March 1, 2021

    New today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Robert Joseph, “The Lord Will Not Forget Them! Māori Seers and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Nineteenth-Century New Zealand” Abstract: This essay demonstrates that the key prophetic matakite dreams and visions of at least the nine nineteenth-century East Coast Māori seers appear to have been (and should continue to be) fulfilled surprisingly by the coming of The Church of Jesus Christ of… Read more

February 28, 2021

    There is a zealous atheist who comments multiple times daily on my blog.  (He’s entirely welcome to do so, by the way.  He’s polite and — by social media standards, anyway — quite respectful.)  One of his recurring themes is that there is no evidence at all to support the claims of theism.   I find that assertion deeply problematic and difficult to take seriously.  As I’ve said here several times before, I can understand people who say… Read more

February 27, 2021

    I’m pleased to report that the Interpreter Foundation’s Witnesses theatrical film won first prize on Saturday night in the Feature Film category at the twentieth annual LDS Film Festival.  That is a well-deserved honor for Mark Goodman, Russell Richins, and James Jordan, the principal movie makers behind the project.   Again, I want to stress that Witnesses will have its national debut on Friday, 4 June 2021.  I hope that you will note that date, or Saturday the… Read more

February 27, 2021

    My wife and I will be back at the LDS Film Festival this afternoon.  At 4 PM, in Room 201, Russell Richins (the producer of Witnesses) and Mark Goodman (the film’s director) will speak and entertain questions on the theme “From Plates of Gold to Big Screens of Silver: Witnesses releasing Summer 2021.”  (Incidentally, at the Festival screening of Witnesses on Wednesday night, our distributor, Brandon Purdie, revealed that the opening date for the film has now been… Read more

February 26, 2021

    I’ve been busy with cinematic matters today — among other things, we made some real progress on the Witnesses-related documentary — and so I’m getting to this a bit late.  (It now appears that the documentary or docudrama will be about 2.5 hours long, and that we’ll wait to put it out until the theatrical film has had its run [perhaps in the fall of this year], so as not to step on that.)  But I need to… Read more

February 26, 2021

    My wife and I attended a screening of Heart of Africa 2: Companions last night at the LDS Film Festival.  It is, to some extent, a retelling of the story in the first Heart of Africa movie, but this time the story is told from the standpoint of the white American half of the service-missionary companionship, rather than from that of the black African missionary.  Still, it depicts a culture and a missionary experience that could scarcely be… Read more

February 25, 2021

    In which I lay out a basic  and relatively brief argument regarding the various witnesses, and classes of witnesses, to the Book of Mormon:   “Come Follow Me Week 8 – Doctrine & Covenants 14-17 “Stand as a Witness””   ***   Well, the Interpreter Foundation’s theatrical film, Witnesses, had its first public screening last night as the opening event of the 20th annual LDS Film Festival.  It was (within COVID-19 guidelines) a sold-out show, and, so far… Read more

February 23, 2021

    ***   On Facebook:  “Heartfelt thanks from Caleb Josiah Spivak aka Oliver Cowdery for a SOLD OUT audience at LDS Film Festival! Summer 2021!”   Beginning at roughly 26:00 in this KSL-Radio interview and continuing until approximately 33:45, Doug Wright talks about the 2021 LDS Film Festival, which runs from Wednesday night through Saturday night, with the festival’s director, Kels Goodman.  For the first minute or two, the focus is on the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming theatrical film, Witnesses:   The… Read more

February 22, 2021

    Here’s a brief article from Provo’s Daily Herald about the LDS Film Festival, which opens on Wednesday night and continues through Saturday night.  It refers, in passing, to the Interpreter Foundation’s theatrical film, Witnesses:   “LDS Film Festival celebrates 20 years of cinema”     With her kind permission, I’m sharing some thoughts here that we received today from Deanna Warden.  She is referring to the Interpreter Foundation’s newly-launched website, Witnesses of the Book of Mormon:    … Read more

February 21, 2021

    For my revised and expanded book on the Middle East for a Latter-day Saint audience:   The dominant religious tradition among the pre-Islamic Iranian peoples was Zoroastrianism.  In the West, the tradition was named after its founder, the priest and prophet Zoroaster, whose name in Persian is Zartosht or Zardosht.   (In Persian, it is called Mazdayasna, meaning “Mazda worship” or “Mazda devotion.”)   There is little agreement about Zoroaster’s birthplace — probably somewhere in the eastern part of what is today Iran,… Read more

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