January 26, 2020

    I’m in the process of extracting notes from a reading of Susan Easton Black and Larry C. Porter, Martin Harris: Uncompromising Witness of the Book of Mormon (Provo: BYU Studies, 2018).   Below, I offer a reminiscence from David Whitmer that is cited by Black and Porter (on their page 143).  David Whitmer was, with Oliver Cowdery and Martin Harris, one of the so-called “Three Witnesses” to the Book of Mormon.     This is what David Whitmer had to… Read more

January 25, 2020

    Are you aware of the range of materials that the Interpreter Foundation produces in support of teachers and students in the Gospel Doctrine classes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and, even more importantly, to support scripture study in the home?   Here are some examples.  All of this is available at no charge:   Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 4: January 20–26 “Armed with Righteousness and with the Power of God” 1 Nephi 11-15   Audio Roundtable: Come,… Read more

January 25, 2020

    One of the criticisms often leveled against the Book of Mormon is that no Jew would have built a temple outside of Jerusalem.  Yet Nephi does just that, sometime in the early sixth century before Christ:   “And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore,… Read more

January 25, 2020

    Yesterday, in a post entitled “Day breaks over Mercury in a white heat,” I quoted a passage from Dava Sobel, The Planets (New York: Penguin, 2006), 41, rxplaining how the “discovery” of the planet Neptune by means of calculations and predictions based on “perturbed” behavior of other astronomical objects took place a full year or so before Neptune itself was spotted through a telescope.  And I commented that discovery by inference, as it might be termed, is fairly common… Read more

January 24, 2020

    Notes from Dava Sobel, The Planets (New York: Penguin, 2006):   “I know that I am mortal by nature, and ephemeral,” says an epigraph opening Ptolemy’s great astronomical treatise, the Almagest, “but when I trace at my pleasure the windings to and fro of the heavenly bodies I no longer touch earth with my feet:  I stand in the presence of Zeus himself and take my fill of ambrosia, food of the gods.”  (33-34)   There is an… Read more

January 24, 2020

    Newt Gingrich is no longer a presidential candidate, of course.  And, Donald Trump having sucked all of the oxygen out of the Republican room, he will never be again.   But this response that I wrote to something that he said years ago when he was a candidate — a response that I published in the Deseret News on 14 December 2011 — may still be relevant, since the issue arises from time to time:   Newt Gingrich presents… Read more

January 24, 2020

    I’m saddened to learn of the passing of Clayton Christensen:   “Clayton Christensen, guru of disruptive innovation and Latter-day Saint leader, dies at 67: Apple’s Steve Jobs, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Netflix’s Reed Hastings and Intel’s Andy Grove looked to influential management thinker”   “Clark Gilbert: How will you measure your life? A tribute to the life of Clay Christensen”   I first met Clay when we were freshman dormitory neighbors at Brigham Young University.  His roommate was the late… Read more

January 24, 2020

    For almost all of my life, I’ve been a news addict.  Whenever I was putting on a shirt or tying my shoes, the television was on, tuned to an all-news channel.  First, when it was essentially the only game in town, to CNN.  Later, to Fox.   One of the things that I can say about Donald Trump is that he has largely cured me of my addiction.  I’m so very sick of hearing from him and about… Read more

January 24, 2020

    I came across this item earlier this morning, from CNN:   “Baby eats ice cream for first time. See reaction that went viral.”   It immediately reminded me of an experience from many years ago with my firstborn son.  And when I showed it to my wife, she instantly thought of exactly the same thing.   Our eldest son was born in a clinic on an island in the Nile River during the last year that we lived… Read more

January 23, 2020

    On Tuesday (21 January 2020), I posted a blog entry entitled “Moving with Royal Skousen toward a fictional Book of Mormon?”  The following day, I received a response from Dr. Skousen that read, in relevant part, as follows.  I post it here with his permission:   Your write-up does represent my view. The Book of Mormon is an account of real people and real events, but its translation is not a literal one. And its discourses may also… Read more

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