England Tour in July 2013


Pendle Hill, as seen from the village of Downham, Ribble Valley, Lancashire, an important focus of the earliest Mormon missionary activity in the British Isles under Elder Heber C. Kimball


Just a reminder of what I expect to be a really fun tour of England (focused on English history and literature and on LDS history in England):




I plan to be there.



A bit of scientific background for understanding the Freddie Gray case in Baltimore
Joseph Smith, trying to teach
The Joseph Smith Sr. family in Palmyra
Gay "marriage," the end of the First Amendment, and the centralization of State power?
  • http://nathanrichardson.com Nathan

    Some day, when my wife and I have the money to spend, this is the kind of stuff we will spend it on!

    • http://bit.ly/VnwoZU Robert Smith

      Yes Nathan, support Daniel in his priestcraft.

      May I suggest that if you decide to lay down $4,000 on a tour involving Mormon history, you choose one led by an actual Mormon historian.

      Let Dan take you to Saudi Arabia.

      • danpeterson

        LOL. I wonder if this particular “Bob Smith” is one of the denizens of a certain message board that is, to a considerable and remarkable degree, dedicated to utter and absolute contempt for just about everything I do. They not only abominate my positions on Mormon subjects, and my manner in discussing them (which, apparently, doesn’t meet the high standards of charity and civility that, for obscure and indeed utterly mysterious reasons, they seem to think they hold), but mock my taste in literature and music (of which they can know relatively little), my sense of humor, and etc. Lately, they’ve taken to attacking me because I’ve been invited to accompany a tour to England that will be focused on English history, literature, and LDS history in England, and because I’ve accepted the invitation. I’m not qualified, they say, and it’s — Bob’s telltale word — “priestcraft.” And, anyhow, I’m just plain icky in every regard.

        The tour will be accompanied by the Church’s history consultant for England — Peter Fagg, who is also a professional tour guide — so I think that my critics needn’t worry that participants in the group won’t have anybody with them who knows about English and LDS history.

        But this isn’t my first contact with England or English LDS history, in any case. I’ve visited England more times than I can count over the past decades, including a couple of weeks as an undergraduate on a bus tour of England and Scotland with a group of prominent economists (including two Nobel laureates and a couple of future Nobel laureates); a week as a guest of Cambridge University, where I gave a paper; speaking on another occasion at the British Library in London; leading two English LDS history tours on my own (for which I prepared intensively) back at the time of the Preston Temple open house; and lecturing on a cruise around the UK just this past summer, which involved (among other things) spending a day with Peter Fagg and the group in and around Preston and Liverpool. I’m an Anglophile of long standing, fairly well read on the general outlines of English history, with a passion for Shakespeare, Dickens, and Austen and for English literature generally. (I’ve made my personal pilgrimages, in some cases several times, to Canterbury, and Stratford-upon-Avon, and the Brontë home, and Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey, and the tomb of A. E. Housman, and the Eagle and Child pub in Oxford, and, of course, the Lake District, and etc.)

        One of the claims being made by those who accuse me of “priestcraft” for accepting the invitation to help lead this tour is that I’m now desperate for money, since I’ve been fired from my teaching job at BYU. But I haven’t been fired from my teaching job at BYU — if I have, why am I grading all these student papers and final exams right now? — and my salary has been entirely unaffected by recent events at the Maxwell Institute. Moreover, although the travel company that has asked me to accompany the tour will be paying my way and the way of my wife — they’re not a charity, after all, and, if I’m going to pay my own way on a trip, I probably won’t choose to spend it as a lecturer and tour guide, but will just go by myself, at my own pace, with my wife — I won’t actually be earning a dime from it.

        But I’m still icky, of course, so Bob and his ilk will continue, however absurdly, to search for things to cluck about.

        I have a hunch, though, that Bob would feel rather differently about this matter if somebody — anybody — had ever asked him to accompany a tour to England.