Putting the Kingdom of God second

    Elder Neal A. Maxwell, of the Quorum of the Twelve, was fond of this statement from the English clergyman William Law (d. 1761), who famously lived what he taught:   “If you have not chosen the Kingdom of God first, it will in the end make no difference what you have chosen instead.”   In my judgment, it’s powerfully true.     Read more

News from the Middle East: Two items

      1.   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/01/22/saudi-arabia-king-dead-dies_n_6527616.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000014   Saudi Arabia is facing a time of transition, as this generation of the royal family passes on.       2.   http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/23/us-yemen-security-usa-embassy-exclusive-idUSKBN0KW00120150123   The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, which suggests that the rosy picture of foreign policy success in the Middle East sketched by Mr. Obama in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night may, er, not be completely accurate.   The American embassy in Yemen is evacuating… Read more

New Testament 46

    Matthew 12:1-8 Mark 2:23-28 Luke 6:1-5   I’m reminded of a story told (as I recall) by a General Authority some years ago.   It was back when he was still a local leader.  He was headed toward a Sunday meeting in a rural area, and was running just a bit late.  Hurtling down the road, he passed a car pulled over to the side.  As he sped by, he saw that the car had a flat tire…. Read more

“The Paradoxes that Threaten to Tear Modern Cosmology Apart”

    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/the-paradoxes-that-threaten-to-tear-modern-cosmology-apart-d334a7fcfdb6   Articles such as this one (which was kindly brought to my attention by David Wills, of Adelaide, Australia) are reminders of why humility is actually a very important attribute for scientists, as well as for ordinary mortals.     Read more

Margaret Barker and the Maxwell Institute

    LOL.  I’ve just happened upon the suggestion, offered pseudonymously online (natch!), that the changes at the Maxwell Institute in 2012 may have been motivated by a desire to persuade the extraordinarily interesting British biblical scholar Margaret Barker to publish with the Institute.  It seems that, until my brand of apologetic pseudo-scholarship was surgically removed from the organization, she and other serious non-Mormon scholars would have nothing to do with it.   Well, ummm . . .   http://publications.maxwellinstitute.byu.edu/people/margaret-barker/… Read more

“Hebrew Inscriptions”

    John Gee weighs in, yet again, on the general topic of history and the Hebrew scriptures, which has been a matter of controversy online over the past few weeks:   http://fornspollfira.blogspot.com/2015_01_01_archive.html   It’s a discussion that I’ve proposed continue directly between the three main interlocutors, so that corrections might be made, positions clarified, implications teased out, viewpoints refined, and the air cleared.  I think that would be very useful.  There are significant issues involved.  Unfortunately, not everybody is willing… Read more

“The Parable of Chesterton’s Fence”

    One of my favorite LDS commentators, Cassandra Hedelius, reflects upon one of my favorite comments from G. K. Chesterton:   http://ldsmag.com/the-parable-of-chestertons-fence/     Read more

“A tribute to heroes in the kingdom”

    This week’s Thursday Deseret News Peterson column has appeared:   http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865620073/A-tribute-to-heroes-in-the-kingdom.html     Read more

“Who’s Afraid of Secularism (4): Humility, Patience, and Progressive ‘Moral Convictions'”

    Another thoughtful piece from my friend and BYU colleague Ralph Hancock:   http://www.patheos.com/blogs/soulandcity/2015/01/whos-afraid-of-secularism-4-humility-patience-and-progressive-moral-convictions/     Read more

How to interact with others

    “Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” Og Mandino (d. 1996)     Read more

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