More Islands and Atolls

I Will Love @ Segullah
  -  Last year was one of the worst years I’ve had. That includes my separation, divorce, my...

An Unnecessary Attack on Faithful LDS Scholars: Does Prophetic Fallibility Matter? @ Mormanity
  -  A faithful call to respect the prophets and take them more seriously is the intent of...

On the Arguments of Ruthie Robertson @ Small and Simple
  -  A

The End of the Bill of Rights? Civil Asset Forefeiture in the US @ Mormanity
  -  Burglars and other crooks across the United States manage to seize around $4 billion a...

Earth, Wind and Rain @ Segullah
  -    When my plane descends into the Salt Lake City International Airport, I usually...

The Dumb Things Mormons Say @ Segullah
  -  After my fourth son received his mission call (Canada Montreal, Mandarin speaking!) our...

Podcast post @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I was interviewed last year for the LDS Perspectives podcast, which I recommend. Therein,...

“Emma Smith as an ‘Elect Lady’ and the Relief Society Rooted in Revelation and Power” @ Segullah
  -  In the first verse of his second letter, the apostle, John, addresses “the choice...

July 2017 Editorial – Table of Contents @ Segullah
  -  Recently, a friend told me that she “couldn’t begin to understand” my poetry...

Pressings @ Segullah
  -  When new, ungracious winds trouble the waters and I worry I’m growing smaller in your...

What’s In a Name Change @ Segullah
  -  On June 19, 2000, my name officially became Sylvia Newman. For the previous 15 years, I...

Interview with Ally Condie @ Segullah
  -  Segullah Staffer, Terresa Wellborn, recently sat down with the best-selling young adult...

Grape Hyacinth @ Segullah
  -  On summer evenings my father matches his stride to my small steps and we walk to the...

Pressing Forward @ Mormanity
  -  At a recent meeting of the BYU Management Society, Shanghai Chapter, our speaker was...

Truth, Scripture, and Interpretation of Genesis: A Conference Preview @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  In a little less than a month, I’ll be speaking at the FAIRMormon Conference in...

So much Gold @ Segullah
  -  Harvest in Provence, Vincent Van Gogh My main occupation for the last year and a half has...

There, but for the grace of . . . @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   A few months ago, a new family moved into a rental home up the street. For several...

Why that Peaceful Feeling? @ Peculiar People
  -  When I was younger, I developed a paradoxical fear of the Holy Ghost. You see, it...

The Miraculous Feeding in 3 Nephi 20: Intensified Over Mark, Who Intensifies an Elisha Theme @ Mormanity
  -  In preparing my recent paper on the longer ending of Mark and its implications for the...

An Ayi for an Eye: The Tragic Story of Our Maid, Now in Jail @ Mormanity
  -  As I contemplate the blessings of freedom on this Fourth of July here in China, there is...

A Letter for My Someday-Teenage Children @ Peculiar People
  -  I write all of this to you, my...

Listening to History, Science, and Evolution @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I’ve not had a lot of time to write here recently. I have done a lot of driving and...

Another Surprise in the Dictated Language of the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  For those of you following the surprising findings regarding the language of the Book of...

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

Elder Wickman Warns of “Powerful Coastal Forces” @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  In an emotional speech, emeritus member of the Seventy Elder Lance B. Wickman repeatedly...

Hijacking Testimony Meeting for Activism @ Small and Simple
  -  A

A Hundred Years from Now @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Before reading below, please listen to this audio file:Now the back story. I have this...

Confederate Symbols and the Black Flag of ISIS: Two Sides of the Same Coin @ Peculiar People
  -  A terrorist symbol looms over my hometown. It stands for an intolerant, un-American...

Bible Scholar Breaks Ranks and Reverses His Views on the Ending of Mark Based on Evidence @ Mormanity
  -  The progress of scholarship can be painfully slow when established paradigms are wrong....

Does This Life Matter? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Many of you are doubtless familiar with the object lesson in which you hold up a rope or...

My MHA Presentation and Reconciling Science with Scripture @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  First, Zondervan has a Kindle sale on their Counterpoints series, where (mostly...

