More Islands and Atolls

Looking for Living Sages: Diverting from Diversions to Roads Less Taken @ Segullah
  -  This semester, I am teaching a course entitled “Later Life and...

Taliban Hackers Hijack Salt Lake Tribune Website, Call for Totalitarian Oppression of Unvaxxed @ Mormanity
  -  Thanks to certain contacts across Asia and the Middle East, I've heard off the record...

Winter Journal 2021-22 Editorial @ Segullah
  -  Many of you are creators. All of us are, really. Just the other day, someone who barely...

Featured Poet @ Segullah
  -  Fae Ellsworth lives in Virgin, Utah, in the shadow of Zion National Park in a house she...

Do I Dare Join the Woman in the Boat? @ Mormanity
  -    "Woman Reading in a Boat" by Arthur Becher, ca. 1910. I just awoke from a dream,...

The Beloved Community @ Segullah
  -  On Monday, January 17, 2022, our country will celebrate Martin Luther King Day which has...

Saint School – Use your words @ Josiah Reckons
  -  Occasionally, when a regular Sunday School teacher in the Warsaw branch is away, I might...

Nacle Notebook 2021: Funniest Comments @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  This post is my annual compilation of the funniest comments and bits of posts that I read...

Science as a Faith: Do We Need Another Restoration? @ Mormanity
  -  One of our nation's leading bodies of scientific influence, the Center for Disease...

Opting In to the Greater Vision @ Segullah
  -  We’d imagined God’s wrath would jolt us—pyrotechnic, show-stopping apocalypse...

Hymn Tempo in 1973 and 1985 Hymnals @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  This is what then-apostle Spencer W. Kimball had to say in a report of a 1955 mission...

Trains, Rain and Talismans @ Segullah
  -  For reasons I cannot grasp, a memory came to me when I was pondering what to write for...

Many Questions about Dementia and Just One Answer So Far @ Mormanity
  -  An expert on senior care, Professor Thomas Kitwood, once quipped that "when you've met...

Honoring the “Certain Women Art Show” Segullah Winners @ Segullah
  -  Honoring  the 2021 “Certain Women Art Show” Segullah Winners Brittany Soucy,...

How to Make a Bronze Sculpture @ Segullah
  -  How to Make a Bronze Sculpture in Nine (Easy?) Steps according to Annette Everett,...

Interview with Award Winning Sculptor Annette Everett @ Segullah
  -  Segullah: We’re are excited to have you – a gifted sculptor – as our featured...

May We Follow the Science and Stand for Life @ Mormanity
  -  From The Chosen, "The Messengers"I began my Christmas Day by watching the "Messengers"...

The Downside of Fitness @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   Comedian/actor Red Foxx once said, “Health nuts are going to feel stupid someday,...

Reading Genesis to Teach Genesis: a Short Guide for Latter-day Saints @ Ben Spackman
  -  On January 1, we hit Genesis like a brick wall, and stay in it through the week of March...

A Missionary Reminiscence on Christmas in Western Europe @ Ben Spackman
  -  This is one of a series of seasonal posts I put up every year.  When the mission...

Mood of Hymns for Men vs. Hymns for Women @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I’m getting ready for the Church to release the new hymnal, although I realize it...

Teaching Nursery Children about the Nativity @ Segullah
  -  As a nursery teacher, my task is to think about how I can teach gospel concepts to very...

Sabbath Speeches: Important truths of the gospel @ Josiah Reckons
  -  This is a talk I would have given today in sacrament meeting but I was sick. The assigned...

Scrooge, Jacob, and Forgiveness: A Christmas Message @ Ben Spackman
  -  This is one of several posts I will update and repost each year at the appropriate...

Reading and Teaching the Old Testament: Suggestions and Resources for Seminary Teachers and Parents (and Everybody else) @ Ben Spackman
  -  Soon we start the Old Testament. It’s a challenging book to read, study, and teach,...

The 1980 Old Testament Institute Manual: Why You Should Ignore it for Teaching Genesis @ Ben Spackman
  -  Today’s take-away is simple: Don’t use the Old Testament Institute manual for...

Recent Discoveries and Advances Published by Interpreter, Part 1 @ Mormanity
  -  If you aren't following the journal Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and...

C.S Lewis on Genre, Genesis, and the Old Testament @ Ben Spackman
  -  There’s no reason why God, who spoke to ancient Israelites “in their weakness, after...

Exciting News about the Annual BYU Studies Poetry and Personal Essay Contests @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   Increase in Prize Money To continue the tradition of outstanding poetry and...

