FOR MORE THAN HALF A CENTURY, Robert J. Matthews has mentored students and colleagues alike at Brigham Young University and in the Church Educational System of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He has filled many roles in the discharge of his professional responsibilities—classroom teacher, scholar, curriculum editor, professor, administrator, and friend—all to the end of building the kingdom of God. And he has done so possessing an attitude of selflessness. Because he has influenced generations of students, teachers, and fellow scholars, it is appropriate that a collection of scholarly essays has been commissioned in his honor. His colleagues have contributed to this volume as a tribute to him and to honor him on his eightieth birthday.
A pivotal moment in his life occurred in July 1944 when he first heard Elder Joseph Fielding Smith refer to the Prophet Joseph Smith’s inspired translation of the Bible during a KSL radio broadcast. He felt the promptings of the Lord’s Spirit to look into the subject more, to acquire a copy of the Inspired Version, and to begin a lifelong study of the work.
The wide-ranging essays in this book are, in a way, a reflection of the varied interests and academic loves of Robert Matthews. They encompass an interesting and impressive orbit of topics, from ancient languages to LDS history, from Greek word studies that inform our understanding of the Atonement of Christ to questions about religious tolerance in view of the Lord’s words uttered during the First Vision.
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