of the translation story. This essay focuses primarily on the methods and instruments used in the translation process and how a faithful Latter-day Saint might view these as further evidence of truthfulness of the restored Gospel. .

Christensen, Kevin. “Book Review: Temple Mysticism: An Introduction, by Margaret Barker.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 191-199.

Review of Margaret Barker, Temple Mysticism: An Introduction (London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 2011), 181 pp. $18.94.

Bowen, Matthew L. “‘In the Mount of the Lord It Shall Be Seen’ and ‘Provided’: Theophany and Sacrifice as the Etiological Foundation of the Temple in Israelite and Latter-day Saint Tradition.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 5 (2013): 201-223.

Abstract: For ancient Israelites, the temple was a place where sacrifice and theophany (i.e., seeing God or other heavenly beings) converged. The account of Abraham’s “arrested” sacrifice of Isaac (Genesis 22) and the account of the arrested slaughter of Jerusalem following David’s unauthorized census of Israel (2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21) served as etiological narratives—explanations of “cause” or “origin”—for the location of the Jerusalem temple and its sacrifices. Wordplay on the verb rāʾâ (to “see”) in these narratives creates an etiological link between the place-names “Jehovah-jireh,” “Moriah” and the threshing floor of Araunah/Ornan, pointing to the future location of the Jerusalem temple as the place of theophany and sacrifice par excellence. Isaac’s arrested sacrifice and the vicarious animal sacrifices of the temple anticipated Jesus’s later “un-arrested” sacrifice since, as Jesus himself stated, “Abraham rejoiced to see my day” (John 8:56). Sacrifice itself was a kind of theophany in which one’s own redemption could be “seen” and the scriptures of the Restoration confirm that Abraham and many others, even “a great many thousand years before” the coming of Christ, “saw” Jesus’s sacrifice and “rejoiced.” Additionally, theophany and sacrifice converge in the canonized revelations regarding the building of the latter-day temple. These temple revelations begin with a promise of theophany, and mandate sacrifice from the Latter-day Saints. In essence, the temple itself was, and is, Christ’s atonement having its intended effect on humanity. .

Volume 6 (2013)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Introduction, Volume 6The Modest But Important End of Apologetics.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): vii-xxv.

I first became involved in apologetics because I wanted to defend the truth of beliefs that are important to me and to defend the character of leaders for whom I have great respect, even veneration, against attack. I’m offended by falsehoods, prejudice, and injustice. I wanted to help faltering members who were sometimes besieged by intellectual challenges for which they had no adequate response. I also desired to assist interested observers to see sufficient plausibility in the Gospel’s claims that they would be able to make its truth a matter of sincere and receptive prayer. My hope was to clear away obstacles that might obscure their recognition of truth. These continue to be my motivations, and I expect that others who are engaged in apologetics feel much the same way.

Smith, Robert F. “Adam Miller’s New Hermeneutic?” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 1-7.

Review of Adam S. Miller (Collin College, McKinney, TX). Rube Goldberg Machines: Essays in Mormon Theology. Foreword by Richard Lyman Bushman. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2012. 162 pp., with bibliography and indexes. $18.95. Paperback and e-book formats.

Ricks, Stephen D. “A Note on Family Structure in Mosiah 2:5.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 9-10.

Mosiah 2:5 provides the reader of the Book of Mormon with new insights about Israelite-Nephite family structure. In a passage set during what John A. Tvedtnes has persuasively argued is the Feast of Tabernacles, we read: “And it came to pass that when they came up to the temple, they pitched their tents round about, every man according to his family, consisting of his wife, and his sons, and his daughters, and their sons and their daughters, from the eldest down to the youngest.”

Midgley, Louis C. “Multiple Reformations and a Deeply Divided House.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 11-15.

Review of Diarmaid MacCulloch. The Reformation. New York: Viking Penguin, 2004. xxvii + 832 pp. with appendix of texts and index. $35.95 (hardcover). $22.00 (paperback).

Midgley, Louis C. “Protestant Ecclesiastical Anarchy and Dogmatic Diversity.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 17-21.

Review of Mark A. Noll. Protestantism: A Very Short Introduction, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. xvi + 161 pp., with bibliography of further reading, glossary, index. $11.95 (paperback).

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 6 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Olsen, Steven L. “Peter’s Tears.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 23-30.

Abstract: Peter’s denial of Christ is one of only about two dozen events reported in all four gospels. Three of the accounts conclude by Peter’s weeping. This paper examines the antecedents, possible motivations, and long-term consequences of this crisis in Peter’s life as recorded in the scriptural text and considers its application for all disciples of the Savior.

Gillum, Gary P. “Written to the Lamanites: Understanding the Book of Mormon through Native Culture and Religion.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 31-48.

