The Scriptures Are Indeed Real

The Scriptures Are Indeed Real February 13, 2022


Not my mother's St. George
The St. George Utah Temple glows at nightfall in the center of St. George proper, with the massive laccolithic Pine Valley Mountains in the background. The major suburban areas of Washington and Bloomington are not shown in this photo from the Utah Chamber of Commerce.  A second Latter-day Saint temple is currently under construction in St. George.

(Wikimedia Commons public domain image)




Kerry Muhlestein and Lamar Newmayer have a podcast that they’ve entitled The Scriptures are Real, which they describe as follows:


The Scriptures Are Real (TSAR) with Kerry Muhlestein is a podcast where we look at elements of the scriptures that have become real to us. We interview both experts (people with language, archaeological, historical backgrounds, etc.), and lay folks, and explore times when the scriptures became real to them. This is done from the viewpoint of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe that there is real power in the scriptures and that as they become more real we can better apply them to our lives and draw more power from them. If you listen to this podcast you will learn all kinds of interesting background information that will help you understand and learn more from the scriptures. We believe it will allow you to add real power to your life.


The latest installment of TSAR is this episode, which some of you with especially strong constitutions might possibly be able to endure:


“Daniel Peterson on Ishmael, Arabs, and Islam Today”




And, as if that’s not horrible enough, permit me to warn you yet again against the two latest installments of the weekly followHIM Podcast that is hosted by Hank Smith and John Bytheway:


Genesis 18-23 — Part 1 : Dr. Daniel C. Peterson (51 minutes)

How do the ancient Near Eastern traditions regarding hospitality affect the story of Lot and Sodom and Gomorrah? Dr. Daniel Peterson explains how Abraham, Lot, and Sarah learn to trust the Lord and wrangle some of the more difficult passages regarding Sodom and Gomorrah.

Genesis 18-23 — Part 2 : Dr. Daniel C. Peterson (one hour and nine minutes)

Dr. Peterson continues to discuss Genesis 18-23 and the impossible choices Sarah, Hagar, Abraham, Ishmael, and Isaac make as they heed the Lord’s commands,  wrestle with identifiable human emotions, and reap considerable blessings.


Life is often very good.  But it does sometimes have its bad spots.




“Once there was a man rowing a boat down a river.  Someone on the shore warned him, ‘Stop rowing so gaily down the swift current; there are rapids ahead and a dangerous whirlpool, and there are crocodiles and demons lying in wait in rocky caverns.  You will perish if you continue.’

“In this allegory, ‘the swift current’ is a life of lust; ‘rowing gaily’ is giving rein to one’s passion; ‘rapids ahead’ means the ensuing suffering and pain; ‘whirlpool’ means pleasure, ‘crocodiles and demons’ refers to the decay and death that follow a life of lust and indulgence; ‘Someone on the shore,’ who calls out, is Buddha.”

The Teaching of Buddha (Tokyo, 1962), 90


Latter-day Saints would be comfortable with this allegory, too.  We might well even be comfortable with treating the Buddha as a divinely-inspired warning voice.  Most likely, though, we would say that the person on the shore who calls out a warning is one of the prophets, whether ancient or modern.  And we are fools if we pay no heed to his cautions.




Sic et Non is your one-stop place not only for restaurant recommendations but for relationship advice!


“Is marrying later really better?  A new study from the Wheatley Institution at BYU and the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia says there shouldn’t be stigma attached to marrying young”


“SHOCKING: Experts discover a secret to marital happiness that’s only been known to anyone in history who ever read the Bible”




I love this article that was written by  the Deseret News:


“Perspective: What I’ve been wanting to say to the anonymous hater: My husband is Black. Our eight children are biracial. We love each other even when we are confronted by haters”


Good for her!




Beyond the double connection to Salt Lake City in this article, there is also a remarkable story of great generosity:


“Salt Lake’s Erin Jackson makes history in winning gold in 500-meter speedskating: On the global stage, Salt Lake City resident Erin Jackson proved why she is ranked No. 1 in the world.”




I forget, sometimes, which items from the Christopher Hitchens Memorial “How Religion Poisons Everything” File© I’ve shared with you and which I haven’t.  (It’s likely that the sheer horror of the contents of the Hitchens File leads to some degree or other of repressed memory syndrome.). Anyway, in case I didn’t share these or in case you missed them, here are a quartet of abominations that are worth passing on to you.  If you find that mounting indignation begins to cause your blood pressure to spike, I suggest that you read only one of them or, alternatively, that you take a break of at least fifteen to twenty minutes between articles:


“French Polynesia Sends Love to Tonga: Government, congregations and communities respond to natural disaster with needed aid”

“How Church Humanitarian Donations Are Blessing Lives in South America”

“Clean, Safe, Reliable: How a Village in Uganda Restored Its Water Source”

“New Deseret Industries Dedicated in Tucson Metro: Dedicated as “a refuge and a place of renewal,” the welfare and self-reliance facility in Marana, Arizona, aims to emulate Savior’s love for others”




I’m currently working away at my computer out on a patio from which I can see all the way over to mountains that are several miles away.  I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt and no shoes.  This is why I retired.  This is the kind of winter with which I was familiar growing up in southern California.  I love it.


We drove out today with friends to see the new Red Cliffs Utah Temple, which is under construction and really beginning to take shape.  It will be the second temple within the city limits of St. George and, on the day that it is dedicated and for some relatively short period thereafter, St. George will contain both the Church’s newest temple and the Church’s oldest still-functioning temple.  A nice little distinction, I think.


Posted from St. George, Utah



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