BOM Alma 55

  My comments yesterday about Moroni and Plato's "auxiliaries" were also meant to apply to today's reading, Alma 55. Beyond that point, a couple of simple observations specifically targeted for today: 1. Some Latter-day Saints -- particularly of past generations -- have claimed that "wine" in the scriptures simply means "grape juice," not a fermented beverage.  They're obviously trying to defend the Word of Wisdom as a perennial … [Read More...]

“Refugee Outreach”

  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints continues to encourage its members to become involved, wherever and however they can, in helping with the world's massive and growing refugee problem. And that help doesn't have to be on a massive, global scale.  In the global perspective, the challenges can be intimidating and seem hopeless.  "Think globally, act locally."  Even small things, whatever we can do, can hel … [Read More...]

“The 18th annual FairMormon conference is next week”

  My Deseret News column for today is largely devoted to a summary of the schedule of speakers for next week's FairMormon conference.  If you hate goodness, truth, and light, don't read it: Be there. Or be somewhere else. Those are, really, your choices.  I'm unaware of a third. I guess I'm just that kind of a t … [Read More...]

“An Unmitigated Disaster”

  "Hotel fights back after Donald Trump threatens to not pay" And please, dear Trumpists, if you're going to claim to have read the article, read it to the end. Dr. Thomas Sowell, of Stanford's Hoover Institution, is one of the writers on politics, economics, and society whom I most admire.  Even so, I missed this article from back in May, and I'm grateful to Matthew Nielsen for alerting me to it: "An Unmitigated … [Read More...]

“6 surprising downsides of being extremely intelligent”

  Not that I would know anything about it, of course. I offer this, though, as a gesture of kindness to each and every one of my critics: All of them labor under a burden that I can neither know nor ever hope to understand.  Posted from Newport Beach, California    … [Read More...]

“Is This the Dawn of a New Age of Unreason?”

  A thought-provoking piece by a Muslim thinker whom I hold in great esteem, Professor Khaled Abou El Fadl of UCLA: I don't agree with absolutely every point he makes, but his is a sane and well-informed voice that should be taken into account on these matters.  Posted from Newport Beach, California    … [Read More...]

Why economics is so hard

  “Economics is haunted by more fallacies than any other study known to man.  This is no accident.  The inherent difficulties of the subject would be great enough in any case, but they are multiplied a thousandfold by a factor that is insignificant in, say, physics, mathematics or medicine—the special pleading of selfish interests.”  Henry Hazlitt (1894-1993)   Posted from Newport Beach, California    … [Read More...]

BOM Alma 54

  In my judgment, today's reading, Alma 54,  offers significant evidence for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. Why?  Because it's so humanly plausible. In his Republic, Plato famously divides the ψυχή (psyche) into three parts -- the λογιστικόv (logistikon, or "logical"), the θυμοειδές (thymoeides, or "spirited") and the ἐπιθυμητικόν (epithymetikon, or "appetitive"). These three parts of the ψυχή or soul also correspond to the three classes of … [Read More...]

“Following ISIS Attacks, Arab Journalists Call to Acknowledge Existence of Muslim Extremism; Reexamine Religious Texts”

  Yet another horror from the self-proclaimed "Islamic State," which couldn't possibly be more effective at ruining the reputation and image of Islam if that were its intended goal: "The Martyrdom of Father Hamel and ISIS’s Total-War Strategy" Can we hope that the Islamic world is finally beginning to awaken and to mobilize itself against the sheer evil that is Islamist nihilism? "Following ISIS Attacks, Arab Journalists Call To A … [Read More...]

A cute little stunt from Planned Parenthood of Utah Incidentally, Ms. Kate Kelly -- you may recall the name -- is now "strategic advocacy and policy counsel" for the Planned Parenthood Association of Utah.  Posted from Newport Beach, California    … [Read More...]