“Might as well pray to a rock”

Detail from Raphael's "Academy of Athens" showing Plato (on the left, pointing heavenward) with his student Aristotle (on the right, gesturing toward the earth).  The painting is located in the Vatican apartments, and the gestures summarize the fundamental orientations of the two men.

  This weekend's joint Hamblin/Peterson column for the Deseret News: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/765622158/Might-as-well-pray-to-a-rock.html   … [Read more...]

“La Bohème” in Provo

Lisa Hopkins, who performed the role of Mimì for the Utah Lyric Opera

  I made a delightful new discovery this evening, though it was long overdue. For the first time, my wife and went (with a friend) to the Covey Center for the Arts, in Provo.  We should have gone a long time ago; it's a very nice facility. We attended a performance of Puccini's 1896 opera La Bohème, put on by the Utah Lyric Opera. We've regularly attended the Utah Opera in Salt Lake City and, in summers, Michael Ballam's Utah Festival O … [Read more...]

“Birth Control Mandate Lawsuits Make Case for Systematic Disrespect toward Religion”

Religious liberty is, or should be, an American fundamental.

  This is a very important topic -- to which, I suspect, relatively few Americans are paying attention: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572704/Birth-control-mandate-lawsuits-make-case-for-systematic-disrepect-toward-religion.html http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/340245/contraception-conscription-and-bigger-picture-wesley-j-smith And, while we're at it, let's not forget the four Americans who died in Benghazi back in … [Read more...]

“New Light and Old Shadows: John G. Turner’s Attempt to Understand Brigham Young”

Brigham Young (d. 1877)

  It's Friday, and Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has just published a review, by Craig Foster, of a much-praised recent biography of Brigham Young, second president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/new-light-and-old-shadows-john-g-turners-attempt-to-understand-brigham-young/   … [Read more...]

Every Thursday Morning: The Wearisome Drum Beat of My Articles Continues

The Gordon B. Hinckley Center at Brigham Young University

  This morning's Deseret News article: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865572457/Top-Book-of-Mormon-expert-Royal-Skousen-to-lecture.html   … [Read more...]

Interpreter Scripture Roundtable #13

A full scale replica, on site, of the Peter Whitmer Sr. log house, in which the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized on 6 April 1830

  The Interpreter Foundation has just posted its thirteenth "scripture roundtable": http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/category/scripture-roundtable/ This one, which involves Bryce Haymond, Mike Parker, and Dan Peterson, is devoted to Lesson Nine in the 2013 Gospel Doctrine manual, basically covering Doctrine and Covenants 20, 21, and 27. We hope that our "roundtables" will be of benefit to Gospel Doctrine teachers -- that's why we're … [Read more...]

“25 Years of Research: What We Have Learned About the Book of Mormon Text”

Three pages from the Printer's Manuscript of the Book of Mormon

   From my friend Royal Skousen: 25 Years of Research: What We Have LearnedAbout the Book of Mormon Text  Three Illustrated Lectures by Royal Skousen Professor of Linguistics and English LanguageEditor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project  On consecutive Tuesday evenings 26 February 2013“The Original and Printer’s Manuscripts” 5 March 2013“The Printed Edition … [Read more...]

Mr. Obama, the State, and Religious Freedom

It's not in the FIRST Amendment for nothing.

  Here's an interesting article, originally from the Washington Post, on the Obama administration's evident lack of commitment to religious liberty. This Deseret News editorial is also worth a look.   … [Read more...]