More Islands and Atolls

The Kindness of Two Chinese Strangers Turned Our Christmas Eve from Frustration to Joy @ Mormanity
  -  Sorry for the delay in posting this note which I wrote during the Christmas holidays and...

Mormon History Association Conference 2020: Scripture, Science, Interpretation, and Fundamentalism @ Ben Spackman
  -  Notices are going out for the MHA Conference this year, to be held in Rochester NY, June...

Come Follow Me: 1 Nephi 13-14 @ Ben Spackman
  -  For those of you who are new to the blog (and the stats suggest there are a few), check...

Come Follow Me: 1 Nephi 8-12, 15 @ Ben Spackman
  -  The new manual follows a more logical division than the old, which treated 1 Nephi 8-12...

A Feast of Knowledge Awaits: New Field Work in the Arabian Peninsula Tells Us More About the Stunning Candidate Location for the River Laman and Valley of Lemuel @ Mormanity
  -  Prologue: Thoughts on Feasting When one eats a delicious meal prepared by a competent...

Pregnancy Prophets! @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  This guest post comes to us from Josiah of the blog Josiah Reckons. We love babies at...

Come Follow Me: 1 Nephi 1-7 @ Ben Spackman
  -  These are the most familiar chapters to any Mormon, and I’ve literally spent weeks...

Great Expectations! @ Segullah
  -  As I write this, my wonderful, talented, intelligent, industrious daughter-in-law has...

The "Hoarding" Church @ Mormanity
  -  Hordes of critics are wringing their hands, often gleefully, about the uncharitable...

Savoury and Sharp @ Segullah
  -  Life at the university has picked back up again. This week I’ve been flailing under...

The 1950s: A Fundamentalist Shift @ Ben Spackman
  -  Several scholars have identified a LDS shift in the mid-20th-century towards a kind of...

Nacle Notebook 2019: Funniest Comments @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  This post is my annual compilation of the funniest comments and bits of posts that I read...

Forest Fires and Christmas Cards in Australia @ Segullah
  -  As I write this,  I am sitting at my desk in my home, looking out at the Australian...

The Willard Richards Book of Abraham Manuscript 2: Live Dictation of Abraham 3 in 1842, or Copying Existing Text? @ Mormanity
  -  In an important publication from the Joseph Smith Papers Project, The Joseph Smith...

Praising God @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Praising God is a staple of Christian worship. In the various Pentecostal churches I’ve...

Find Your Lens: Book of Mormon Come, Follow Me 2020 @ Segullah
  -  I am delighted, excited, thrilled–practically giddy–about studying the Book...

New Church Policies for a New Year @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Some of my sisters visited me over the holidays, and together we came up with a list of...

Come Follow Me: Book of Mormon Intro and Tidbits @ Ben Spackman
  -  This is a grab-bag of sorts; I’ve been sick for a few days, without full dedicated...

Some Sources for the Kirtland Egyptian Paper's Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language, Part Two @ Mormanity
  -  In Part 1 of this topic posted earlier this week, I reviewed several pages of entries in...

An Update, Barely, on Barley @ Mormanity
  -  A Dec. 23, 2019 news release from Washington University in St. Louis reports new research...

End at Start, Light with Dark, Holiday or Ho Hum, Go and Come @ Segullah
  -  The holiday season can be joyous, but it can also be jarring. Voices raise in harmonic...

Some Sources for the Kirtland Egyptian Paper's Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language, Part One @ Mormanity
  -  One of the vital issues in Book of Abraham debates is the role of the Kirtland Egyptian...

Review of TITANIA IN YELLOW by Dayna Patterson @ Segullah
  -  If you need some warm color in the middle of this cold, dark winter, open the small...

A Christmas Surprise: An Ancient Jewish Temple at the Same Time as Solomon's Temple @ Mormanity
  -  The Dec. 23 newsletter from the Biblical Archaeology Society surprised me with a report...

