I’ve been in and about the very ancient town of Joppa or Jaffa (or Yafo) a couple of times in recent weeks, and, barring unexpected interference, will be there once again within the next few days.  Which puts me in mind of a very favorite story:   Quite a few years ago, I had the opportunity of traveling over to Denver with Elder Marion D. Hanks (d. 2011), then an emeritus member of the Presidency of the Seventy, and… Read more

    Finishing up my comments on a 2012 Huffington Post article by one Eliza Wood:   “All three of these faiths,” writes Ms. Wood of Islam, her brand of Christianity, and the Mormon brand of Christianity (which she seeks to exclude from Christendom), “have scores of excellent people, possibly some who would make excellent American leaders and even U.S. presidents. But, the next time you read in the press about how Mormons are really Christians, you might want to… Read more

    Continuing with The Manuscript:   Those agreements, signed at the American presidential retreat known as Camp David, included plans for Israel’s complete with­drawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which it had occupied in the 1967 war, and for a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The peace treaty was signed in 1979, and the Israelis completed their with­drawal from the Sinai in 1982. However, the Accords also called for a five-year period of self-rule, or autonomy, for the Palestinians… Read more

    Some time ago, I received an email from a friend, a distinguished retired scientist who has, alas, since passed away:   I just got this e-mail from myself in Spain!  I may have been hacked, so anyone on my contact list may have received this e-mail!  (By the way, if you really want to send the money, don’t send it to Spain, just send it to me here and I’ll use it to pay the rent!) Sorry, XXXXX… Read more

    Many, many years ago, when I was in a high school civics course of some kind, our class was dragged off to the Los Angeles County Courthouse, where we were obliged to listen to part of a trial.  The one that was chosen for us concerned an alleged instance of medical malpractice in brain surgery.   A neurosurgeon was on the witness stand, and the plaintiff’s lawyer was badgering him to answer some question or other.  I don’t… Read more

    Someone shared this little pie chart with me a while back.   Now, there’s no question that some people have lost their faith because of learning things about the history of Mormonism that they were unable to reconcile with their previous belief.  Sometimes true things.  Sometimes incorrect things.   It’s a cute little chart.  But anyone who takes it seriously must, necessarily, be either uninformed or in need of remedial logic.  Here’s why:   First of all, it’s… Read more

    My blogging has suffered greatly over the past few weeks from poor connections, jet lag, a bout of illness, a slight cold, and a very, very full schedule.  So I’m trying now to catch up just a bit, with another installment from The Forthcoming Book:   In Jordan, things came to a head in September 1970. In that month, which has ever afterward been known among the Palestin­ians as “Black September,” a group of radical Palestinians flew three… Read more

    A new Hamblin/Peterson column has appeared in the Deseret News:   “Relics of the crucifixion”   ***   A new article has also appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “On Being the Sons of Moses and Aaron: Another Look at Interpreting the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood”   ***   Furthermore, a new Old Testament “KnoWhy” has been posted on the Interpreter website as a service to students and teachers in the Gospel Doctrine… Read more

    I continue with my brief response to a terrible 2012 Huffington Post article by a certain Ms. Eliza Wood:   Ms. Wood explains that “both Islam and Mormonism are at best very distant cousins of Christianity with some of the same overarching guidance.”   It’s impossible to know what Ms. Wood means by the phrase some of the same overarching guidance.  But here are some facts about Mormonism that she somehow fails to mention:  Mormons believe, while Muslims… Read more

    This section of The Manuscript begins with a reference to the segment of the Palestinian population living within the boundaries of the state of Israel or, at a minimum, under Israeli control:   From his rise to control of the PLO in 1969, and well through the 1970s, it was this latter faction that Yasir Arafat had to keep happy. The population of the West Bank and Gaza was relatively dormant politically and looked to those outside of… Read more

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