What Good is the Earth?

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In Genesis, we are told that God pronounced the earth and all of its creations “good” but it never says what it is good for. Of course, perhaps that’s because Genesis speaks of intrinsic value, something that is inimical to our more comparative, utilitarian, and monetary meanings of “good.” One wonders, then, what to make of the special emphasis placed on the physical world in the LDS account of the creation where we learn that the world was created spiritually before it was created physically an … [Read more...]

Giving Thanks

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 In the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln promoted the holiday of Thanksgiving. In the proclamation, Lincoln wrote of the nation’s blessings and then said:“They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my … [Read more...]

Faith and Scholarship

I am a scholar but I am also a believer in religion, my LDS religion in particular. For some, that might seem like a contradiction or a serious compromise of my intellectual integrity or, for that matter, of my religious faith. I see no contradiction whatsoever. I like a guideline a leader in the LDS church, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland provides for parenting that has relevance to scholarship: … [Read more...]

Exploring Environmental Stewardship at BYU

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In a recent post, I described the general questions that would be explored at the symposium at BYU, “Conservation, Restoration, and Sustainability: A Call to Stewardship.” I wish now to provide some perspectives on the symposium, which was in my opinion a great success, with papers from plenty of participants from nearby but as far away as Japan, the UK, Australia, and Canada. All papers will be online in either podcast form or in video before too long. I will be sure to post a link when it is av … [Read more...]

A Podcast of a Recent Interview

Below is a link to a recent interview I gave for Kirk Caudle at Mormon Book Review, a new site that promises to provide interesting and valuable reviews of books published in Mormon Studies. We explored some aspects of Home Waters not normally treated, especially the issue of mental illness.Have a listen!http://www.themormonbookreview.com/  … [Read more...]


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