Of Apiculture and Keeping the Faith

Of Apiculture and Keeping the Faith February 21, 2019

 

Utah's flag
The official flag of Utah, the “Beehive State”     (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)

 

This column — full of my typical vitriolic insults and brazen lies — appeared in the print edition of the Deseret News today, as well as online at LDS Living:

 

“How Recent Findings on Beekeeping in Ancient America Relate to the Book of Mormon”

 

Utah's new state flag?
Some are suggesting this as the new Utah state flag.
(Taken from a communication from Utah state senator Keith Grover)

 

***

 

From the remarkable Stephen Smoot, who, having been back in Utah for a while now and having even been twice to Egypt since his return from the North, has apparently begun to thaw out from the time he spent doing graduate work in ancient Near Eastern studies and Egyptology among the igloos at the University of Toronto:

 

“The Need for Historicity of the Book of Mormon”

 

And, while we’re on the subject of Stephen Smoot, here’s another offering from him that’s worth reading:

 

“Retrograde Nelson”

 

***

 

“Alma Son of Judah: The Ancient Bar Kokhba Letters from Israel Refute a Popular Argument Against the Authenticity of the Book of Mormon”

 

***

 

All the way back in 2015, I posted a blog entry and a link under the title of “Catholic Higher Education in Ruins.”  (It’s publicly unavailable at the moment.  Maybe I’ll need to dredge it up again.)

 

We Latter-day Saints shouldn’t feel complacent, though, let alone smugly superior.

 

Some of you may have missed this bracing article by my friend and BYU colleague Ralph Hancock that appeared in the March 2014 issue of the superb non-LDS magazine on faith and public affairs First Things:

 

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2014/03/keeping-faith-in-provo

 

I once naïvely thought that Brigham Young University and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were immune to such things.  I no longer think so.  Apostasy and drift seem to me normal tendencies among fallen humanity in a fallen and ambiguous world, and I’m now convinced that we must all remain vigilant if we would prefer to avoid such falling away — individually, yes, but also collectively.  I say this neither out of paranoia nor panic, but simply because I’ve now orbited the earth enough times that I’ve seen a few things.  (To put it in geologic terms:  Since I was born, North America has moved very nearly two yards to the west-southwest.)  I’ve seen strong people fade away, drop into inactivity, or even, in a few particularly painful cases, become avowed enemies of things that they once loved.  And I’ve certainly seen the ambient culture become much more hostile to many things that I believe and treasure — and I’ve seen that hostility cause grievous damage and leave casualties among the Saints.

 

 

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