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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

Carl Sagan Remembered

10 hours 41 minutes ago
    There’s much in the work of the late astronomer, astrophysicist, and science writer Carl Sagan (1934-1996) with which I disagree.  Not so much with regard to the science but with regard to his overall worldview.   Here, though, are some quotations from him that I like very much:   “How is it that […]
Dan Peterson


12 hours 57 minutes ago
    We spent yesterday afternoon and evening at the incredibly beautiful Butchart Gardens.   Walking through and around them, and sailing just off of them, I found myself thinking of two rather distinct things.   First, I thought of the hymn “Adam-ondi-Ahman,” written by William W. Phelps and included in the first Latter-day Saint […]
Dan Peterson

“Do Latter-day Saints believe that men and women can become gods?”

1 day 18 hours ago
    Here’s another little mini-essay that I wrote and published back in 2002:   Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe that human beings can grow and progress spiritually until, through the mercy and grace of Christ, they can inherit and possess all that the Father has—they can become gods. […]
Dan Peterson

“Was Adolf Hitler Religious?” and other burning matters

1 day 20 hours ago
    The latest iteration of the bi-weekly Hamblin/Peterson column in the Deseret News has now appeared:   “Was Adolf Hitler religious?”   ***   An interesting story from the official Church news site:   “Elder Gerard Addresses NAACP National Convention: Collaboration between the Church and NAACP expands”   How many would have predicted that story […]
Dan Peterson


1 day 23 hours ago
    This is another entry that has been inspired by my reading of James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011).   Hannam is talking about the three introductory academic subjects that a student at the medieval University of Oxford would have […]
Dan Peterson

What is a “fatwa”?

2 days 8 hours ago
    Many people have heard the word fatwa.  Most famously, particularly for people in the West above a certain age, the word will ring a bell in connection with the case of the Anglo-Indian novelist Salman Rushdie.  In 1988, Rushdie wrote a novel titled  The Satanic Verses that provoked a major international controversy because of its disrespectful, even […]
Dan Peterson

A last comment on FreedomFest 2018

2 days 12 hours ago
    Before FreedomFest 2019 draws too near, I want to post my final comment about the just-concluded FreedomFest 2018.   My participation in FreedomFest 2018 commenced with a private Wednesday night dinner with roughly twenty invited guests, including such folks as as John Mackey, Michael Shermer, Mark Skousen, Daniele Struppa, Deirdre McCloskey, Grover Norquist, Steve Forbes, Lisa […]
Dan Peterson

Good Reading, Good Listening, Good Ideas

2 days 14 hours ago
    Two new review articles appeared today (Friday) in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “The Case of the Missing Commentary”   “Much More than a Plural Marriage Revelation”   Moreover, the 1 July 2018 version of the Interpreter Radio Show is up and ready for free listening on the website of the […]
Dan Peterson

At play in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

2 days 16 hours ago
    We went whale watching for several hours today.  We saw only one humpback whale, but we saw (and spent much more time with) two or three groups of orcas or killer whales.  And, at the end, we cruised over by Race Rocks, where, because of the high tidal current, an exceptional variety of marine […]
Dan Peterson

Are Latter-day Saints Christians?

3 days 8 hours ago
    Something that I wrote and published back in 1998:   The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always accepted Jesus of Nazareth as testified of in the Bible: the divine Redeemer and Son of God who atoned for the sins of all mankind and ensured our universal resurrection. The church has […]
Dan Peterson

Light (C)

3 days 9 hours ago
    From a manuscript of mine:   The medieval Florentine poet Dante Alighieri (d. 1321), author of the immortal Divina Commedia, concludes his famous journey through the Inferno, Purgatory and Paradise, in the Empyrean, or tenth heaven, where, a lone mortal among immortals, he beholds the “Eternal Light.”  He is overwhelmed, and, later, professes […]
Dan Peterson

A bit more on science during the Middle Ages, with a note in defense of Brigham Young

3 days 11 hours ago
    I continue with a few notes from James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011).   First, from the book’s introduction to the book, titled “The Truth about Science in the Middle Ages”:   Commenting upon the legacy of Andrew Dickson […]
Dan Peterson

Light (B)

4 days 10 hours ago
    A Canadian woman told the Guggenheims about seeing her two daughters, ten days after their death in a farm accident: Noelle and Christie were standing there, hand-in-hand, sort of looking up.  They were bathed in a very bright, clear white light.  The light was indescribable!  It was brighter than anything I’ve ever seen, […]
Dan Peterson

Shari‘a (A)

4 days 12 hours ago
    There is a great deal of concern among some Americans about shari‘a (or sharia, or shari‘ah; there is no single “right” way of transliterating Arabic شريعة‎) or what is sometimes called, a bit redundantly but also somewhat misleadingly, shari‘a law or Islamic law.  Much of that concern, I think, can be eliminated by […]
Dan Peterson


4 days 17 hours ago
    It’s time, probably, for me to post some of the links that I’ve been accumulating on broadly socio-political topics lately.   First, some of you may be aware that Vladimir Putin and his approximate United States counterpart, До́нальд Трамп, joined together for a press conference in Helsinki, Finland, earlier this week, and that reactions […]
Dan Peterson

“The Truth about Science in the Middle Ages”

4 days 19 hours ago
    I’ve just begun reading James Hannam, The Genesis of Science: How the Christian Middle Ages Launched the Scientific Revolution (Washington DC: Henry Regnery, 2011).  Hannam earned a bachelor’s degree in physics at Oxford University and a doctorate in the history of science from the University of Cambridge.   Here are a few notes […]
Dan Peterson

On having relationships with real people

4 days 21 hours ago
    During the period between roughly my graduation from high school and going away to college, on the one hand, and, on the other, the arrival of my own children, I observed a couple of households that seemed to me pretty much my ideal of the Latter-day Saint family.  In the years afterward, however, […]
Dan Peterson

“Signals of Transcendence”

5 days 8 hours ago
    Just a few notes from, yes, yet another of those incomplete manuscripts:   Oxford theologian Alister McGrath: Through the grace of God, the creation points to its Creator.  Through the generosity of God, we have been left with a latent memory of him, capable of stirring us toward a fuller recollection of him.  […]
Dan Peterson

Light (A)

5 days 9 hours ago
    From one of my manuscripts:   Another famous element on Moody’s list is his eighth, the “being of light.”[1]  This, says Moody, “is certainly the element which has the most profound effect upon the individual.”[2]  Similar apparitions seem to have a similar effect in deathbed visions, too.  Osis and Haraldsson pass on a […]
Dan Peterson

Remembrance of Things Past

5 days 10 hours ago
    I was surprised to see, in the July/August 2018 issue of Smithsonian, an article titled “Secrets of the Scrolls: A revolutionary American scientist is using subatomic physics to decipher 2,000-year-old texts from early days of Western civilization.”   As I expected, it’s about the recovery of texts from the ruins of ancient Herculaneum, […]
Dan Peterson
8 hours 59 minutes ago
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