« Physics does not exclude Providence. Nothing happens without its order or permission, even if this gentle action is not miraculous. Evolution, whether of the universe or of the living world, could be made at random by quantum leaps or mutations. Nevertheless, this chance has, from a superior point of view, been directed towards a goal. For us Christians, it was oriented towards the appearance of life. In what was done, there was life, intelligence and life was… Read more

    From The Book:   The idea of an Orson Hyde monument continued to be dis­cussed as time went on, although some—notably Elder Howard W. Hunter of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles—worried that it might compromise Church efforts among the Arabs.[1] Finally, on 24 Octo­ber 1979, the anniversary of Elder Hyde’s momentous prayer, an Orson Hyde Memorial Garden, more than five landscaped acres on the slope of the Mount of Olives, was dedicated by President Spen­cer W. Kimball…. Read more

    Two closely related quotations from Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)   To understand the Universe, you must understand the language in which it’s written, the language of Mathematics.   The laws of nature are written by the hand of God in the language of mathematics.   ***   Utah’s relatively high — and evidently increasing — suicide rate has received considerable attention in recent years.  Here’s something that might help a bit to put Utah’s situation in a wider context:… Read more

    There are many who claim that science and religious belief are entirely incompatible.  They allege that the first represents rationality while the latter embodies an unreasoning gullibility that is the antithesis of science.  Some of them are openly contemptuous of anybody who suggests otherwise.   One of those who would have disagreed, however, was the late Revd. Canon Arthur Peacocke MBE (d. 2006), University Lecturer in Biochemistry in the University of Oxford, sometime Director of Studies in Theology at… Read more

    Another day, another passage:   However, while the missionary efforts of the Church in the Near East were winding down or entirely absent, its presence in the Holy Land actually began to grow in the late 1960s and early 1970s. A study group from Brigham Young University first came to Israel in the winter and spring of 1968. David B. Galbraith, a Canadian Latter- day Saint, arrived in Israel in 1969 with his Dutch-born wife, Frieda, in order… Read more

    One of the many great treats afforded by the recent tour of Egypt that my wife and I accompanied was having Steve Smoot and Steve Densley among the group.   Some of you will be interested in an interview with Stephen Smoot by Tarik La Cour that has just appeared.   ***   I published a column regarding the First Vision a couple of weeks ago:   “The supposed scandal of multiple First Vision accounts”   That column has received… Read more

    I would be interested in the thoughts, regarding this item, of someone more knowledgeable about Amerindian DNA issues and Amerindian ethnohistory than I am:   “Scientists discover DNA proving original Native Americans were White:  ‘This is a new population of Native Americans – the white Native American'”   And my critics needn’t hyperventilate:  I don’t imagine that this story “proves” the Book of Mormon true.  I don’t even think it directly relevant to the question.  At most, or… Read more

    I hope that I’ve made it clear enough that I found the pre-1978 priesthood ban baffling and, to say the least of it, awkward, and that I was absolutely delighted when it was rescinded.  (I’ve had a few critics claim that I’m lying about this, just as I lie about almost everything else.  There seems no point in insisting that I’m telling the truth; once they’ve decided that I’m an inveterate liar, they’re not likely to accept any… Read more

    Three more paragraphs, grinding on . . .   In September of 1947, two years after the end of the Second World War, the Palestine-Syrian Mission was reopened, again under the experienced leadership of Badwagon Piranian and his wife, who had previously presided over it during the years from 1933 to 1937. Things had changed a great deal. Two branches of the Church still existed within the mission, one in Aleppo and the other in Beirut, with a… Read more

    The latest installment of the biweekly Hamblin-Peterson Deseret News column is now up:   “Four centuries of Christian devotion in a small Bavarian town”   I get a kick out of the comment from “skeptic” — the first and, thus far at least, the only reader response to the article.  (He’s a regular.)  He can’t, even for a moment, appreciate the venerability of the Oberammergau Passion Play, note the interest of the story behind it, and so forth…. Read more

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