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

Sic Et Non

Something to do right away, if you haven’t done it already

1 day 10 hours ago
    In this genuinely weird time of lock-downs and social distancing, rising unemployment and wildly fluctuating markets, we’re rightly most concerned about the lives that the coronavirus contagion threatens.  But there are other victims, including those whose social and mental health have been put at risk by the countermeasures that we’re all taking.   […]
Dan Peterson

The Ark and the Extent of the Flood, Plus Some Quotations from NDE Accounts

1 day 13 hours ago
    As Messala said to Ben Hur, “It goes on, Judah.  It goes on.”  Here are two new items that have appeared today on the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   In God’s Image and Likeness 2: Enoch, Noah, and the Tower of Babel: Genesis 7: The Flood Part of our book chapter reprint series, this […]
Dan Peterson

“Spooky action” that can’t exist but does

1 day 14 hours ago
    Here are a couple of additional passages that I’ve marked in Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, 2d ed. (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011):   The first is about Albert Einstein:   [B]ack in 1935 he had startled the developers of quantum theory by pointing out […]
Dan Peterson

The Real Shangri-La?

2 days 9 hours ago
    Here are two new items that are available via the website of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Teachings and Testimony of the First Vision: President Hinckley Comments on Joseph Smith’s and the Church’s Critics”: Part 19 of a Series Compiled by Dennis B. Horne   “Interpreter Radio Show — March 22, 2020” An archived recording of […]
Dan Peterson

On the “east wind” in the Book of Mormon

2 days 11 hours ago
    Barring unforeseen mishap, I’ll be on the Interpreter Radio Show tonight (Sunday night) with Martin Tanner, between 7 PM and 9 PM.  During the second hour of the program, we’ll be discussing Mosiah 7-10.  One of the topics that I hope to address very briefly will be the reference in Mosiah 7:31 to […]
Dan Peterson

Intellectual schizophrenia as a symptom of a bad theory

2 days 13 hours ago
    I continue to use my blog as an incentive to myself to type up notes from my reading and, therefore, as an inducement and aid to my own more formal (i.e., non-blog) writing.  In fact, I plan to do so more in the future than I have in the past.  (I have lots […]
Dan Peterson


3 days 4 hours ago
    Back in early 2016, I saw the then-new film Risen.  My wife never did — she was traveling at the time — and she still hasn’t.  But I would still like her to do so; I would like to discuss it with her.  And I myself want to see it again.   Those who […]
Dan Peterson

Martin Harris, reputable witness

3 days 10 hours ago
    I offer here some additional notes from Susan Easton Black and Larry C. Porter, Martin Harris: Uncompromising Witness of the Book of Mormon (Provo: BYU Studies, 2018).   Martin Harris arrived in Kirtland, Ohio, on 12 March 1831 for a relatively brief visit there, bringing with him a large number of copies of the Book of […]
Dan Peterson

Amazing scientific progress and surprising scientific ignorance

3 days 14 hours ago
    One online critic of the Church likes to use me in order to illustrate the nadir of Latter-day Saint scientific ignorance — rather analogously to the concept of “absolute zero” or “zero degrees Kelvin,” the minimum temperature possible, at which there is no heat and the movement of fundamental particles is at a […]
Dan Peterson

We fall so very short of the ideal

4 days 5 hours ago
    I’m grateful to Matthew Wheeler for calling two items to my attention that I think some of you will find of interest, as well.  If you can, go the Facebook page of “Abu Ubaidah (Faraz Sabeel Travels).”   Once you’re there, scroll down to his entry for 10:45 AM on 25 March 2020, […]
Dan Peterson

“Utahns have earned a C for social isolation efforts”

4 days 7 hours ago
    “The coronavirus is pushing charities to their limit. Should Congress do more to help?: Some policy experts argue the $2 trillion stimulus package doesn’t do enough for social service organizations”   “Utah unemployment claims skyrocket as coronavirus containment forces massive layoffs”   “Salt Lake City mayor wants state to issue stay-at-home directive — or […]
Dan Peterson

“Pitfalls of the Ngram Viewer”

4 days 8 hours ago
    Stanford Carmack contributed this week’s new article in Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship, the constantly growing flagship publication of the Interpreter Foundation:   “Pitfalls of the Ngram Viewer” Abstract: Google’s Ngram Viewer often gives a distorted view of the popularity of cultural/religious phrases during the early 19th century and before. Other […]
Dan Peterson

Quantum mechanics and commonsense intuitions

5 days 5 hours ago
    I’m back to reading Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner, Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness, 2d ed. (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2011).  At the time they wrote the book, both Rosenblum and Kuttner were members of the physics faculty at the University of California at Santa Cruz.   In this passage, […]
Dan Peterson

“Alleged Assault on ‘Middle Eastern’ Man in Utah”

5 days 12 hours ago
    To be honest, I’m not sure that I see why there should be such a category as “hate crimes.”  Perhaps somebody can explain the rationale to me in a way that I’ll find persuasive, but it seems to me that deliberate violent crimes are deliberate violent crimes, however motivated.  Assault is assault, and […]
Dan Peterson

One Hundred and Ninety Years Ago, Today

5 days 12 hours ago
    New, from Dr. Hales Swift and the Interpreter Foundation:   “A Video Supplement for Come, Follow Me Book of Mormon Lesson 12: The Lord Labors with Us (Jacob 5-7)”   ***   Yesterday, I posted a blog entry (“Does This Thursday Mark the 200th Anniversary of the First Vision?”) in which I called attention to […]
Dan Peterson

Does this Thursday mark the 200th anniversary of Joseph Smith’s First Vision?

6 days 7 hours ago
    Several times previously here, I’ve mentioned an independently produced film that runs just slightly less than 35 minutes in length, and encouraged people to watch it.  It’s really relevant now:   “How Lovely Was the Morning”   The documentary describes the work of two researchers who independently decided that Joseph Smith’s First Vision most […]
Dan Peterson

Mutual Assured Destruction

6 days 9 hours ago
    A metaphor for the COVID-19 pandemic and our response to it occurred to me last night, and I want to try it out here, to test drive it in order to see how it works.  Feedback is welcome.   Many, many years ago, I read an article by the late NASA astronomer and […]
Dan Peterson

“The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague”

6 days 13 hours ago
    For relaxation last night, and to get away from the never ending bad news about COVID-19, my wife and I watched several episodes of an excellent and well-produced 24-part “Great Courses” lecture series on The Black Death: The World’s Most Devastating Plague, by Professor Dorsey Armstrong of Purdue University.  We found it for […]
Dan Peterson

ʿAjā’ib al-makhlūqāt wa gharā’ib al-mawjūdāt

1 week ago
    We live, as nobody has ever pointed out before, in a remarkable age.  For example, all of my classes have been cancelled — in terms of face to face instruction, that is — for about a week and a half.  So, over the past several days, I’ve recorded illustrated lectures on such subjects […]
Dan Peterson
7 hours 15 minutes ago
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