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

October 13, 2021

    ***   The big Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment event for the Witnesses film is tomorrow (Thursday) night, 14 October 2021.  Don’t miss it.  We’ll be reading a list of persons from the lectern who have been called on missions to the new Antarctica McMurdo Station Mission.  Your name may be on it.   For further information, see here.  To RSVP, see here.  For a brief recent television interview related to the film and the event, see here…. Read more

October 12, 2021

    ***   I don’t know whether there are any seats left — I think so, but I’m not sure — for Deseret Book’s and Excel Entertainment’s big Witnesses event this coming Thursday evening, but it received a bit of publicity this afternoon on the Fox-13 television show The Place:   “Meet actors and producers of WITNESSES October 14!”   If you’re interested in attending this event on Thursday night — it’s coming to seem a bigger deal than… Read more

October 11, 2021

    ***   This interesting article was posted in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship at noon today:   Donald W. Parry, “Ancient Sacred Vestments: Scriptural Symbols and Meanings” Abstract: In this essay Parry starts with the symbology of ritual vestments, and then discusses in detail how the ancient clothing worn in Old Testament temples are part of the rituals and religious gestures that are conducted by those who occupy the path that leads from the profane… Read more

October 10, 2021

    ***   I’m hoping that my travel commitments will slow down in 2022, and possibly even this year.  Happily, I’m in a small pause right now, which has given me a bit of time to reflect upon my writing goals and on how, if possible, to achieve some of them before I depart this vale of tears.   As things stand, I’m committed to twenty-six columns for Meridian Magazine annually.  Since by design and promise, they typically weigh… Read more

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