22 April through 1 May in Israel

Caesarea Maritima from above

  Just a little reminder for those who may be dawdling on this: http://693.tru-m.com/tour-details.cfm?t=218   … [Read more...]

“Who’s Afraid of Secularism (3) Or, My Irrepressible Rationalism”

On the campus of Ralph's alma mater

  The inestimable Ralph Hancock contributes yet another valuable installment of his reflections on the current controversy about how to approach Mormon studies, etc., in academia: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/soulandcity/2015/01/whos-afraid-of-secularism-3-or-my-irrepressible-rationalism/   … [Read more...]

“Eyes wide shut to Islamist threat”

A mosque in New South Wales

  I find myself in an awkward position -- which is just about precisely the position that I think I should be in and that I want to be in: My attitude toward Islam and toward the contemporary Islamic world is far more positive than some can approve, and my attitude toward the contemporary Islamic world is much more negative than some of my Arab, Arabist, and Islamicist friends can accept. I see the contemporary Muslim world as seriously … [Read more...]

“Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Separating Fact from Fiction”

The second Nauvoo Temple

  Ralph Hancock conducts a useful interview with Brian and Laura Hales on a contentious subject: http://ldsmag.com/qa-joseph-smiths-polygamy-separating-fact-from-fiction/#.VLQC3tnEiDc.facebook   … [Read more...]

“United We Stand”

A beach in Samoa, as seen on Wikimedia Commons

  I've fallen behind in passing on reports from our friends who are presiding over the mission in Samoa, but I value these reports as offering a wonderful glimpse into the work of preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  So here's a link to something from mid-December: http://samoamission.blogspot.com/2014/12/united-we-stand.html   … [Read more...]

“Mormon family’s viral YouTube videos play role in British woman’s conversion to LDS Church”

Actually, it's in Newchapel, Surrey, south of London

  Some of you may have noticed my occasional exhortations to share your faith online.  (I'm just echoing admonitions from Elders M. Russell Ballard and David A. Bednar.) Here's an example -- a few of you may have missed it when it was first published -- of the effect that such sharing can have on people at a great d … [Read more...]

A world of condemnation


  The demonstrations today against radical Islamist terrorism and in favor of freedom of speech -- in Paris, throughout France, and elsewhere -- were enormous, and very impressive. Here, for example, are two accounts -- one in English and one in French -- of the rallies in Paris and in other French … [Read more...]

On staying “active” in the Church

Billy Graham, near fifty years ago

  "Churchgoers are like coals in a fire. When they cling together, they keep the flame aglow; when they separate, they die out." Billy Graham    … [Read more...]