Mormons opening up in an Internet world

Daniel Peterson remembers when he was blindsided. It was in the early 1980s and Peterson was in his late 20s. He was surprised at what a critic of the LDS Church had written. "It knocked me for a loop for a few days," he said. The critic claimed Oliver Cowdery, an early Mormon leader and witness of the Book of Mormon, recanted his testimony.

Peterson, a member of the LDS Church and currently a professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU, remembers his reaction to the claim was a bit irrational — he said he felt like he was the first person to have ever encountered the claim, and that he was on his own. "There was nobody around me in California who could answer that question," he said. "My bishop didn't know anything about it. Who could I have gone to?"

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