Dead Horse Point

In Utah's Dead Horse Point State Park

  I could have been very happy as a geologist, I think.  The landscapes of places such as Hawaii and the American Southwest absolutely fascinate me, particularly reading them as (natural) history.  En route to Moab, we stopped off for a look over the Colorado River from Dead Horse Point. Magnificent.  Breathtaking. There weren't many Americans there.  In my experience, Europeans love this sort of landscape.  We always run i … [Read more...]

Light in darkness

Desmond Tutu, retired Anglican archbishop in South Africa

  Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.  (Desmond Tutu)  Posted from Moab, Utah     … [Read more...]

Update from Smokey

Wikimedia CC photo of Manila slum skdflksjflksjd

  I have a niece who studies engineering at Duke University. This summer, she and some of her fellow volunteers are serving in the Philippines on a project that they themselves designed, with Duke's support and endorsement.  (Her mother is Filipina.) I'm proud of her for doing this, and very pleased that she's having this remarkable experience.  It won't always be -- it isn't always -- an entirely pleasant or comfortable one, but she'll learn and pr … [Read more...]

An addendum to my previous post about Elder Packer

M. R. Ballard of the Twelve

  I got a kick out of Elder Ballard's expression of gratitude to Sister Packer, at the funeral, for her role in convincing Elder Packer not to call his fellow apostles at 5 AM. For the link, see here. That suggests that my experience of getting a really early morning phone call from him wasn't out of (his) character or … [Read more...]

Personal Encounters with Elder Packer (Part 4)

Elder Packer, when he was healthy

  I regret that I was unable to attend or watch the funeral services for President Boyd K. Packer on Friday.  He has been a titanic presence in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for my entire adult life. Fortunately, those services are online, and I intend to watch them when I get the chance. Here's another reminiscence of him: The process of bringing what was then called the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon … [Read more...]

How to judge the man

Mr. Nelson Mandela, shown in 2008

  "Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again." Nelson Mandela … [Read more...]

“Is the Multiverse science?”

First spotted by Johannes Kepler in the 17th century

  This is a really interesting topic, and a really interesting question:   … [Read more...]

“Free Speech and Religious Liberty Are Under Siege”

Church in rural Wisconsin

  This isn't even remotely surprising -- except perhaps in the lightning fast manner with which it's occurring: I had expected perhaps a few weeks of truce. I was naïve.   … [Read more...]