Gadiantonism and Organized Crime?

    Way back in 1990 — I never imagined myself being as old as I am now! — I published two articles with what was then called the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) in which, among other things, I argued that the so-called “Gadianton robbers” of the Book of Mormon weren’t merely a [Read More…]

“LDS church provides place for displaced Muslim community to pray”

    This story pleases me very, very much:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865671591/LDS-church-provides-place-for-displaced-Muslim-community-to-pray.html   What doesn’t please me is that I’ve forgotten who called it to my attention yesterday.  (I was slow in blogging about it.)  I apologize.   But it reminds of a statement from the Prophet Joseph Smith.   He said many wonderful things, of course. [Read More…]

David H. Bailey: “Science vs Religion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?”

    Some of you may find this thirty-minute talk by Dr. David H. Bailey of interest.  It was given at a 2013 Interpreter Foundation conference on science and religion:   “Science vs Religion: Can This Marriage Be Saved?”   Brother Bailey, a computer scientist and mathematician, worked for fourteen years at NASA Ames Research Center and [Read More…]

One of the traits of the superior person

    A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions. Confucius (Kǒng Zǐ, 551 BC – 479 BC)     [Read more…]

From the “scientists are humans, too” file

    Some will take this as an attack on science:   “Science falling victim to ‘crisis of narcissism’”   They will, as always, be wrong.     [Read more…]

Out of Syria

    Just off the phone with a friend — a prominent Syrian intellectual — in Damascus.  It was about midnight when our call ended.  He was very tired, but he still had to go out and find water.  ISIS has evidently destroyed one of the major water pipelines into the city; for the past [Read More…]

The Economist: “Why some religions, like the Mormons, sing”

    This article was, no doubt, occasioned by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s participation in the 2017 presidential inauguration:   http://www.economist.com/blogs/erasmus/2017/01/mormons-and-music   The Choir’s performance on the steps of the Capitol yesterday, whatever one thinks of the decision to perform or (for that matter) of Mr. Trump, brought international attention to both the Choir and the [Read More…]

The Ecstasy and the Agony

    Returning, just now, from dropping a son off at the Salt Lake City airport, I tuned in (as I typically do while driving) to KBYU-FM, which specializes in classical music.   For a substantial portion of the drive, they played, first, Johann Strauss’s Emperor Waltz (the Kaiser-Walzer) and, then, Beethoven’s Egmont Overture.   I’ve [Read More…]

“6 religion-friendly films from Hollywood”

    The latest iteration of the joint bi-weekly Hamblin/Peterson column in the Deseret News:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865671460/6-religion-friendly-films-from-Hollywood.html     [Read more…]

BBC reporter crying after hearing the adhan

    Thanks to Matthew Wheeler for calling my attention to this two-minute video:   https://www.youtube.com/shared?ci=rtflAPU-rNg   For many of us who’ve lived in the Islamic world, the adhan (أَذَان‎‎; the “call to prayer”) is one of the most beautiful and evocative sounds on earth.   If you have 3.5 minutes, you might listen to this version [Read More…]