February 19, 2019

    Matthew 4:24; 5:1-12 Compare Mark 3:7-13; Luke 6:17-23   I have a very great deal to say about the Beatitudes, but not the time to say very much of it right now.  I hope to eventually write a small book on them.   For right now, I’ll content myself with a brief comment about Matthew 5:6, which reads “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”     There’s a story that’s… Read more

February 19, 2019

    I doubt that there’s any room left in your bulging Christopher Hitchens Memorial “Religion Poisons Everything” File, but, just in case there’s some area in which to cram some more, you’ll find a rich abundance of blood-curdling evil in this thing:   “2018 LDS Charities Annual Report”   It should actually have been titled Heart of Darkness, but — mwahahahaha! — I already own the copyright to that title for my autobiography.   If you have only a… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Something to watch for tonight (Tuesday night):   “Supermoon, 2019’s biggest and brightest, will light up the sky”   ***   Responding to a blog entry from yesterday (“Can Mormon transhumanists revitalize the Latter-day Saints?”), Lincoln Cannon has sent me a link to his article, which was critiqued in Interpreter by Gregory Smith.  I’m happy to share it:   “What is Mormon Transhumanism?”   ***   “Surprising” and “shocking” are two of the adjectives used in connection with this… Read more

February 19, 2019

    Plainly, comparative religions courses should be more widely taught.  Otherwise, bigots will continue to make rookie mistakes like this one:   “Man arrested for punching, pouring coffee on Sikh 7-Eleven clerk — because he thought the man was Muslim”   This isn’t the first time that a vengeful ignoramus has attacked a Sikh in a vain effort to hurt innocent Muslims.  Some will remember the case of the “Murder of Balbir Singh Sodhi” in Mesa, Arizona, on 15… Read more

February 18, 2019

    Mark 3:7-12 Compare Matthew 4:24-25; 12:15-16; Luke 6:17-19   The accounts of healings given in the passages cited above mention people coming from Galilee, Idumea, Tyre and Sidon,  the Decapolis, Jerusalem, and Judea, and from what used to be called Transjordan (that is, the area across the Jordan River, in what is today the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which was itself known as Transjordan even into the twentieth century).  “His fame spread throughout all Syria,” says Matthew 4:24…. Read more

February 18, 2019

    “Is the Book of Mormon Like Any Other Nineteenth Century Book?”   ***   For your possible reflection:   “Mormon temple changes are a step forward for women”   Please, though, no explicit or detailed discussions of temple content on my blog or the relevant Facebook thread, should one arise.   ***   “Jaredite Barges, Anachronistic Glass Windows, and the grammar of Ether 2:23”   ***   I’m a bit late on this, but it’s still interesting:  … Read more

February 18, 2019

    I was saddened just now to learn that one of my teachers in Cairo passed away slightly more than a year ago.  I should have known it, but somehow I missed the news.   Bernard Weiss (10 August 1933 – 8 February 2018) was teaching at the American University in Cairo when I first came to know him, as a professor of Arabic history.  He had earned a bachelor of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary but then,… Read more

February 18, 2019

    We’re just back from the Metro Richmond Zoo, a remarkably good small private operation — really quite good — that, incidentally, was founded and is owned and operated by Jim Andelin, who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   I recommend it highly to anybody who’s ever in the area of Richmond, Virginia.  It’s not so small that it’s unsatisfying, but it’s also not so huge that it’s overwhelming.  We saw kangaroos,… Read more

February 17, 2019

    I’ve been asked to draw up two very brief summary passages describing, respectively, the Islamic view of Jesus and the view of Jesus taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   There’s no great urgency to the request, but I thought that I would write up some initial notes.  Here goes:   Muslims regard Jesus as the sinless son of Mary — uniquely and miraculously having a mother but no father — and as, perhaps… Read more

February 17, 2019

    Matthew 12:1-8 Mark 2:23-28 Luke 6:1-5   Reading these verses, I’m reminded of a story told (as I recall) by a General Authority some years ago.   Again, if I’m remembering the story correctly it occurred back when he was still a local leader.  He was headed toward a Sunday meeting in a rural area — perhaps, I vaguely seem to recall, in southeastern Idaho — and he was running just a bit late.  Hurtling down the road,… Read more

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