A Sense of Place and People

Coming across the meadow into the town of Pine Valley after descending from the hills.  The Pine Valley Ward chapel is visible, painted white, off to the right hand side of the road in the distance.

   We drove up yesterday, after church, through Snow Canyon (the colors are never the same twice, and yesterday the lava and the red sandstone cliffs were shining with the intermittent rain) to Central and then on to Pine Valley.  This is where my Scots ancestors first immigrated to Utah after accepting Mormonism. Between Central and Pine Valley, snow suddenly appeared on the road and on either side.  A very different climate.  A relative who lives in C … [Read more...]

“Old Testament Divine Council Called a ‘Sod’”


  The pronunciation is something between English sod (pronounced like sawed) and English sewed or sowed. This is this weekend's Hamblin/Peterson article for the Deseret News.  Posted from St. George, Utah.    … [Read more...]

Elizabeth Watkins, on Mormon Scholars Testify

Elizabeth W. Watkins

  Mormon Scholars Testify has just added an entry from Elizabeth Watkins, academic editor extraordinaire.  Posted from St. George, Utah.    … [Read more...]

Mozart, and a Somewhat Underappreciated Jewel

Snow Canyon (1)

  A pleasant day in and around St. George.  With friends who have a condominium here, we attended a concert of music by Mozart in the St. George Tabernacle.  Later in the day, we went for a drive through Snow Canyon State Park, which ought to be better known than it is.  I've been in the canyon many times, and each time it's different.  The colors vary dramatically based upon the time of day and the angle of the sunlight.  This was the first time, t … [Read more...]

The Deseret News: Vision Rewarded

Corporate HQ

  Back in August 2010, the Deseret News announced substantial layoffs (totaling roughly 43% of its workforce) and a number of observers predicted -- and not a few of them rejoiced -- that this was the beginning of the end for the venerable daily newspaper of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. After all, aren't newspapers in general declining, nationally?  (Answer:  Overwhelmingly, yes.) I had the occasion, though, not too long after t … [Read more...]

The Coriolanus Effect

Shakespeare as you've seldom seen him. Above: Ralph Fiennes in the title role of "Coriolanus"

  Last night, we watched Ralph Fiennes's modern-dress film of Shakespeare's generally little-known, seldom-performed, and minimally-appreciated play Coriolanus.  (I'm told, though I don't know how reliably, that T. S. Eliot proclaimed it his favorite among Shakespeare's plays, which is perhaps justification enough in itself for giving it a look.)  Fiennes both directed the film and performs in it as the lead character. Anyhow, I thought it was wonderful.  Along … [Read more...]

“From the East to the West: The Problem of Directions in the Book of Mormon”

John Sorenson's proposed map of Book of Mormon locations (1985)

   Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has published yet another article:  Brant Gardner's "From the East to the West: The Problem of Directions in the Book of Mormon." Although I can't guarantee that the steady pace will continue forever -- we didn't necessarily set out with a goal of posting something every week -- we have, thus far, not missed a single Friday since the first article went up on 3 August 2012, and we're still adding articles to … [Read more...]

Interpreter’s Eleventh (11th) Scripture Roundtable is Up

The Apia Samoa Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  I'm pleased to announce that our eleventh "scripture roundtable" is now up online.  This one focuses on 2013 Gospel Doctrine lesson seven, which deals with the "first four principles and ordinances of the Gospel" -- faith, repentance, baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost. The participants in this roundtable are Craig Foster, Ben McGuire, Bill Hamblin, and Dan Peterson.   … [Read more...]