May 19, 2019

    We received word a couple of days ago that Mike Hill, a friend and neighbor, a member of my priesthood quorum and a frequent quorum instructor (and, for what little it matters at this point, a former mayor of Provo), has passed away.  It came as quite a shock.  We knew that Mike had been ill, facing a lethal cancer or blood disease, but we — certainly I — thought that he had quite a bit of time… Read more

May 18, 2019

    I am, without apology, an Anglophile.  For me though, perhaps somewhat unusually, the sancta sanctorum of England is to be located in places like Oxford and Cambridge — and one of my keenest regrets is that, while I’ve participated in a conference at Cambridge and spoken at one of the Oxford colleges, I never spent time as a student at either one of them.  I should have made that happen, but I didn’t.  Too bad.   In any… Read more

May 18, 2019

    Matthew 26:21-25 Mark 14:18-21 John 13:21-30 Compare Luke 22:21-23   Two quick observations:   1.   Each of the eleven apostles who were innocent in this matter worried that he might be the one who would betray Jesus.  This is commendable.  On this occasion, at least, none of them seems to have imagined himself invincible, impervious to sin or temptation.   We should all recognize our own capacity to mess up badly.  Those who don’t recognize it, I think,… Read more

May 18, 2019

    Professor Louis C. Midgley continues his celebration of all things Latter-day Saint and Māori with a review essay in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship on Selwyn Kātene, ed., By Their Fruits You Will Know Them: Early Maori Leaders in the Mormon Church, vol. 2 (Wellington, New Zealand: Steele Roberts Publishers, 2017). 295 pp. N.Z. $39.99 (hardback):   “The Māori Latter-day Saint Historical Narrative: Additions and Amendments”   Abstract: Selwyn Kātene has again assembled twelve essays… Read more

May 18, 2019

  I published this column fairly recently, on 7 March 2019, in the Deseret News:   Seeking certainty, the great French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes (1596-1650) adopted an approach of “systematic doubt” until he reached something that he was unable to deny: “I think,” he famously said, “therefore, I am.” If he tried to doubt his own existence, he reasoned, he must exist. Otherwise, he couldn’t doubt it. In his 2018 book “12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to… Read more

May 17, 2019

    Matthew 26:14-16 Mark 14:10-11 Luke 22:3-6 Compare John 6:70-71; 13:2, 27   Judas was called to the apostleship.  In the end, though, he betrayed Jesus, and his name has become virtually synonymous, in many languages, with traitor.   Some suggest that he was motivated by simple greed.  And there are surely passages in the gospels to support greed as at least a contributing factor.   Others believe that he was a Zealot, a revolutionary interested in expelling the Roman… Read more

May 17, 2019

    Considering that I’m in England between trips to Israel, it seems perfectly appropriate to share England’s unofficial national anthem — “Jerusalem” — with lyrics by William Blake   And did those feet in ancient time Walk upon England’s mountains green? And was the holy Lamb of God On England’s pleasant pastures seen?  And did the Countenance Divine Shine forth upon our clouded hills? And was Jerusalem builded here Among these dark Satanic mills?  Bring me my bow of… Read more

May 17, 2019

    I received an email flyer just a short while ago from Brian S. Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage.  For some reason, I’m on their mailing list.  I don’t really follow them, but they’ve been attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so I figure that they must be a reasonably good group.   I hope that neither Brian Brown nor NOM will mind my quoting from his open letter, which touches on a subject… Read more

May 17, 2019

    From the Interpreter Foundation:   The Parables of the Unjust Judge and the Importunate Friend: A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 19: “What Lack I Yet?”   Volume 31 Now Available for Ordering in Paperback and E-book Formats   More general Church news:   “Prophet Embarks on Nine-Day Pacific Ministry: Elder and Sister Gong join President and Sister Nelson in visits to seven countries”   From the United Kingdom itself:   “RootsTech comes to London”   ***   “Church… Read more

May 17, 2019

    A status report for the convenience and delectation of the small cell of obsessive critics who anonymously comment virtually every day upon my vicious words and my appallingly amoral deeds:   Now that my wife and I are in England, we’re entirely on our own dime.  You can disbelieve that as you choose — somehow, surely, innocent tithepayers are being abused and the widow’s mite cruelly extracted! — but we’re here (1) to spend some time with close… Read more

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