“Why Jefferson Said ‘No’ to Thanksgiving”

    As a limited-government conservative, I’m actually not altogether unsympathetic to Jefferson’s point of view on this matter:   http://www.realclearbooks.com/articles/2016/11/23/why_jefferson_said_no_to_thanksgiving_171.html   Still, I really like Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:   http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm   And I can’t bring myself to condemn as constitutionally inappropriate the prayer that was spoken on the radio by President Franklin D. Roosevelt [Read More…]

“How to Worship Our Heavenly Mother (Without Getting Excommunicated)”

    Just in case you have some down time this holiday weekend, I’d like to recommend for your reading a thought-provoking article, published a few years back by Kevin Barney, that some of you might have missed:   https://www.dialoguejournal.com/wp-content/uploads/sbi/articles/Dialogue_V41N04_133.pdf   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

“4000-Year-Old ‘Thinker’ Sculpture Uncovered in Israel”

    Every square foot in parts of the Middle East — Israel or Palestine is certainly among them — offers potential archaeological discoveries.  For those interested in history, it’s an amazing place.   http://www.livescience.com/56986-ancient-thinker-sculpture-uncovered-in-israel.html   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

“Chicago Muslims give thanks, 5,000 turkeys”

    I love stories like this:   http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-muslim-turkey-drive-met-20161122-story.html   I love this one in particular because it demonstrates not only general human kindness but, specifically, the power of religious belief to motivate good actions, and the power of religious organization to make them more effective.  I also like it because, in its small way, [Read More…]

“Blessing God after Eating One’s Fill”

    On a day when we Americans eat even more than we usually do and, ideally, give thanks to God for all the blessings that we enjoy, this little item about the ancient Near Eastern background of the Book of Mormon might hold special interest.   Posted from Richmond, Virginia     [Read more…]

“A priest and an imam sit down for a cup of tea” (and etc.)

    A nice (and timely) new commercial from Amazon Prime:     (Thanks to Darren Zechiel for alerting me to it.)   Incidentally, are you aware that you can buy books and other things through Amazon Smile and thereby, at absolutely no extra cost to yourself, have money sent from each purchase to the [Read More…]

Although born in Boston, he grew up here in Richmond

    “To vilify a great man is the readiest way in which a little man can himself attain greatness.” Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)   He himself fell victim to such vilification.  After his mysterious death in Baltimore, his biography was written by a man named Griswold, who had long held a grudge against him [Read More…]

Dare to Dissent!

    I first became acquainted with Professor Anthony Esolen as a superb translator of Dante’s Divine Comedy into English:   https://www.amazon.com/Inferno-Modern-Library-Classics-Dante/dp/0812970063/ref=la_B001ITX3JW_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1479948317&sr=1-5   https://www.amazon.com/Purgatory-Modern-Library-Classics-Dante/dp/0812971256/ref=pd_bxgy_14_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0812971256&pd_rd_r=N90T5ANPSZGHW10N7M90&pd_rd_w=D2Ej6&pd_rd_wg=xysQ1&psc=1&refRID=N90T5ANPSZGHW10N7M90   https://www.amazon.com/Paradise-Modern-Library-Classics-Dante/dp/0812977262/ref=pd_bxgy_14_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=0812977262&pd_rd_r=88PR0DBQSCQ7YWVYM3A8&pd_rd_w=qROz7&pd_rd_wg=lHd8Y&psc=1&refRID=88PR0DBQSCQ7YWVYM3A8   I thought so highly of him that, one Christmas, I gave a set of his translations to one of my sons, who is particularly interested in poetry.   [Read More…]

My 2014 and 2015 columns for Thanksgiving Day

    Just in case there’s anybody out there who wants to read something Thanksgivingish, here are my Thanksgiving columns from the previous two years:   “Reasons for gratitude on this Thanksgiving Day”   “Gratitude to our God is paramount”   I wish my American readers a joyous Thanksgiving holiday.  And to my non-American readers?  I [Read More…]

In which I explain the (to some) inexplicable

    Last week, I published a column in the Deseret News that included this paragraph:   For some, in a sense, the most effective answer to questions about early Mormon plural marriage might be information about Arabian Nahom and Lehi’s trail. The most reassuring response to the Mountain Meadows Massacre could be the Book [Read More…]