Judaism and AntiSemitism: Jewish Self-Identity in Utah and the United States

Utah Valley University Tuesday, November 28, 2017 7:00-8:30 Classroom Building (furthest north building on main Orem campus–just east of the track & field) Free parking immediately west of the Classroom Building The panel discussion is free & open to the public Judaism is the most popular faith in the United States, yet there is an upsurge in anti-Semitism across the country, the rise of nationalism, the escalation of neo-Nazi and white-supremacist movements, and hesitancy of some elected officials to unequivocally… Read more

Vilifying “Allahu Akbar”

Tragically, another terrorist act in New York City. The cowardly assailant shouted “Allahu Akbar!” as he emerged from the truck after murdering and maiming so many. What does that phrase mean? For many, it has become synonymous with terror, violence, and murder. But how is the phrase used by God-fearing peaceful adherents of Islam throughout the world? The best explanations to this question ought to come from a competent and trusted Muslim. Enter Wajahat Ali and his Op Ed in… Read more

Gospel Doctrine, Scholarship and a House Full of Females

I was recently called to serve as a gospel doctrine teacher in my ward. The Saints in the ward are awesome. They are open and anxious to learn new things. The bishop invited me to teach by the Spirit, follow the general correlated curriculum (including teachings of living prophets, seers and revelators), AND introduce class members to critical/definitive content that I find in research from contemporary scholarship. It both informs and fortifies. The scholarship side is new territory that my… Read more

“On My Honor?” Trump, You Have No Honor!

              I am a Boy Scout of America. Because of EPIC leaders I was named Eagle Scout of the Year, 1978. The rank and the award are important—but not because of me. I was a clueless, albeit malleable, fourteen year old. I had no idea that I was doing well. Like almost any teenager going through puberty I was in a swirl of events and conditions that I did not have the maturity to understand—Jr. high, girls, grades, sports,… Read more

Mother’s Day & Mother in Heaven

            Being a man, perhaps I should not even touch this subject (I’m cautious enough to have waited 60 days past Mother’s Day to write this). A woman could more effectively go where this brief essay is about to go. But perhaps the following may strike chords and promote dialogue.             From a leadership perspective, Mother’s Day is the most challenging sacrament meeting of the year to plan. I know that from having served in three bishoprics. Many women in… Read more

A Prayer for My Gay Marriage: My Brief Response

I found this to be a very helpful essay. It is well known that gay couples are very much closeted in Mormonism. This blog post illustrates this couple’s joy and warmth as well as a sense of the magic of their love. Further, I appreciate Laura Root’s insights and expressions of faith. I envy her faith to take Elder Cook’s teachings and apply them in her marriage. I would like to meet her and her wife. So Laura, if you’re ever… Read more

My Eight Expectations for a POTUS

Happy President’s Day. The following created interesting dialogue in the FB platform. I submit it here so that a broader readership may respond. 1) Don’t lie to the American people about anything. 2) Be transparent in your dealings with the American people–i.e. release taxes, liquidate entirely any potential conflict of interest. 3) Institute no religious tests of any kind domestically or in foreign affairs. 4) Respect the critical role of the press in American democracy. Hate them all you want… Read more

The Man that Should have Won Utah’s Republican Vote

One may say that Evan McMullin was a designer candidate for Utah’s Republican-dominant and largely Mormon block of voters that sent President-elect Trump to the White House. After all, you did not relish the Trump candidacy out of the gates. In fact, you despised him. Many, likely most of ou saw him as a phony poser at first blush. Trump had, in his own words, a “Mormon problem.” Eventually though, you embraced the very man that saw you as a… Read more

The United States Must Recognize Palestine

An ongoing concern of mine is the lack of awareness of the Palestine-Israel conflict among Americans. Indeed the American government has consistently blocked measures that could result in “a just and lasting peace.” Since the founding of the State of Israel in 1948, no one diplomat has done more to bring peace to this region than Jimmy Carter. When he speaks or writes on this critically important issue we should listen and read in earnest. This morning he published an… Read more

Swamis, Priests, Monks, Rabbis Are Coming to UVU

This is likely the most noteworthy group of religious leaders that has ever convened at Utah Valley University at one time. Please take a moment to read the event description. Then peruse the biographical sketches of our guests. It is an impressive group indeed. Please join us Wednesday. You won’t get this opportunity again anytime soon. The event is free and open to the public. Dress is casual. Parking is available west of the Library. If that is full the… Read more

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