December 15, 2015

Unfortunately, cheating is everywhere. Schools, businesses, hospitals, and even charities. Studies have shown again and again that cheating in America is rampant. So the most recent refusal to lift professional baseball’s lifetime ban of Pete Rose from the game for cheating is instructional. Rose was nicknamed Johnny Hustle and still holds the record for the most base hits in the history of the game. But he bet on other professional baseball games. And he bet against his own team. Decades… Read more

December 14, 2015

In October 2010, President Dieter Uchtdorf delivered a sermon to priesthood holders entitled “Pride and the Priesthood.” Part of his talk included pride in “The Laboratory of Sports.” At the time he gave the talk, the BYU-University of Utah football game was approaching. Animosity between the two camps was moving toward its annual feverish pitch. His comments were not complimentary of the behavior and words of rival fans. His talk provided much fodder for sports talk radio hosts for several… Read more

December 13, 2015

For Women in Saudi Arabia, December 12, 2015 was a historic day to say the least. The title of the post says it all. Enjoy the read. https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/initial-results-show-3-saudi-women-elected-for-first-time/2015/12/13/81b2983c-a196-11e5-8318-bd8caed8c588_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-more-top-stories_ap-saudi205pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory   Read more

December 12, 2015

I’m told that 80% of all book sales of books released by Mormon book publishers are sold between from the beginning of November through Christmas. With so many people shopping for books as presents, here is an uncommonly good offering at Deseret Book or the Neal A. Maxwell Institute.             The book is entitled “Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt” by Patrick Q. Mason. Patrick is the Howard W. Hunter Chair of Mormon Studies at Claremont University…. Read more

December 11, 2015

In 2012, prominent author and Mormon, Jeff Benedict published “The Mormon Way of Doing Business: How Nine Western Boys Reached the Top of Corporate America.” The cover of the book displays a picture of Mitt Romney and a trumpeting angel Moroni. Here is a brief blurb from the promotional rollout of the book. “The Founder of JetBlue. The former CEO of Dell Computers. The CEO of Deloitte & Touche. The former Dean of the Harvard Business School – and now… Read more

December 10, 2015

Lately, there have been many comparisons between Donald Trump and the Harry Potter villain Voldemort. Author J.K. Rowling responded to the comparison by tweeting: “How horrible. Voldemort was nowhere near as bad.” For millennials, Rowling’s comparison may be the single most universally understood criticism of Trump thus far. Check out the USA Today story. http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/entertainthis/2015/12/08/jk-rowling-disses-trump-harry-potter-burn/76973362/ Read more

December 9, 2015

Church Responds to Trump—In Between the Lines. Why? I trust you’ve seen the December 8, 2015 statement by the Mormon Church entitled “Church Points to Joseph Smith’s Statements on Religious Freedom, Pluralism.” It clearly, albeit not explicitly, counters recent statements by Donald Trump (see link below). He has recommended, among other things, that mosques in America be closed and most recently that Muslims be banned from immigration to the United States (see yesterday’s Civil Nations post). Let me be clear…. Read more

December 8, 2015

Watch the video clip, read the article. Perhaps you can tell me “What the hell is going on?” http://www.nytimes.com/politics/first-draft/2015/12/07/donald-trump-calls-for-banning-muslims-from-entering-u-s/?emc=edit_th_20151208&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=73419850 Read more

December 7, 2015

What is the meaning of “bruv?” It was shouted at a knife-wielding assailant in a London subway tube on Saturday. Today, #YouAintNoMuslimBruv is trending worldwide. The following link takes you to the Washington Post article that provides details. Video is included. Definitely heartening amidst deep troubles—especially where religious identifications are concerned. Check it out. Also, please consider following Civil Nations via email. Thank you. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/12/07/you-aint-no-muslim-bruv-brits-champion-rallying-cry-against-islamophobia/?tid=hybrid_experimentrandom_3_na     Read more

December 6, 2015

When I teach my New Testament students that Jesus could not have been born in “zero” B.C. I am greeted with blank stares. When I explore the range of possibilities between 4 and 6 B.C. they begin to fidget. Eighty-five percent of my students are returned missionaries and most of them have read Talmage’s “Jesus the Christ.” They know that Elder Talmage wrote that Jesus was born on April 6th, exactly 1830 years from the organization of the Church. Eventually,… Read more

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