Is the Book of Abraham Translation Dependent on the Kirtland Egyptian Papers? Revisiting The Pearl of Greatest Price @ Mormanity
  -  A potentially troublesome flaw in the discussion of the Book of Abraham in the generally...

A Breakthrough in Understanding the Book of Mormon: Don Bradley's Brilliant Sleuthing on the Lost 116 Pages (or Lost 400 Pages!) @ Mormanity
  -  Don Bradley's new book, The Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing...

Preliminary Thoughts on the Accusation that the Church Violated Tax Law @ Mormanity
  -  In response to the news stories about a whistleblower's complaint to the IRS regarding...

Shepherds, Joseph Smith, and Divine Reality @ Segullah
  -  I invite you to read and savor with me two poems, both by Darlene Young (and both...

Points to Consider in the Concoted "Egyptian" Characters in the KEP @ Mormanity
  -  Update, Dec. 24 and 26, 2019: The statement describing the papyri originally occurs in a...

Canaanite Santa Claus, Handel’s Messiah, and the Real St. Nicholas @ Ben Spackman
  -  I’ve plugged Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) before, a great magazine (with...

Christmas Carol Confusion @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When I was a kid, I was deeply confused by the lyrics of some of the Christmas carols...

A Missionary Reminiscence on Christmas in Western Europe @ Ben Spackman
  -  When the mission president announced to our small group of greenies that I was going to...

Food for Thought: A 911 Dispatcher Hears the Hidden Plea for Help When a Woman Orders Pizza @ Mormanity
  -  The secret to effective communication is a widely overlooked action that few of us...

What to do with the earnings on $100 billion @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  So, it appears that the Church may have an even bigger stack of investments than many of...

Book Review: Let’s Call it a Doomsday @ Segullah
  -  I have been a fan of Katie Henry’s books since her first novel, Heretics Anonymous,...

Power and Corruption @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Corruption is in the news almost constantly these days. Of course, we’re all aware of...

The Magi and Imperfect Gifts @ Segullah
  -  During the early 1970s, my sisters and I would anticipate Christmas for the weeks ahead...

Revelation 22, Curses, and Copy Protection @ Ben Spackman
  -  I first wrote this over 15 years ago, reposted it somewhere else, and both locations have...

More on the Meaning of the Kirtland Egyptian Papers: Recent Explorations Based on Comments at The Interpreter @ Mormanity
  -  One of the best things about finally having a reply from the Joseph Smith Papers Project...

2019-20 Winter Journal Editorial @ Segullah
  -  Welcome to the winter Segullah Journal spanning December 2019 to March 2020! It’s the...

Review of Dr. David Charles Gore's The Voice of the People: A Valuable Approach to Dealing with Political Divides @ Mormanity
  -  David Charles Gore, The Voice of the People: Political Rhetoric in the Book of Mormon...

Come Follow Me: Revelation 1-2, 12 @ Ben Spackman
  -  The final book! We’ve almost made it through! The end is nigh! First, a note on names....

Word of Wisdom Update: Be Cautious with Green Tea Extract @ Mormanity
  -  For some past research, I once obtained some pure green tea extract that was 98% EGCG,...

Back and Forth with the Book of Abraham: Fascinating Circular Footnotes @ Mormanity
  -  One of the things I love about blogging and writing occasional articles for The...

New Video on a Few Evidences of Antiquity in the Book of Abraham: Kudos to Pearl of Great Price Central @ Mormanity
  -  A few evidences for the ancient roots of the Book of Abraham are provided in an...

Who bears their testimony in F&T meeting? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Who bears their testimony in fast and testimony meeting? I’m interested in this...

No, We Are Not Decanonizing the Book of Abraham @ Mormanity
  -  In my previous post, I noted that faithful members of the Church can hold various...

Viva Dialog! The JSP Team Responds to My Complaints About Their Volume on the Book of Abraham @ Mormanity
  -  A few of you may have noticed that the Joseph Smith Papers team has publicly responded to...

The Christ Child: Best Nativity Video I've Seen, New from LightTheWorld.org @ Mormanity
  -  This 18-minute video about the Nativity is beautifully filmed and sweetly conveys some of...

