December 10, 2018

    For some reason, the hauntingly beautiful melody of Israel’s national anthem, Hatikvah (“The Hope”) has been going through my mind over and over again today.  Here is a slightly loose translation of the two verses from official two   As long as within our hearts The Jewish soul sings, As long as forward to the East To Zion, looks the eye – Our hope is not yet lost, It is two thousand years old, To be a free… Read more

December 10, 2018

    Bill Hamblin and I published the following column in the Deseret News on 13 December 2014:   The search for wise men and women is a perpetual quest in every age — alas, often with dubious results. The search for the wise men in the Christmas narratives in the New Testament is, unfortunately, equally difficult. All Christians are familiar with the story of the three magi from the east bringing gifts to the infant Jesus, a tale that… Read more

December 10, 2018

    Nearly two weeks ago, I posted a brief entry titled “The Odd Couple (Part One)” about my Malevolent Stalker and his wannabe sidekick, who plays Lefou to Stalker Sr.’s Gaston.  Mini-Stalker, or Stalker Jr., rarely posts on any subject other than Daniel Peterson.  Unlike Stalker Sr., though, whose approximately fifteen-year anonymous public crusade against me has manifested a certain weirdly determined and (to me, anyway) psychopathologically perverse talent, Stalker Jr.’s rather limited repertoire seems largely confined to manufacturing… Read more

December 10, 2018

    A few years ago, we at the Interpreter Foundation decided that we didn’t want our flagship journal to feature just any random article — regarding, say, the precise GPS coordinates of the Jaredite city of Lib, or the detailed evolutionary history of the Mesoamerican curelom — to appear on the Friday closest to Christmas or Easter.   In the case of the former holiday, of course, it’s very possible, given our regular Friday publication schedule, that our last… Read more

December 9, 2018

    The Qur’an on the Annunciation of Christ   Behold! the angels said: “O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee chosen thee above the women of all nations. “O Mary! worship Thy Lord devoutly: Prostrate thyself, and bow down [in prayer] with those who bow down.” This is part of the tidings of the things unseen, which We reveal unto thee [O Messenger!] by inspiration: Thou wast not with them when they cast lots with arrows, as to… Read more

December 9, 2018

    I published an article in the Deseret News on 5 December 2012 under the title “‘Pleased as man with men to dwell'”:   The first verse of the popular late-19th-century Christmas carol “Away in a Manger” (often mistakenly attributed to Martin Luther) ends peacefully with “the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.” Unfortunately, though, “The cattle are lowing; the poor baby wakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes.” Richard Mouw, the prominent Calvinist theologian who… Read more

December 8, 2018

    We had a very enjoyable evening tonight at our place, with our friends Larry and Laura Ainsworth and Steve and Heather Densley, in large part watching a presentation that Steve has developed (and given at least twice) on the ancient Egyptian temple.   Sweet is the work, my God, my King, To praise thy name, give thanks and sing, To show thy love by morning light, And talk of all thy truths at night.   Or, to put… Read more

December 8, 2018

    I’m making some notes for myself here, in order to ensure that (as far as it’s possible and to the limits of my capacity) I accurately understand some concepts in physics that, someday, I intend to discuss briefly in something that I’m writing.   The topic today is “quantum entanglement.”  If anything in the utterly unoriginal and very preliminary notes below is incorrect or misleadingly formulated — I am, to put it mildly, not operating in my familiar… Read more

December 8, 2018

    If all goes according to plan, I will be one of the participants on the Interpreter Radio Show for Sunday night, 9 December 2018, along with Terry Hutchinson, John Gee, and, by telephone, Kevin Christensen.  I haven’t been available to join the program much in recent months, so this will be a treat for me, if perhaps not altogether for the audience.  I’m told, too, that Julie Smith will join us (presumably by phone) between 7:20 PM and 8:00… Read more

December 8, 2018

    Late last night, I came across a passage in which someone I once knew, a person who was once (to all appearances, anyway) an active and committed Latter-day Saint but who is now long and very vocally out of the Church, observes (with no evident demurral) that the word Mormon often evokes thoughts of bigotry, exclusion, narrowness, and sectarianism.   Latter-day Saints are seen — and, here, he quotes the late John Gardner’s 1982 novel Mickelsson’s Ghosts, in which they… Read more

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