February 19, 2020

    I thought that I would share with you another charming little eighth-century animal fable (in my translation) from Munther A. Younes, Tales from Kalila wa Dimna: An Arabic Reader (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989):   A raven was living in a tree, and near the tree was the hole of a large black snake.  And every time the raven had chicks, the snake ate them.  So the raven was deeply sad about its chicks.  One… Read more

February 18, 2020

    I’ve begun to publish a short series of notes extracted from an article written by a longtime friend of mine, the Latter-day Saint geologist Dr. Bart Kowallis, about the natural catastrophe described in the Book of Mormon as occurring in the New World around the time of the death of Christ in the Old World.   “Geology and Third Nephi (1): The Time of Darkness (A)” “Geology and Third Nephi (2): Santorini and the Land of the Pharaoh”… Read more

February 18, 2020

    With my wife and a couple of Utah friends, I made yet another pilgrimage yesterday to Frank Lloyd Wright’s winter home and desert laboratory and architectural school at Taliesin West, in Scottsdale.   Then we met up with old friends who now live in Gilbert, and they suggested that we visit the Zelma Basha Salmeri Gallery in Chandler.     We had never heard of it, but I need to give a strong, strong recommendation for it here…. Read more

February 18, 2020

    I continue with some notes from Bart J. Kowallis, “In the Thirty and Fourth Year: A Geologist’s View of the Great Destruction in 3 Nephi,” BYU Studies 37/3 (1997-1998).  He identifies twenty-one specific elements or events that are expressly mentioned in the account of natural catastrophe described in 3 Nephi 8-10:   A great storm (8:5) A strong and terrible tempest (8:6, 12, 17; 10:14) Terrible thunder (8:6, 12, 17) Shaking of the whole earth (8:6, 12, 14, 17, 19; 10:9)… Read more

February 18, 2020

    As I continue to read David Brooks, The Second Mountain: The Quest for a Moral Life (New York: Random House, 2019), I’m struck by how much of his discussion about “commitments” seems to mirror Latter-day Saint thinking about “covenants,” and by how well a committed Latter-day Saint life matches the kind of life (on his “Second Mountain”) that he is commending to his readers:   A commitment isn’t just love and a promise, of course.  It is love and promise put… Read more

February 17, 2020

    “‘We were one people today — the people of Jesus Christ,’ says Elder Rasband at Durban temple dedication”   “South Africa’s Second Temple is Dedicated: Durban South Africa Temple becomes continent’s fifth temple”   I rejoice every time a new temple is dedicated.  Each new temple seems to me to represent one more toehold of Zion in Babylon, one more victory for the Lord over Satan, one more extension of the Kingdom of God, one more step on the road… Read more

February 17, 2020

    New, on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Science & Mormonism Series 1: Cosmos, Earth, and Man Life Sciences Panel Part of our book chapter reprint series, this article originally appeared in Science & Mormonism Series 1: Cosmos, Earth, and Man (2016). Abstract:This panel, comprised of five Latter-day Saint scholars in the Life Sciences (Emily Bates, R. Paul Evans, Steven L. Peck, Michael R. Stark, and Trent D. Stephens), provides personal perspectives on the development of their ideas and their… Read more

February 17, 2020

    I’m using portions of Munther A. Younes, Tales from Kalila wa Dimna: An Arabic Reader (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1989) as material for one of my classes.  The Kalila wa Dimna is a collection of animal fables, the core of which derives originally from India.  It was translated into Middle Persian and then famously rendered from Middle Persian into Arabic and probably supplemented with an undetermined number of original Arabic tales by Ibn al-Muqaffa‘ (d…. Read more

February 16, 2020

    I published the column below in the Provo Daily Herald around 29 April 1999:   “Among the existing heretical sects,” wrote the Catholic scholar Franz Agricola in 1582, “there is none which in appearance leads a more modest, better, or more pious life than the Anabaptists.  As concerns their outward public life, they are irreproachable: no lying, deception, swearing, harsh language; no intemperate eating and drinking; no outward personal display is found among them, but humility, patience, uprightness,… Read more

February 16, 2020

    We and our visiting friends attended church this morning and then had lunch today with friends who live here in Phoenix and dinner with family who live in Mesa.  It was, in other words, a very good day.   My wife and I have lately been reading a passage every night from a volume that we acquired a few weeks ago at a book exchange party:  A Year with C. S. Lewis: Daily Readings from His Classic Works…. Read more

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