Going to the Edge @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  CW: Suicidality To start with, it was my birthday, and even in good years I don’t like...

Do Scripture Stories ever depict heavenly people of color? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Well sure they do! For example, here’s a picture from New Testament Stories that...

Review of Terryl Givens and Brian Hauglid, The Pearl of Greatest Price: Mormonism's Most Controversial Scripture @ Mormanity
  -  A new book related to the Pearl of Great Price has just been published by two well-known...

How Can a Latter-day Saint Vote Republican in Trump’s America? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’ve taken a bit of a break from blogging. Life’s been busy, and I’ve been working...

Travel Tip for the Netherlands: Visit the Amsterdam Ward! @ Mormanity
  -  Some of the best experiences on my travels to various parts of the world have occurred...

Much Ado About Creation Ex Nihilo @ Mormanity
  -  Robert Boylan in Ireland makes some salient points in his review of a recent debate...

Caffeine Update: Prenatal Risks @ Mormanity
  -  Many members of the Church interpret the Word of Wisdom's prohibitions on tea and coffee...

Book Review: Crossings, by Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Necessary disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for...

Statistics, Misconceptions, and the Imperatives of Millennialism @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The Deseret News ran an article this week about the American Family Survey, an annual...

The Antiquated Second Amendment @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the most confusing, misunderstood, and misapplied pieces of the Constitution is...

Some Thoughts on the Mueller Report @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  It took me a while, but as of Friday I can say—unlike most Americans and unlike 99...

The Book of Mormon Critical Text Project @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the interesting aspects of my job is that I am the primary proofreader for Royal...

Romanticized Notions @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One morning in the spring of 2005, when I was a senior editor at the Ensign, the new...

Mitt and Me @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Last week we were in San Diego for a little vacation. On Sunday (June 2), we attended...

De Facto Infallibility and the Difficulty of Deciphering Spiritual Manifestations @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The reversal of the POX has highlighted a growing problem for the Church. Church leaders...

A Parable @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  A distinguished professor has a son who gets accepted to a prestigious university on the...

Dwelling in Righteousness with No Poor among Us @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  So, I led a discussion on Sunday using the questions I listed in the last post as a...

One Heart and One Mind @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The ward I work with on the high council is having ward conference in a couple of weeks,...

Misinformation and Fearmongering @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Because the Democrats are proposing to actually do something about global warming, health...

Excerpts from Bruder: The Perplexingly Spiritual Life and Not Entirely Unexpected Death of a Mormon Missionary @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  As I mentioned in my last post, BCC Press has recently released a rather unusual mission...

Mission Memoir, Ultimate Tourney, and Other Random Stuff @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  It’s been a while since I posted anything. I’ll explain that in a minute, but first a...

Pyrric Victories @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  JSTOR on Pyrric victories and the origin of the term.

Jerusalem’s Economy in Second Temple Period @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’ve always had the assumption that the Jerusalem region was fairly poor — perhaps...

Chris on Religious Evolution @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Chris Goble has an interesting Twitter thread on the emergence of monotheism in axial...

Getting the Blog Back Together @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’ve been posting regularly at Times and Seasons and plan on continuing with that....

Moth and Rust and Pulmonary Hypertension @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’m a big fan of book reviews. We publish them in each issue of BYU Studies Quarterly,...

Changing Political Parties @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  As should be clear to anyone who has been reading this blog, I am a Democrat. But I used...

"What Is Heaven Like?" @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  In the First Presidency’s Christmas Devotional earlier this month, President Nelson...

The Trouble with Tax Cuts @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Everybody likes tax cuts. What’s not to like? But there is a proper time for tax cuts,...

The Moral Obligation of Latter-day Saint Voters @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  This year is an important year for Latter-day Saint voters, the large majority of whom...

“Too Frequent Repetition of His Name” @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  In the ongoing discussion regarding President Nelson’s instruction to use the full name...

