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Free Sperry Symposium to explore the life and teachings of the Apostle Peter

Elder Bruce C. Hafen to deliver keynote address

Sidney B. Sperry Symposium

  • When: October 24, 6:30 - 9:30 pm; October 25, 9:00 am - noon 
  • Where: Joseph Smith Building (JSB), Martin Building (MARB), BYU Campus
  • What: A symposium featuring scriptural experts presenting about the ministry of Peter the Chief Apostle. Free and open to the public.

You don’t have to be a professional religious educator to attend BYU’s Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, but even an expert can pick up some new insights at this annual gathering of gospel scholars.
Elder Bruce C. Hafen, a nationally-recognized scholar and an emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will deliver the keynote address at the 43rd Annual Sperry Symposium, which will be held in the Joseph Smith Building (JSB) and Martin Building (MARB) on BYU campus October 24-25.

The symposium is free and open to the public. No registration is necessary. Participants are invited to check in at the tables in the JSB foyer just north of the auditorium to pick up a class schedule and other handouts. 

This year's theme is “The Ministry of Peter the Chief Apostle,” a topic that will be covered in the Church's Gospel Doctrine classes in the upcoming year. The event will feature lectures and presentations about the Apostle Peter from selected BYU Religious Education professors, seminary and institute teachers and other scriptural experts.

“The Sperry Symposium will provide a special opportunity for participants to gain a deeper understanding of the Apostle Peter’s mission and his role as witness of Christ,” said Brent L. Top, BYU's dean of Religious Education. “The knowledge they receive can strengthen their personal testimony and greatly enhance their Church service in the coming year.”

Symposium classes will explore Peter's cultural background and context, his role in the apostolic church, many of his noted teachings and his important legacy in early Christianity and the Restoration. 

Following the symposium’s 25-year tradition, select papers by presenters will be co-published by Deseret Book and the Religious Studies Center at BYU. A book compiling 19 of the manuscripts from this year's presentations will be available for purchase throughout the event. To date, the entire printed collection represents the work of more than 275 authors producing more than 600 articles. 

About Sidney Sperry

Sidney Branton Sperry (1895–1977), a leading LDS scholar of the Book of Mormon and Bible, joined the Religion Department at Brigham Young University in 1932 and retired in 1969. The first Sperry Symposium was held four years later in 1973.

In keeping with Sperry’s mission to extend religious education, the symposium is free and all are welcome. For more information, call 801–422–3611.

Class Schedule

FRIDAY, OCT. 24

6:30 pm

Keynote Address: Peter, the Priesthood, the Temple, and Christ's Atonement
Elder Bruce. C. Hafen, Emeritus General Authority 
JSB Auditorium

7:30 pm

Fallible but Faithful: How Simon the Fisherman Became Peter the Rock
Brent L. Top, Dean Religious Education, BYU
JSB Auditorium

Simon Peter in Capernaum: An Archaeological Survey of the First-Century
Matthew J. Grey, Ancient Scripture, BYU
206 MARB

The Petrine Kērygma and the Gospel According to Mark
Eric D. Huntsman, Ancient Scripture, BYU
207 MARB

Healing, Wholeness, and Repentance in Acts 3
Jennifer C. Lane, Religious Education, BYU–Hawaii
222 MARB

Founded upon a Rock: Doctrinal and Temple Implications of Peter’s Surnaming
Matthew L. Bowen, Religious Education, BYU–Hawaii
221 MARB

“Honor the King”: Submission to Civil Authority
Eric-Jon K. Marlowe, Religious Education, BYU–Hawaii
103/107 JSB

8:30 pm

Whom Say Ye That I Am?” Peter’s Witness of Christ
Terry B. Ball, Ancient Scripture, BYU
JSB Auditorium

Peter in the Apocryphal Tradition
Nicholas J. Frederick, Ancient Scripture, BYU
206 MARB

Peter, upon This Rock (Matthew 16:13-20)
Rebecca Sybrowsky Spencer, Independent Scholar
207 MARB

Peter, Stones, and Seers
Shon D. Hopkin, Ancient Scripture, BYU
222 MARB

Peter, Cornelius, and Cultural Boundaries
Thomas A. Wayment, Ancient Scripture, BYU
221 MARB

Understanding the Love of Jesus Christ in the Chastisement of Peter
Jake Romney, Religious Education, BYU–Idaho
103/107 JSB

SATURDAY, OCT. 25

9:00 am

Make Your Calling and Election Sure
Robert L. Millet, Ancient Scripture, emeritus BYU
JSB Auditorium

Wondering at His Words: Peter’s Influence on the Knowledge of Salvation for the Dead
Scott C. Esplin, Church History and Doctrine, BYU
206 MARB

The Eternal Mission of the Apostle Peter
Jennifer Brinkerhoff Platt, Ancient Scripture, BYU
207 MARB

The Case for Petrine Authorship of 1 Peter
Frank F. Judd Jr., Ancient Scripture, BYU
222 MARB

Weaving Allusions and Intertextuality into 1 Peter
Taylor Halverson, Center for Teaching and Learning, BYU
221 MARB

10:00 am

2 Peter and the Doctrine of Becoming like God (Theosis)
Andrew C. Skinner, Ancient Scripture, BYU
JSB Auditorium

The Accounts of Peter’s Denial: Understanding the Texts and Motifs
Eric D. Huntsman, Ancient Scripture, BYU
206 MARB

Reading 2 Peter as a Farewell Text
John W. Welch, Law School, BYU and Brent J. Schmidt, Religious Education, BYU–Idaho
207 MARB

Peter in the House of Tabitha:Late Antique Sarcophagi and Christian Philanthropy
Catherine C. Taylor, Part-time Ancient Scripture, BYU
222 MARB

Compassionate Service of Latter-day Prophets: Following Peter in Christ’s Footsteps
Kenneth L. Alford
221 MARB

11:00 am

Peter and the Restored Priesthood
Steven C. Harper, Church History Library
JSB Auditorium

Peter’s Keys
S. Kent Brown, Ancient Scripture, emeritus BYU
206 MARB

Peter’s Shadow, Still Powerful 2,000 Years Later: Relevant Lessons for Us from Jesus’ Chief Apostle
Tyler Griffin, Ancient Scripture, BYU
207 MARB

Stand Down and See the End: Peter’s Characterization in the Gospels
Jared W. Ludlow, Ancient Scripture, BYU
222 MARB

Peter: In Defense of the Messiah (Acts 2)
Amy Hardison S&I, AZ
221 MARB

Writer: Paige Vogt

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