No, Basketball Fans, LeBron James is Not Better than Michael Jordan @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Look Who’s Talking @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I got into a discussion recently (and by “recently,” I mean “about a...

A Shanghai Testimony on the Hidden Wisdom Behind Callings @ Mormanity
  -  In the fast and testimony meeting held yesterday in one of the Shanghai branches, I heard...

Trump and NATO: Lessons from Ancient Greece @ Peculiar People
  -  The demise of an alliance in Ancient Greece warns of the dangers of angering our partners...

"Don't Rob Your Employers": A Valuable Reminder to Priesthood Leaders @ Mormanity
  -  In recent training for priesthood leaders from China and Hong Kong, Elder Quentin L....

Why steal a sculpture of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Four people stole a sculpture of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young from a Salt Lake business...

America Needs Mitt Romney @ Peculiar People
  -  A Senator Romney could stand up to Donald Trump without losing his seat. America needs...

Of Witches and Terrorists @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I know I told you I was taking a break from blogging, but I couldn’t resist one last...

Another Week, Another New Semitic Wordplay @ Mormanity
  -  Matthew Bowen just published his analysis of another fascinating, newly discovered...

10 Things for Understanding the Old Testament @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  My semester has ended, and now I enter into a busy summer of reading, writing, travel,...

Fake News of the Day: Your Bank Is Perfectly Safe. Don't Worry. @ Mormanity
  -  Some readers here were shocked when I suggested that US banks are not a safe place to...

I am not a mother @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I’ve heard the “all women are mothers” line at church so many times that they...

Toward a More Straightforward Expression of Female Desire @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When I was a freshling at BYU, I lived in a Heritage Halls apartment with five other...

Spiritual Practices That Actually Work @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Okay, this title is somewhat misleading, as rather than being a helpful list of spiritual...

Would Jesus Heal Someone in a High Risk Pool? The Theology of Health Care Reform @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Like many people I know, I was quite dismayed by the House’s recent passage of the...

Odds and Ends from One Chapter in Martin Harris's Biography @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   One of the projects I’ve been working on at BYU Studies is the edit of a biography of...

Linguist John S. Robertson Reviews Brian Stubbs' Work on Uto-Aztecan Languages and the Evidence for Old World Influence @ Mormanity
  -  "Exploring Semitic and Egyptian in Uto-Aztecan Languages" by Dr. John S. Robertson was...

May 4th is Not Just Star Wars Day… @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  Few Mormons, I think, know that May 4 is a significant day in LDS liturgical history....

The Rod of Iron: Part of Another Intriguing Wordplay in the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  In a recent article I prepared for The Interpreter, "The Great and Spacious Book of...

Things I Like About Mormonism @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I went to have a chat the other day with the rector of the local Episcopal church where...

We need At the Pulpit at the pulpit @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I read At the Pulpit: 185 Years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women a few weeks ago,...

More Book of Mormon Wordplays: A New Proposal Invoving Noah @ Mormanity
  -  The Book of Mormon abounds with evidence of ancient Semitic roots. One class of such...

First-Order Myopia: What Donald Trump Can Learn from Joseph Smith @ Peculiar People
  -  Joseph Smith’s life was cut short because he failed to look beyond first-order...

An Argument for the Incompatibility of Free Will and God’s Absolute Foreknowledge @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Announcement: Online Mormon Reading Group of Luke T. Johnson’s Introduction to the New Testament @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  It’s paper-writing season for me, not a ton of time to blog anything substantial....

Let's Talk Taxes @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Since it’s income tax day, let’s talk taxes. Of course nobody likes to pay taxes, but...

"Discerning Truth: Teaching Our Children About Pornography" by Catherine Humpherys @ Mormanity
  -  In the recent March 18-19 District Conference in the Shanghai International District of...

Too Complex! Don't Confuse Me with that Military-Industrial Thing @ Mormanity
  -  I am surprised how many Americans who care deeply about politics and current events don't...

Carpe Diem: Two Book Sales @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  First, Fortress Press is having a massive ebook/Kindle sale through the end of April....

