“For friends at first are friends again at last”

“For friends at first are friends again at last” September 25, 2023


On the water with ES, GAS, and BY
James Jordan titled this still photograph “‘Lord of the Rings’ . . . I mean, “Six Days in August'”


I found this article by Sheluyang Peng very interesting, and I think that you might, as well:  “Immigration is religion’s only hope: White progressives face a surprising alliance”

From a Jewish academic:  “Attacks on Catholic Institutions Should Concern All of Us”

From the Deseret News:  “12 times Joseph Smith defended religious freedom: Joseph Smith left behind a legacy of defending religious freedom. Smith’s quotes on religious freedom can be found in the Joseph Smith Papers, which released its final volume on June 27”

From the Wall Street Journal:  “NASA’s Osiris-REx Mission Brings Home Largest Asteroid Sample Ever Collected: Robotic spacecraft jettisons capsule containing rocks and dust collected from Bennu’s surface.”  It landed, by the way, in the western desert of Utah.

From the Deseret News:  “‘The impossible became possible’: 4 billion miles later, NASA successfully lands asteroid sample capsule in Utah: A bare cupful of material captured from the ancient asteroid Bennu could shed new light on the creation of the solar system and even the origin of life on Earth”

From CNN:  “Astrophysicist explains why NASA milestone is ‘incredible’: NASA returned its first ever asteroid sample to Earth seven years after launching into space. The OSIRIS-REx spacecraft flew by Earth to deliver the pristine sample from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu.”

Also from CNN:  “Queen’s Brian May helped NASA return its first asteroid sample.”  “Brian May has once again proven why he is rock royalty. Not only is he the Queen guitarist, but he is also an astrophysicist who recently helped NASA return its first ever asteroid sample to Earth.


Emma Smith, Brigham Young, and George A. Smith (in the front of the boat) visit Hyrum Smith (left foreground) and Joseph Smith (right foreground), who are in hiding.


A servile slave of the Deep State and Anthony Fauci’s personal cupbearer, I went this morning with my wife to receive both the flu shot and the COVID-19 booster.  So far, so good: No pain in either arm, no feeling of illness or nausea, and, thus far, neither any apparent heart problems nor even the slightest trace of an urge to cry out “Hail, Hydra!”


she didn't have long to live, unfortunately
Baptizing Miriam Works Young in 1832, in a scene from the Interpreter Foundation’s “Six Days in August” film project.  (Still photos supplied by James Jordan.)


Maxine Hanks was (and, I suppose, still is) one of the “September Six,” a group of half a dozen “dissidents” (the word is, I think, not strictly applicable to all of them) who, notoriously, were excommunicated or disfellowshipped in September of 1993 by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Many claimed to see in those disciplinary procedures an anti-intellectual crackdown on intellectuals in the Church and an attack on intellectual freedom, and the matter is still used by some critics of the Church as a focus of criticism against it.

With her kind permission, I share here the comment that Maxine Hanks posted on Facebook on, I believe, 20 September of this year, along with an addendum that she added somewhat later:

I celebrated Sept. 19th (the 30th anniversary of excommunication) with a friend who had helped me reverse it and return to Church. Cathy brought healing for 1993, in 2011. Her role in my return is cited in Sara’s book, The September Six: the Struggle for the Soul of Mormonism. Cathy’s light and caring reversed a negative history.
It’s interesting how much focus remains on my 2-yr stint as a heretic in 1993-95, rather than on my 28 years of healing work since then. Excommunication dwarfs reconciliation, yet my life has been focused on recovery and ministry from 1996 to the present. Healing is inner work, regardless of outer situations.
Is rejection more important than affection? Do we mistrust more than we trust? Departure & return, separation & reunion are two ends of one path, ever connected, as paradox bridging polarity.
Can we, as people, or church, or culture, give more focus to finding solutions than to alienation?
I hope so.
Edited to add–
It’s 2023…can we finally heal what happened in 1993? In 2013, I spoke at FAIR and quoted Joseph Smith’s letter to W.W. Phelps….
“I shall be happy once again to give you the right hand of fellowship, and rejoice over the returning prodigal . . .  Come on, dear brother, since the war is past, For friends at first, are friends again at last’” — JS 1840
An indoor shot from 6DIA
Brigham Young and Mary Ann Young meet with the temple recorder.
On Saturday, 23 September, I posted a brief and intentionally vague comment here about something that had actually occurred the previous Sunday evening, 17 September.  In part, it read as follows:
Something terrible and frightening occurred to a member of our family this past Sunday, in a far distant place.  The news came out of the blue.  It was fragmentary.  For a while, too, my wife and I were out of cell phone range, and we were left to imagine what might be happening and how bad things were.  In such times, when we feel powerless and can only pray, it is very good that we can, in fact, pray.
I won’t give details here, out of respect for the privacy of certain family members and because, quite frankly, there are malicious readers of this blog whom I don’t trust not to seek to exploit such events in order to mock and wound me and in order to torment people for whom I care deeply.

As some of you are aware, one of the many privileges that I enjoy in my high-paying work as an apologist, is the receipt of anonymous notes from one particular person who appears to be deranged.  I very rarely read his notes any more — they go immediately into a file labeled “Anonymous Hate Mail” — but I was curious just now to see how, or whether, he had reacted to my comment above.  And I found that, indeed, he had.  Commencing within minutes of my posting the above, his messages #2394, #2395, #2397, #2398, and #2400 made fun of what I had written about the terrible injury — very nearly a fatal tragedy — that occurred in my family slightly more than a week ago.




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