December 9, 2023

  You should really take a couple of minutes to read Elder Dale G. Renlund’s account of what he — a physician, by the way — explicitly identifies as the miracle of President Jeffrey R. Holland’s recovery from a very serious illness that brought him to the brink of death:  “Of President Holland’s health and recovery, Elder Renlund writes, ‘God is in the details’: ‘It was a miracle’: Elder Renlund writes on social media of visiting President Holland in the hospital... Read more

December 9, 2023

  I would like to suggest a Christmas gift to you, both for yourself and for family and friends.  I have in mind the Yale edition of the Book of Mormon — formally, The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text— edited by Royal Skousen.  (You can read something of my personal view of the Yale edition on the Amazon page to which I’ve just linked.  For one of my several longer comments on it, see this 2010 Deseret News column... Read more

December 7, 2023

  I return, yet again, to BYU Studies Quarterly 61/4 (2022), which is a special issue of the regular quarterly publication BYU Studies.  It was created by four faithful Latter-day Saint Egyptologists — Stephen O. Smoot (Ph.D. candidate, Catholic University of America), John Gee (Ph.D., Yale University), Kerry Muhlestein (Ph.D., University of California at Los Angeles), and John S. Thompson (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) — and bears its own unique title:  A Guide to the Book of Abraham.  As I’ve... Read more

December 6, 2023

  What am I grateful for today?  I’m grateful that I have grandchildren, and that my wife and I have the wherewithal to visit them where they live (e.g., in Virginia and in Mexico), and that three generations of our family will be together in our house throughout December and the Christmas season.  And that a member of our family’s fourth generation, still living on his own and in his own home, is slated to celebrate his ninety-seventh birthday later... Read more

December 4, 2023

  I’ve been busy enough with the Unbearable Cuteness of Being and other distractions here that I’ve neglected mentioning an article of mine that appeared in Meridian Magazine roughly a week ago:  “The Challenges and Triumphs of Biblical Archaeology.”  I think that it may possibly rank as not quite the worst thing ever published. I’ve been very occasionally reading Richard Lyman Bushman’s newest book, Joseph Smith’s Gold Plates: A Cultural History (New York: Oxford University Press, 2023), and here’s a passage... Read more

December 4, 2023

    I encourage you to watch and to share the eighteen-minute video that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints prepared a few years ago for the Christmas season.  It is called The Christ Child, and it is, in my opinion, very, very well done:  The Christ Child: A Nativity Story.  Hard-hearted Scandinavian that I am, there is even a point in the video at which I almost always tear up.  (You’ll probably never guess where it is.)... Read more

December 3, 2023

    I share some takeaways here from an article that I’ve just read in BYU Studies Quarterly:  John Hilton III, Jesse Vincent, and Rachel Harper, ““Last at the Cross”: Teachings about Christ’s Crucifixion in the Woman’s Exponent, the Relief Society Magazine, and the Young Woman’s Journal,” BYU Studies Quarterly 61/3 (2022): 31-58. The Woman’s Exponent, which was published from 1872 to 1914, was evidently one of the earliest periodicals for women published in the United States  (32), which seems... Read more

December 2, 2023

    The other day, I set up an online Facebook fundraiser for the Interpreter Foundation.  It’s at I have to confess that, at least so far, it’s not doing as well this year as in previous years, probably (at least in part) because, for the first time, they’re taking a slice out of the donation for processing.  That new charge makes me less enthusiastic about it than I have been in the past.  Still, Interpreter needs donations to... Read more

December 1, 2023

    Two new articles appeared today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation: “Asymmetry in Chiasms, With a Note About Deuteronomy 8 and Alma 36,” written by Stephen Kent Ehat Abstract: Some students of the Book of Mormon have claimed that chapter 36 of the book of Alma is structured as a chiasm. Some of the proposals depart from perfect symmetry, presenting elements of the suggested chiasm seemingly out of sequence. This has often been pointed to as a... Read more

November 30, 2023

    Today, the most concentrated amount of sheer cuteness in this region spent substantial time in a swimming pool alongside the beach.  We were privileged to be there, as well.     Newly posted on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:  “The Temple: Ancient and Restored: Psalm 24 and the Two YHWHs at the Gate of the Temple,” written by David J. Larsen Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article originally appeared in The Temple: Ancient and... Read more

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