Why I Am a Mormon, Part III (Missionary Work)

It is fair to ask why a religious conviction needs to be expressed and shared publicly. Why can’t it simply be a private and personal matter? Given the world’s long history of religious intolerance and violence too, it would seem to be a safer bet to stay at home and stay quiet about religious convictions. [Read More...]

Why I Am A Mormon, Part II (Revelation)

To continue from my previous post, I want to focus on three areas of my belief that are central to why I am a Mormon. I want to clarify again that I am not interested in making arguments against other beliefs, nor am I trying to defend what I believe. I only intend this to [Read More...]

Why I Am a Mormon, Part I

This is an attempt (in four installments) to explain a few things about what might be called my spiritual autobiography. I have felt compelled to write something like this for some time, but I haven’t always known how to write about such a personal subject for a wide diversity of friends for whom I have [Read More...]

Religion, Conservation, and Community

I have had a rare and unusual opportunity this week to spend a few days with leaders from The Nature Conservancy and from environmentally active religious communities representing many different faith traditions. The Nature Conservancy is an organization for which I have a great deal of respect and to which I am in debt since [Read More...]

The Theology of Climate Change Denial

Let me say outright that I am not interested in this post in trying to prove climate change to anyone. I frankly find such debates exhausting. If you want to know what I think of climate change, you can find some of my posts here and here. And if you want to read a more [Read More...]

The Spiritual Value of Reading Secular Literature

I recently gave a presentation at Education Week at BYU on this topic. I offer here a brief summary of my lecture. It builds on a theme of a number of my previous posts about reading. [Read more...]

Seeing Through A Glass Darkly

I have learned by happy and sometimes sad experience that the mind is a changeable thing and not always the most reliable filter by which to perceive reality. I recognize, of course, that this is somewhat of an odd statement, since it is hard to imagine how else we might be able to perceive reality [Read More...]

The Trail of Memory

37 years ago I spent one month at the Bennion Boys Ranch in Victor, Idaho. It was the first of a total of four summers I would spend there, two as a camper and two as a counselor in my late teens. My parents sent me there, not because I was a troubled kid, but [Read More...]

On Marriage

Twenty-five years ago yesterday, I married my wife, Amy. When we were dating, we did a lot of envisioning. The feeling of romance is very much a feeling, among other things, for the future. We could envision the near future—the wedding, the moving in together, the search for a life together, for financial means to [Read More...]

Love of Reading

Consider this title in both of its syntactical meanings. What does it mean to love to read? What does it mean to read with love? [Read more...]

On Reading and Language (or, notes on what I have learned from literary theory)

There are at least two very important things that I learned from literary theory, especially the sometimes infamous deconstructionist variety. The first is the value of very close readings. There is nothing like a close reading to bring out the richest and fullest range of possibilities in a text. It is really only a means [Read More...]

Nearing Fifty

I guess it must be the approaching milestone of turning fifty, but I am in a meditative mood these days about life. Well, the truth is, I think I have always been a meditative type. I used to write bad poems when I was a teenager that were ridiculous attempts at philosophizing about life (no, [Read More...]

Waiting on the Lord

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.             Lamentations 3:25 For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am in, therewith to be content. I know how to be abased and I know how to abound: everywhere and in everything I am instructed both to be [Read More...]

The Blessings of Service: Lessons from Guatemala

Service opens the world to us. That, anyway, is what I have experienced in Guatemala where for the past 17 years I have joined a team of eye surgeons about every other year to work in a remote hospital in the highlands among people who are among some of the most underserved by modern healthcare [Read More...]


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