January 15, 2021

    Latter-day Saints are often criticized for their conviction that faith is a gift of God that one should seek.  (See Moroni 10:3-5.)  Anti-theists dismiss it as woo-woo irrationality, as if their own belief system were the self-evidently true default position regarding God and immortality or as if, rather than being itself a faith position arrived at in the absence of decisive evidence, it had been fully demonstrated by clear proof and indubitable syllogistic reasoning.  Evangelical anti-Mormons fault us… Read more

January 15, 2021

    Just up, in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, by Amanda Colleen Brown:   “Subtle Hebraic Features in the Book of Mormon” Review of Donald W. Parry, Preserved in Translation: Hebrew and Other Ancient Literary Forms in the Book of Mormon (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 2020). 171 pages. Hardback, $19.99. Abstract: Donald W. Parry combines a lifetime of insights about the Old Testament and Book of Mormon into one volume. Written for a non- academic audience, this book will provide a glimpse into some of the Book of Mormon’s literary… Read more

January 13, 2021

    Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) was a Swiss-American physician and psychiatrist and the author of, among several other things, the pioneering 1969 book On Death and Dying.  Dr. Kübler-Ross was very well-known and quite influential during her lifetime — not so much for her views on life after death as for her study of the dying process, which led to revolutionary rethinking in the health care professions about how to treat terminally ill patients.  But, as a collateral result of… Read more

January 12, 2021

    Later estimates of the weight of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon (by those who had briefly held them, such as the official witness Martin Harris and the unofficial witness William Smith) put that weight at somewhere in the range of forty to sixty pounds.  Some critics, accordingly, have contended that Joseph Smith could not have carried them for any significant distance, let alone run with them through the woods.  The plates — if they actually… Read more

January 11, 2021

    I’m just back from a rather long day devoted to three interviews with scholars, to be used in the docudrama that will accompany our Witnesses theatrical film.  In my judgment, the interviews went extremely well.  I’m grateful to the three scholars who participated, to the family who put their beautiful home at our disposal for the day, and to the film crew.   ***   Another article — this one by Royal Skousen — appeared today in Interpreter:… Read more

January 10, 2021

    If you missed Sunday night’s Meridian Magazine interview with Mark Goodman, the director of the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming Witnesses theatrical film, and Caleb J. Spivak (who plays Oliver Cowdery), Mark Zuccola (the younger David Whitmer), and you don’t have Facebook, you can watch it on YouTube:     The program begins and ends with the official Witnesses trailer.   And, please, don’t forget to go to the Witnesses.com website and sign in at the button marked Bring Witnesses… Read more

January 10, 2021

    But, first:   The 45-minute interview last night with Mark Goodman (the director of the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming theatrical film, Witnesses), Lincoln Hoppe (who plays Martin Harris), Caleb J. Spivak (Oliver Cowdery), and Michael Zuccola (young David Whiter), came together somewhat the last moment, and the word got out rather late and, possibly in at least some cases, with an incorrect link.   Which is to say that, if you missed it, that can be both understood and,… Read more

January 9, 2021

    At least some of you, I think, will be interested in this, so I’m passing along pretty much all I know (and maybe more than I know).  I’ve just heard about it within the past hour or so :   Meridian Magazine plans to go live. 4h  ·  Join us LIVE as we talk with 4 key players bringing the highly anticipated Witnesses Film to the big screen in Summer 2021. Learn more about David Whitmer, Oliver Cowdery and Martin… Read more

January 9, 2021

    Between the previous installment (Revision 8.10) and this one, considerable material is required to update and expand my capsule history of the Church in the Middle East and the Islamic world.  I will get to that.  In the meantime, I proceed with a glance forward, toward the future — which, since it remains future, requires less change in its coverage:   At the beginning of this book, I said that we would treat the ques­tion of whether Orson… Read more

January 8, 2021

    A new article appeared today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.  This one is by Alan Goff:   “Working out Salvation History in the Book of Mormon Politeia with Fear and Trembling” Review of James E. Faulconer, Mosiah: A Brief Theological Introduction (Provo, UT: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, 2020). 135 pages. $9.95 (paperback). Abstract: The Maxwell Institute for the Study of Religion has released another book in its series The Book of Mormon: Brief Theological Introductions. This book by James E. Faulconer more than ably engages five… Read more

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