Latter-day Saints, the “Washington Post,” refugees, and religion as mere wish-fulfillment fantasy

Latter-day Saints, the “Washington Post,” refugees, and religion as mere wish-fulfillment fantasy December 6, 2019


Temple in Twin Falls
The Twin Falls Idaho Temple   (


The latest installment of the joint biweekly Hamblin-Peterson column for the Deseret News has been published:


“Religion is motivated by more than wish-fulfillment or death: The claim that religion is mere wish-fulfillment fantasy, motivated by fear of death, doesn’t apply to many of the world’s great religious traditions”




My wife and I really, really liked the recent film Harriet.  Unfortunately, though, I’m not sure that it’s done very well.  I read at least one movie review, perhaps two, that complained that, with the visions that the film attributed to her, it made her into something of a “superhero.”  But the movie was accurate on that point:


“Faith made Harriet Tubman fearless as she rescued slaves”




I posted the new First Presidency statement on refugees just yesterday, in a post here on this blog.  The stance of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints regarding the treatment of refugees has caught widespread attention, and justifiably so.  Here is a very recent discussion of the topic that I think more than a few Latter-day Saints will find both interesting and gratifying:


“Mormons, in the end, fare well in Washington Post story about refugee welcome in Utah”


In that context, this 2015 video from Vox , only three minutes long, is relevant:


“Why Mormons identify with Syrian refugees”


As is this 4 June 2016 article from The Economist:


Their own public Idaho: Twin Falls, a conservative city in Idaho, likes refugees”


As is Elder Patrick Kearon’s remarkable 2016 conference address:


“Refuge from the Storm”


And perhaps to this Supreme Court-related item from 2017, with which I was proud to be involved:


“Amici Curiae Brief by Scholars of Mormonism Opposed to Trump’s Refugee and Immigrant Ban”


And there’s this story that was published just yesterday in the Church News:


“What a Visit to the Venezuelan Border Taught Church Leaders”




“A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.”  (Joseph Smith)


“I am bold to declare before Heaven that I am just as ready to die in defending the rights of a Presbyterian, a Baptist, or a good man of any denomination; for the same principle which would trample upon the rights of the Latter-day Saints would trample upon the rights of the Roman Catholics, or of any other denomination who may be unpopular and too weak to defend themselves.”  (Joseph Smith)



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