On the airport attack in Istanbul

    The news out of Istanbul is horrific.  It was meant to be so.   The international terminal there is a place that we know fairly well, and Istanbul is a city that we dearly love.   I’m told that tourism in Turkey has plummeted by roughly 45% over the past year, given the [Read More…]

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BOM Alma 40

    There are few chapters of scripture that are more comforting to believers than Alma 40.   I’ve had to cite this passage at more than one family funeral:   11 Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all [Read More…]

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“Polls are telling Donald Trump the truth, but he’s not listening”

    He’s running against one of the weakest, least charismatic, most vulnerable Democratic candidates in the history of that party, and yet he’s likely to snatch defeat from the very jaws of victory:   http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-polls-are-telling-donald-trump-the-truth-but-hes-not-listening/article/2595055   If Mrs. Clinton were a stronger candidate, it would already be completely over.   Posted from Brockwood Hall, Cumbria, England [Read More…]

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“Mormon Welfare Program”

    An outside perspective on the Church’s efforts to promote temporal human welfare:   http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2016/06/24/mormon-welfare-program/31091/   The late Christopher Hitchens claimed, over and over again, that “religion poisons everything.”  He appears to have been mistaken on that point.   On another note, I’m pleased to belong to an organization that does so much good. [Read More…]

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“How Many Books in a Preexilic Israelite Library?”

    Some of the more sophisticated critics of the Book of Mormon have occasionally argued that literacy was virtually unknown among pre-exilic Israelites — which, if true, would seem to compromise both the claims to historicity of the early books of the Bible and of the Book of Mormon.  (After all, Lehi and Nephi [Read More…]

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“Video Series Helps Mormons Defend Religious Freedom While Respecting Differences”

    Some pointers from the Church, as introduced by Elder Von Keetch of the Seventy, on how to deal with sensitive social and religious issues:   http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/video-series-mormons-defend-religious-freedom-respect-differences#prclt-Z11W7Tdb   Posted from Brockwood Hall, Cumbria, England     [Read more…]

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“Alien Worlds Might Be Covered in Enormous Mountains”

    Just think of all the glorious things to see out there!   http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/06/the-enormous-mountains-of-alien-worlds/489101/   Posted from Brockwood Hall, Cumbria, England   [Read more…]

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I love English place names

    I bought a book on English place names during a prior trip to England when we were in the Midlands, and it has given me a great deal of pleasure.  I mean, how can you possibly top village names like Upper Piddle and Lower Piddle?  Or Lickey End?  Or Letch Lane?  (Is that Lois’s disreputable [Read More…]

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“How Brexit shattered progressives’ dearest illusions,” and some spontaneous reflections on wider issues

    A very perceptive piece by Damon Linker about the recent referendum in the United Kingdom:   http://theweek.com/articles/632380/how-brexit-shattered-progressives-dearest-illusions   I was struck the other day by the British journalist David Goodhart’s distinction in the debate over Britain’s relationship to the European Union — which I saw cited here — between what he called “somewhere people” and [Read More…]

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A photo essay about the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, with a bonus gift

    Thanks to Kyle Pratt for bringing this very good photo essay to my attention:   http://ldsmag.com/article-1-14541/   And, while I’m at it, here’s an extremely interesting article on “What Newspapers in the 1800s Said About the Martyrdom of Joseph and Hyrum.”   Posted from Brockwood Hall, Cumbria, England       [Read more…]

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