Materials for Advent (2013) — Day 2

Nativity scene at Temple Square in Salt Lake City

  And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.  (Alma 7:10) And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all gene … [Read more...]

“Thanksgiving has very ancient roots”

An ancient thank offering, captured in an early color photograph

  As you begin to recover from your overindulgences on Thanksgiving, and to reflect back upon the holiday and to prepare for the overindulgences of the coming weeks, you might find this Hamblin/Peterson article, published on Saturday in the Deseret News, of at least some minor interest:   … [Read more...]

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

An unusual concert hall

   Here's a bit of fun Christmas music, from The Piano Guys (who got their start in St. George, Utah): If you have the extra minute, watch it right through to the end. I'm grateful to Jim Davies for bringing this to my … [Read more...]

On how Mormons refuse to help others at Thanksgiving season and, for that matter, ever

A result of the Church's fresh-water projects in Africa.  I suspect that the water wasn't shut off on Thanksgiving Day.

  Several times over the past few days, I've run into the claim that LDS Inc., the Mormon Corporation, or TSCC (aka "the so-called church"), in contrast to real Christian organizations, did absolutely nothing for the poor and the homeless over this past weekend. This puzzles me.  I'm assuming that local bishops (such as I have been) don't mark the Thanksgiving holiday by suddenly refusing to help those within their stewardship.  Certainly I didn't.  (Maybe I ju … [Read more...]

The Root of All Error?

"Two roads diverged" (Click to enlarge.)

  All human errors stem from impatience, a premature breaking off of a methodical approach, an ostensible pinning down of an ostensible object.  (5468697320697320612071756f7465206279204b61666b612e)    … [Read more...]

Materials for Advent (2013) — Day 1

In the night sky above Bethlehem (Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further.)

  "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel" (Isaiah 7:14, KJV). “By the power of the Spirit our eyes were opened and our understandings were enlightened, so as to see and understand the things of God—even those things which were from the beginning before the world was, which were ordained of the Father, through his Only Begotten Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, ev … [Read more...]


"Jerusalem: City of Gold" (Munir Alawi) (Click to enlarge.)

  On Friday, my wife and I went with friends to a showing, at Thanksgiving Point, of the National Geographic Society's 3-D IMAX film Jerusalem: I strongly recommend it.  If you've been to Israel, it will take you instantly back -- at little expense and with no jet lag.  If you haven't been there, it will give you a good visual sense of what Jerusalem is like. The film focuses, as its title s … [Read more...]

Discussing Religious Liberty

I was in Washington DC just a few days ago, where, among other things, I was able to see this document again.

   Today's Gospel Doctrine lesson in Sunday School concerned the idea of good citizenship.  One of the authorities cited in the official lesson material is Elder L. Tom Perry, of the Council of the Twelve. So it was nice today that we had a visitor in the ward who essentially taught our Gospel Doctrine class:  Elder L. Tom Perry.  He focused on questions of religious liberty, and what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing to protect a … [Read more...]