Notes from Sunday meetings in an Orem, Utah, LDS ward

The Kansas City Missouri Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, actually situated not too far from the town of Liberty (click to enlarge)

  I saw the claim a day or two ago -- though by no means for the first time -- that Latter-day Saint worship services are irretrievably dull, shallow, and vacuous.  And, truth be told, I myself have occasionally found them somewhat unexciting. So, midway through the three-hour block of meetings today -- which is to say, midway through Sunday school -- I decided to try something.  It occurred to me that it would enhance my own focus and alertness, and that it m … [Read more...]

Pre-Spanish Horse Bones in California?

Linguistic complexity among California Indians -- and now, perhaps, a new historical question

  An interesting account.  I would enjoy hearing more about this find, which may or may not prove significant:   … [Read more...]

One of the Organizers of “Interpreter’s” November Conference on Science and Mormonism

Unimaginable Beauty (click to enlarge image)

   Dr. John Lewis is one of the organizers of The Interpreter Foundation's forthcoming 9 November conference on "Cosmos, Earth, and Man." You can hear his testimony in this stunning short video on the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   … [Read more...]

“President Brigham Young Leads the Saints”

The reconstructed temple at Nauvoo, Illinois (click to enlarge image)

  Bryce Haymond, Ben McGuire, Mike Parker, and Dan Peterson discuss the Twelve's succession to the assassinated Joseph Smith, the flurry of activity in the newly-completed and soon-to-be-abandoned Nauvoo Temple, the epic migration from Illinois to the Great Basin, and the formation of a new First Presidency led by Brigham Young: This is Interpreter's 37th "scripture roundtable."  It … [Read more...]

Upcoming Speeches and Presentations

A scene from one of my earlier presentations

   In response to deafening public demand -- somebody asked once, several years ago -- I've taken to occasionally posting my schedule (to the extent that I know it) of approaching speeches, panels, presentations, and the like.  Here's what I've got at this point: Thursday and Friday, 1-2 August 2013Annual FAIR ConferenceUtah Valley Convention Center, Provo, Utah Friday, 16 August 2012Graduation convocation speech for Brigham … [Read more...]

“The Relevance of Religion”

St. Catherine Greek Orthodox Church, in West Palm Beach, Florida

  The LDS Newsroom, at, has posted an admirable article on "The Relevance of Religion" that I recommend to both of my readers:   … [Read more...]

Two more responses to last weekend’s “New York Times” article

A rare photo of a meeting of the editorial board of The Interpreter Foundation (click to enlarge)

  Jeff Lindsay, a believing Latter-day Saint, offers some reflections on issues raised by the recent New York Times story in this excellent piece and, in this one, a non-Mormon responds somewhat skeptically to the Times article. I'm not happy about the Times article, of course, nor about the story that it tells, but, in a way, I welcome it.  I've been calling for more forthright responses to certain issues for a long time, and this story will, I hope, serve as a … [Read more...]

“Peter’s Tears”

El Greco's late sixteenth-century portrayal of "Saint Peter Weeping"

   I'm happy to announce that Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has just published another weekly article, this one by Dr. Steven L. Olsen:   … [Read more...]