A day filled with good people

A day filled with good people August 3, 2022


Yale's law school
The Sterling Law Building at Yale University   (Wikimedia Commons public domain image)


Today’s session of the 2022 FAIR Conference was extremely good.


  • Kerry Muhlestein presented some very helpful and informed keys to making sense of the biblical book of Isaiah.
  • Bruce Young, who returned just two weeks ago from a mission with his wife, Margaret Blair Young, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, presented a nicely illustrated report on their mission.  Included among his illustrations were video excerpts from an interview with a very impressive young Congolese man who told of his encounter with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and of his acceptance of the restored gospel.
  • Neal Rappleye gave a very informative survey of the current state of the question with regard to evidence for the Book of Mormon names Ishmael and Nahom from ancient Arabia.
  • Lynne Wilson surveyed scriptural evidence, as well as evidence from nineteenth-century Latter-day Saint history, about “Restoring a Kingdom of Priests and Priestesses.”  She focused special attention on the priestly role of women.
  • I’m sorry to say that, having stepped out to speak briefly with a friend about a topic that he wanted to discuss and then being approached by others, I wholly missed Dan Galorath’s autobiographical discussion of his own path to Christ.  I would very much have liked to hear it.
  • Craig Foster identified a multitude of errors and distortions in Under the Banner of Heaven — presumably as the result of my own alleged angry personal obsession with the recent FX/Hulu television miniseries.
  • Finally, Tarik LaCour’s presentation, entitled “Taking the Best Arguments for Atheism Seriously,” offered an admirably lucid account of the logical and evidential problems of evil and of the problem of “divine hiddenness,” and suggested some responses that might be available to Latter-day Saints, in particular.


I was obliged to miss the evening’s bonus session with Steve Mayfield.  I regret missing it, because I’m still very interested in the Mark Hoffman case.  But I had a pre-existing dinner appointment at the Bombay House with members of three generations of a remarkable extended family.  I’ve actually known four generations of them.  I encountered members of the first generation when I was a student in Israel back in 1978 and they were members of the Jerusalem Branch of the Church.  (They’ve now both passed on.)  When I moved to Cairo, I encountered the second generation:  The daughter of the couple in Jerusalem was living in Egypt; their son-in-law was president of the Cairo Egypt Branch and a professor at the American University.  (That daughter and son-in-law became two of our best friends; he eventually joined the faculty at Brigham Young University, where he was eventually appointed to chair the Department of History and from which he served as director of BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.  After his retirement from BYU, I later basically betrayed them by suggesting them to Church leaders as service representatives in Saudi Arabia.)  In March of this year, my wife and I attended the ceremony in which a member of the third generation received his commission as a brigadier general.  A member of the fourth generation — I didn’t, at first, realize the family connection — served excellently as my teaching assistant for several classes and has since gone on, if it’s conceivable, to even greater honors than that (see “Koloa Ha’afuluhao Wolfgramm Becomes First Pacific Islander to Graduate Yale Law School”.  I don’t believe that I’ve met any of the fifth generation.  Yet.



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