Inside the new Payson Utah Temple

Utah County's third temple

  For those of you who won't have a chance to attend the pre-dedication open house of the new Payson Utah Temple, here's a really nice video presentation that will take you through important parts of the building: I'll be candid:  I find the exterior of the new temple somewhat busy and chaotic, but the interior looks both quite nice -- the murals in the baptistry are a pleasant surprise -- and … [Read more...]

John A. Widtsoe Symposium and Chair at the University of Southern California

Elder Widtsoe, youngish

  I first heard of plans for a John A. Widtsoe Chair at USC a month or two ago: It's quite exciting news. Elder Widtsoe deserves more recognition than I think he has received from Latter-day Saints over the past couple of decades.  Posted from Tiberias, Israel    … [Read more...]

“The man who may one-up Darwin”

The dome at MIT

  Here's a curious item, brought to my attention by Robyn Ausseresses Amis:  Posted from Tiberias, Israel    … [Read more...]

A very brief conversation with an Israeli couple regarding Barack Obama

Tiberias and Bashan

  The other night, at the commencement of the Jewish sabbath, my wife and I shared the "Shabbat elevator" here in our hotel with an Israeli couple. The "Shabbat elevator" is set to stop at every floor, so that the riders don't need to push any buttons.  Thus, since our room is on an upper floor (with, by the way, a spectacular view over the Sea of Galilee toward the hills of Bashan and Gilead), we had a lot of time with the man and his wife. They … [Read more...]

More evidence of the Fall

Golan map

  We spent much of yesterday upon in the very northern reaches of modern and historical Israel, near the ancient cultic site of Dan.  (Israel was described as stretching from Dan in the north to Beersheva in the south, or, when it was merely the northern kingdom, from Dan to Bethel.  Jeroboam put calf-idols in both the latter locations.)  And we also spent quite a bit of time in the famous Golan Heights, contested territory between Israel, which has occupied them since the S … [Read more...]

“Celebrating the 100th anniversary of Mormon Family Home Evening: An Episcopal Priest’s Perspective”

1928 view of Tiberias

  "O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us," wrote Robert Burns, "to see oursels as ithers see us!" Well, here's an interesting outsider's view:  Posted from Tiberias, Israel    … [Read more...]

The Church’s new Central Eurasian Mission

The Bosphorus

  This is -- for someone coming from my peculiar background, anyway -- really exciting news: Thanks to Jared August for bringing it to my notice.  Posted from Tiberias, Israel  … [Read more...]

A surprising discovery beneath Teotihuacán

From the Pirámide de la Luna

  There is still so very, very much that we don't know about pre-Columbian Mesoamerica -- including the very name of the people who inhabited the great city of Teotihuacán:  Posted from Tiberias, Israel    … [Read more...]