October 3, 2023

    With friends, we attended the open house of the newly renovated St. George Utah Temple this morning.  I loved it.  I loved the fact that the renovation restored the temple to an interior look that its nineteenth-century pioneer builders would have recognized.  Renovations and extensions to early temples that were done a generation or two ago often incongruously mixed styles from the period of the modification (say, the 70s) with the original styles.  Lately, though, and happily, the... Read more

October 2, 2023

    Over on the Peterson Obsession Board, there is a poster who goes by the pseudonym Everybody’s WC, or something of that sort.  One of his odd specialities through the years has been inventing fictions about me that, unless and until he’s called on them, he tries to pass off as true.  Among his most egregious lies was claiming to have been an unbelieving bishop who went on one of the tours that I led to Israel in order... Read more

October 1, 2023

    Once again, I invite you to share in the comments favorite moments, talks, or stories from this just-concluded semi-annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — whether from today’s sessions or from yesterday’s. I will share one or two of my own personal favorites.  I want to make it clear that that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy all of the talks.  I sustain, honor, and revere all of the leaders... Read more

September 30, 2023

    As soon as Elder Bednar opened his remarks this morning, I turned to my wife and predicted that he would cite President J. Reuben Clark’s justly famous 1947 speech “To Them of the Last Wagon.”  And indeed he did.  (I’ll be available for the signing of autographs for the next week or so.)  I loved what he had to say, which I expect will bear the title, when published, of “In the Path of Their Duty,” or something... Read more

September 29, 2023

    These new articles went up today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation.  As always, they are easily accessible, at absolutely no charge: ““Behold, He Was a Man Like unto Ammon”: Mormon’s Use of ʾmn-related Terminology in Praise of Moroni in Alma 48,” written by Matthew L. Bowen Abstract: This article examines Mormon’s comparison of Moroni, the Nephite military leader, to Ammon, the son of Mosiah, in Alma 48:18 and how Mormon’s use and repetition of ʾmn-related terminology... Read more

September 28, 2023

    I love autumn, but it also depresses me.  I love it for the changing colors of the leaves (the reds and the oranges and the yellows and the yet-remaining shades of green) and the peaches and the nectarines and the fresh corn on the cob and the rich red tomatoes and the brisk, clear days and the blue skies.  But it saddens me because I know that winter is coming, that the glories of fall are transient.  I’m... Read more

September 27, 2023

    More material has gone up — surprise! surprise! — on the website of the Interpreter Foundation: Conference Talks:The Ancient Israelite Tabernacle, Its Accoutrements, and the Priestly Vestments This presentation was originally given by Daniel Smith to the Interpreter Foundation’s 2016 Temple on Mount Zion Conference, on Saturday, 5 November 2016. Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps: Lesson 41, October 2 — October 8: Ephesians — “For the Perfecting of the Saints” Once again, Jonn Claybaugh... Read more

September 26, 2023

    I’ve recently noticed an, umm, online “discussion” in which several former Latter-day Saints appear to be taking the position that there is simply no evidence for the existence of Joseph Smith’s Book of Mormon plates.  Saying that actual physical plates existed is, they’re saying, merely a faith position.  It’s rather like asserting the existence of Bigfoot.  It’s no better than circular reasoning. I find such declarations deeply disheartening.  I caught just a few minutes this past Sunday night... Read more

September 25, 2023

    I found this article by Sheluyang Peng very interesting, and I think that you might, as well:  “Immigration is religion’s only hope: White progressives face a surprising alliance” From a Jewish academic:  “Attacks on Catholic Institutions Should Concern All of Us” From the Deseret News:  “12 times Joseph Smith defended religious freedom: Joseph Smith left behind a legacy of defending religious freedom. Smith’s quotes on religious freedom can be found in the Joseph Smith Papers, which released its final volume... Read more

September 24, 2023

    Our stake put on a patriotic fireside tonight, complete with the stake choir, a brief vocal solo by a young woman, a violinist, a pianist, a flautist, and an organist.  A reader recited quotations from some of the Founding Fathers (e.g., Thomas Paine, Patrick Henry, John Adams, George Washington, and Benjamin Franklin) and our founding documents (the Declaration of Independence and the Preamble to the Constitution).  There was also a second reader toward the end.  I was the... Read more

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