January 26, 2022

    ***   How, you may ask, is the Interpreter Foundation’s forthcoming two-part 2.5-hour docudrama, Undaunted: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, different from the Foundation’s theatrical film, Witnesses?   Thank you for asking!   Both Witnesses and Undaunted are parts of the same overall project, and the docudrama’s production and release have long been intended to follow on the heels of the earlier film’s run in theaters.  Unlike Witnesses, though, which focused entirely on Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris,… Read more

January 25, 2022

    ***   I’m pleased to announce that Undaunted: Witnesses of the Book of Mormon — the Interpreter Foundation docudrama that has been created to deepen understanding of and to comment upon Interpreter’s theatrical film, Witnesses — will receive its red-carpet premiere on Friday, 4 March, during the annual LDS Film Festival.  And tickets for it and for the festival as a whole are now available.   “The various witnesses of the gold plates, both official and unofficial, represent… Read more

January 24, 2022

    ***   Critics of the Church of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sometimes dismiss articles written by Latter-day Saint scholars and/or published in Latter-day Saint venues on the grounds that they’re Latter-day Saints.  Such dismissals are very common among certain types of critic.   So I’m going to cut to the chase.  Arguments — and I use the term argument here as scholars and logicians typically do, to refer to orderly presentations of evidence intended… Read more

January 23, 2022

    ***   Nobody really knows what the long term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic will be for participation in religious worship services.  My own hunch is that they will be negative — and that, even in secular terms (since participation in religious communities has been shown to be beneficial for social, psychological, and, yes, even physical health), the consequences of those consequences themselves will be harmful.  Here, though, are some interim reports on the topic:   “Contra French… Read more

January 22, 2022

    ***   For much of his lifetime, newspaper reports insinuated that Joseph Smith was duping his followers in a greed-motivated religious scam.   For a person of his remarkable abilities and undeniable charisma, however, it seems that he derived very little monetary profit from his devilish scheme, if such it was.   “Now father,” Helen Soby wrote in an 1841 letter responding to such concerns, “if you want to know about us or Joe Smith read the Book… Read more

January 21, 2022

    ***   A new article went up today — at this point, you probably shouldn’t be surprised by that fact — in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   ““The Lord God Will Proceed”: Nephi’s Wordplay in 1 Nephi 22:8–12 and the Abrahamic Covenant,” by Matthew L. Bowen Abstract: Nephi quotes or alludes to four distinct Old Testament passages — Genesis 22:18; Isaiah 29:14; Isaiah 49:22–23; and Isaiah 52:10 — twice each in 1 Nephi 22:6,… Read more

January 20, 2022

    ***   I’ve posted this list several times before.  It seems appropriate to post it yet again:   I’m sometimes contacted by people who’re experiencing doubts about the claims of the Restoration or whose spouse or father or daughter has lost faith.  I always ask what the specific issues might be, and I then try to address those or to locate colleagues or printed resources that might help resolve their concerns.   I think that such efforts are… Read more

January 19, 2022

    ***   In case you haven’t heard, Deseret Book and Excel Entertainment have now established a program for streaming videos called Deseret Video+ and, if you scroll down on its initial page, you will see that Interpreter’s theatrical film Witnesses is one of the program’s premiere offerings.  Please take a look.  And — I think Deseret Video+ has had some glitches, but I hope they’re now mostly in the past — I would love to hear from you… Read more

January 18, 2022

    ***   I recycle here, with a small handful of slight modifications, some thoughts that I jotted down a few years back.  I think they’re still relevant:   Not infrequently, I read comments from purportedly liberated ex-Latter-day Saints about the glories of churchless Sundays.  Instead of attending mind-numbingly dull and repetitious meetings, they seemingly claim to spend most of their Sundays skiing, golfing, biking, reading classic literature, listening to superb music, perfecting their highly toned bodies through exercise,… Read more

January 17, 2022

    ***   This link went up on the website of the Interpreter Foundation earlier today:   Interpreter Radio Show — December 19, 2021 The 19 December 2021 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show is now archived and available, at no charge and freed from commercials and similar interruptions, for your listening pleasure and edification.  This episode featured Bruce Webster and Kris Frederickson. In the first portion of it, they discuss the Church’s official proclamations. The second portion of… Read more

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