Iran seeks to politicize an enormous human tragedy

Makkah from the air

  Tensions continue to mount between resolutely Sunni Saudi Arabia and militantly Shi‘i Iran: http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/30/middleeast/hajj-deaths-saudi-iran-yemen/index.html This is not good, and, if nuclear weapons sprout up in the region, it will be very bad indeed.  Posted from Victor, New York    … [Read more...]


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The collective testimony of the Smith family

On the Smith farm

  Another indication of the Prophet’s sincerity is the striking fact that his own family manifestly believed him.[1] “The parents and all living brothers and sisters of Joseph Smith believed his account of his visions. In fact, the two grandparents still alive in 1830 also believed.”[2] For example, Joseph Smith Sr., the Prophet’s father, traveled two hundred miles—a significant and taxing journey in the frontier America of that period—to carry a copy of the Book of Mormon t … [Read more...]


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Historical transparency. I’m very pleased.

The Church's newest visitor's center

  We spent at least two hours this afternoon at the newly dedicated Priesthood Restoration Site in Oakland, Pennsylvania (formerly known as "Harmony"), where most of the Book of Mormon was translated, where the Aaronic priesthood was restored, and in the vicinity of which the Melchizedek priesthood was returned to earth.  (Directly adjacent is the McKune Cemetery, where Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, the parents of Emma Hale Smith, and Joseph and Emma's infant firstborn son are … [Read more...]


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Curious to know who the winners of this year’s MacArthur “genius grants” are?

A mailbox.

  Some of them -- the Americans among them, anyway -- are identified here, along with the areas in which they work: http://www.nature.com/news/nanowires-stem-cell-transplants-and-wastewater-treatment-win-2015-macarthur-genius-grants-1.18461  Posted from Victor, New York    … [Read more...]


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Inspiring words, even if you’ve read them before

Near the Priesthood Restoration Site

  Now, what do we hear in the gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth out of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!And a … [Read more...]


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The Pope and that Clerk in Kentucky

The pope

  As I've indicated, I'm ambivalent about Kim Davis, that Kentucky county clerk who refused to issue marriage documents for same-sex couples.  I agree with her on the substance, but I think her choices were either to issue the documents or to resign -- barring some sort of work-around accommodation from the state, which would have been the best solution. I'm also somewhat ambivalent about the hugely popular Pope Francis.  But he's very well-liked by many on the … [Read more...]


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It’s time to mark your calendars!

Dr. Berman photo

  The Interpreter Foundation is pleased to announce a presentation by Dr. Joshua Berman, Senior Lecturer in the Bible Department at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel. On Wednesday, October 7, at 7:00 pm in the Varsity Theater at BYU, Provo, Utah, he will present “The Differences between the Tabernacle and the Temple: Architecture and Ideology.” The event is open to the public, and admission is free. No registration is necessary. The Varsity Theater is in the nor … [Read more...]


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Dedicated even unto death

CCAC Carthage Jail

  Joseph Smith apparently expected to die at the hands of his enemies. “He well knew that he must sacrifice his life for the principles God had revealed through him,” said Lucy Walker Kimball. Yet “Death had no terrors for him although life was dear. I have often heard him say he expected to seal his testimony with his blood.”[1] “He was cheerful and comforting,” remembered Edward Stevenson.He said, “I shall not be sacrificed until my time comes; then I shall be offered … [Read more...]


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