June 18, 2024

  We headed out this morning along the northern shore of the Brienzersee (through Ringgenberg, which was probably my most important tracting area in the Berner Oberland and perhaps altogether in my mission, and where I had a remarkable set of unexpected experiences with the local Protestant pastor), back over the Brünigpass to Altdorf and over the spectacular Klausenpass.  When we reached Linthal, on the other side of the Pass over in Kanton Glarus, we turned around and retraced our... Read more

June 17, 2024

  This morning, we drove from Zürich down past Luzern and then over the Brünig Pass to Interlaken, where I spent seven months of my mission.  Strictly speaking, we drove to a “suburb” of Interlaken called Matten, where a Swiss friend who earned a doctorate in the United States and who has lived and worked in America for decades still owns the home in which he grew up.  He called me three or four years ago and asked whether I... Read more

June 16, 2024

  I taught the Sunday school class this morning (on Alma 5-7) in what I think is the Västra Frölunda Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The ward meets in the building in which we held the FAIR conference yesterday — though it’s a different ward from where we attended (and I gave a fireside) when we were here eight years for the previous FAIR here.  It still looks new and contemporary, but I’m told that... Read more

June 16, 2024

    I maintain a blog for many reasons.  Irritating a small handful of folks on the Peterson Obsession Board was an afterthought, and it has never been among my primary motivations.. One of those reasons is purely personal:  It’s a kind of journal for me, and, even more particularly, it’s a way of remembering things, and especially of remembering people, whose memory I refuse to allow to be wholly lost. So, for instance, I’m afraid that readers of this... Read more

June 15, 2024

  A new, 54-minute-long episode of the series A Marvelous Work — an episode that, shockingly, includes me — has been posted on the website of Scripture Central.  Watch it at your own risk:   “Who Actually Saw the Gold Plates? | A Marvelous Work Episode 5” The final gathering in the series of European FAIR conferences for 2024 drew a respectable audience today, largely filling one of the local Göteborg-area chapels.  And, of course, it was recorded (and it... Read more

June 14, 2024

  Two new articles went up today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation: “An Analysis of the Financial Incentives in Attacking the Restoration,” written by Ron C. Rhodes Abstract: With the popularity of social media growing exponentially, prominent critics of the Church are leveraging the platforms, particularly YouTube, as a key resource to produce thousands of negative videos about the Church. The accusations made in the videos about Church history, leadership, doctrine, and culture are so numerous that it... Read more

June 13, 2024

  Last night, we attended a performance by a string quintet (occasionally joined by a French horn) at the Schloss Mirabell in Salzburg.  The palace, which stands with its gardens on the shore of the Salzach River north of the medieval city walls, was built about 1606 by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau as a pleasure palace for him and his mistress, Salome Alt.  Not only did he live in the humble manner appropriate to a man of the cloth, but... Read more

June 12, 2024

  I lead off with something that, manifestly, comes directly from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File™.  This is pretty big news.  Obviously, of course, there ought to be a law against such things — but alas, as long as theism and theist exist and are permitted free rein, these horrors will continue unabated:  “Relief Society Leads Global Effort to Improve Health and Well-being of Women and Children: The Church is giving US$55.8 million to help 12 million... Read more

June 11, 2024

  I participated in a FAIR conference in Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden, several years ago, and we’ll be doing another conference there this coming Saturday.  The organizer for that previous event — which was extraordinarily well attended by members from Denmark, Norway, Finland, and even Germany, as well as from Sweden itself — was Louis Herrey, a member of the Göteborg Ward.  He is also the organizer of the event that will take place on Saturday, though one never knows in... Read more

June 10, 2024

  My wife and I went out with Scott Gordon and his wife to the Salzburger Freilichtmuseum — the open-air museum — in Großgmain, not too far outside of Salzburg.  We walked around most of it, looking at the collection of traditional regional buildings (e.g., farmhouses, barns, a small chapel, and the like) that have been gathered there.  At least one of those that we visited dates back to the mid-1500s.  They remind me very much of the older mountain... Read more

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