“The Great Enrichment”

This scene can easily be replicated worldwide, literally millions and millions of times.

   Private charity and emergency government relief have their legitimate places, and are sometimes urgently necessary.  Charitable care for the poor is also an important divine commandment. However, I have real doubts about the efficacy of "foreign aid."  In fact, rather like current American "welfare" policies, I suspect that a better case can be made for its long term harmfulness than for its supposed benefits over time.  (I was introduced to the wo … [Read more...]

“Exploring ‘gods’ scriptures” (not altogether my favorite title)

No painting I know does this theme justice.

  A 2010 Deseret News article that still seems worth having written: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705385649/Dan-Peterson-Exploring-gods-scriptures.html    … [Read more...]

Providence, or pure lucky coincidence?


  I think I'm aware of all or most of the major arguments against the reality of divinely providential interventions in daily life.  I understand selection bias.  I'm keenly aware that the anguished prayers of parents to save the life of their children often seem to go ignored while other people, not apparently any more righteous, appear to be supernaturally led to find lost keys or to acquire a not-strictly-needed vacation beach home.  I once even offered a slightly to … [Read more...]

Hope and Change!

HOPE:  An unemployment line in New York City

    What could possibly go wrong if we send an undistinguished state senator and community organizer to the United States Senate and then almost immediately elect him President?     … [Read more...]

“‘Earliest Text’ a Boon to Readers”

A really important book

  A 2010 Deseret News article about Royal Skousen's meticulous, historic, and very important edition of the Book of Mormon: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700035402/Earliest-Text-a-boon-to-readers.html   … [Read more...]

The Night of the Hunter

My house, looking from the south (Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge further.)

  My wife and I just said goodbye to about twenty friends who spent part of the evening with us. How in the world did the mean-spirited, small-minded, vicious Daniel Peterson get twenty people to come to his house, you ask?  (The adjectives come from a commenter on this blog, and he stands proudly by them.) That's easy.  We offered them food. And we promised good discussion of a very good book:  Socrates in the City, edited by Eric Me … [Read more...]

The “binding” of Isaac

Caravaggio, "The Sacrifice of Isaac"

  Today was one of the rare times during the past decade or  more -- there've been a few, but not many -- that I've been in my home ward's adult Sunday School class  without teaching it.  So I was able to hear my fellow Gospel Doctrine teacher, for a change.  He's a talented teacher -- a former mission president, and near retirement from teaching at the LDS Institute of Religion adjacent to Utah Valley University. He showed a short (thirteen minute) LDS film abo … [Read more...]

“Becoming Like God”

The Ladder of Divine Ascent (Please click on the image to enlarge it.)

  I'm guessing that more than a few who don't live along the Wasatch Front and/or aren't hyper-focused on and tightly connected with all of the latest developments in Mormondom may be unaware of the Church's new statement on this topic: https://www.lds.org/topics/becoming-like-god?lang=eng&query=becoming+god#2 I try to be of service, and to ensure that this blog is, at least occasionally, useful.   … [Read more...]