October 14, 2018

    Thinking about our bawwab, Kamal, reminded me of an episode that occurred while my wife and I were living in Cairo.   I’ve mentioned that Kamal had a recurrent deep cough that was presumably brought on by his smoking.  (I expect that it has long since taken him away, since we knew him nearly forty years ago.)   While living there, I read an article somewhere in the Egyptian or international press about a foreign aid plan for… Read more

October 14, 2018

    Notes from yet another of those incomplete manuscripts:   “At the fundamental level,” observes physicist David Gross, “nature, for whatever reason, prefers beauty.”[1]   Science writer K. C. Cole says that “the same properties that make a snowflake appealing underlie the laws that control the universe.  Truth and beauty are two sides of a coin.”[2]  “The selfsame symmetries . . . appeal to the senses in  art and music and natural forms like snowflakes and galaxies.  The fundamental… Read more

October 14, 2018

    For the last three of the four years that my wife and I lived in Ma‘adi, south of Cairo, we lived in a multi-level apartment building directly adjacent to Cairo American College.  The apartments above us occupied entire floors, and were rented by people with relatively cushy corporate or diplomatic positions.  By contrast, ours shared the ground floor with another relatively small apartment (a bit larger than ours) and with a rather large entryway.  Thus, it was too… Read more

October 13, 2018

    Here are a couple more stories out of Church history that are featured in my friend Brent Top’s forthcoming paper on “The Near-Death Experience: Why Latter-day Saints Are So Interested,” of which he kindly gave me a manuscript copy last week:   In 1838, Phoebe Woodruff, the wife of Mormon apostle Wilford Woodruff, became seriously ill and apparently died.  Wilford recounted: “The sisters gathered around her body, weeping, while I stood looking at her in sorrow.  The spirit… Read more

October 13, 2018

    LOL.  That blog title will work like catnip on a few of my online critics.   Fairly often, somebody on the internet of whom I’ve never heard will confidently and sneeringly observe that, as a certified religious fanatic and a demonstrable fundamentalist loon, I reject evolution.  Sometimes, when I gently respond that I don’t actually deny evolution, the person in question will then quickly suggest that nothing that I might say about my beliefs on the topic should be… Read more

October 13, 2018

    The latest installment of the bi-weekly Hamblin-Peterson column in the Deseret News has now appeared:   “The two great epics of India”   ***   In that light, or maybe even completely regardless of that light, ome of you may be interested in an interview with Dr. Taunalyn Ford Rutherford regarding “The Church in India”:   The Church in India with Taunalyn Ford Rutherford   ***   The 7 October 2018 edition of the Interpreter Radio Show is… Read more

October 13, 2018

    It was not, so far as I could see, an auspicious opening.  Not, at least, here in Cedar City.  And I was deeply disappointed by that.   My wife and I were literally the only two people in the theater for the 9:45 PM showing of Jane and Emma.  There were at least two previous showings in the same theater, though, earlier in the day; I hope that they weren’t completely empty.   It was important that the film… Read more

October 12, 2018

    The following items are mostly aimed at students.  But not entirely.  The public would be especially welcome at the evening interfaith panel on 16 October and at Hanan Munayer’s lecture on 17 October.  And I doubt that anybody would be turned away who is interested and who wants to show up, except perhaps at the 16 October opening social.   Mainly, I just wanted people from off campus to see the kinds of things that are going on… Read more

October 12, 2018

    Two quotations from Modern Physics and Ancient Faith, by Stephen M. Barr, a cosmologist and theoretical particle physicist at the University of Delaware:   “Science has given us new eyes that allow us to see down to the deeper roots of the world’s structure, and there all we see is order and symmetry of pristine mathematical purity.”    “The universe looks far more orderly to us now than it did to the ancients who appealed to that order as… Read more

October 12, 2018

    New today in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture — we’ll get the name adjusted fairly soon! — which, I’m reliably informed by someone who regularly invents and posts negative fictions about the Interpreter Foundation and about me, and who is in no position to know anything about our bank account, is in a severe financial crisis and (guess what!) about to die:   “‘They Shall No More Be Confounded’: Moroni’s Wordplay on Joseph in Ether 13:1-13 and… Read more

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