August 8, 2019

    I missed this 30 May 2019 blog post from Matthew Roper.  (I was traveling overseas.)  In it, though, Matt provides some useful additional resources for evaluating the claims of Mr. Jonathan Neville and calls attention, as I myself have recently been doing, to the important Neville-Neville Land blog.  Here is Matt’s blog entry, which bears the same title:   “Neville-Neville Land”   I’m simply astonished at Mr. Neville’s evident desire to attack and demonize those who don’t share… Read more

August 7, 2019

    Now available, on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   Audio Roundtable: Come, Follow Me New Testament Lesson 33: “Be Perfectly Joined Together”   The Interpreter Radio (audio) Roundtable above, for Come, Follow Me New Testament Lesson 33, “Be Perfectly Joined Together,” covering 1 Corinthians 1-7, was extracted from the 4 August 2019 broadcast of the Interpreter Radio Show. (It was also stripped of commercial and other interruptions.)  Participants in this roundtable were Neal Rappleye, Jasmine Rappleye, Stephen Smoot and Hales Swift.  The complete 4… Read more

August 7, 2019

    In their presentation “‘Time Vindicates the Prophet’ – An analysis of criticisms raised against the Book of Mormon during Joseph Smith’s lifetime and the status of those allegations in 1844, 1930, and 2019,” Matt Roper and Kirk Magleby laid out what they contend is the growing convergence between the Book of Mormon and cutting edge Mesoamerican research or, more precisely, the rapidly decreasing number of seeming “anachronisms” in the Book of Mormon text.  Their big announcement, though, concerned the… Read more

August 7, 2019

    In the last presentation of the morning, Elizabeth Kuehn talked about “The Lives and Letters of the Twelve Apostles and their Wives during the Second British Mission, 1839-1841.”   She began by noting the severe gender imbalance in Latter-day Saint historiography — an imbalance that, it must be noted, is scarcely confined to Latter-day Saint historiography.   The missionary couples represented in the correspondence that she discussed were:   Heber C. and Vilate Murray Kimball Willard and Phoebe Carter… Read more

August 7, 2019

    The first presentation of the morning — and, thus, the first of the conference as a whole — was that of Don Bradley, entitled “Joseph Smith’s First Vision as Endowment and Epitome of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (or Why I Came Back to the Church).”  As anybody familiar with Don could have predicted, it was fresh and original, insightful, and informed by an intimate knowledge of early Latter-day Saint historical sources.  It also began and ended with autobiographical… Read more

August 6, 2019

    I published the article below in the Deseret News on 5 September 2013.  The link that’s contained in the article is broken, and I haven’t been able to replace it.   One of the most consequential meetings in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints occurred Aug. 8, 1844, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, roughly six weeks after the murder of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Sidney Rigdon, who had served as… Read more

August 6, 2019

    Hales Swift has created another of his brief but thoughtful video presentations to accompany Gospel Doctrine teaching and study in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  This one, available like its predecessors at no charge on the website of the Interpreter Foundation, is a video supplement for Come, Follow Me Lesson 31: “The Power of God unto Salvation”:   “Abraham as Father of All the Faithful” ***   Also now available on the website of the… Read more

August 6, 2019

    Yesterday and the day before, I found myself once again quoting recent remarks from Freeman Dyson (b. 1923), the eminent English-born theoretical physicist and mathematician who is now more or less retired from the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey.  Here is a quotation from Professor Dyson and a surprising item about him:   “Science and religion are two windows that people look through, trying to understand the big universe outside, trying to understand why we are here…. Read more

August 5, 2019

    “Ancient Mayan city burned in ‘act of total war,’ scientists say”   And thanks to Jason Holker for calling this article to my attention:   “Ancient Maya warfare flared up surprisingly early: Extreme conflicts broke out well before the civilization’s decline, researchers say”   I’m reminded of Mormon 8:7-8:   And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great… Read more

August 5, 2019

    Once again:  In his “Anti Gravity” column for the August 2019 issue of Scientific American (this one entitled “Do the Math: It sure comes in handy for doing physics”), Steve Mirsky focuses on the debate between scientists who think that mathematics is the language of the cosmos (and even, for some still today, the language of God) and scientists who consider the importance of mathematics for physics vastly overrated.   When Freeman Dyson (the eminent Anglo-American mathematical physicist “who at… Read more

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