“Parliament of the World’s Religions convenes in Mormon country — at last”

SL Temple w/Tabernacle

    http://gazette.com/parliament-of-world-religions-convenes-in-mormon-country-at-last/article/1561261 I was intending to head up to the Parliament tonight -- I'd been invited to a reception there -- but, at the last minute, reality intervened.  (For one thing, I teach until 5:30 PM.  And I didn't get a neat launch even then.  And, finally, what with needing dinner and considering traffic on I-15 and etc., I concluded that I'd get there just a … [Read more...]

“Why Were the Plates Necessary?”

On Cumorah's lonely hill

  A nice note from Stephen Smoot: http://www.plonialmonimormon.com/2015/10/why-were-plates-necessary.html   … [Read more...]

Cutting through the red tape

Five-dollar bill

  A presidential aide entered the office and found Abraham Lincoln counting out dollar bills. "What are you doing?" the aide asked in astonishment. "A porter at the Treasury Department is laid up with smallpox," Mr. Lincoln responded.  "He is owed back wages, so I am what you call 'cutting through all the red tape' to give him his due."   … [Read more...]

“To judge or not to judge: not much of a question”

Alberta Temple #2

  A nice essay from clear back in early July, by the peerless Greg Smith: https://seesangelsinthearchitecture.wordpress.com/2015/07/05/to-judge-or-not-to-judge-not-much-of-a-question/   … [Read more...]

“Oliver Cowdery in Wisconsin”

Mr. Cowdery, as he really was

  Today's installment of my weekly Deseret News column: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865639058/Oliver-Cowdery-in-Wisconsin.html For the story behind the image of Oliver Cowdery, above, see here.     … [Read more...]

In which, for a moment at least, I master my “lust for deception”

ISIS fighters on the march

  A couple of days ago, someone sent to me, on Facebook, an item about an ISIS fighter who had allegedly been involved in child sex trafficking but who has recently been killed by the Russians in Syria. Since, as a few readers of this blog may know, I have some slight interest in the Middle East, and since I assumed the item to be accurate -- after all, ISIS does engage in child sex trafficking, on a mass scale, so it was immediately plausible -- I shared it on … [Read more...]

“The Road to Middle East Perdition”

V. C. Hanson, Ph.D.

  Conservative analysis from one of my favorite authors, the Central California farmer and Stanford-Ph.D. classicist Victor Davis Hanson: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/425423/obama-middle-east-blunders-putin-gains?target=author&tid=900280 Incidentally, there's a report tonight that Cuban troops -- Cuban troops -- are now on the ground in Syria, along with their Russian counterparts.  After decades of isolation, the Castro brothers have … [Read more...]

“Why ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ sound so similar in so many languages”

Mom and Dad and two kids

  You might find this very, very interesting.  I did, even though I already knew quite a bit of it: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/10/words-mom-dad-similar-languages/409810/     … [Read more...]