BYU’s Cougarettes take another national championship

Daytona Beach sunrise

  The competition took place in Daytona Beach, Florida, on Saturday:   … [Read more...]

Washington Times: “Mormons’ Thailand temple project marks milestone for church”

A night view of Bangkok I'm not quite sure why the announcement of a temple for Bangkok seems (as here) to have drawn more media attention than the simultaneous announcements of temples for Port-au-Prince and Abidjan. Perhaps it's because reporters feel more comfortable, and news agencies have more representation, in Thailand than in Haiti and the Côte d'Ivoire?   … [Read more...]

“Pluto’s first color portrait”

An animated Pluto Okay.  It's not much yet.  But it's absolutely the first of its kind. And better shots may well come over the next six weeks or so. Unthinkable, back when I was a kid.   … [Read more...]

A returned missionary takes the Ms. Virginia title

Sister Bekah Pence

  My wife brought this to my notice.  Some of you might find it interesting: Not everybody can compete in such pageants, of course.  But I'm delighted to see Latter-day Saints going out there and representing the Church and its members well.   … [Read more...]

Marco Rubio, briefly Mormon

Senator Rubio of Florida

  It seems that we now have yet another baptized Mormon in the presidential race, though his stay in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came when he was quite young and didn't last long: I like him.  I like his biography, his bilingualism, his pragmatic conservatism, his youth.  He also seems Reaganesque to me.   … [Read more...]

N. T. Wright on the idea of resurrection

Tom Wright

  “It is not about 'life after death' as such. Rather, it's a way of talking about being bodily alive again after a period of being bodily dead. Resurrection is a second-stage postmortem life: 'life after 'life after death.'" N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes SenseN. T. Wright is, arguably, the foremost New Testament scholar in the English-speaking world right now.   … [Read more...]

New Testament 127

Sämann und Teufel

  Matthew 13:24-30 There is probably no more eloquent commentary on this parable than John Newton's hymn lyrics -- remember the great John Newton, who also composed "Amazing Grace," drawn from his own dramatic autobiography? -- which were set to the wonderful music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's "Bei Männern welche Liebe fühlen" (from Die Zauberflöte) and which once (but no longer) appeared in the Latter-day Saint hymnal:  1 Though in the earthly church … [Read more...]

“Religion poisons everything” (3)

Borgund's twelfth century stave church

  The late Christopher Hitchens lamented that "religion poisons everything." But it's difficult to see how Scandinavian culture was "poisoned" by the acceptance of Christianity. Certainly the Irish wouldn't have thought so.  They had suffered at the hands of the pagan Norsemen for generations, and were, no doubt, very relieved at anything that might rein them in. And to anybody familiar with the glorious stave churches whose survivors … [Read more...]