The main character of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament; a prophet of God and a man of great faith.
Nothing is known about his parents, although he appears to have been of royal descent (Dan. 1:3). He was taken captive to Babylon, where he received the name Belteshazzar (Dan. 1:6–7). Daniel and three other captives refused the king’s food for religious reasons (Dan. 1:8–16).
Daniel won the favor of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius by his power to interpret dreams (Dan. 2; 4; 6). He also read and interpreted the handwriting on the wall (Dan. 5). His enemies plotted against him, and he was thrown into a den of lions, but the Lord preserved his life (Dan. 6).
The book has two divisions: chapters 1–6 are stories about Daniel and his three companions; chapters 7–12 are prophetic visions that Daniel saw. The book teaches the importance of being true to God and illustrates that the Lord blesses the faithful.
A major contribution of the book is the interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In the dream, the kingdom of God in the last days is depicted as a stone that is cut out of a mountain. The stone will roll forth until it fills the whole earth (Dan. 2; see also D&C 65:2).