“Death, thou shalt die”

  It's Memorial Day weekend.  So we spent the day -- an exceptionally beautiful one -- with other members of my wife's family, visiting graves in Salt Lake City and up in Henefer. I'm privileged to have known a few of them. In honor of the holiday, I offer here a favorite (and very famous) poem by John Donne (1572-1631):  Death, be not proud, though some have called thee  Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;  For those whom thou th … [Read More...]

“The Great and Spacious Book of Mormon Arcade Game”

  With his trademark wit, Jeff Lindsay responds to a reply to his two recent articles in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (which were published here and here): http://mormanity.blogspot.com/2016/05/the-great-and-spacious-book-of-mormon.html Sometimes, I fear that I lack the sheer capacity to become a critic of the Book of Mormon:  My credulousness is simply too weak. (Incidentally, S. Kent Brown offers another comment on the s … [Read More...]

“When will love be free of loss and lamentation?”

  Today's Hamblin/Peterson column for the Deseret News looks at one man's response to an experience that too many of us have faced -- and that, in some manner or another, all of us will face: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865655203/When-will-love-be-free-of-loss-and-lamentation.html?pg=all   … [Read More...]

Reflections on attending the symphony tonight

  My wife and I just returned from a performance of Mahler's Ninth Symphony, with Thierry Fischer conducting the Utah Symphony Orchestra. It's a powerful and varied piece. I'm grateful that Utah has a high quality symphony orchestra.  It's another thing to appreciate in my adopted state. Incidentally, it occurs to me how fortunate we are to live in an age of excellent recording technology.  Mahler's Ninth requires quite a large o … [Read More...]

“Why are so many Muslim refugees in Europe suddenly finding Jesus?”

  http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/05/25/why-are-so-many-muslim-refugees-in-europe-suddenly-finding-jesus.html?via=mobile&source=twitter On one level, I don't think this is very surprising. On another, I'm astonished. As Europe becomes more and more post-Christian and as extremist Muslims are seeking to expel Christians from the Middle East or even to exterminate them, it would be ironic if converted Muslims were to … [Read More...]

Aristotle’s tomb found in Greece?

   If this claim is true, it's a pretty exciting discovery.  There is, simply, no bigger name in antiquity than that of Aristotle.  In certain ways, even people like Augustus Caesar don't compare. http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/05/26/aristotles-2400-year-old-tomb-found-at-stagira-photographs/#   … [Read More...]

“The Scalp of Your Head: Polysemy in Alma 44:14-18”

  Another weekly article from Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture.  Another interesting little feature of the Book of Mormon: http://www.mormoninterpreter.com/the-scalp-of-your-head-polysemy-in-alma-4414-18/   … [Read More...]

Three quotations from the late great Justice Antonin Scalia

  “Never compromise your principles, unless of course your principles are Adolf Hitler’s, in which case you would be well advised to compromise them as much as you can.”“Indeed, follow your star if you want to head north and it’s the North Star. But if you want to head north and it’s Mars, you had better follow somebody else’s star.” “More important than your obligation to follow your conscience, or at least prior to it, is your obligation to form your conscience cor … [Read More...]

“Syria, Christians, and Pluralism in the Middle East”

  This isn't just a transient political issue.  Unless momentum shifts and current trends are reversed or at least stopped, it will represent an epochal transformation -- of world-historical dimensions: http://www.realclearreligion.org/articles/2016/05/27/syria_christians_and_pluralism_in_the_middle_east_107119.html   … [Read More...]

It might be futile in the end, but there would be great honor in it — and the nation needs him

   This is a miserable presidential season.  Faced with the choice of either Mr. Donald Trump (who apparently clinched the Republican nomination today) or the cynical return of Clinton Inc., some of us are confronting the most painful electoral dilemma of our lives. And we're not alone.  While certain Republican politicians -- even some whom Mr. Trump has grievously abused and insulted -- are now cravenly kneeling to kiss the Leader's ring, polling dat … [Read More...]