Let's Have Some Compassion for Our Untouchables @ Mormanity
  -  If you grew up in a nation with a formal caste system, would you let society dictate how...

Tales from the Archives: Premises, Genesis, and the Priesthood Ban @ Ben Spackman
  -  In my last two posts, I detailed some things from Henry Eyring and Joseph Fielding Smith...

“Are not these conclusions reasonable?”: Premises, Faith, and Argument @ Ben Spackman
  -  We begin interpreting scripture before we even crack open the cover, through the...

Bits of Conference That Might Be Harmful to Mental Health @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -   Like I said in my review a few weeks ago, I really appreciated Erich W....

Tales from the Archive: Joseph Fielding Smith, James Fletcher, and the Moon @ Ben Spackman
  -  It is somewhat well-known that Joseph Fielding Smith did not like the idea of astronauts;...

Clean from the blood of this wicked generation @ Josiah Reckons
  -  Interestingly, being clean from dirt is hardly mentioned in scripture, but being clean...

Institutional Bullying and the Question of Religious Exemption from Vaccine Mandates @ Mormanity
  -  I received a call this week from a father with two children facing intimidation and...

A Heretic Reviews General Conference, October 2021 @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Best musical numbers: “Come, Ye Children of the Lord”, Saturday morning;...

Tales from the Archives: Cleon Skousen, George Hansen, and Geology @ Ben Spackman
  -  My last post talked about Cleon Skousen’s book, The First 2000 Years. Today I came...

What fraction of temples are announced in General Conference? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Given the general failure of my Conference prediction posts, I’ll understand if you...

Earthquakes in scripture @ Josiah Reckons
  -  The sky was a weird greyish colour, because of the dust blowing over from the Sahara. I...

“Temple patrons and workers are ASKED to wear face masks” @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I was happy to see the First Presidency’s letter this week where they asked temple...

Zeal Without Data: Blaming the Church for Utah's Allegedly Low Vaccination Rates @ Mormanity
  -  Romans 10:2 speaks of those who "have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge."...

When You Can’t Trust Your Fellow Latter-day Saints @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   My relationship with the Church has been complicated for a long time now. I’ve...

Ages of the Patriarchs @ Josiah Reckons
  -  Why so old?

How could the Church take unrighteous dominion seriously? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I was in a ward once where the Gospel Doctrine teacher loved to quote from the end of...

Medical Tyranny? When Your Government Tells You to Abandon Freedom and Personal Choice, It's Time to Speak Out @ Mormanity
  -  Victory BoydThe mainstream media has largely ignored a chilling story about disrespecting...

How often do BYU student speakers at commencement suggest they’re straight? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Like many other people, I was dismayed to read Elder Holland’s recent speech at BYU...

A Google Earth View of a Candidate for Bountiful, Khor Kharfot on Wadi Sayq @ Mormanity
  -  Here is a beautiful view from Google Earth of a leading candidate for the Book of Mormon...

Because I’ve Been Infected Much @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  We here at ZD have learned that the following hymn has been submitted to the Church by a...

How to Talk to Concerned Church Members Who Are "COVID Policy Doubters" (CPDs) @ Mormanity
  -  Some Latter-day Saints, probably only a minority, were frustrated with a recent request...

A Sacrament Meeting Worth Shouting About @ Mormanity
  -  Sunday turned out to be one of the most exciting sacrament meetings I can recall. It was...

When Selfishness Masquerades as Freedom @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   Sometime in the past 40 years or so, the Republican Party became myopically focused...

The Chosen: Act Now to See the Season Two Finale Within 24 Hours @ Mormanity
  -  My life has been uplifted and touched deeply by the brilliant series, The Chosen, on the...

Embracing C3ns0rsh1p: A Survival Guide with Helpful Input From China @ Mormanity
  -  I marvel at the shock and outrage of some conservative voices as their posts, tweets, and...

BillionGraves: A Remarkable Tool for Finding Graves of Your Ancestors @ Mormanity
  -  With the need to return to Utah for a while, my wife and I decided to drive instead of...

A Plea for Toleration and Kindness for Those Who Don't Wear Masks @ Mormanity
  -  As some units of the Church return to more normalcy, including in-person meetings where...

Fasting without Asking @ Josiah Reckons
  -  I used to think fasting with a purpose meant the focus of fasting was asking God to do...

Apple Itunes Features the Witnesses Movie Trailer on the Front Page of their Movie Trailer Site @ Mormanity
  -  I just heard that the trailer for the new Witnesses film about the Three Witnesses is...

