From my general-LDS-audience manuscript on Islam:   President Spencer W. Kimball used to talk of the thirteen Articles of Faith, encouraging members of the Church to memorize them so that they would have in their minds a simple and orderly outline of some of the basic teachings of the restored gospel. There is nothing in Islam that is precisely comparable to the Articles of Faith. But there exists a list of five essential Islamic practices—the so-called “Five Pillars… Read more

    (Ian Hutchinson, Monopolizing Knowledge: A Scientist Refutes Religion-Denying, Reason-Destroying Scientism [Belmont, MA: Fias Publishing, 2011], 1-3)   Hutchinson quotes from The Counter-Revolution of Science (1952), by the Nobel laureate economist F. A. Hayek (1899-1992; with whom, as I’ve noted earlier, I had the privilege to spend some time in Scotland back in 1976):   During the first half of the nineteenth century a new attitude made its appearance.  The term science came more and more to be confined to the physical and biological disciplines which… Read more

    One of the arguments that can be made for the inspired authenticity of the Book of Mormon regards the sheer complexity of the text.   For example, over the years I’ve made a point many times in firesides that I based on John Sorenson’s An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon and other related works such as his Mormon’s Map and, much more recently, his Mormon’s Codex.   I’m personally impressed by his efforts to match the Nephite record… Read more

    Carrying on with my book-in-progress:   However, we cannot avoid the fact that Islam does make dis­tinctions between men and women. The Qur’an makes one point rather bluntly: “Good women are obedient,” it declares.[1] Such language is hardly fashionable in the twenty-first century.[2]And there is more. “Women shall with justice have rights similar to those exercised against them, although men have a status above women.”[3]  Under Islamic rules of inheritance, males inherit twice as much as females do.[4] … Read more

    Further notes taken from John W. Welch, et al., eds.  Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017), 25-28:   “Did Jerusalem Have Walls around It?”  (25-26)   Edmund C. Briggs isn’t our only source for the story about the Prophet Joseph Smith during the time of the translation of the Book of Mormon, but this is how Briggs heard Emma tell it in 1856:   [O]ne time while he was translating he stopped suddenly,… Read more

    Continuing with my manuscript on Islam for Latter-day Saints:   In terms of their prospects for going to either heaven or hell, men and women are equal in Islam. “All human beings are equal,” the Prophet Muhammad taught, “equal as the teeth of a comb. There is no superiority of a white over a black nor of any male over the female.” “Men as well as women,” declares the Qur’an, “shall be rewarded for their labours.”[1] “The believers… Read more

    More notes from Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, extracted from his book How It Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2012):   It seems simple enough.  Take a large, diffuse cloud of gas and dust.  Give it a nudge.  Watch as it collapses by gravity.  It has some spin so that spin gets amplified as it shrinks, and the result… Read more

    I can’t imagine that every psychologist will be happy with this brief article:   “The Six Stages of a Failed Psychological Theory”   ***   Many people will be quite happy, though, with this article, the slightly off-color title of which I’ve chosen not to reproduce here.  I’m not altogether sure that I am, though.   I would be delighted, of course, if decreased teenage sexual activity were coming as the result of a moral renaissance or a… Read more

    Some notes drawn from John W. Welch, et al., eds.  Knowing Why: 137 Evidences That the Book of Mormon Is True (American Fork: Covenant Communications, 2017), 12-14.:   1.   “Did Ancient Israelites Write in Egyptian?”  (18-19)   Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon were mocked in the nineteenth century for its notion that at least some Hebrews would have written in Egyptian or Egyptian script.  And yet, “In this respect, the Book of Mormon has aged better than… Read more

    Further notes, from a manuscript, on the ethical teaching of the Qur’an:   The sins that are likely to characterize the wealthy in a com­mercial society come in for particular attention. For instance, believers are told to give just weight and full measure in their mar­ket and trade exchanges.[1] The Qur’an shows special solicitude for the treatment of orphans. Its admonitions resemble the principle in the epistle of James, that “pure religion and undefiled before God and the… Read more

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