True conversion to the Lord

Roots and branches

  My wife and I have just returned from attending a multi-stake conference where we heard from, among others, Elder Whitney Clayton of the Seventy and Elders Richard Scott and Russell Nelson of the Twelve. There were many important messages conveyed by the conference speakers.  Many of them challenged me to do better. I want to comment upon just one of them. Elder Clayton cited Alma 23:6: And as sure as the Lord liveth, so … [Read more...]

“Beside me there is no Saviour”

From Isaiah 41

  In this, the eighty-eighth (88th) scripture roundtable posted by The Interpreter Foundation, the focus is Lesson 38 in the 2014 Gospel Doctrine manual of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  And that lesson, in turn, is focused on Isaiah 40-49: The discussants for this roundtable are Shon Hopkin, Andrew … [Read more...]

1 Nephi 13

Columbus's three boats

   There is much, very much, that could be discussed in the comparatively long chapter of 1 Nephi 13.  But, mercifully constrained by the life-saving, self-imposed requirement that I be brief, I'll limit myself to passing mention of two items. 1. It's in this chapter that we meet Nephi's famous "great and abominable church." Many Latter-day Saints, at least during my formative years, thought that this phrase clearly … [Read more...]

“Thou hast done wonderful things”

Isaiah 29's marvelous work and worker

  In The Interpreter Foundation's eighty-seventh (87th) scripture roundtable, Bruce Webster, Daniel Peterson, Mike Parker, and Ben McGuire discuss Isaiah 22, 24-26, and 28-30 in connection with the 37th lesson in the 2014 Gospel Doctrine manual:   … [Read more...]

“She Loves Me”

Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan

  Marrying a theater major was one of my brighter moves; we see a fair number of live plays and operas each year, and I enjoy it thoroughly. Tonight, with a friend, we attended a very good performance of the musical She Loves Me at the Hale Centre Theatre in West Valley City. With a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock, She Loves Me opened on Broadway during the 1963-1964 season. It's based on … [Read more...]

A lecture that I delivered at the University of Queensland in 2006

The states or territories of Australia

  I addressed the topic of translating Islamic texts into English.  I conceived and founded a project to do this, and I was deeply involved with it until a couple of years ago. The lecture was recorded in two parts: If I knew that this lecture was available online, I had completely forgotten the fact, and I'm very grateful to my … [Read more...]

The Golan Heights and the Syrian civil war

The area around Mount Bentel

  I've never actually been to Quneitra, but I've seen it and the adjacent United Nations camp and checkpoint many times from above, on Israeli-held Mount Bentel.  This is the same area in which is set the marvelous film The Syrian Bride -- which I heartily recommend to anybody as a really fine and touching film, but especially to those who want some sense of the difficulties of life in modern Palestine.  Anyway, an … [Read more...]

1 Nephi 12

Yemeni model for Lehi's dream?

  Today's Book of Mormon reading --today's reading for me, anyway; it's difficult to tell whether anybody's reading along, and readership and comments for these entries seem to have dropped off quite a bit -- is 1 Nephi 12. Out of all that that chapter covers, I want to say something today about "the large and spacious building" to which allusion is made in 1 Nephi 12:18, but which was, of course, first mentioned as part of Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 8 … [Read more...]