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 (  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

December 2, 2021

    ***   As Christmas draws nigh, there’s at least one holiday gift that I can recommend to you with complete enthusiasm:  The Interpreter Foundation’s Witnesses theatrical film is now available on both DVD and Blu-ray:   Witnesses   If you or someone you know didn’t get a chance to watch the movie in theaters, there’s still an easy way to see it at home.  And if you did see it but would like to share it with friends… Read more

December 2, 2021

    ***   I’ve seen little or nothing of the Real Housewives franchise.  But, based upon the far-too-much that I’ve read about it, I’m certainly not a fan, not least because it glamorizes crassness, shallowness, and lack of charity.  That said, the newest expansion of the empire, The Real House Wives of Capitol Hill, seems to me to be, by many light years, the most repulsive of the lot.  Marge and Lauren make me want to defend Ilhan, Rashida,… Read more

December 1, 2021

    ***   When I get too sleepy to read while I’m inflight on international trips, which I usually start sleepy because of packing but also because of long lists of last-minute things to do, I watch movies.  It’s a good opportunity to catch up on movies that I haven’t seen and to review movies that I haven’t seen in a long time.  I watched several films on my long recent flights from Salt Lake City to Minneapolis/St. Paul… Read more

December 1, 2021

    ***   Another of Kyler Rasmussen’s Bayesian essays has appeared on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Estimating the Evidence Episode 22: On the Book of Abraham” [Editor’s Note: This is the twenty-second 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.] It seems unlikely that the Book of Abraham would disagree with what the most… Read more

November 29, 2021

    ***   A long drive today, to and from Alexandria.  We took in the catacombs there, visited the still relatively new Library of Alexandria, and walked around a Greco-Roman theater and its ancient environs.   Founded by Alexander the Great in (as I recall) 332 BC, Alexandria was the capital city of Egypt for approximately nine centuries, and the second city of the Roman Empire for generations.  Indeed, for quite a while it, certainly not Rome, was the… Read more

November 28, 2021

    ***   Today was the last day of our tour.  (We have a supplemental trip to Alexandria tomorrow, but about one third or a half of our group will be heading for home shortly after midnight tonight.)   The ancient and medieval Egyptians didn’t locate their tombs and temples and mosques according to chronological sequence — very thoughtless of them! — so our visit today was dramatically out of order, historically.  We visited one of the oldest surviving… Read more

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