“Can a Man See God? 1 Timothy 6:16 in Light of Ancient and Modern Revelation”

"The First Vision" A stained glass window by Tom Holdman in the Palmyra New York Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

  I'm pleased to announce that, as yet another plain indicator of its ongoing descent into silence, Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture has just published yet another article: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/can-a-man-see-god-1-timothy-616-in-light-of-ancient-and-modern-revelation/ I've lost count.  That's something like seventy or seventy-one weeks in a row.   … [Read more...]

A bit more on Pope Francis and free markets

Vatican City It may be significant that there is no industrial or commercial zone in this independent city-state (Click once to enlarge.  Pause and then click a second time to enlarge further.)

  A few posts back, I gently criticized recent comments on economics by Pope Francis. Here are two additional critiques from people on my side of the politico-economic fence: The first, although it comes from a libertarian who seems fairly unsympathetic to Catholicism and even just a tad shrill, makes several solid … [Read more...]

A New Massacre of Christians in Syria?

For full size, click once on the image, pause, and then click again.

  I was involved in a conference call this morning with several Syrian intellectuals in Damascus, some (if not all) of whom have been under serious death threats for a long time. Conditions there are terrible.  The electricity was out in Damascus, so their power was being supplied by a generator in the room. Far worse, though, was the news that they conveyed of a massacre, by forces aligned with al-Qa‘ida, of twenty-seven Christians in Daraa (or De … [Read more...]

500-Year-Old Evidence of a Near-Death Experience?

"The Ascent into the Empyrean or Highest Heaven," by Hieronymus Bosch

   Ever since the publication of Raymond Moody's pioneering 1975 book Life after Life, the concept of a "tunnel of light" through which departing spirits pass into the next world has been generally familiar and widely discussed.  It doesn't occur in all near-death experiences, by any means, but it's far from rare and it can take different forms.  Sometimes, the "tunnel" is actually reported as dark, with light at the end.  (Hence, the common concept, also, of "g … [Read more...]

A Reminder regarding “Ether’s Cave”

Ether, the last Jaredite prophet

  I want to call attention, once more, to the valuable blog "Ether's Cave," run by Matthew Roper and John Gee.  It publishes frequent and insightful short items regarding the Book of Mormon: http://etherscave.blogspot.com   … [Read more...]

Between turkey(s) and dessert

A Thanksgiving meal from the film "Man's Search for Happiness," produced for the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair.  The family's widowed grandfather will enter the room soon, and will offer the blessing on the food.  Note the grim atmosphere, and the rigid fasting.  Note how determined the Church was, in this brief film, to deemphasize the beloved American holiday of Thanksgiving.  Note how truly and completely off-the-wall some criticisms of Mormonism are.

  The preparations are long over, the meal just finished.  Dessert will be served in an hour or so.  In the meantime, some are playing games, others are simply talking.  I think I just caught the sound of a football game. I decided to spend a bit of time surfing the web before joining in a game of "Sequence."  (I always lose at "Sequence," so postponing the inevitable for a few minutes seems a pleasant option.) I've run across some really weird cla … [Read more...]

Happy Hanukkah!

The Bountiful Utah Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge still further.)

  Today is a rarity.  It marks both the American holiday of Thanksgiving and the first day of the venerable Jewish holiday of Hanukkah.  (Accordingly, some wags have named 28 November 2013 "Thanksgivukkah.")  The conjunction of the two holidays won't occur again, I'm told, for roughly 79,000 years. Here's some simple, basic information about the origin and observance of the Jewish "Festival of Lights," as Hanukkah is sometimes called. I don't know w … [Read more...]

“Musings on the Making of Mormon’s Book: 1 Nephi 12″

The prophet Mormon, abridging the plates

  Brant Gardner continues his insightful comments on the blog of The Interpreter Foundation: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/musings-on-the-making-of-mormons-book-1-nephi-12/   … [Read more...]