Thinking of Dag Hammarskjöld

    Probably few people today remember or think about Dag Hammarskjöld.  In his time, though, and for some years after his death in a mysterious plane crash in what is now Zambia, on 18 September 1961 — while he was engaged in a mission to end a conflict there — he was a major [Read More…]

The value of knowledge

    “The stubborn critic would say: ‘What is the benefit of these sciences?’ He does not know the virtue that distinguishes mankind from all the animals: it is knowledge, in general, which is pursued solely by man, and which is pursued for the sake of knowledge itself, because its acquisition is truly delightful, and [Read More…]

“‘Joseph Smith or the Sword’?”

    My Deseret News column for today is up.  I’m just slow to acknowledge the fact:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865656270/Joseph-Smith-or-the-sword.html   Posted from Uppsala, Sweden     [Read more…]

I guess that righteous indignation is a lot more satisfying than using Google is.

    I check in fairly regularly on a couple of ex-Mormon hate sites in order to be aware of what’s agitating the hive.   A popular new topic on one of them is angry disgust at the failure of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to issue any kind of statement of regret or comfort [Read More…]

On the second anniversary of her death

    As I’ve explained, I maintain a blog for many reasons.   One of them is purely personal:  It’s a kind of journal for me, and, even more particularly, it’s a way of remembering things, and especially of remembering people, whose memory I refuse to allow to be wholly lost.   So, for instance, [Read More…]

Our Swedish apostle

    Although he was born in Salt Lake City, where he received both his bachelor’s and medical degrees (before doing further work in cardiology at Johns Hopkins), Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Council of the Twelve is, in important ways, Swedish.  (His full name, by the way, is Dale Gunnar Renlund.)   His [Read More…]

BOM Alma 30

    The story of Korihor, which occurs in Alma 30, has long been a favorite among Latter-day Saints — perhaps because, to some degree at least, it seems so sadly and repetitively applicable.   Almost precisely one year ago, I wrote a column for the Deseret News entitled “Korihor and ‘Social Darwinism.’”  Perhaps you [Read More…]

“Underwater Remains of Ancient Naval Base Found”

    Maybe underwater archaeology is just on my mind right now, but here’s some new archaeology relating to one of the most important battles in the history of Western civilization:   http://www.seeker.com/underwater-remains-of-ancient-naval-base-found-near-athens-1860334692.html?source=realclearscience.com   Sadly, there’ve been lots and lots of battles.  And many of them are rightly called “important.”  But only a few — Hastings, [Read More…]

“Mormon Missionary is a Finalist in Miss World New Zealand Contest”

    This isn’t something that you read every day:   Mormon Missionary is a Finalist in Miss World New Zealand Pageant   Of course (as you might have expected), she’s actually a returned Mormon missionary.   In any event, I wish her well.   Posted from Stockholm, Sweden   [Read more…]

BOM Alma 29

    Today’s reading, Alma 29, begins with a very famous passage (29:1-2).  It’s one, in fact, that I can scarcely read without slipping into the rhythm of a famous Mormon song.   For a long time, candidly, I really didn’t like that song.  But it’s grown on me, and its message is, if anything, [Read More…]