My wife and I are hoping to be able to go back to the temple soon. We haven’t attended for at least sixteen months now, and it would be really, really good to be there again. (We finally had a reservation for the Payson Utah Temple this afternoon, but things came up and we can’t go.) I’ve missed the temple more than I realized I would. I commented on that to a member of the Twelve many months ago, and he agreed. He had missed the temple, too. I’m sure that there are others out there who have felt the same way. President Russell M. Nelson, I suspect, is one of them:
But, if we work hard at it, we can still get the temples shut down once more. We can still bring the work of the redemption of the dead to a screeching halt. We can go back again to entirely online worship services. We can still slow missionary work down to a crawl. We can return to hiding in our homes. We can do it!
In that connection, I just received the following from BYU:
Reminder: COVID-19 Vaccinations
Utah is currently experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases. Additionally, the increasing prevalence of the new COVID-19 delta variant is concerning. BYU is strongly encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to receive a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect our campus community from a COVID-19 outbreak. (Students are also receiving an email this morning in preparation for fall semester.)
If you’ve already been vaccinated, thank you! If you haven’t been vaccinated, sign up today! Vaccine appointments are readily available throughout Utah, including at the former Provo High building and the BYU Student Health Center.
And that reminds me of some other articles that have recently caught my attention:
And how is it being so successful? What is the secret? A substantial portion of the credit for this wonderful achievement goes to people who, for whatever reason, have chosen to reject vaccination:
I don’t really want to go back to hiding out in my home and to never going out without a mask. Come on, folks! Just get the darn shot. It doesn’t really hurt and the immediate aftereffects are almost always quite mild. (In my own case, I actually felt none at all.)
And now, while I’m still in full alarmist mode, I think I’ll share a link about another concerning topic:
As a theist who (I’m often told) both hates and fears science, and particularly as a Latter-day Saint, I found this short article quite interesting:
Finally, the prominent geneticist and evolutionary biologist Richard Lewontin, who was emeritus Alexander Agassiz Research Professor at Harvard University, died on Sunday, the Fourth of July. He was an unashamed Marxist and an avowed atheist, and he expressed his commitment to atheism in very striking terms in an article that he published in early 1997:
We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs . . . because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes . . . no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door. (Richard Lewontin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” The New York Review of Books [9 January 1997], 31.)
With that in mind, I liked this response to his death from someone who is deeply involved with the Intelligent Design movement: