October 23, 2021

    ***   Here are a couple of interesting items that were kindly shared with me by the Utah-based Latter-day Saint psychologist Dr. Lynn Johnson:   “Do Religious Struggles Mediate the Association between Day-to-Day Discrimination and Depressive Symptoms?” Abstract: Although numerous studies have shown that discrimination contributes to poorer mental health, the precise mechanisms underlying this association are not well understood. In this paper, we consider the possibility that the association between day-to-day discrimination (being disrespected, insulted, and harassed)… Read more

October 22, 2021

    ***   A new article has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Godfrey J. Ellis, “The Rise and Fall of Korihor, a Zoramite: A New Look at the Failed Mission of an Agent of Zoram” Abstract: The accounts of the Anti-Christ, Korihor, and of Alma’s mission to the Zoramites raise a variety of apparently unanswered questions. These involve Korihor’s origins, the reason for the similarity of his beliefs to those of the Zoramites,… Read more

October 22, 2021

    ***   Did you miss Jeffrey Mark Bradshaw’s virtual fireside last Sunday, on the subject of “Freemasonry and the Origins of Modern Temple Ordinances”?   If so, don’t despair!  It was recorded, and it is available via this link:   “Videos of the “A Life Lived in Crescendo” Firesides”   And don’t miss the virtual fireside this coming Sunday, 24 October 2021, by Brian C. Hales, which will be entitled “Doctrine and Covenants 132: Questions and Discussions.”  Go… Read more

October 20, 2021

    ***   First, though, Kyler Rasmussen’s latest installment in his series of Bayesian investigations has now been posted:   “Estimating the Evidence Episode Episode 16: On Varying and Variable Themes” [Editor’s Note: This is the sixteenth in a series of 23 essays summarizing and evaluating Book of Mormon-related evidence from a Bayesian statistical perspective. See the FAQ at the end of the introductory episode for details on methodology.] It seems unlikely that an ancient book would have so many themes and… Read more

October 18, 2021

    ***   It seems that — between roughly 5 PM and 5:45 PM this evening (Tuesday evening) — I’ll be chairing the “Concluding Roundtable Session” of the Brigham Young University conference on “The Islamic World Today: Issues and Perspectives,” which is watchable online.  It should be fun.  Monday’s conference sessions were quite interesting.  Congratulations to Grant Underwood and those who worked with him for putting together a very solid program.   ***   Interesting thoughts, easily transferred to… Read more

October 18, 2021

    ***   I presented a lecture last week in connection with the Interpreter Foundation’s upcoming “Ultimate Egypt Tour,” under the title “What You Need to Know About Egypt’s Most Recent Two Thousand Years.”  That lecture is now available online and at no charge for anybody who cares to watch it.  You simply need to scroll down on the page to which I link immediately below.  Of course, as you scroll down you’ll also notice many other lectures that… Read more

October 17, 2021

    ***   I continue to go through the articles that Dr. Lynn Johnson has kindly called to my attention over the past several weeks.  Here are some additional items, which, like those mentioned in my previous blog entry on this subject, plainly appear to have come from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File©.  The references aren’t quite ideal yet, but those who are interested should have no problem in finding these articles:   Daniel N…. Read more

October 16, 2021

    ***   There are relatively few genuinely new arguments against the Restoration and against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But some do exist that have been formulated in recent years.  One of the more innovative arguments, popular among some critics of the Church, is that Latter-day Saint standards and doctrine make miserable the lives of adolescents who are attracted to people of their own sex.  These critics hope to deploy youth suicides as a weapon… Read more

October 15, 2021

    ***   Neal Rappleye published a potentially very significant article today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “An Ishmael Buried Near Nahom” Abstract: Latter-day Saint scholars generally agree that “the place called… Nahom,” where Ishmael was buried (1 Nephi 16:34) is identified as the Nihm tribal region in Yemen. Significantly, a funerary stela with the name y s1mʿʾl — the South Arabian equivalent of Ishmael — was found near the Nihm region and dated… Read more

October 14, 2021

    ***   My wife and I got back about an hour ago from the event that Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment put on to celebrate the release of the Interpreter Foundation’s dramatic film, Witnesses, on DVD.  I think that the program went very well.  Most of it, though not quite all of it, was occupied by a conversation onstage that was led by Tammy Uzelac Hall, who hosts the Sunday on Monday podcast for LDS Living.  The participants… Read more

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