“Noah Webster and the Book of Mormon”

An actual photo of an early Nephite fort

      Back in 1995, Matthew Roper published a short article responding to a "startling discovery" that some well-known anti-Mormons had made regarding the Book of Mormon:  They had, they said, identified one of the sources supposedly used by Joseph Smith in order to forge his yarn about the Nephites and the Lamanites.  Similarities of words and phrases between it and the Book of Mormon were simply too striking to be coincidental.   That article has now … [Read more...]

Transparency, Frugality, and Gratitude

The Logan Utah Temple
of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
(Click to enlarge)

    I would like to thank my friend and neighbor Kent Flack for his volunteer efforts on The Interpreter Foundation's quarterly public financial statements (and on our financial record-keeping generally):   http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/expenses/   We're trying to be as transparent as we can practically and ethically be, and the figures that we supply are as accurate as we can make them.  If anything, our totals for volunteer hours are probably on … [Read more...]

No rest for the wicked

Is this it?

    I just spoke to a small "senior singles" fireside on the subject of near-death experiences.  Good stuff.  There are some very interesting cases out there.   Column sent in, course lectures prepared, four hours of teaching, fireside, ninety minutes of student consultations.   Now it's time to head up to Logan. Long day.     … [Read more...]

“Was the Book of Mormon Plagiarized from Walt Whitman’s ‘Leaves of Grass’?”

It's all over.

      This may well be the death knell of Mormonism, the smoking gun that proves the Book of Mormon a forgery and a fraud, the final decisive proof that Joseph Smith was a con artist, the silver bullet that will end it all:   http://www.jefflindsay.com/bomsource.shtml   Will the last one out the door please turn off the lights?     … [Read more...]

“A Clear and Present Danger: Religious Liberty, Marriage, and the Family in the Late Modern Age”

An aerial view of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

      This speech is important for who gave it and where, but also for its content, which is profoundly countercultural.  It goes very much against current fashions, which is one reason why it needs to be carefully considered.     … [Read more...]

“The Maligned Tea Party: The Left’s Characterizations Just Aren’t True”

i see nothing racist in the signs above, and nothing with which to disagree.
(Click to enlarge.)

    I've been fascinated by the ferocious contempt that many left-leaning commentators feel somehow compelled to heap upon the Tea Party movement and its sympathizers (among whom I'm happy to count myself).  Agree with them or not, the overwhelming majority of the members of the Tea Party, in my experience anyway, are pretty mainstream Americans -- productive, law-abiding, decent, public-spirited, concerned about their children and their country -- who are simply exercising … [Read more...]

Lots to do, but, still, a good afternoon and evening

A scene from the Broadway production of "In the Heights"
(Click to enlarge.  Click again to enlarge even more.)

    In the afternoon, I joined with a small group of BYU scholars and others for an informal discussion of the new book Mormon's Codex with its author, John Sorenson, and the eminent non-LDS archaeologist William Dever.  The conversation concerned such things as archaeological method, what to look for in organizing reviews of the book, and certain kinds of irrational skepticism.  (Professor Dever, though not even a theist, is an outspoken critic of "biblical … [Read more...]

$17,000,000,000,000: Pretty Soon, You’re Talking Real Money

Click to enlarge (if you dare).

    I saw a discussion between two men on television the other day.  One commented that, having successfully made our way past the government shutdown and raised the debt ceiling, we're doing pretty well.   The other responded that we're not doing well at all, that we're headed toward disaster and don't seem to care.  The other man's statement, he said, reminded him of the story of a fellow who fell out of a fortieth-floor window.  Down and down and down he … [Read more...]