To the People Defending the Church’s Decision to Ditch the “Mormon” Nickname @ Peculiar People
  -  First, I want you to know that I respect your decision to call yourself something other...

The Women Who Enable Abusive Men @ Peculiar People
  -  After the Kavanaugh hearing last Thursday, an image went viral that depicted a row of...

“What Boy Hasn’t Done This in High School?” Brett Kavanaugh and the Rotten Goose Egg Party at Oaklawn Park @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Failed Florida congressional candidate Gina Sosa is probably looking for a rock to hide...

Joseph, Potiphar’s Wife, and the Truth about False Allegations @ Peculiar People
  -    In response to multiple allegations of sexual misconduct against Brett Kavanaugh,...

Robert Kirby and Edgy Mormon Men @ Peculiar People
  -  Like many progressive Mormons, I’ve enjoyed Robert Kirby’s self-deprecating...

To the Men Who Grabbed McKenna Denson and Dragged her away from the Pulpit @ Peculiar People
  -  To the men who grabbed McKenna Denson without her consent and dragged her away from the...

Why Would a Feminist Keep her Father’s Name? @ Peculiar People
  -    Back in April I wrote about my experience with software systems and institutions...

The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing but the Truth @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  By now, Rudy Giuliani’s infamous declaration to NBC’s Chuck Todd (“Truth isn’t...

Mormon: The New Shibboleth @ Peculiar People
  -  Here’s hoping Lindsey releases a new, revised video: I’m a member of Church...

Sorry to Bother You: The (Human) Body as Technology @ Peculiar People
  -  This review contains major spoilers for Boots Riley’s 2018 film Sorry to Bother You....

Do Married Mormon Men Understand Consent? @ Peculiar People
  -    Image obtained through creative commons. I was 28 years old when I got married...

$2,200 for a Screwdriver, and the Military Didn’t Buy It @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Well, it has been an interesting summer, to say the least. On Memorial Day, I was playing...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 8 (part 2) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Competition Restrained by a Higher Good (Part 2)Who Really Believes in Unfettered...

Making Ministering Holy @ Peculiar People
  -  My priesthood lesson prompt was very open-ended: “ministering.” My mind leapt to the...

What Will Combined MP Quorums Mean? @ Small and Simple
  -  In a shocking announcement during the Priesthood Session of the 2018 March/April General...

How Can Anyone Remain a Mormon in the Face of All the “Facts”? @ Small and Simple
  -  One of the things that you will see sometimes in anti-Mormon forums is what appears to be...

About That Taylor Christensen Video @ Small and Simple
  -  There is a video making the Mormon facebook circuit by Taylor Christensen.  He starts...

The New York Times Thomas Monson Obituary and Fake News @ Small and Simple
  -  The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently died, and the...

Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2017 Version @ Small and Simple
  -  Several years ago I published to the world the perfect college football playoff system. ...

Moderate Worship Losing Ground @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  While it’s not really new news, Sociological Science had an interesting story on how...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Divine Hiddenness Argument @ Small and Simple
  -  The fourth week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion focuses on the...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Friendly Disagreement, Testimonial Knowledge, and the Importance of Fellowship @ Small and Simple
  -  The third week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion addresses...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Conflict Between Science and Religion @ Small and Simple
  -  In the second week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion, professor...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Mind and The Religious Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I am taking an online course through Coursera on Philosophy, Science and Religion.  In...

Testimony and the Spiritual Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I was raised in the religious tradition of my parents, which happens to be The Church of...

Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  This is just a “holder” post for a discussion I was having over whether...

Salvation in Mormonism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Robert at Scriptural Mormonism does a good job discussing the place of grace in “old...

Terryl Givens on Mormons at the Forefront @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Terryl Givens has up an essay at First Things called “Mormons at the Forefront.”...

God and Evolutionary Psychology @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Evolutionary psychology suggests God makes more sense than not. I’m not sure he sees...

PEL on Scientism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -   “…[scientism] is contributing to a growing trend on the left, quite as ferocious...