Let Them Ring!

"We completed a temple in Kirtland and in Nauvoo; and did we not hear the bells of hell toll at the time we were building them?  They did, every week and every day. . . .  Some say, 'I do not like to do it, for we never began to build a Temple without the bells of hell beginning to ring.'  I want to hear them ring again."Brigham Young (Journal of Discourses 8:355-356)I want to hear them ring again, too.  As often as possible.  So I'm delighted that the open house … [Read more...]

“Oh How Surely Christ Sanctifies His Own”

This coming Thursday, 12 April 2012, Alan C. Ashton, formerly a professor of computer science at Brigham Young University, and the co-founder of both Wordperfect Corporation and Thanksgiving Point, will deliver the sixth annual Neal A. Maxwell Lecture, sponsored by BYU's Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship.Former president of the BYU 14th Stake and of the Canada Toronto West Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Dr. Ashton currently serves as bishop of the … [Read more...]

Citizens Call for FBI Investigation of LDS Church

I got a kick out of this.Incidentally, I've known Elder Robert Gay since long before he won the coveted privilege of going off for three years to live the high life at vast Church expense in Accra. Ghana, as a so-called "mission president."  Even back then, he already spent lots of quality time partying in such hot spots as Ethiopia, and, no doubt, raking in vast profits in the casinos of Addis Ababa.Sidewalk cafes and strolling street musicianscrowd one of the posh main … [Read more...]

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!

It's customary in the Greek Orthodox Church and in other traditions derived from or related to it, for believers to greet each other on Easter morning with "Christos anesti!"  To which the proper response is "Alethos anesti!""Christ is risen!""Truly, he is risen!"I want to offer my slightly belated Eastern greetings to all.And to offer one of my very favorite poems, "Seven Stanzas at Easter," by the two-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning American novelist, poet, and critic John Updike (d. … [Read more...]

Holy Fire in Jerusalem

Today's Hamblin/Peterson column on the celebration of Easter at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem:http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765566536/Holy-Fire-testifies-to-Jesus-power.htmlPosted from Port Ludlow, Washington. … [Read more...]

One of My Father’s Worst Jokes Lives Again

My father loved jokes and pranks, both good and . . . well, awful.One of the worst of them involves an old hayseed whose son has just come back to Dogpatch (or wherever) from his freshman year of college, the first in his family to get so much education, back in the day when attending college was a real rarity anyhow.The proud father wants to show him off a bit.So, in a gathering of a few of his friends (maybe in the barber shop?), the father turns to his boy and says "Speak some algebree, … [Read more...]

A. E. Housman’s “Easter Hymn”

A. E. Housman (d 1936) was a British classical scholar and poet (best known for his cycle of poems entitled A Shropshire Lad) of whom I'm quite fond.  (I've even made a pilgrimage to St. Laurence's Church in Ludlow, England, to visit his tomb.)Housman was also an agnostic, religiously, and I find the yearning but faithless hope of his "Easter Hymn" quite moving:If in that Syrian garden, ages slain,You sleep, and know not you are dead in vain,Nor even in dreams behold how dark and … [Read more...]

Christ Carrying the Cross

The Flemish artist Pieter Bruegel's 1564 painting De Kruisdraging has impressed me since I first saw it in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum, where it's labeled, as I recall, Die Kreuztragung Christi or, roughly, "Christ Carrying the Cross."The cross is visible in the painting being carried horizontally, just above the man on the white horse. You'll be able to see it more clearly if you go to this site, where, if you put your cursor on the image itself, a button will appear in the lower right … [Read more...]