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December 8, 2021

    ***   The last installment of Kyler Rasmussen’s series of Bayesian reflections on the Book of Mormon and related topics went up earlier today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Estimating the Evidence Episode 23: On Conclusions [Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of 23 essays summarizing and evaluating Book of Mormon-related evidence from a Bayesian statistical perspective. See the FAQ at the end of the introductory episode for details on methodology.] After summarizing the… Read more

December 8, 2021

    ***   Back on 3 November 2021, I posted a shocked and sad entry regarding a relatively young friend and colleague, Arthur VanWagenen of Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment, who was in the hospital in very grave condition following a catastrophic medical event.  He is still in the hospital. Today, though, I’m even happier to report on his current situation than I was sad to announce his situation back then:  He is up, tentatively walking without a walker,… Read more

December 7, 2021

    “Suppose you were an idiot,” Mark Twain once said.  “And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”   I couldn’t help but think of Mark Twain’s comment when I learned of Rep.. Marjorie  Taylor Greene’s recent remarks about measures taken against COVID-19.  Over the weekend, she betook herself to Twitter.  “Every single year,” she wrote, “more than 600,000 people in the US die from cancer.  The country has never once shut down.  Not a single… Read more

December 7, 2021

    ***   Three new items were posted earlier today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Nibley Lectures: Come, Follow Me Doctrine and Covenants Lesson 18 “The Promises … Shall Be Fulfilled” (D&C 45) During 1978, 1979, and 1980, Hugh Nibley taught a Doctrine and Covenants Sunday School class. Cassette recordings were made of these classes and some have survived and were recently digitized by Steve Whitlock. Most of the tapes were in pretty bad condition. The… Read more

December 6, 2021

    ***   I was saddened, just now, to learn of the death of V. Garth Norman last week.  He was a dedicated pioneer of modern Latter-day Saint scholarship on Mesoamerica and the Book of Mormon.  More personally, he offered more than once to take me on a tour of the Parowan Gap in southern Utah’s Iron County, where he believed that some of the Native American petroglyphs represented solar and lunar calendars.  Like so many things in my… Read more

December 5, 2021

    ***   I share here one of the many striking accounts contained in Marlene Bateman Sullivan, Gaze into Heaven: Near-Death Experiences in Early Church History (Springville UT: CFI, 2013):   Marriner W. Merrill (1832-1906) — who served as both the first president of the Logan Utah Temple (1884-1906) and as an apostle (1889-1906) and who was the father of the scientist and apostle Joseph F. Merrill (1868-1952) — had a striking near-death experience of a very rare kind. … Read more

December 5, 2021

    ***   In our sacrament meeting this morning — today is fast and testimony Sunday — one of those who bore testimony read a quotation that struck me deeply.  Happily, owing to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to find it within just a few seconds.  I located it as quoted in the text of a commencement address given by Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy on 17 December 2011.  Elder Johnson, who was also… Read more

December 4, 2021

    ***   I want to let it be known that I’ve finally set up a year-end Facebook fundraiser for the Interpreter Foundation on my main Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/daniel.peterson.3701).  I’m late doing it this year because I was in Egypt and effectively without internet access for much of the time that I was there.  And also because, well, I’m jet-lagged and behind on multiple fronts and a little bit under the weather.  (Definitely not COVID, though.)   This is… Read more

December 4, 2021

    ***   You might enjoy and profit from this nice summation by Jeff Lindsay, who is one of the vice presidents of the Interpreter Foundation and a co-editor of Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Recent Discoveries and Advances Published by Interpreter, Part 1   ***   This looks interesting:   “The Church’s first European Christmas concert broadcast will feature founding member of Celtic Woman”   Mark your calendar for the period when the concert… Read more

December 3, 2021

    ***   A new article — this one by Loren Blake Spendlove — went up two or three hours ago in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   “The Word of the Lord as a Metonym for Christ” Abstract: The word of the Lord and the word of God are common expressions in the Bible. Frequently, these phrases refer to the written or spoken covenantal words of God to his people as given through the prophets…. Read more




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