The Abu Dhabi Stake Center


  I've been intending to post this item, about Elder Holland's dedication of the Abu Dhabi Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the United Arab Emirates, for quite a while now: There.  I've finally done it. I simply find the building -- and the sheer thought of the building -- … [Read more...]

“Reading Other Peoples’ Scriptures Requires Sympathy, Not Just Facts”

Take the Qur’an, for example

  This weekend's column for the Deseret News by William Hamblin and . . . well, some other guy:   … [Read more...]

In Which I Come Out of the Closet, Yet Again, as a Spineless LIberal Who Ought to Move to Saudi Arabia, or Something Like That

The main entrance to KZ-Mauthausen, a Nazi labor and extermination camp in Austria that was liberated by American soldiers (among them my father) in May 1945

  Early in 1991, while Operation Desert Storm (also known as the First Gulf War) was underway, I found myself on a call-in radio show in Salt Lake City, talking about Islam and the Middle East.  Toward the very end of the program, a male caller asked what I thought of the idea of dropping nuclear bombs on the Iraqi cities of Basra and Baghdad.  I was a bit taken aback by the question, but answered that I could see no valid reason for doing so.  American troops were, after al … [Read more...]

“The Plan of Salvation”

A very big theme

   The Interpreter Foundation has just posted its twenty-third (23rd) "Scripture Roundtable."  This one, chaired by Martin Tanner and including Craig Foster and your humble servant, focuses on lesson nineteen (19) in the 2013 Gospel Doctrine manual, which is entitled "The Plan of Salvation." It ranges briefly over the pre-mortal existence, the trials of mortality, life after death, and the Latter-day Saint doctrine of exaltation. The … [Read more...]

“Falstaff” at the University of Utah’s Kingsbury Hall

Sir John Falstaff, one of the most enduring characters in literature

  At the invitation of a friend whose daughter and son-in-law were performing significant roles in it, my wife and I attended a student performance this evening of Verdi's Falstaff -- which is, of course, based on Shakespeare's The Merry Wives of Windsor.  It was very well done, and entirely enjoyable.  Quite funny. But there were empty seats. The opera will be performed once more, tomorrow night.  (Actually, now that I look at the clock, tonight.   … [Read more...]

“Interpreter” in the “Salt Lake Tribune”

The Tribune reporter asked for a photograph.  I found several online and sent them in.  This was one of them.  I said that it really captured the essence of Me, but they didn't use it.

  An okay article by Peggy Fletcher Stack appeared this afternoon on, partially anyway, the rise of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.  There are things in it with which I disagree or which I would prefer to have been approached differently, but I suppose I can scarcely expect the Salt Lake Tribune simply to reproduce an Interpreter press release (as if we had the money and staff to produce such a t … [Read more...]

“Some Notes on Book of Mormon Names”

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem, showing the Dome of the Rock and the Western (or Wailing) Wall, which is part of Herod's retaining wall for the temple platform

  Here's a nice little article from Professor Stephen D. Ricks, new in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture. Dr. Ricks, a former chairman of the board of the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS), is the author of, among other things, A Lexicon of Inscriptional Qatabanian.  One of my favorite books.  He is, in other words, a very well qualified Semitic philologist.   … [Read more...]

On the Emerging Islamic Connection to the Boston Murders

Dzokhar Tsarnaev

  I'm deeply saddened by the fact that there seems to be a clear and undeniable Islamic angle to the Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent violence (including the murder, late last night, of a security officer at MIT) in the greater Boston area.  I'm not especially surprised, but I was hoping it wouldn't be so. I've tried for many years now to make the case that Islam is not intrinsically violent, that Americans and others shouldn't fear Muslims … [Read more...]