Defending the Faith: Defending the Faith: The Prophet Joseph Smith was no double-dealing cynic

Published: Thursday, June 30 2011 5:00 a.m. MDT

Delusion doesn't account for Joseph Smith. Nor, it seems, does dishonesty.

That leaves the very challenging third option: Joseph was a sane man, declaring what he sincerely believed to be the truth.

Daniel C. Peterson is a native of southern California and received a bachelors degree in Greek and philosophy from BYU. He earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures from UCLA after several years of study in Jerusalem and Cairo. He is a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU and is the editor of the twice-annual FARMS Review, the author of several books and numerous articles on Islamic and Latter-day Saint topics. Peterson is also director of outreach for BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. He spent eight years on the LDS Church's Gospel Doctrine writing committee and is the founder and manager of

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