“To Seek the Law of the Lord”

Essays in Honor of John W. Welch

Book Notice

“To Seek the Law of the Lord”: Essays in Honor of John W. Welch, edited by Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson (Orem, Utah: The Interpreter Foundation, 2017)

To Seek the Law of the Lord is a collection of twenty essays, composing over five hundred pages of Latter-day Saint scholarship. The collection is a tribute to John W. Welch, who established the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies in 1989 and served as editor-in-chief of BYU Studies from 1991 to 2018. Welch has published extensively (521), making significant contributions with his studies on, for example, chiasmus in the Book of Mormon and law in the Bible. This collection was organized and edited by Paul Y. Hoskisson and Daniel C. Peterson, who are both associates of Welch. All contributing authors to To Seek the Law of the Lord have worked with and been influenced by Welch and his work.

The essays within To Seek the Law of the Lord contain a wide variety of topics, including world and Latter-day Saint history; analyses of the Book of Mormon, Bible, and other scripture; and theological and sociotheological discussions. One such essay, “Notes on Mormonism and the Trinity” by Daniel  C. Peterson (267), explains the intricate history of trinitarian theology. In “Faith, Hope, and Charity: The ‘Three Principal Rounds’ of the Ladder of Heavenly Ascent,” author Jeffrey M. Bradshaw writes, “The scriptural triad of faith, hope, and charity should be understood as something more than a general set of personal attributes” (59). Bradshaw then takes the reader on a journey through the scriptures and shows the reader that faith, hope, and charity are at the very core of Latter-day Saint doctrine and the path to salvation.

Other essays, reflecting the breadth of Welch’s work, include “Transcendance of the Flesh, Divine and Human” by James E. Faulconer (113), “The Visions of Moses and Joseph Smith’s Bible Translation” by Kent P. Jackson (161), “Toqueville on New Prophets and the Tyrrany of Public Opinion” by Louis Midgley (171), “Chiastic Structuring of Large Texts: Second Nephi as a Case Study” by Noel B. Reynolds (333), and “Tree of Life, Tree of Healing” by John Tvedtnes (495).

To Seek the Law of the Lord will appeal to those who have appreciated Welch’s work over the years and wish to see how his scholarship has been applied by other academics. It will also be of value to those seeking higher levels of understanding on the topics found therein. The writing and information presented are quite intricate, so one should not expect light reading from the compilation. With the collection’s range of topics, however, it will have something of interest for most readers.


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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X