Christmas Cheer 5

Not his real name.

  In case you haven't read O. Henry's short Christmas story "The Gift of the Magi," or haven't read it in a while, I'm sharing a link to an online publication of it: There are probably others.   … [Read more...]

Mosiah 25

Possibly Mosiah, possibly not

  Among other things, Mosiah 25 is interesting for what it tells us about the demographics of the Book of Mormon peoples. For example, we learn from verses two and three that the descendants of Mulek outnumbered the people of Nephi, but that, even taken together, the Nephites and Mulekites were  less than half as numerous as the Lamanites.  Which allows us to deduce that the Nephites proper were outnumbered more than four to one by the Lamanites. Which, in tur … [Read more...]

Israel’s former intelligence chief slams Netanyahu over proposal to declare Israel a “Jewish state”

An Arab Muslim citizen of Israel

  I agree with Mr. Gillon.  I think it's a very bad idea, and I suspect that Mr. Netanyahu is merely posturing -- perhaps rather cynically -- in order to guard his right flank against possible political insurgents. Thanks to Jabra Ghneim for bringing this to my notice.   … [Read more...]

“A Quote from Elder Oaks”

DHO at Harvard This comment from Elder Oaks seems to me even more relevant than when he first made it.   … [Read more...]

“Exquisite order”

Calling for the divine

  "The exquisite order displayed by our scientific understanding of the physical world calls for the divine."  (Vera Kistiakowsky, professor emerita of physics at MIT, specialist in observational astrophysics and experimental particle physics)   … [Read more...]

A year-end note on behalf of The Interpreter Foundation

A place of peace, beauty, and cold

  Dear Friends: We’re approaching Christmas and the end of 2014. It seems appropriate, therefore, to thank all those whose generous donations of time, energy, and money have made the accomplishments of The Interpreter Foundation possible. We’re deeply and humbly grateful. We know that you owe us and the Foundation nothing whatever, and we’re genuinely moved by the support that our work has received. I also wish to report on the current status of The … [Read more...]

Utah, armpit of the universe

Weird interaction of water and sandstone

  My adopted state is sometimes portrayed, by the most bitter and angry critics of my faith, as an oppressive and uncultured theocracy dominated by "Mor(m)ons," "Utards," "Morgbots," and dehumanized "sheeple."  Here's a nice little item from Barron's, though, that suggests that, while we Utahns may be boring, stupid, irrational, and ridiculous, we manage our public … [Read more...]


My tracting area didn't look like this.

  Further reflections from the mission field in Samoa:   … [Read more...]