Witnesses, the Dramatic Movie About Some of the Book of Mormon Witnesses, Premiers on June 2 @ Mormanity
  -  The powerful drama about the Three Witnesses of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon has...

Trying to Take the Shine off Shinehah: Vogel's Response to a Commonly Cited Evidence for Book of Abraham Authenticity @ Mormanity
  -  This morning I was reading from what may be the premier work of Latter-day Saint...

New Scholarship on the Influence of the Small Plates on Mormon's Writings @ Mormanity
  -  One of the things that fascinates me in my role as a co-editor for the Interpreter...

Rehearsing Doubt @ Josiah Reckons
  -  One way of both protecting ourselves and others may be to prepare for these doubt by...

Nutrition and COVID: We Need More Science to Follow @ Mormanity
  -  While there has been a lot of good news for the country in recent weeks, with millions...

Thoughts on a Pandemic Year @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   It has certainly been a year to remember. I have to go back a few months before the...

Geocentric Astronomy in the Book of Abraham? Dan Vogel's Refutation of LDS Scholars @ Mormanity
  -   Circumpolar star trails in a long-exposure photo of several hours, showing that...

A Highlight from Dan Vogel's Book: A Clever Explanation for the Most Obvious Evidence of Scribes Using an Existing Translation in Making the Book of Abraham Manuscripts @ Mormanity
  -  In my previous posts reviewing Dan Vogel's recent Book of Abraham Apologetics (Salt Lake...

Missing Some of the Most Important Questions, Documents, and Evidences: Part 3 of My Review of Dan Vogel's Book @ Mormanity
  -  In Part 1 and Part 2 of my review on Dan Vogel's newly published Book of Abraham...

What is an eye single to the glory of God? @ Josiah Reckons
  -  An eye that is single indicates generosity

What's New at BYU Studies? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   The quick answer is, “A lot.” The longer answer is, of course, what you’re...

Dark Waters, Endocrine Disruptors, and Self-Regulating Corporations @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   During the pandemic, since we don’t eat out at restaurants or go to movie...

Finding Reliable Sources of Information @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   The following is a priesthood lesson I presented on January 10, the Sunday after...

Sharper than a two-edged sword @ Josiah Reckons
  -  Four years ago, when Sunday school last covered D&C, I puzzled over the phrase...

The Future of the GOP and the Decisions Facing LDS Republicans @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   The Republican Party is at a difficult crossroads, especially after the...

The field is white @ Josiah Reckons
  -  When you grow up in rural Waikato, New Zealand, the fields aren’t white around the time...

The Perfect Virus @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   If the Chinese had indeed attempted to design a virus that would disrupt American...

The Human Brain and Rational Thought @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   Lately, I have been living a dual existence. By day, I am the editorial director at...

The Republican (and LDS) Fascination with Authoritarianism @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I’ve been wondering lately about the obvious fascination both Republicans and...

What Does It Mean to Be Conservative in Today’s Republican Party? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’m going to quote three “conservatives” in this column. I want you to know this up...

The Gaping Hole in the Church’s Official Policy on Abortion @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Several years ago, my high priests group had a lesson on a topic I can’t now recall....

An Open Letter to My Republican Friends @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The election that is just over four months away is certainly the most important election...

More on Utilitarianism @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Following up on a previous post, let’s look at utilitarianism in the Book of Mormon. It...

Remembering Pvt. Amos Franklin Terry Jr. on Memorial Day 2020 @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The beginnings of Memorial Day are a bit confused. Apparently, the May holiday began as...

A Real Miracle Drug? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  For many years now I’ve been doing an experiment with a drug that seems to have an...

Opening the Economy, Utilitarianism, Abortion, and Our Pressing Ethical Project @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One of the best books I’ve read in recent years is, surprisingly, a textbook: The...

Donald Trump, MD @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  There is nothing Donald Trump likes more than being in front of television cameras,...

What to Do with the Money? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  We live in strange times. Here we were, cruising along, living under the delusion that...

Last Nurse Standing and the Coronapocalypse @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  These are odd times. But sometimes crises have their lighter side. My daughter is a...

Streamlining Temple Ordinances @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I’ve been thinking about temple ordinances and wondering if we couldn’t streamline...

URLs for My Mormon Studies Articles and Essays @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I decided it might be useful for me, if not for others, to have the URLs to all my Mormon...

Donald or Jesus? @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  In a revelation given to Joseph Smith on August 6, 1833, we find the following: “When...

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....

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...

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 humor...

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 that...

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

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 – an...

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...