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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

“We are stardust, we are golden, we are billion-year-old carbon”

1 week 5 days ago
    Extracted from Alister E. McGrath, Surprised by Meaning: Science, Faith, and How We Make Sense of Things (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011):   One of the most significant scientific discoveries of the last generation is that the universe was pregnant with the possibility of human existence right from its very start.  The […]
Dan Peterson

A preliminary note on Islamic moral teaching

1 week 5 days ago
    Continuing with my manuscript on Islam for Mormons:   It is on the basis of his or her faith and good works, the Qur’an explains, that the fate of the individual soul is determined.[1] We are assured that life and death were created in order to test us: “We try you with evil […]
Dan Peterson

Plato versus Moses, and other themes

1 week 5 days ago
    The latest installation of the ongoing biweekly Hamblin/Peterson column  has appeared in the Deseret News:   “Teaching of Plato versus Genesis”   ***   With regard to the recent passing of President Monson, I found this article touching:   “Daughter of President Thomas S. Monson says ill health didn’t end service for ‘whirlwind […]
Dan Peterson

Further reaction to the New York Times obituary of President Monson

1 week 6 days ago
    Not a few Latter-day Saints were displeased to read the obituary published by the New York Times the other day in response to the death of President Thomas S. Monson.   I was among them, and I posted a blog entry on the topic:   “Fidel Castro, Hugh Hefner, and Thomas S. Monson”   […]
Dan Peterson

Thoughts from nearly fourteen years ago

1 week 6 days ago
    All the way back in 2004, following the deaths of Elders Neal A. Maxwell and David B. Haight, I published an article titled “Reflections on Two Apostles” in Meridian Magazine.  I thought of that article again now, as the unique fellowship of modern, living apostles has, once again, been deprived of two of its […]
Dan Peterson

Paradise in the Qur’an

1 week 6 days ago
    Another passage from my current manuscript-most-in-progress:   Even more detailed than the Qur’an’s portrayal of hell is its depic­tion of paradise. It is a picture that has inspired much derision among Westerners—most of it quite ignorant and beside the point. The Qur’anic paradise is a garden, a place of darkest green, filled with […]
Dan Peterson

President Monson, in and out of Germany

1 week 6 days ago
    A nice capsule summary of the life of President Monson:   “President Thomas S. Monson:  1927–2018”   In this 3.5-minute excerpt from an address years ago, President Monson tells the remarkable story of the approval of the construction of the Freiberg Germany Temple by the government of then-Communist East Germany — the German Democratic Republic […]
Dan Peterson

Fidel Castro, Hugh Hefner, and Thomas S. Monson

2 weeks ago
    The admirable Ed Gantt has drawn my attention to the fascinating contrast in tone between the obituaries given by the New York Times to Fidel Castro, Hugh Hefner, and Thomas Monson.   Here are some opening lines from the Times’s notice of the passing of the Líder Máximo:   Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of […]
Dan Peterson

A few ideas in support of national survival

2 weeks ago
    Mark Helprin’s article in today’s Wall Street Journal is an important one.  If you can gain access to it and you’re concerned at all about world peace and the future of the United States, I commend it to your attention:   “America’s Alarmingly Archaic Arsenal: The U.S. nuclear deterrent has kept the peace for […]
Dan Peterson

The Qur’an, on Hell (Plus a Note on Dating)

2 weeks ago
    From the manuscript that I’m working on for my forthcoming book on Islam for a Latter-day Saint readership:   The ultimate destination of the damned is described in the Qur’an with highly picturesque language. Hell is a place of raging and roar­ing fire, of towering columns of destroying flame, and of scorching winds […]
Dan Peterson

“Focusing on the essentials in the biblical story of creation”

2 weeks ago
    My very first angry, mean-spirited, ad hominem attack-column for 2018 has now appeared in the Deseret News:   “Focusing on the essentials in the biblical story of creation”   Just this morning, alas, I found a passage that would have fit perfectly into my column (had there been space in the column in which to fit […]
Dan Peterson

Tributes to President Monson, the last living witness to a great revelation

2 weeks ago
    “President Monson Funeral Arrangements Announced”   Here’s a tribute to Thomas S. Monson from Elders Henry B. Eyring and Dieter F. Uchtdorf, formerly counselors to President Monson in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:   https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/president-eyring-president-uchtdorf-condolences   See also:   “Tribute to President Monson from the Quorum […]
Dan Peterson

“Aida” and Mitt Romney

2 weeks 1 day ago
    My wife and I went out to dinner last night at one of our favorite restaurants, the Market Street Grill in South Jordan.  Then, for the first time, we attended a performance on the center stage at the new Hale Centre Theatre, not too far away.   We had already seen a performance […]
Dan Peterson

Inconceivable vastness

2 weeks 1 day ago
    Some more notes taken from my reading.  In this case, some passages from Chris Impey, University Distinguished Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Astronomy at the University of Arizona, extracted from his book How It Began: A Time-Traveler’s Guide to the Universe (New York and London: W. W. Norton and Company, 2012):   Imagine the Sun scaled […]
Dan Peterson

“Grace” in Islam

2 weeks 1 day ago
    Continuing with my introductory book on Islam for Latter-day Saints.  I’ve just discussed how, according to Islamic belief and teaching, we will be judged according to our works at the Last Day.   Nevertheless, there is divine grace in Islam, which God will bestow upon those who have sought to know Him and to […]
Dan Peterson

From Mesoamerica to the Americas more widely

2 weeks 1 day ago
    “And thus you shall take your journey into the regions westward, unto the land of Missouri, unto the borders of the Lamanites.”  (Doctrine and Covenants 54:8)   Some critics of Mormonism have argued that limited Mesoamerican geographical models of the Book of Mormon (like those that I prefer) are incompatible with such passages as […]
Dan Peterson

Two personal reminiscences of President Thomas S. Monson (1927-2018)

2 weeks 1 day ago
    I won’t pretend to have socialized with him on a regular basis; there are, I would guess, thousands of Latter-day Saints who had more and closer personal contact with Thomas S. Monson than I did.  Still, I had a few memorable encounters with him, and I’ll share a couple here.   I first […]
Dan Peterson

“Why is the Book of Mormon a classic?”

2 weeks 2 days ago
    When the Book of Mormon first issued appeared in an 1830 press-run of 5,000 copies, the response, particularly from the American frontier elite, was overwhelmingly negative.   It was, said one contemporary newspaper, “a bungling and stupid production.”  “We have no hesitation in saying that the whole system is erroneous. . . .  There […]
Dan Peterson

“We are the witnesses”

2 weeks 2 days ago
    I continue chugging along with my manuscript on Islam for Latter-day Saints.  Here, I’m discussing the Qur’an’s portrayal of the end of all things and the Last Judgment:   We are the witnesses of all your thoughts and all your prayers and all your actions. Not an atom’s weight in earth or heaven […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
2 hours 52 minutes ago
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