September 22, 2019

    Saturday night’s fireside in Tampere went well, I think.  The audience – not as large as the one in Helsinki on Friday night but still quite respectable – was once again bigger than I had expected.  After all, roughly half of those in attendance had already spent multiple hours at an LDS women’s conference just a few blocks away at the University, and many of those women faced lengthy trips home following the conclusion of that conference.  … Read more

September 21, 2019

    I note that I’m being accused by a small handful of people of blaming the Mountain Meadows Massacre on “anti-Mormons.”   First, two preliminary observations:   1)  When I write anything for the public, at least some people will misread it in the most negative way that they possibly can.   2)  The Mountain Meadows Massacre is, for quite manifest reasons, a controversial topic.  And, accordingly, it’s one that some people are strongly inclined to exploit for ideological… Read more

September 21, 2019

    Friday night’s fireside in Helsinki was much better attended than I had expected it to be, and it was held in a very nice modern chapel.  Wayne Crosby, of the Church Historical Department, spoke first.  He and a colleague are here for a couple of weeks doing oral histories with local members.  Brother Crosby was followed by Scott Gordon, the president of FairMormon.  I was the concluding speaker.     Today, we drove up through the beautifully green… Read more

September 20, 2019

    Last Monday afternoon, my wife and I attended a performance at the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy of The Addams Family.  Although it’s not by any means my favorite play, I repeat, yet again, that the Hale theaters are a treasure for those who live along the Wasatch Front.  I hesitate to plug them much because, so far as I can see, their performances are always either full or very close to it.  So I’m not sure that… Read more

September 20, 2019

    We moderns are a spoiled lot.  At least, I am.   As I write, I’m sitting in the Salt Lake Airport waiting to board a flight to Helsinki, Finland, by way of Amsterdam.  It’s going to take me several hours, during which time I’ll be sitting almost the whole way.   I’m dreading it.   I won’t be sleeping in steerage with a hundred other passengers.  The food will passable, if not altogether great.  We won’t be facing… Read more

September 19, 2019

    While we were in the neighborhood of Central, Utah – which isn’t in central Utah but, rather, in southwestern Utah, about 35 or 40 miles from St. George – we took the opportunity to visit the site of the infamous 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre.  It is much more developed since the last time I was there, which was, I quickly realized, further back in the past than I had thought.   This is the place where, in September… Read more

September 19, 2019

    My son and I didn’t have a whole lot of disposable time today, but we were able to drive a bit around St. George and look at “family history” landmarks.   Then, since my remarks to the Cotton Mission chapter of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers were to be given at the Holmstead Ranch, which is near the town of Central, Utah, we did a little bit of looking around there and in the vicinity.    … Read more

September 18, 2019

    Although this is an archaeological or scientific story, it is also, if you use just a minimal amount of your imagination, a very human one:   “A Few More Years and They Could Have Died of Plague: Archaeologists unearth mass graves from Mongol invasion of Russia.  DNA says several people buried in a mass grave after the 1278 attack were related.”   In the summaries of the history of the Islamic world and/or the Middle East that I typically… Read more

September 18, 2019

    This is an interesting essay from Dr. Heath Ogden, of Utah Valley University:   “Accepting Truth with Joy: An Evolutionary Biologist’s Perspective”   ***   Ehh.  We’re probably all doomed:   “The Milky Way’s supermassive black hole reached record brightness this year: The behemoth at the center of the galaxy flared up in near-infrared wavelengths”   ***   You might want to reschedule your vacation there:   “The Biggest Volcano on Jupiter’s Molten Moon Io Is Likely to Erupt… Read more

September 18, 2019

    The situation is very fluid and uncertain at the moment, so that, by the time you read this, something decisive may have happened.  Or it may not.   “Israel election exit poll suggests Benjamin Netanyahu has failed to win majority | ITV News”   It may be that Israel’s longest serving prime minister, something of a political legend and a phenomenon, is nearing the end of his premiership.  But then, he’s lost the prime ministerial office before and… Read more

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