“Curiously Unique”

“Curiously Unique” February 15, 2019


Georgia's first temple
The Atlanta Georgia Temple   (LDS Media Library)


It’s Friday.  So, naturally — did you really expect otherwise? — there is a new article up in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:


“Curiously Unique: Joseph Smith as Author of the Book of Mormon”


Abstract: The advent of the computer and the internet allows Joseph Smith as the “author” of the Book of Mormon to be compared to other authors and their books in ways essentially impossible even a couple of decades ago. Six criteria can demonstrate the presence of similarity or distinctiveness among writers and their literary creations: author education and experience, the book’s size and complexity, and the composition process and timeline. By comparing these characteristics, this essay investigates potentially unique characteristics of Joseph Smith and the creation of the Book of Mormon.




You do know — don’t you? — that the Interpreter Foundation provides supplemental resources for students and teachers in the Sunday school classes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:


Come, Follow Me New Testament Lesson 7: February 11–17 John 2–4 “Ye Must Be Born Again”




This is a big announcement that will immediately affect thousands of Latter-day Saint families:


“Missionaries Now Have More Options to Communicate With Families: First Presidency guidelines seek greater family involvement in the missionary experience”


I think that this will contribute to the social and psychological well-being of the missionaries and that it will, indeed, allow families — including pre-missionary siblings — to feel more involved in the work of preaching the Gospel.


Of course, back in my day the technological means for doing this didn’t exist — not, at least, at reasonable cost.  (We hadn’t yet discovered the amazing abilities of homing pigeons.)




On the flight this morning, my wife and I finally managed to watch Bohemian Rhapsody.  I expect that many if not most of you have already seen it.


It’s a painfully sad story, in many ways.  And yet, in the end, it’s a triumphant one.  (It’s Hollywood, after all!)


I was really pleased to hear the ancient maxim of Zoroastrianism Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds — in Avestan or Old Persian, Humata, Hukhta, Huvarshta — repeated at least three times during the film, near the beginning, midway through, and near the end.  On one of the walls of our home, we have a metal plate hanging on which that maxim is written in Neo-Persian.  I bought it in Tehran quite a few years ago.  It seems to me a remarkably sound basic set of ethical precepts for a very good and beneficial life.


Posted from Atlanta, Georgia



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