Unbridling Mormon Illustration: “From the Dust” – 2 of 2 @ Peculiar People
  -  In yesterday’s post, I discussed the relationship  between Mormon illustration and...

Mormon Illustration and the Burden of History – 1 of 2 @ Peculiar People
  -  In his book Miracles, C.S. Lewis dwells for a peculiarly long time on the Ascension of...

Science the Key to Theology: My New book @ Mormon Organon
  -   Cross Posted at BCC. This book is unusual. In more ways than one. Well, maybe in more...

Trump: The Enemy of the Family @ Peculiar People
  -  This morning Isabel, a middle-aged Mormon woman from Colombia who has lived in the US for...

The Creation @ Mormanity
  -  Here is a talk I gave at District Conference for the Shanghai International District,...

Trump Should Learn from Andrew Jackson: Keep Church Out of State @ Peculiar People
  -  Trump can learn from his hero and reject a fusion of Church and State.  Among the...

Authoritarianism and Inequality @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   It seems that every few months new statistics come out showing that wealth inequality in...

Free Book! and It’s a Good One! @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I’ve often had Misreading Scripture Through Western Eyes: Removing Cultural...

What You Get When You Vote Republican @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This past week gave us the results of two polls that, in tandem, don’t shine a very...

David and the Psalms in the Book of Mormon: Weakness or Strength? @ Mormanity
  -  OverviewA 2016 graduate thesis from Kevin Beshears at the Southern Baptist Theological...

There Are a Lot of Counterfeits Out There, What’s in Your Wallet? @ Small and Simple
  -  A

As Good as Money in the Bank? Time to Worry More @ Mormanity
  -  A friend of mine, an attorney, had a job in California for a year and for convenience...

A Bit of News @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I’ve got some public speaking coming up, and I’m excited. First, I’ll...

Are Republican Legislators Terrorists? Some Thoughts on Rumpcare @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I’m being only half facetious with this question. Well, maybe not at all. As Bernie...

The Creation and God's Love: Hints from a Surprise Encounter with a Geologist @ Mormanity
  -  On Sunday I'll be speaking at District Conference for the the Shanghai International...

What is the Distinction Between the Elder and High Priest Office? @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Cabbie Fail: A New Convert Learns the Blessings of Kindness @ Mormanity
  -  Yesterday a new convert in one of the Shanghai area branches shared a story she...

Slot Machines and Video Games: What You Need to Know About Their Addictive Design @ Mormanity
  -  The lives of some people very close to me have been shaken by one man's long-denied...

Eternal Misfit (Part 3 of 3) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a short story I wrote a few years ago that was published in Dialogue. I’ve...

China's False God of Basketball Is Actually a Terrific Guy and Now China's MVP: Kudos to Jimmer Fredette @ Mormanity
  -  When I was young, I used to wonder why people would worship false gods. But at this stage...

Eternal Misfit (Part 2 of 3) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a short story I wrote a few years ago that was published in Dialogue. I’ve...

Conversation with an Antique Map Dealer (and Acquisition of My First Antique Map) @ Mormanity
  -  On something of a whim, my wife and I met up with an Australian map dealer while he was...

Eternal Misfit (Part 1 of 3) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a short story I wrote a few years ago that was published in Dialogue. I’ll...

Evidence At Last: The Many Aspects of John Lloyd Stephens' Work That Strengthened Mormons in the 1840s @ Mormanity
  -  A delightful trend in modern Book of Mormon criticism today is to scour books, articles,...

The Director of the Universe @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I hope this post isn’t too sacrilegious, but sometimes you overhear snippets of...

The Stories We Believe @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   On Groundhog Day this year, The New Yorker ran an article by Jiayang Fan1 that recounted...

Welcome to the USAF @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  No, I’m not welcoming you to the flying branch of the military. I’m referring to the...

Church Magazines (Not the Ones You Think) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   Exactly eighteen years ago today, I started working as an associate editor at the...

Some Thoughts on Certainty and Belief @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   In my ward, whenever the bishop calls young men or women to the pulpit for the purpose...

Trump and the Future of Jobs in America @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is an expanded version of an op-ed piece I had in the Deseret Newsearlier this...