Abstract: Latter-day Saints have always been encouraged to seek the truth wherever it can be found. With the Book of Mormon being written especially to the Lamanites, we can assume that the more we know about Lamanite and Native American culture, the more we can understand, appreciate and gain insights as we read that inspired scripture. In this article the writer has compared examples from Native American culture and history to what we read in the Book of Mormon and experience as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Most importantly, as we read through the eyes of a Native American, we can appreciate the divinity and authenticity of the Book of Mormon, since Joseph Smith could not have known Native American culture and history in the way it is described herein.

THE BOOK OF MORMON

AN ACCOUNT WRITTEN BY

THE HAND OF MORMON

UPON PLATES

TAKEN FROM THE PLATES OF NEPHI

Wherefore, it is an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and also of the Lamanites—Written to the Lamanites, who are a remnant of the house of Israel; and also to Jew and Gentile—.

Welch, John W. “Toward a Mormon Jurisprudence.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 49-84.

Preface: The following article was published in the Regent University Law Review in the first number of its 2008-2009 volume, pages 79-103. The article is reprinted here by permission without any substantive modifications. Because law reviews are not easily available on the Web or elsewhere to most readers, I am pleased to give wider exposure to this first foray into the idea of a Mormon jurisprudence. Regent University is an Evangelical Christian institution.

This article grew mainly out of a talk that was delivered on February 14, 2004, to the first national meeting of the student chapters of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, held at Harvard Law School. Four years later, on February 13, 2008, Scott Adams, a third-year member of the law review at Regent University Law School contacted me and said that he was hoping to “put something together on Mormonism and the law,” to see if the law review might publish it. Scott rightly indicated that, according to his research, “no one has ever attempted to tackle the ambitious project of considering Mormonism, in general, and analyzing its potential implications on law (for example, how might an LDS judge see the law, as opposed to a Catholic).” Scott was thinking about writing a paper himself on natural law from an LDS perspective. I responded by suggesting that he contact Cole Durham, Francis Beckwith, and Nate Oman; and I offered to send him a copy of my Harvard speech, expressing interest in publishing that paper as a companion piece with his.

As it would soon turn out, the editor-in-chief and board of the Regent law review were very eager to publish my piece, especially if it could appear with another article presenting an “opposing viewpoint.” They suggested a member of their faculty, and after brief deliberations, all was agreed. In the end, however, no opposing or additional articles were forthcoming, and so this article was published on its own. I thank Scott and his fellow students for their help in checking and enriching the footnotes. They also had hopes that this publication would build good relationships between Evangelicals and future LDS students, which I too hope has occurred.

This essay tries to identify what a “Mormon” jurisprudence would, and would not, look like. Beyond its immediate relevance to legal thought, this article might have broader applications in helping LDS scholars in other disciplines to think about, for example, what a Mormon theory of literary criticism might look like, or what would be distinctive about a Mormon approach to political theory or to any other discipline. I believe that any such Mormon academic approach (1) would be solidly rooted in all LDS scripture, (2) would be inclusivistic, privileging fullness and openness over closure and completeness, and (3) would be fundamentally pluralistic and not reductionistic.

Obviously, this piece is just a beginning. There is much more to be done here. I have continued to work along these lines for the past decade and have published other things growing out of this paper, for example, a talk about rights and duties given at Stanford Law School, published in the Clark Memorandum (Fall, 2010), 26, http://www.jrcls.org/publications/clark_memo/issues/cmF10.pdf, and my Maeser lecture at Brigham Young University, available at http://byustudies.byu.edu/PDFLibrary/50.3WelchThy-08f4ba7e-d3a2-444f-bc8c-0ce842c12fc4.pdf.

I would hope next to articulate the specific implications of these ideas with respect to legal attitudes toward statutory construction, judicial activism, the spirit and letter of the law, justice and mercy, equality and freedom, pacifism and justifiable use of force, corrections and forms of punishment, degrees of fiduciary duties, types of contracts, the foundations of family law, the principles of constitutional law, and many other topics. This development would utilize historical, scriptural, logical, ethical, and other analyses.

Naturally, this article is neither complete nor comprehensive in scope. How could it truly exemplify my theory if it were otherwise? This was all I could cover in a brief presentation even to a group of bright law students gathered on a Valentine’s Day at Harvard. And I probably already had included enough here to bewilder most Baptist readers of the Regent University Law Review who were just then hearing for the first time about Mitt Romney and wondered how a Mormon might approach the law as the president of the United States.

That question, of course, is still up for grabs; and Latter-day Saints are more interested in political and legal issues than ever before. So I hope that readers may find this article still to be stimulating and, as reader Sid Unrau has commented, “well worth reading, contemplating, and building upon, … a valuable start for those who wish to further the subject.”.

