December 14, 2019

    Continued from “Memories of interreligious “trialogue” (II)”:   I enjoyed the 1993 Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogue (or “trialogue”) meetings in Graz, Austria, and was pleased to be invited to rejoin the group for its 1994 meetings, to be held in Jerusalem.   One proposal from the “trialogue” leadership, given the Latter-day Saint multibillionaire Jim Sorenson’s involvement as an essential backer of the project, was to hold the 1994 meetings in Brigham Young University’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.  The Jerusalem… Read more

December 14, 2019

    The discussants for the 8 December 2019 edition of the Interpreter Radio Show were Bruce Webster, Kris Frederickson, and Mike Parker. Their conversation covered the First Presidency’s recent statement on refugees as well as thoughts on the Christmas holiday. Also included was a roundtable on the upcoming Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon lesson #1 on the Title page and Introduction of the Book of Mormon:   Interpreter Radio Show — December 8, 2019   ***   Here are two… Read more

December 13, 2019

    This is a Christmas season column that I published in the Deseret News back in 2017:   Literally central to the worship and organization of the wandering camp of Israel in the wilderness of Sinai was what the King James Bible calls “the tabernacle of the congregation.”  (The Jewish Publication Society translation terms it “the tent of meeting.”)  According to Numbers 2:2-33; 3:21-38, the tribes of Judah, Issachar, and Zebulon were to pitch their tents to the tabernacle’s… Read more

December 13, 2019

    Roughly a decade ago — I would need to check to be precisely sure — the then editor of the Deseret News, Joe Cannon, invited me to write a Latter-day Saint-oriented weekly column for the paper under the series title of Defending the Faith.  A couple of years thereafter, I proposed an additional bi-weekly column on world religions to the Deseret News that I would write with my BYU colleague Bill Hamblin.  They accepted the proposal, so Bill… Read more

December 13, 2019

    Traditionally, several of us from our neighborhood would be up there for this concert, with a wonderful dinner beforehand at The Roof, and maybe staying overnight at a nearby hotel:   “Christmas Season Celebrated at Tabernacle Choir Christmas Concerts: Guest artists Kelli O’Hara and Richard Thomas headline performances”   Alas, though, my wife and several of the other ladies who normally plan and organize the annual tradition are in Europe at the moment.  Today, to be precise, they’re in… Read more

December 13, 2019

    A new article has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.  It was written by John Gee:   “Conclusions in Search of Evidence” Review of Jana Riess, The Next Mormons: How Millennials Are Changing the LDS Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2019). 312 pages. $29.95. Abstract: Riess’s book surveying the beliefs and behaviors of younger members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was supposed to compare the attitudes of younger… Read more

December 13, 2019

    With their kind permission, I share tributes to my friend Bill Hamblin from two unique angles.  They bear witness to the real Bill Hamblin — the Bill Hamblin that I and others knew — who, though he didn’t shy away from defending what he believed, was never the horrific bogeyman that some critics have imagined him to be.  The first of these tributes comes from Don Bradley, who is, among other things, the author of a very important… Read more

December 12, 2019

    There are those — some of them read my blog — who appear to argue that science is the only valid kind of knowledge, and that anything that isn’t scientific isn’t really knowledge.   I find such claims — if that’s indeed what they’re really saying — unspeakably weird.   I offer, below, a comment on the subject from the great German philosopher Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900-2002).  It’s perhaps just a bit difficult, but his point seems to me unassailably… Read more

December 11, 2019

    A brief statement has now been published on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   William J. Hamblin (1954-2019)   ***   The locations for three new temples have been announced:   “New Temple Site Locations Announced in Texas and Utah”   “McAllen Texas Temple Site Location Revealed”   “Location Announced for the Taylorsville Utah Temple”   I’m really pleased that the new Orem Utah Temple will be built on a site that is fairly close to my… Read more

December 11, 2019

    In this clip, the all-male a cappella vocal group Chanticleer performs what I, at least, consider to be one of the most achingly, exquisitely beautiful pieces of music ever composed, Franz Biebl’s 1964 setting of “Ave Maria”:     V. Angelus Domini nuntiavit Mariæ. R. Et concepit de Spiritu Sancto. Ave Maria, gratia plena, Dominus tecum. Benedicta tu in mulieribus, et benedictus fructus ventris tui, Iesus. V. Maria dixit: Ecce Ancilla Domini. R. Fiat mihi secundum Verbum tuum. Ave… Read more

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