Volcanoes and climate, with Mormons

    A fascinating article about the great Tambora eruption of 1815, its effects around the world — including its impact on Joseph Smith and the rise of Mormonism — and what would happen if such a disaster were to happen today:   http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21647958-two-hundred-years-ago-most-powerful-eruption-modern-history-made-itself-felt-around   I posted an item on this same eruption a few [Read More…]

T. S. Eliot on the so-called “Islamic State”

    In his 1943 essay Notes toward a Definition of Culture, which was eventually published in book form in 1948 (and which has been a favorite of mine since I first read it back in my teens), T. S. Eliot wasn’t actually discussing ISIS.  But, taken out of context and with their recent demolitions [Read More…]

Joseph Smith’s polygamy

    In connection with the three book reviews published last week in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, I think I’ll call attention, once more, to the excellent website maintained by Brian and Laura Hales:   http://josephsmithspolygamy.org   Early plural marriage is probably the most challenging historical issue faced by believers in Joseph Smith and [Read More…]

ISIS continues to destroy the cultural heritage of the Middle East

    The nihilistic thugs who call themselves the “Islamic State” continue to compound their crimes against humanity and civilization, as shown in this appalling report from CNN:   http://www.cnn.com/2015/03/09/world/iraq-isis-heritage/index.html?eref=rss_topstories   Curiously, their supposedly “Islamic” fervor seems to run counter to the sacred scriptural text of Islam itself:   The Qur’an repeatedly calls upon its [Read More…]

Good advice, unless you really don’t mind putting your faith at risk

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Why has the Lord established and maintained BYU? Elder Maxwell offers an idea.

    I was delighted to see the following sent out to the faculty and staff of Brigham Young University today as the “weekly quote” from BYU’s Center for Faith and Learning:   “In a way, LDS scholars at BYU and elsewhere are a little bit like the builders of the temple in Nauvoo who [Read More…]

Home and Temple

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“Accelerating Universe? Not So Fast”

        Constant revision.   http://uanews.org/story/accelerating-universe-not-so-fast   Which is part of what makes it so fun.     [Read more…]

“What to do when church is still boring”

    It’s probably never happened to you.   But I’ve been in some church meetings that I’ve found . . . well, dull.   Our speakers aren’t typically trained entertainers.   How can you deal with such a meeting, should you ever happen to find yourself in one?   http://www.whatsoeverisgood.com/what-to-do-when-church-is-still-boring/     [Read more…]

Yes, freedom of speech is still permitted, but only when it’s okay.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/other/cabbie-ordered-to-pay-15g-after-gay-kiss-insult/ar-AAaNfSH   Thanks to Jeffery Perry for alerting me to this.     [Read more…]