Trump Endorses Mormonism @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Fleeing Babylon (Parts XIV–XIX) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a personal essay I wrote about ten years ago, just after leaving Church...

Fleeing Babylon (Parts IX–XIII) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a personal essay I wrote about ten years ago, just after leaving Church...

The Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2016 Version @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Peck Book Gift Giving Guide @ Mormon Organon
  -  So once again you are wrestling with the seasonal conundrum of which of my books to give...

Fleeing Babylon (Parts VI–VIII) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a personal essay I wrote about ten years ago, just after leaving Church...

Fleeing Babylon (Parts I–V) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a personal essay I wrote about ten years ago, just after leaving Church...

A Response to Stephen Fry Annihilating God @ Small and Simple
  -  A

A Short Thought on Political Correctness @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I’ve been thinking about the ugliness of the recent presidential campaign and one of...

Heil Donald! @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I went to bed late on election night, and then I lay in bed and couldn’t fall asleep....

For America's Sake, Do Not Vote for Trump @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   With the polls tightening and anti-Clinton sentiment running high, we need to step back...

My Attempt to Understand LDS Policy Regarding the Children of Same-Sex Couples @ Small and Simple
  -  A

Book Review—Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, by Patrick Q. Mason @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   This is a somewhat belated review, because it took me a while to get around to Patrick...

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...

Stats on LDS Retention @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Just a short post as I’m planning a longer post on this topic at T&S next week. A...

Blogging at T&S @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Just a note I’m blogging at Times and Seasons for the next while. I’ll still post...

Mormon Millennials Becoming More Republican @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Somehow I missed that UVU (just a few blocks from work) was having a religious liberty...

Gallup on Number of Mormons @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’d missed this when it came out. Gallup does regular interviews and keeps track of the...

New Atheists and Mormon Moderates @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Over at BCC Jacob Baker put up a paper tying New Atheists with the John Dehlin style of...

Deep Geneology @ Mormon Organon
  -  Don’t forget to check out my post at the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious...

A New Book and Discussion: Wandering Realities @ Mormon Organon
  -  My new book, Wandering Realities, was recently released by Zarahemla Books. I was...

Shall we discuss my story Démodé before computers do it for us? @ Mormon Organon
  -  Well it’s a new year and my one New Year’s Resolution was to revive this into...

How the Mother of Vampiro Rojo de Santanás Died at the Hand of the Ethicless Thing @ Mormon Organon
  -   I’ve been too busy of late to write any science posts, but here is a little...

Why evolution matters to LDS Theology @ Mormon Organon
  -  There seems to be a temptation to borrow Christian fundamentalist creationist ideas and...

Death, the Fall, and Darwin: Roman Legions of Death, Part 2 of 7 @ Mormon Organon
  -  So to begin. Assume that the story that science tells is tout court correct. That humans...

Death, the Fall, and Darwin: A More Harmonious Reading, Part 1 of 7 @ Mormon Organon
  -  This is being posted semi-concurrently at BCC (Posted there about a week earlier than...

Scholar of Moab makes Ben Park’s ‘Nearly Essential Readings’ in Mormonism for Members! @ Mormon Organon
  -  Ben Park has compiled a list of Essential Readings in Mormonism that includes both...

The School of Mormon Theology, or The Lure of Fame @ Patheos
  -   The desire for a faction or party within a larger whole, a sect in the literal sense,...

Mormons Celebrate Easter with World's First Virtual "Hallelujah" Chorus @ Patheos
  -   This Easter season, 2,500 voices from around the world joined the Mormon Tabernacle...

Prayer for the Senate @ Patheos
  -   "Eternal God, ruler of all creation, each day seems to bring more bad news than good."

ONE and Heifer International in Malawi: A Photo Essay @ Patheos
  -   This past May, ONE and Heifer International took a group of likeminded writers to...

Coram Deo: Prayer and Life @ Patheos
  -   The more my life is a life of prayer, coram Deo, the more my private prayers will be...

ONE's Prayer for Everyone: A Worldwide Week of Prayer and Action for the Least of These @ Patheos
  -   Join the #PrayerForEveryone Campaign from September 24 to October 1 to help end extreme...