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Faith is By Choice Striving to Build Faith in the Church of Jesus Christ

Sic Et Non

New Testament Notes 135-137

18 hours 20 minutes ago
    Luke 8:19-21 Compare Matthew 12:46-50;Mark 3:31-35; John 15:14   The take-away here, I suppose, isn’t some supposed denigration of his family, or of the family generally, but the indication that Jesus had brothers.  (Presumably half-brothers.)   This quite clearly seems to work against the idea of Mary’s perpetual virginity, which has become dogma […]
Dan Peterson

Faith and Solace in Aotearoa

19 hours 27 minutes ago
    The latest installment of my bi-weekly “Defending the Faith” column has appeared in the Deseret News:   “‘A Documentary History of the Book of Mormon’ examines primary sources”   ***   Available via the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Discipleship,” an interview with Eric Huntsman   ***   “Church Sponsors 11th International […]
Dan Peterson

11-13 April in Poway, California

22 hours 48 minutes ago
      Just in case anybody out there is interested . . .   I will be involved on Thursday, 11 April 2019, in an Interfaith Panel in Poway, California.  (For those who may be unfamiliar with Poway, it’s located in San Diego County.)  The panel, which will run from 7 PM until 8:30 […]
Dan Peterson

Mother Earth and I

1 day 5 hours ago
    One of my regrets is that I’ve never taken a geology class.  But the subject interests me very much — and probably for some of the same reasons that history interests me.  I recall a lengthy conversation with the late Eugene Clark in Costa Rica about his early desire to become a historian. […]
Dan Peterson

New Testament Notes 130-134

1 day 18 hours ago
    Matthew 13:34-35 Mark 4:33-34   I would think that these verses might be just a little bit jarring to the kind of Protestant who thinks that everything he or she needs to know about God and divine things is laid out plainly in the Bible.   There’s a clear reference to secrecy in these […]
Dan Peterson

“The play’s the thing”

1 day 22 hours ago
    If you’ve been thinking that it might be fun to come along with my group to the famous Passion Play in Oberammergau, Bavaria, in 2020, you probably need to decide on that really, really soon.  I’m told that the tour is very near to being sold out:   ***     […]
Dan Peterson

A friendly tip for climbing the traditional Mount Sinai

2 days ago
    In my younger years, I climbed to the top of the traditional Mount Sinai several times.  I’ve done it only once or twice since then, and I haven’t done it at all for quite a few years now.     Still, I might be able to offer some helpful pointers.  First of all, […]
Dan Peterson

Thoughts on a few controversial topics related to science

2 days 3 hours ago
    The Age of the Earth   I’m sometimes described online as believing in a young Earth, even a literal six-day creation.   But youth, I suppose, is relative.  When I’m directly asked how old I believe the Earth to be, I always respond that it seems to be roughly 4.54 billion years old. […]
Dan Peterson

Leavening, or assimilation?

2 days 6 hours ago
    My friend Stan Barker has reminded me of the wonderful speech given by Elder Dallin H. Oaks — then a member of the Council of the Twelve and now, of course, first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — in the April 2015 General Conference: […]
Dan Peterson

New Testament Notes 128-129

2 days 18 hours ago
    Matthew 13:31-33 Mark 4:30-32 Compare Luke 13:18-21   The parable of the mustard seed seems to suggest that the Church, though initially dismissed as tiny, insignificant, and irrelevant, will grow to a surprisingly large size.  And this, of course, seems already to have happened — not just anciently but in the current dispensation. […]
Dan Peterson

Revelation, human or divine?

2 days 20 hours ago
    The other day, I called attention to a discouraging piece from Dr. Jeff Lindsay, the Interpreter Foundation’s man in China:   “Friendly Fire from BYU: Opening Old Book of Abraham Wounds Without the First Aid”   He has now followed up on that short essay with a more upbeat one:   “My Uninspired […]
Dan Peterson

Thinking about mosques today

2 days 20 hours ago
    “A man is accused of threatening a Phoenix mosque the day after the New Zealand attack”   I’ve spoken in the mosque in Tempe to which the article refers.   ***   “Why religious sanctuaries have become sites of unholy violence”   ***   “‘I don’t have any grudge’: Husband of victim says […]
Dan Peterson

“Simple” life? There doesn’t appear to be any such thing.

3 days 5 hours ago
    Living matter, unlike non-living matter, assimilates and processes energy, stores and manages information, and replicates or reproduces itself.  In this regard, whales and roses and snakes and hawks and redwoods are dramatically different from the inanimate nature around them.  Carrying out these common biological functions requires a basic minimum level—indeed, really, a remarkably […]
Dan Peterson

New Testament Notes 124-127

3 days 17 hours ago
    Matthew 13:18-23 Mark 4:13-20 Luke 8:11-15   When these passages speak of those who fall away quickly, they describe them as having “no root in themselves.”   I assume that this means something like having no testimony, or, at least, having an inadequate testimony.   We should always be working strengthen our personal […]
Dan Peterson

Brigham Young opposed a then-fashionable scientific form of racism

3 days 23 hours ago
    In his important book Religion of a Different Color, Paul Reeve recounts an interesting episode involving Brigham Young:   An early mixed-race (Black and American Indian) member of the Church named William McCary — a rather tenuous and somewhat erratic and even unbalanced fellow, as it turned out, who ultimately didn’t endure faithfully to […]
Dan Peterson

Christchurch and Islamophobia

3 days 23 hours ago
    “Did the New Zealand Shooter Change the Cultural Script?  In livestreaming the massacre, he may have created the next innovation in the mass-killing contagion.”   ***   It hardly needs to be said that I’m not a Clintonista.  I’ve never voted for either Bill or Hillary, and I never will.  Nor am I […]
Dan Peterson

From Interpreter’s man in the Congo

4 days ago
    There has, quite understandably, been a huge amount of coverage of the recent dedication of the Rome Italy Temple.  But another temple is about to be dedicated.  This one is in the Congo.  One of the leaders of the Interpreter Foundation is there, and he will be supplying information about the new temple […]
Dan Peterson

New Testament Notes 120-123

4 days 20 hours ago
    Matthew 12:43-45 Compare Luke 11:24-26   One of the things that this passage says to me, sadly, is that the condition of someone who’s once been converted but then abandons his or her covenants and relapses into “worldly” ways is very likely to be worse than it was before that first conversion.   […]
Dan Peterson

Christian Anfinsen, Nobel laureate and theist

4 days 20 hours ago
    Christian Anfinsen (1916-1995) earned his doctorate in biochemistry at Harvard University in 1943.  At various points, he taught chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania (where he earned his master’s degree) and at Harvard (for seven years) and  worked as a researcher at Denmark’s Carlsberg University, the Heart Institute of National Institute of Health in Bethesda, […]
Dan Peterson

On the quality of the Book of Mormon

5 days 16 hours ago
    Here’s a moving item from CNN:   “In photos: World reacts to New Zealand terror attack”   If you scroll down through the photographs, you’ll find one that shows Judy Gilliland at the Islamic Center of Southern California in Los Angeles.  With her name in mind, here’s an item by Tad Walch that appeared […]
Dan Peterson
57 minutes 51 seconds ago
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