Foster, Craig L. “Misunderstanding Mormonism in The Mormonizing of America.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 85-104.

Abstract: The Mormonizing of America by Stephen Mansfield has been touted as a solid, impartial look at Mormon history and doctrine. Unfortunately, on closer examination, the book is seriously lacking both in substance and impartiality. This article discusses the book’s numerous problems.

Review of Stephen Mansfield. The Mormonizing of America: How the Mormon Religion Became a Dominant Force in Politics, Entertainment, and Pop Culture. Brentwood, TN: Worthy Publishing, 2012. 264 pp. $22.99.

Smith, Gregory L. “‘Endless Forms Most Beautiful’: The uses and abuses of evolutionary biology in six works.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 105-163.

Review of: Michael Dowd. Thank God for Evolution. New York: W. W. Norton, 2004. 336 pp., with index. $13.95. Karl W. Giberson. Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. New York: HarperCollins, 2008. 239 pp., with index. $9.98. Daniel J. Fairbanks. Relics of Eden: The Powerful Evidence of Evolution in Human DNA. Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books, 2007. 281 pp., with index. $15.86. Howard C. Stutz. “Let the Earth Bring Forth”, Evolution and Scripture. Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, 2010. 130 pp., with index. $15.95 David C. Stove. Darwinian Fairytales: Selfish Genes, Errors of Heredity, and Other Fables of Evolution. New York: Encounter Books, 1995. 345 pp., with index. $18.95 William A. Dembski. The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World. Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2009. 229 pp., with index. $22.99 The position of the Church on the origin of man was published by the First Presidency in 1909 and stated again by a different First Presidency in 1925:

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, declares man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity…. Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes…

The scriptures tell why man was created, but they do not tell how, though the Lord has promised that he will tell that when he comes again (D&C 101:32–33). In 1931, when there was intense discussion on the issue of organic evolution, the First Presidency of the Church, then consisting of Presidents Heber J. Grant, Anthony W. Ivins, and Charles W. Nibley, addressed all of the General Authorities of the Church on the matter and concluded,Upon the fundamental doctrines of the Church we are all agreed. Our mission is to bear the message of the restored gospel to the world. Leave geology, biology, archaeology, and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church.… Upon one thing we should all be able to agree, namely, that Presidents Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund were right when they said: “Adam is the primal parent of our race.”

First Presidency Minutes, April 7, 1931 ((Cited in William E. Evenson, “Evolution,” Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Vol. 1, (Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992), 478.)).

Hales, Brian C. “Stretching to Find the Negative: Gary Bergera’s Review of Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 6 (2013): 165-190.

Abstract: At an author-meets-critic Sunstone Symposium on August 2, 2013, Gary Bergera devoted over 90% of his fifteen-minute review to criticize my 1500+ page, three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology. This article responds to several of the disagreements outlined by Bergera that on closer inspection appear as straw men. Also addressed are the tired arguments buoyed by carefully selected documentation he advanced supporting that (1) John C. Bennett learned of polygamy from Joseph Smith, (2) the Fanny Alger-Joseph Smith relationship was adultery, and (3) the Prophet practiced sexual polyandry. This article attempts to provide greater balance by including new evidences published for the first time in the three volumes but ignored by Bergera. These new documents and observations empower readers to expand their understanding beyond the timeworn reconstructions referenced in Bergera’s critical review.

Volume 7 (2013)

Peterson, Daniel C. “Elder Neal A. Maxwell on Consecration, Scholarship, and the Defense of the Kingdom.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): vii-xix.
Sorensen, A. Don. “An Essay on the One True Morality and the Principle of Freedom.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 1-47.

Abstract: The author introduces the subject of the essay based on scripture by observing that one true morality governs the heavens and exists to govern mortality, which contains all possible ways to live in time and eternity and orders them into a hierarchy of rational preferability. In order to live their endless lives with enduring purpose and fullness, humankind must undertake two stages of probationary preparation, one as premortals and one that begins with mortality and concludes in the post-mortal world with the final judgment, in which they come to know for themselves the one morality and accept its ordering of the many never-ending ways of life and hence the ways they have proven themselves willing to receive. With that introduction in mind, in the next two sections of the essay the author explores what some latter-day scripture reveals about the moral facts that make possible knowledge of the one morality, about how humankind determines good from bad ways to live as they undertake the second stage of probationary preparation, about how they can come to a knowledge of the best way of life contained in that morality, and how in the end they have a perfect knowledge of it.

In the final section of the essay, the author investigates how it was that in the premortal world the hosts of heaven, knowing and accepting as they did the one true morality, nevertheless became deeply divided over two incompatible plans of salvation as they prepared for moral life and went to war over them. A major theme of the essay is that the one morality, and every way to live it contains, center on persons becoming and living as agents unto themselves. The upshot is that the principle of freedom, which prescribes the full collective and personal realization of human agency and which belongs to all humankind at every stage of their endless existence, is the fundamental principle of that eternal morality.

