“‘Reality is setting in:’ why some ISIS fighters are packing up and going home”

A Kurdish refugee camp in Iraq

  This is a potentially very important phenomenon, and our policy makers and strategists should be studying it: http://www.vox.com/2015/9/21/9365953/isis-defections I couldn't help but think, at one point in the article, of the purported pirate announcement "The beatings will continue until morale improves." Thanks to Jabra Ghneim for calling this to my attention.  Posted from Nauvoo, Illinois    … [Read more...]

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“The loveliest place and the best people”

Joseph and Hyrum, one last time

  "This is the loveliest place and the best people under the heavens; little do they know the trials that await them." So spoke the Prophet Joseph Smith as he surveyed the residential area of the Nauvoo Flats, as well as the Nauvoo Temple (still under construction), from the bluff on Mulholland Street.  It was about 6:30 AM on 24 June 1844, perhaps a hundred yards from where I write now. “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter; but I am calm as a summ … [Read more...]

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At his father’s baptism

JS Sr.

  Joseph Smith’s sincerity appears in the incidental glimpses of him that we obtain from many of his contemporaries.  Here, for example, is the account given by Joseph’s mother, Lucy Mack Smith, of the baptism of her husband:On the morning of the sixth day of [April], my husband and Martin Harris were baptized.When Mr. Smith came out of the water, Joseph stood upon the shore, and taking his father by the hand, he exclaimed, with tears of joy, “Oh, my God! Have I live … [Read more...]

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A massive survey on what Americans really look for in a mate

"John," the model

  It's science! https://blogs.chapman.edu/press-room/2015/09/16/chapman-university-publishes-research-on-attractiveness-and-mating-in-national-study-of-americans/  Posted from Liberty, Missouri    … [Read more...]

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Ben Carson: “Muslim shouldn’t be elected president”

Second completed temple in Missouri

  Ben Carson is a very good man, by all accounts.  This, however, was not his finest hour: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/muslim-shouldnt-elected-president-says-gop-candidate-carson/ I understand his concerns.   But I absolutely don't believe that there should be a religious litmus test for the American presidency. (It would be rather difficult for me to do that, given that, very recently, some were insisting that people of my f … [Read more...]

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“The center place”

Population center moving

  Renee Contreras De Loach kindly called the item above to my notice.  (I haven't located the ultimate source.)  Very interesting, particularly in view of where I'm sitting right now. She appended this comment: Population center of the U.S. Wouldn't it be interesting if Independence MO literally becomes the center place?For 4 decades the "center" has been in Missouri. In 2010 the census named Plato MO, located 213 miles SE of In … [Read more...]

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On Liberty Jail

At Liberty Jail

  Liberty Jail [was], for a time, a center of instruction. The eyes of the saints were turned to it as the place whence would come encouragement, counsel—the word of the Lord. It was more temple than prison, so long as the Prophet was there. It was a place of meditation and prayer. A temple, first of all, is a place of prayer; and prayer is communion with God. It is the "infinite in man seeking the infinite in God." Where they find each other, there is holy sanctuary—a temp … [Read more...]

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Reflections, 171 years after the martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple from the east southeast

  Every time I come here, I find myself thinking about the remarkable way the history of this part of Illinois has unfolded. Thomas Sharp and his conspirators down in Warsaw to the south, and the mob that did the deed in Carthage to the east, thought that, by murdering Joseph and Hyrum Smith, they had put an end to Mormonism. Now, though, Thomas Sharp and his cronies are completely forgotten -- except as evil footnotes in the history of the Church. … [Read more...]

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