Three more reflections on Christmas before it goes away for a year, plus a bonus item

    Three serious but very different (non-Mormon) responses to Christmas:   “The Only Christmas Gift That Matters”   “Christmas in an Age of Existential Crisis”   “This Christmas, We Must Revive the Virtue of Gratitude”   And, as an extra treat, something that promises simultaneously to depress, irritate, and amuse you:   “Students Sign [Read More…]

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“The Preposterous Book of Mormon: A Singular Advantage”

    On 8 August 2014, Robert F. Smith delivered an interesting paper at the annual FairMormon conference.  The text is available online, and it makes for good reading in connection with the approaching focus of the adult Sunday school curriculum on the Book of Mormon:   http://www.fairmormon.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/PREPOSTEROUS-BOOK-OF-MORMON.pdf   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

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“This thing which is come to pass”

    Reflecting on the Christmas story and its legacy:   http://www.nationalreview.com/article/428980/christmas-scenes-strange-families   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

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“Jesus Christ’s Interactions with the Women of the New Testament”

    Even on Christmas Day — if it falls on a Friday — Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture continues to produce:   http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/jesus-christs-interactions-with-the-women-of-the-new-testament/   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

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“Joseph Smith’s Last Christmas”

    A little item — don’t expect too much — from the non-LDS historian John Turner:   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/anxiousbench/2015/12/joseph-smiths-last-christmas/   As for us, we’ve been hitting some of the family Christmas traditions:   We had the missionaries (Sister Lawson and Sister Gerrigues) over last night for a Cuban pork dinner, accompanied by juca (or cassava) and [Read More…]

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“How Mormon volunteers launch the best Christmas lights in San Diego”

    A nice LDS contribution to Christmas in southern California:   http://timesofsandiego.com/life/2015/12/21/how-mormon-volunteers-launch-the-best-christmas-lights-in-san-diego/   And, as a bonus, I add this item (brought to my attention by Jabra Ghneim):   “Twenty photos of temples looking like winter wonderlands”   Posted from Richmond, Virginia, which is warm, green, and humid today     [Read more…]

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Music of Christmas 29

    For my final installment of “Music of Christmas” for 2015, I offer two pieces.   I’ve always loved Miklos Rozsa’s score for the movie Ben Hur.  And his “Star of Bethlehem” is, in my opinion, one of its two highlights:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0cFMotGzUs   I heard a wonderful arrangement of it not long ago, performed [Read More…]

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A personal note at Christmas

    Dear friends:   Another year is coming to a close, and it’s closing upon a world racked with violence, fear, and evil.  But, as always, it closes with the boundless promise and the remarkable grounds for optimism represented by Christmas.   Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s words come to mind, written in the darkest days [Read More…]

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Music of Christmas 28

    An exquisitely beautiful choral version of today’s Christmas hymn:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsVnvN3EVxY   This is a Christian folk hymn from the American South.  It was first published at Lynchburg, Virginia, in 1811, and has been called a “white spiritual.”  That aspect is clearly brought out in these two quite different videos:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nu9KjxaVEC4   [Read More…]

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“Telling ghost stories is a lost tradition on Christmas Eve”

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705363363/Telling-ghost-stories-is-a-lost-tradition-on-Christmas-Eve.html?pg=all   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

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