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November 21, 2021

    ***   Today was another very good day.  We started off with a visit to the enormous mid-fourteenth-century Mamluk mosque, mausoleum, and madrasa of Sultan Hasan, which has been a favorite of ours since we first lived here in Egypt.  We even had a muezzin demonstrate the adhan or call to prayer in the sultan’s mausoleum, near his empty tomb.  (He disappeared, almost certainly murdered, in 1361.  He was just 27 years old.)   Then we crossed the… Read more

November 20, 2021

    ***   It’s very easy, from this distance in time and place, not only to lose track of what’s happening back closer to home but to fall out of touch with the day and the hour.  So I came very near to neglecting to mention a new article that has appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.  This one is by Loren Blake Spendlove:   “Abraham’s Amen and Believing in Christ: Possible Applications in… Read more

November 19, 2021

    ***   My dislike for Aéroport Paris Charles de Gaulle remains strong.  Nothing today has changed that.  Every time I come here, I have a new bad experience.  I’ve missed flights, been yelled at by Air France personnel, and spent hours in what seemed like a oversized sauna.  This time, it was an incredibly crowded, long (two hours, maybe), and chaotic Passport Control.  I’ve never seen it so terribly bad here.  And, of course virtually no signage –… Read more

November 18, 2021

    ***   Over the next few days, for reasons that will become evident, I will probably be posting shorter blog entries here.  And I may even miss a day from time to time.  I’ll try not to do that, but my schedule will be hectic and my access to the internet will be sporadic, limited, and, sometimes, just downright poor.   Poor internet can be incredibly frustrating.  At least, to me it is.  And yet I’m old enough… Read more

November 17, 2021

    ***   The latest installment of Kyler Rasmussen’s series of Bayesian explorations went up on the Interpreter Foundation’s website earlier today:   Estimating the Evidence Episode 20: On Place-Name Plagiarism [Editor’s Note: This is the twentieth in a series of 23 essays summarizing and evaluating Book of Mormon-related evidence from a Bayesian statistical perspective. See the FAQ at the end of the introductory episode for details on methodology.] It seems unlikely that Book of Mormon place names would be so… Read more

November 16, 2021

    ***   Yesterday, I received this item (part of a longer solicitation from a would-be fundraising advisor) in my inbox.  It reminded me that, yes, that dreaded time is almost upon us:   Many nonprofits focus tons of their year-end efforts on Giving Tuesday. However, the data shows that Giving Tuesday is hardly the most important giving day of the season. In fact, it’s not even close. According to our data, Giving Tuesday efforts likely accounted for about… Read more

November 15, 2021

    ***   Here are a few links to articles that have previously appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship.  Perhaps you missed one or more of them:   John Gee, ““Put Off Thy Shoes from Off Thy Feet”: Sandals and Sacred Space” Abstract: While many have written on ancient temples looking at the big picture, John Gee discusses one small detail on a single Egyptian temple from the New Kingdom. He focuses on depictions of Ramses… Read more

November 14, 2021

    ***   I would like to call your attention to a new website — rather quietly launched a week or two ago by the new B. H. Roberts Foundation — that, I think, represents the first fruits of an effort that could well prove to be very significant:   https://mormonr.org/   ***   I’m also going to share a quite irrelevant experience that I once had with the famed conservative writer William F. Buckley, Jr., in the middle… Read more

November 13, 2021

    ***   I would like to call your attention to a short but important article in the December issue of the invaluable magazine First Things, written by Brendan W. Case, who currently serves as the associate director for research at the Human Flourishing Program at Harvard’s Institute for Quantitative Social Science.  It joins a very large and growing array of articles and studies that plainly seem to demonstrate the positive effects of religious belief and religious affiliation on… Read more

November 12, 2021

    ***   Two new articles went up today in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship:   Stanford Carmack, “Personal Relative Pronoun Usage in the Book of Mormon: An Important Authorship Diagnostic” Abstract: This study compares personal relative pronoun usage in the earliest text of the Book of Mormon with 11 specimens of Joseph Smith’s early writings, 25 pseudo-archaic texts, the King James Bible, and more than 200,000 early modern (1473–1700) and late modern (1701–1800+) texts. The linguistic pattern of… Read more




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