“The Pumpkin”

    We’re past Halloween, of course, but this piece (“The Pumpkin”) by the American Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892) is directly relevant to Thanksgiving and to the time of harvest.  Please enjoy it:   Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun, The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run, [Read More…]

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Thoughts for Thanksgiving (1)

    Here’s the text of a column that I published in the Deseret News on Thanksgiving Day 2011:   Autumn harvest festivals were and are common across Europe, and, as every American schoolchild once learned, our modern Thanksgiving celebrations descend from a meal shared between Massachusetts Pilgrims and Native Americans in 1621.   It was not [Read More…]

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“Who lost the American culture war?”

    An eminent Austrian-American sociologist of religion responds to the question:   http://www.the-american-interest.com/2015/11/18/who-lost-the-american-culture-war/   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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“The existential crisis behind today’s Islamic violence”

    Joel J. Miller is mounting an interesting theological challenge to Islam.  I’ve already posted a link to his article “Islam is a religion of violence: Or, why abstract theology actually matters,” indicating that I disagreed with him at some crucial points.   Now he’s published “The existential crisis behind today’s Islamic violence”:   [Read More…]

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LDS former presidential candidate in Mali narrowly avoids raid by Islamic extremists

    For some reason, I immediately thought of him when I first heard the news.  And now it turns out that he was almost caught in the attack:   http://www.ldsliving.com/LDS-Presidential-Candidate-of-Mali-Narrowly-Escapes-Raid-by-Islamic-Extremists/s/80620?utm_source=ldsliving&utm_medium=email   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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“Dark matter dominates in nearby dwarf galaxy”

    Most of the universe is dark matter, which we know only indirectly, by inference.  A small nearby galaxy may rank among the highest of extraterrestrial bodies in its proportion of dark matter:   http://www.caltech.edu/news/dark-matter-dominates-nearby-dwarf-galaxy-48790   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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“Evangelicals Lag Behind Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses on Church Involvement”

    If, as I do, you spend a lot of time reading comments from apostates, cynics, and bitter enemies of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you might be inclined to believe their enthusiastic and hopeful declarations that the Church is in steep decline — indeed, virtually on its death bed.   [Read More…]

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“What Mormon missionaries taught me about faith”

    Accosted by sister missionaries at Temple Square, he was inclined at first to be irritated by the interruption.  But his irritation passed quickly:   http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2015/11/21/what_mormon_missionaries_taught_me_about_faith.html   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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“Hearken to the truth, and give heed unto it”

    Cassandra Hedelius, Jeffrey Mark Bradshaw, Daniel Peterson, and Stephen Smoot discuss 1 Nephi 16-18 (2016 Gospel Doctrine lesson 5) in this, the 149th scripture roundtable published by the Interpreter Foundation:   http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/scripture-roundtable-149-book-of-mormon-gospel-doctrine-lesson-5-hearken-to-the-truth-and-give-heed-unto-it/   Posted from Marbella, Spain     [Read more…]

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Hemingway’s love letter to Paris

    Ernest Hemingway loved Spain.   But he had many loves, both human and urban.   Apparently, more than a few people leaving flowers at the memorials in Paris have also left copies of his posthumously-published memoir of life there in the 1920s, A Moveable Feast, which is something of a love letter to the city. [Read More…]

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