March 16, 2019

    Here’s a moving item from CNN:   “In photos: World reacts to New Zealand terror attack”   If you scroll down through the photographs, you’ll find one that shows Judy Gilliland at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles.  With her name in mind, here’s an item by Tad Walch that appeared in the 27 November 2017 issue of the Deseret News:   “Dodger Dogs, Mormons and Muslims: One couple’s moral authority builds interfaith bridges”   ***… Read more

March 16, 2019

    Matthew 12:22-30 Mark 3:22-27 Compare 9:32-34; Luke 11:14-15, 17-23; John 7:20; 8:48; 8:52; 10:20   I’ve written in the past about what I call “New Age anti-Mormonism.”  It’s the sort of anti-Mormonism associated with such zany madcaps as Ed Decker and Bill Schnoebelen.   New Age anti-Mormonism is more than a little crazy, but, in a way, I respect it.   Why?   Because it recognizes that some elements of the story of the Restoration are very difficult to… Read more

March 16, 2019

    On Wednesday night, my wife and I attended a Utah Opera performance of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (“The Magic Flute”).  It’s the opera that I know best; my wife felt that she needed to ask me not to sing along.  It was a solid performance, though not my favorite:  I prefer Sarastro as an imagined Egyptian priest, not as a 1960s hippie guru.  And his beard reminded me of George Clooney’s as one of the Soggy Bottom Boys in… Read more

March 15, 2019

    Wikipedia defines “quantum entanglement” as “a physical phenomenon that occurs when pairs or groups of particles are generated or interact in ways such that the quantum state of each particle cannot be described independently of the others, even when the particles are separated by a large distance—instead, a quantum state must be described for the system as a whole.”   Here’s the second paragraph of that Wikipedia article:   “Measurements of physical properties such as position, momentum, spin, and polarization, performed on entangled particles, are found… Read more

March 15, 2019

    Matthew 12:9-14 Mark 3:1-6 Luke 6:6-11   I really should have connected this entry with the previous one, “New Testament 111,” because it concerns the same fundamental issue.   The Pharisees overlook the miracle of the divine healing in their zeal to find an accusation against Jesus.   It would be rather like criticizing the swimming technique of a lifeguard who had just pulled a drowning man from the ocean, or faulting the grammar of a note of… Read more

March 15, 2019

    Bill Hamblin and I published the column below in the Deseret News for 21 August 2015:   There is something instinctive in us that causes us to stand in awe before the majesty of nature. In the earliest known forms of religion, the veneration of natural beauty, fecundity and power held a central place in the hearts of mankind. All great polytheistic religions have gods and goddesses associated with the powers of nature. Rain, fertility, storms, rivers, mountains,… Read more

March 15, 2019

    It’s Friday.  You didn’t see this coming?  Seriously?  There’s a new article from the Interpreter Foundation:   “Seeing Psalms as the Libretti of a Holy Drama”   Abstract: Psalms was the favorite Old Testament book at Qumran and in the New Testament; the Book of Mormon contains more than three dozen allusions to Psalms. While Psalms contains both powerful, poetic words of comfort and doctrinal gems, many psalms also seem to careen between praise, warning, comfort, military braggadocio, and humility, sometimes… Read more

March 15, 2019

    O you who believe!  Seek help in patience and prayer.  Truly God is with the patient. And do not say of those who are killed in the path of God “They are dead.”  Rather, they are alive, although you do not perceive them. And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger, and loss of wealth and lives and fruit, but proclaim good tidings to the patient, Who, when a disaster strikes them, say “Truly… Read more

March 15, 2019

    Matthew 11:20-24 Luke 10:12-15   It surprises people to see how small the area is in which the Galilean ministry of Jesus was concentrated:   Magdala, from which Mary Magdalene derived her name, is on the western shore of the lake, and its ruins are still plainly visible today.  (Whenever we bring a tour group to Israel, we always drive by Magdala two or three times.)     Bethsaida, possibly the birthplace of the apostle Peter, is at… Read more

March 15, 2019

    Despite its title (“The Neanderthal renaissance”), this slightly longish but quite interesting article isn’t actually about contemporary American politics:   “The Neanderthal renaissance: Handprints on a cave wall, crumbs from a meal: the new science of Neanderthals radically recasts the meaning of humanity”   ***   From a Edward Reichman, a rabbi and a professor of Emergency Medicine and Epidemiology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City:   “Scientists: Don’t Leave Religious Communities Out in… Read more

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