My fundamental belief as a Latter-day Saint is that we are continuously in process of either blossoming or withering, that our potential is infinite and our mortality only one phase of our eternal learning. I have often said that mortality is pre-school, in which we learn (or refuse to learn) the basic principles of the gospel—faith, repentance, forgiveness, charity. I believe that most religions espouse these virtues, and that eventually all will become one, with Christ at the head. In… Read more

The year I gave birth to my first child, my parents were in Mainland China.  I wrote about their experience here. I spent my fiftieth birthday (2005)  in Beijing and talked about various “long marches” in global history to my parents’ students.  I remember one student in particular–Sharon.  Dad told me that Sharon had converted to Christianity and was planning on doing some revolutionary things.  She was going to visit university campuses and read the New Testament aloud, positioning herself… Read more

It is January 3, 2016, and I am feeling nostalgic.  My mother died for fifteen minutes in October when her heart arrested as she was being wheeled in to the OR to have a pacemaker placed.  My father continues in his relentless but merciful decline–which has included several reprieves.  They are asleep, and I am doing the nighttime parent care–a measure we have taken to be sure they are safe.  (Indeed, I have had to call 911 twice.  Each has… Read more

  In this third gratitude essay, I focus on my dad. I have written many essays about him and his influence in my life, which you can find by simply googling his name—Robert Wallace Blair.  Or look here. I am grateful that Dad’s heart was always good, that his fidelity was constant. He has expressed regret that he wasn’t fully present for us kids as we were growing up, though I remember him as very much a presence. Perhaps as… Read more

  This is a guest post by my nephew, Josh Sabey, about a fascinating project for Biblical studies. This project attempts to increase interfaith interaction and cohesion by creating a crowdsourced study Bible. The website works like this: Users may post their own interpretations, as well as videos, music, books, or other resources relevant to a particular passage of scripture. Results may then be filtered by religion, author, medium, and so on. By crowdsourcing Biblical commentary, everyword seeks to bring people… Read more

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Mormonism. Read other perspectives here. Despite claims that the sky is falling and multiple reproductions of trumpeting Moroni are toppling from various spires, the future of Mormonism is bright. We are on a bridge. The past five years include the LDS Church’s huge step into transparency.  The hard historical issues visited by official essays were shocking to some, validating to others, and ignored by most. … Read more

  This blog will be periodically edited.  It will contain my reflections on my father’s final days on earth. Read more

The Waiting Rooms in the Great Beyond   Peter may indeed wait at the Pearly Gates, but there is another gate for people who die harboring hurt feelings.  The greeter is female and wears diaphanous white robes with a crown of light which you might mistake for a Santa Lucia wreath, until you realize that there are no actual candles, just the light—haloing her head, each light a sun.  You have to squint to see her face.  It is surprising… Read more

It is a triumphant song.  I have loved it since I was a child.  I even composed my own, majestic arrangement of it during my teen yers.  it’s the sort of song you could imagine being sung at a coronation. It has many more meanings to me now than it had when I created my own version of it all those years ago. He is risen: My brother, Bobby. On Dad’s birthday in 1982, my brother (his son) was pinned… Read more

The best role for a female Shakespearean actor is Hermione in The Winter’s Tale.  Hermione, though absent for much of the play, dominates it with her nobility and grace.  Unlike Rosalind or Portia or others of Shakespeare’s strong women, Hermione never puts on a man’s clothes to show her power.  She is already empowered.  She states it herself when she is brought to trial for adultery, of which she is innocent. Since what I am to say must be but… Read more

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