August 20, 2019

    Filming of the dramatic portions of Witnesses will begin very shortly.   We’re covered for extras in Utah, I believe, but we’re still looking for movie extras — probably about a hundred of them, altogether — in the distant locations:   Upper Canada Village (Ontario, very close to the U.S./Canada border at New York state) 5-11 September 2019 We’re particularly “needy” for this area, which is somewhat remote.  It’s about eighty minutes from Ottawa, or slightly more than… Read more

August 20, 2019

    “Fools’ names and fools’ faces,” my mother would sometimes remind me, “are often seen in public places.”   I haven’t mentioned this here (or anywhere else) before but, now that I discover that it has already been publicly announced, I suppose that I should say something.  Certainly I should express my gratitude to Scott Gordon and John Lynch and the others involved at FairMormon:   2019 FairMormon Lifetime Achievement Award   I wasn’t kidding when I said that… Read more

August 20, 2019

    Last night, my wife and I enjoyed dinner with friends and then went with them to a performance of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella at the Hale Centre Theatre in Sandy.   I have to say that no particular song in the musical struck me as very memorable.  (Since it’s a Rodgers and Hammerstein creation, I was surprised.)  That said, the production was thoroughly enjoyable.  It was, for one thing, visually stunning.  The on-stage dress changes for the fairy… Read more

August 20, 2019

    Bill Hamblin and I published the following column in the Deseret News on Friday, 16 August 2019:   “Is religious faith a disease to be cured?”   ***   This is an interesting, sobering, and provocative article:   “How a Silent Cosmos Led Humans to Fear the Worst”   ***   And, in a different way, these articles too are sobering:   “At the bottom of a glacier in Greenland, climate scientists find troubling signs”   “July 2019… Read more

August 19, 2019

    In my immediately previous post on Hamlet, I began to discuss the late Eugene England’s suggestion that the ghost who appears on the ramparts of the castle of Elsinore and who urges Prince Hamlet on to revenge might well have been a satanic counterfeit.  The ghost might have intended Hamlet’s ruin and that of Denmark and its royal family altogether.  Read this way, Hamlet is a dramatic illustration of the evils engendered by the spirit of revenge.  … Read more

August 18, 2019

    One amusing thing about the character of Hamlet is that, before the story told in the play begins, he’s been studying at the University of Wittenberg.  Doctor Faustus (aka simply “Faust”) is also said to have studied there.  Plainly, Wittenberg was a popular university among fictional characters.   I’ll be leading a tour to Wittenberg (among other places) in June 2020, because of its very real significance as the adopted city of Martin Luther and the cradle of… Read more

August 18, 2019

    Many have already said so but, for me and my wife, the high point of this year’s Utah Shakespeare Festival was its production of Hamlet, which we saw on Friday afternoon.  The direction was fresh, strong, and original, the cast was excellent, and Quinn Mattfeld was a powerful Prince of Denmark.  Polonius, by the way, was (well) portrayed by Armin Shimerman, who will be familiar to many from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.   I was shocked, incidentally, to… Read more

August 18, 2019

    A quite unfriendly correpondent has challenged me.  Why, he — I presume it’s a “he” — demands, did my recently re-posted column on compassion deliberately exclude my own faith?  Isn’t it because I feel no obligation to be compassionate?  Isn’t it because I’m unrepentantly, indeed self-righteously, mean and vicious?   Well, no.   Apparently, he missed or forgot about my recently published introduction to Volume 32 of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “Compassion… Read more

August 18, 2019

    So-called “dark matter,” already quite mysterious, may have become a bit more so:   “Dark Matter May Be Older Than The Big Bang, Study Suggests”   For some of my own musings on the subject of dark matter, here’s a column that I published in the Deseret News back on 13 August 2015, under the title of “Materialism isn’t what it used to be”:   Among the notable characters in C.S. Lewis’ novel “That Hideous Strength” — the… Read more

August 18, 2019

    On Saturday morning, sitting with my wife and one of her friends in the celestial room of the St. George Utah Temple, I found myself watching a rather large group of people there.  Like us clad in white, they were obviously family and friends of a young woman who had come through the temple that morning for the very first time.  As she and they entered the room, there were hugs and kisses and tears of joy.  It… Read more

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