“On Going to Hell”

A serene scene

  Reflections inspired by a little event from back in August that involved somebody I know extremely well: http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2014/10/on-going-to-hell.html   … [Read more...]

“Abide with me”

The darkness deepens

  http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3019287996001 This little Mormon Messages video sticks with me for at least two reasons: 1)  Charity, kindness, and forgiveness are vitally important and fundamental -- and especially so in a world (and I'm not talking merely about distant Syria, and not merely about Those Other People) riven with hostility, thoughtlessness, deliberate cruelty, unkindness, treachery, selfishness, and, too … [Read more...]

Jacob 6

Guatemala's first temple

  Just a couple of quick notes about today's reading, Jacob 6: First of all, it seems at the end of this chapter that Jacob may have assumed that he was done.  He offers a solemn farewell in verse 13 that is reminiscent of Nephi's leave-taking in 2 Nephi 33:13-15 and of Moroni's final goodbye in Moroni 10: 34: Finally, I bid you farewell, until I shall meet you before the pleasing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear. … [Read more...]

An important voice from among Israel’s Christian minority

bint filistiniyya

  Jabra Ghneim shared this piece with me: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/28/opinion/rula-jebreal-minority-life-in-israel.html?_r=1 I think it vital that Americans who really, sincerely, want to understand the Middle East, and particularly the Arab-Israeli conflict, attend to such voices as this. I've always sought to correct the misperception that most of my fellow Americans and most of my fellow Latter-day Saints seem to have, that … [Read more...]

“A referendum on competence”

the result of incompetence

  As Tuesday's 2014 American elections draw nearer, it's essential to remember what the fundamental issue is: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/391521/referendum-competence-charles-krauthammer I'm hoping that the Republican victory on Tuesday will be as resounding as it ought to be, but I tend to be a political pessimist and I fear that it won't be.   … [Read more...]

But why should the opinion of an actual scholar count?

hieratic text

  It's an article of faith among certain critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -- particularly among pseudonymous online commenters with no apparent tie to academics in general, let alone to Egyptology -- that John Gee is a pseudo-scholar and an international laughingstock. My encounters with actual scholars in his field have led me to a dramatically opposing perception, but, being myself a message-board-critic-certified international … [Read more...]

“Who are the Kurds?”

Political map showing Kurdistan

  Today's bi-weekly Hamblin-Peterson column in the Deseret News offers a brief answer to a basic question about the contemporary Middle East: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865614471/Who-are-the-Kurds.html   … [Read more...]

What’s needed for salvation

St. Thomas of Aquino

  Three things are necessary for the salvation of man: to know what he ought to believe; to know what he ought to desire; and to know what he ought to do.St. Thomas Aquinas    … [Read more...]