Robert Blair: Mormon Scholars Testify

A Linguist’s Perspective on Things Beyond UnderstandingI don’t think that the universe with its billions of galaxies, trillions of stars and planets, and a huge assortment of other objects and phenomena, together with the laws that govern their precise movements, came about by accident. Many scientists conjecture that it all came out of an infinitesimally tiny speck so dense that it contained all that was to become the elements of matter. That out of that submicroscopic particle came all the … [Read more...]

Burning Bush

I talked with my father about death quite often.  I was always with him at the end of dialysis, which was sometimes a scary time.  I would sit him up slowly, knowing that if it was too fast, he would faint.  He did faint many times, and I simply rubbed his calves and said, "Dad?  Are you with me?  Can you come back?" Eventually, he would regain consciousness.  He said sometimes that he wondered if he might die during one of those fainting episodes, and what it would be like to die.  He was aware … [Read more...]

Robert Blair Obituary, Part 4: The Story Teller’s Last Stories

Note: This post includes a photo of Robert Blair's lifeless body in the last part.  If photos of dead bodies cause you anxiety, please do not continue.I have written the previous obituary segments in third person.  This one will be in first person. In 2005, Mom and Dad were in China, where they had taught English for five years. Dad had lost most of the function in one kidney.  Now, the second kidney failed. All of us Blairs joined in prayer that we'd find a way to get him home f … [Read more...]

Death of a Latter-day Saint

Embedded in this post is a youtube link to my father's funeral.  This is something I would want everyone studying the Latter-day Saint faith to listen to as an example of what a Mormon life is or can be.My father, Robert W. Blair, was born Mormon, but was planted deep into his faith through associations with many religions and cultures.  His earliest experience of devotion happened after he viewed the Catholic film Bernadette, and, on his way home from the theater, knelt in prayer to de … [Read more...]

Obituary for Robert Blair – Part 3: The Baltics

Robert Blair's first mission call from the LDS Church sent him to Finland, a land far removed in every way from his home in Santa Barbara, California.  He became well acquainted with winter. When he arrived in Helsinki, he could look across the Baltic Sea and gaze at the somber lights of Estonia, which was now part of the USSR‘s expanse.  Russian was spoken there (though the Estonians resisted it), but Estonia was a world away.  No missionaries would be called to any part of the Soviet Union, an … [Read more...]

Robert Wallace Blair Obituary, Part 2

The title for Robert Blair's PhD dissertation could compete in “Most Impressive.” The title was Yucatec Maya Noun and Verb Morpho-Syntax. He himself forgot the title in his later years, and said, “What on earth does that mean?” when his daughter reminded him of it. Robert got his BA at BYU in English. He did not realize it at the time, but he was already headed into linguistics when he pursued his MA—again in English, but with a twist. He compared the translations of several Bible verses. By the … [Read more...]

Obituary for Robert Wallace Blair – Part I

Robert Wallace Blair passed away in his sleep on February 19, 2016 at age 85.Robert was born on September 25, 1930 to Wallace and Gladys Marguerite Green Blair in Santa Barbara, California. He joined his sister, Carolyn, in that family and lived a childhood filled with disciplined freedom. He trotted through Mission Oaks Lane on his horse (Jupiter), with his dog (Trixy) running beside him, and his goat (Bambi) bawling by her pen. He was Bobby in those years, and loved the bells of the Old … [Read more...]


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