Defending the Faith: Many different voices are needed for a chorus of witnesses

Published: Thursday, Oct. 31 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

The Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, or SMPT, will hold its 2013 annual meeting Oct. 31-Nov. 2 on the campus of Utah Valley University in Orem. It’s an organization made up of believers and non-believers, Mormons and non-Mormons, and it has no apologetic or proselytizing purposes. Full-disclosure, though: My involvement with SMPT (I’m currently serving as its very ineffectual president) isn’t motivated solely by purely intellectual interest; my personal dream for this tiny and still relatively new organization is that out of its meetings and papers, and from the pages of its journal and the interactions between its members, will arise some of those new articulations of the gospel, expressions that will capture the attention, hearts and minds of others, as Truman Madsen’s lectures caught mine.

Daniel Peterson teaches Arabic studies, founded BYU's Middle Eastern Texts Initiative, directs, chairs, blogs daily at, and speaks only for himself.

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