Beautiful aerial footage of the temples in Utah

Utah's third temple

  Four fine minutes for a Sabbath:   … [Read more...]

Music of Christmas 3

The cathedral of Gloucester

  I've always loved Gustav Holst's beautiful setting of Christina Rossetti's "In the Bleak Midwinter."  Listen, here, to choir and congregation sharing the wonder of the piece and its message:   … [Read more...]

The real spirit of Christmas

hearth and fire at Xmas

  Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.Calvin Coolidge    … [Read more...]

Mark your calendars!

A brother in the Society of Jesus

  I'm very pleased to announce that, despite an extraordinarily busy schedule and after much back-and-forth about crowded calendars, Dr. Guy Consolmagno, the official Vatican astronomer, has agreed to come to Provo, Utah, for one or more lectures under the auspices of The Interpreter Foundation. But his visit is more than a year off. If you have a calendar extending out that far into the future, please mark the date of Saturday, 12 March 2016, on … [Read more...]

Mosiah 23

Teichert Alma WofM

    Alma's anti-monarchical stance in today's reading, Mosiah 23,  is quite striking.  It's plain that Alma had been horrified by King Noah, by the power of a morally depraved king to drag those around him down.  His experience in that king's court fundamentally affected his political views. In just a short time, when Alma appears in Zarahemla, he'll become a key advisor to and ally of King Mosiah. I don't think it's coincidental t … [Read more...]

My endorsement of Daniel Boyarin’s book

From Boyarin's back cover

  Neal Rappleye calls my attention to the back cover of Daniel Boyarin's The Jewish Gospels, which I reviewed very favorably back 14 June 2012, and helpfully supplies the photograph above. I hadn't been aware of this.  Obviously, the printing that I first read didn't have my response on its jacket.   … [Read more...]

A pet peeve regarding the Taliban

A warrior for the Taliban

  No, no.  Nothing so trivial as their bombings and killings and oppression of women. I'm talking grammar here.  Something really important. In Arabic, the equivalent of the English word student is طالب or taalib.  (The t is a dark one, unlike our normal English t, but I can't represent that here.)  The Arabic plural of taalib is "broken," as the Arabic grammarians say.  It's tulaab (طلاب). Taalibaan or taliban طالبان‎), "students") is … [Read more...]

Christmas Cheer 2

A fantastic story

  An absolutely wonderful story.  Nearly nine minutes long, but please -- please -- take the time.  You won't regret it: And, if viewing these videos really helps to raise more money to do more things like this, then, please, share this far and wide. We all know people like Cara, who deserve more than life has given them.  We probably can't do what Prank It Forward did for her.  B … [Read more...]