Have I done any good in the world today?

Thanks for Ira Laney for this one.

  I'm not quite sure whether I can measure up to this high standard:     But I'm trying.  If it isn't Westboro Baptist, at least I can still hope for somebody.  A few months ago, a few message-board critics of mine vowed that, when I die -- which they plainly hope will be sooner rather than later -- they'll join together to desecrate my grave.  (It was a charming little conversation, as you can tell.)     … [Read more...]

Rich Offerings from BYU’s Religious Studies Center

The Joseph Smith Building
on the campus of Brigham Young University
(Click to enlarge.)

      I received a note this morning from Devan Jensen, executive editor at BYU's Religious Studies Center.  In part, it reads as follows:   Could you alert readers to the following excellent resources for lifelong gospel learners that are available at the Religious Studies Center site?   Readers can enjoy browsing academic and devotional books on topics related to ancient scripture and modern Church history and doctrine. An extensive and … [Read more...]

Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology: Call for Papers

SMPT Call for Papers (page one)
Click to enlarge

    The 2013 annual meeting of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology will be held on the campus of Utah Valley University, in Orem, Utah, from 31 October through 2 November.  The theme of the meeting will be "The Atonement," but paper proposals are welcomed on other topics, as well.  Here is the formal Call for Papers.  Please click on the images to enlarge them:         … [Read more...]

“The Mysteries of Solomon’s Temple”

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Click to enlarge)

    My friend and colleague Dr. William Hamblin will be presenting a fireside in the Daybreak area, near the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, on the evening of 30 June.  He is the co-author of Solomon's Temple: Myth and History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2007).   Information can be found at the following link:   http://mormonscriptureexplorations.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/stake-fireside/     … [Read more...]

Professor Hamblin and the “FARMS Review,” Again

The editor of the "FARMS Review" is bidden, with his associate editors, to depart from the Maxwell Institute
(Click to enlarge)

        Here's another non-Mormon writer who, having read Professor William Hamblin's critique of the late Christopher Hitchens in the late FARMS Review, somehow fails to realize that it contains absolutely nothing of value, no real scholarship, but relies -- as we're often told by certain critics about most everything ever published in the Review -- entirely on vacuous insults, flagrant lies, and vicious ad hominem … [Read more...]

“The Direction of the Maxwell Institute”

Religious Studies

        Here's a thoughtful reflection from an "outsider," posted almost exactly a year after its announcement, on the "new course" adopted by the Maxwell Institute:   http://lds-studies.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-direction-of-maxwell-institute.html     … [Read more...]

Liz Davis Maxfield and the Celtic Cello

Liz Davis Maxfield

      While I was driving up to speak at a small fireside in West Valley City on Saturday night, I managed to listen to most of a very interesting program on KBYU-FM.  It can still be heard here.   I thoroughly enjoyed the music that was performed.  I had never heard Celtic cello music before.  And the really wonderful thing, from my perspective, is that Liz Davis Maxfield evidently lives in Utah now.     … [Read more...]

Why are Mormons so exceptionally fat?

A family goes shopping in one of the few grocery stores in Utah that is permitted to serve non-Mormons..
Actual photographic evidence!

      From time to time, I've run across earnest discussions among secularizing critics and apostates of the unusual fatness of Mormons.  (Seriously.  I have.)  "What causes it?" they wonder.  Various explanations are typically offered:  It's because Mormons spend so much time in meetings and get no exercise.  It's because Mormons don't drink or smoke and, consequently, comfort themselves with ice cream and candy bars instead.  It's because Mormons are … [Read more...]

Salon.com exposes the true nature of William Hamblin and the late “FARMS Review”

The entirely justified dismissal of the editor of the "FARMS Review"

    All right-thinking people know that the late FARMS Review published nothing, or virtually nothing, except vicious, baseless, and dishonest ad hominem attacks.  And among the worst of its authors was the execrable William Hamblin, a so-called "historian."   The Review had become such an embarrassing stench that its editor (Daniel Peterson) and his associate editors (Louis Midgley, George Mitton, Gregory Smith, and Robert White) had to be summarily dismissed in … [Read more...]

“The British Press and Mormonism

The London England Temple
of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Click to enlarge)

    Craig Foster has an interesting new little entry about "The British Press and Mormonism" on the blog of The Interpreter Foundation:   http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/category/blog/     … [Read more...]