Gardner, Brant A. “I Do Not Think That WORD Means What You Think It Means.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 49-55.

Review of E. Randolph Richards and Brandon J. O’Brien, Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes: Removing Cultural Blinders to Better Understand the Bible (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Books, 2012), 240 pp. $16.00.

Skousen, Royal. “The Original Text of the Book of Mormon and its Publication by Yale University Press.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 57-96.

An earlier version of the following paper was presented 5 August 2010 at a conference sponsored by FAIR, the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (now FairMormon). The text of this paper is copyrighted by Royal Skousen. The photographs that appear in this paper are also protected by copyright. Photographs of the original manuscript are provided courtesy of David Hawkinson and Robert Espinosa and are reproduced here by permission of the Wilford Wood Foundation. Photographs of the printer’s manuscript are provided courtesy of Nevin Skousen and are reproduced here by permission of the Community of Christ. The text of the Yale edition of The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text (2009) is copyrighted by Royal Skousen; Yale University Press holds the rights to reproduce this text.

Petersen, Zina Nibley. “Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 97-112.

Review of The Mother of the Lord, volume 1: The Lady in the Temple by Margaret Barker, 2012, London: Bloomsbury.

Christensen, Kevin. “Sophic Box and Mantic Vista: A Review of Deconstructing Mormonism.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 113-179.

A review of Deconstructing Mormonism: An Analysis and Assessment of the Mormon Faith (Cranford, N.J, American Atheist Press: 2011) by Thomas Riskas and of Myths, Models and Paradigms: A Comparative Study of Science and Religion (New York, Harper & Row: 1974) by Ian J. Barbour.

Abstract: Riskas’s Desconstructing Mormonism claims that believers are trapped in a box for which the instructions for how to get out are written on the outside of the box. He challenges believers to submit to an outsider test for faith. But how well does Riskas describe the insider test? And is his outsider test, which turns out to be positivism, just a different box with the instructions for how to get out written on its outside? Ian Barbour’s Myths Models and Paradigms provides instructions on how to get out of the positivistic box that Riskas offers, and at the same time provides an alternate outsider test that Mormon readers can use to assess what Alma refers to as “cause to believe.” The important thing, however, is that we are dealing here not with the old donnybrook between science and religion but with the ancient confrontation of Sophic and Mantic. The Sophic is simply the art of solving problems without the aid of any superhuman agency, which the Mantic, on the other hand, is willing to solicit or accept. ((Hugh Nibley, “Paths that Stray: Some Notes on the Sophic and Mantic” in Stephen Ricks, ed., The Ancient State, Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, vol. 10 (Salt Lake City and Provo: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1991), 380-–381.)).

Interpreter Foundation. Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, Volume 7 (2013). Orem, UT: The Interpreter Foundation, 2013.
Smith, Gregory L. “Passing Up The Heavenly Gift (Part One of Two).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 181-243.

Review of Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Passing the Heavenly Gift, Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2011. 510 pp., no index. $25.97.

Smith, Gregory L. “Passing Up The Heavenly Gift (Part Two of Two).” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 245-321.

Review of Denver C. Snuffer, Jr., Passing the Heavenly Gift, Salt Lake City: Mill Creek Press, 2011. 510 pp., no index. $25.97.

McGuire, Benjamin L. “The Late War Against the Book of Mormon.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 7 (2013): 323-355.

Recently, the Exmormon Foundation held their annual conference in Salt Lake City. A presentation by Chris and Duane Johnson proposed a new statistical model for discussing authorship of the Book of Mormon. The study attempts to connect the Book of Mormon to a text published in 1816: The Late War Between the United States and Great Britain. The latter is a history of the war of 1812 deliberately written in a scriptural style. A traditional (non-statistical) comparison between this text and the Book of Mormon was apparently introduced by Rick Grunder in his 2008 bibliography Mormon Parallels. I will discuss only the statistical model presented by the Johnsons here.

Volume 8 (2014)

Midgley, Louis C. “A Plea for Narrative Theology: Living In and By Stories.” Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship 8 (2014): vii-xxi.

Abstract: The following are reflections on some of the complicated history, including the abuses, of what is commonly known as theology. The Saints do not “do theology.” Even when we are tempted, we do not reduce the contents or grounds of faith to something conforming to traditional theology. Instead, we tell stories of how and why we came to faith, which are then linked to a network of other stories found in our scriptures, and to a master narrative. We live in and by stories and not by either dogmatic or philosophically grounded systematic theology. Instead, we tend to engage in several strikingly different kinds of endeavors, especially including historical studies, which take the place of (and also clash with) what has traditionally been done under the name theology in its various varieties, confessional or otherwise.