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Sic Et Non

The 1978 revelation on priesthood and other important subjects

2 weeks 5 days ago
    Like many of you, I hope, I very much enjoyed Friday night’s commemoration of the 1978 revelation on priesthood.  I particularly liked the spoken parts, which were, in some cases, very moving — and, in one case, plainly quite emotional for one of those on stage.   Here are some items that I […]
Dan Peterson

Was early Christianity not strictly monotheistic?

2 weeks 5 days ago
    From Fiona Givens and Terryl Givens, The Christ Who Heals: How God Restored the Truth that Saves Us (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2017), 17-18:   An early casualty of the confluence of two factors — Greek philosophy that disparaged materiality and Jewish monotheism that embraced only one divine being — was the […]
Dan Peterson

Early LDS missionaries in the Holy Land

2 weeks 6 days ago
    Continuing with the history of the Church in the Holy Land:   A second missionary, Joseph Tanner, arrived during the last month of 1885. In the spring of 1886, Francis M. Lyman, Jr., came to Istanbul and then accompanied Elder Tanner on a journey through the Middle East and Palestine. In the city […]
Dan Peterson

Las Vegas, Egypt, and Me

2 weeks 6 days ago
    Some of you may be aware of the annual libertarian extravaganza known as FreedomFest.   I’ve participated in (I think) two or three of these previously, and I’ll be doing so yet again this year.   On Thursday, 12 July, from 1 PM to 1:50 PM, I’ll be debating with Michael Shermer on […]
Dan Peterson

Jacob Spori, first LDS missionary in the Near East

2 weeks 6 days ago
    Another brief excerpt from the first draft of my eventual book on Islam for a Latter-day Saint audience:   This was, however, not the last time that apostles of the Lord would visit Palestine in this dispensation to dedicate the land for the return of the Jews. Altogether, there seem to have been […]
Dan Peterson

Interpreter — merely a “blog”?

2 weeks 6 days ago
    I get a kick out of the determined efforts of some critics to minimize and dismiss Interpreter as just a “blog.”   Apologetics, they insist, is dead in Mormondom.  And, they triumphantly add (since at least some of this is about frank personal hostility), Daniel Peterson is a mere “shell” of his former […]
Dan Peterson

A River of Filthy Water

2 weeks 6 days ago
    Along with many others, including those in the group we were leading, my wife and I experienced unaccustomed heavy rains and resultant flash flooding during recent visits in southern Jordan and southern Israel.   First of all, they hit us in Petra, where I’ve never before seen or even imagined rain at all. […]
Dan Peterson

Should Harvard University be stripped of its accreditation?

3 weeks ago
    “[T]he fanatical atheists . . . are like slaves who are still feeling the weight of their chains which they have thrown off after hard struggle. They are creatures who—in their grudge against the traditional ‘opium of the people’—cannot bear the music of the spheres.” (Albert Einstein)    A few years ago, Professor […]
Dan Peterson

A brief response to a claim from a former-Mormon critic

3 weeks ago
    Raising such issues as the archaeology of the Book of Mormon, the character of Joseph Smith, early Latter-day Saint polygamy, and the origins of the Book of Abraham, a critic posting on my Facebook page suggests that among the reasons for rejecting Mormon responses to these and related questions is the (alleged) fact […]
Dan Peterson

A final note on the rededication of the Holy Land

3 weeks 1 day ago
    On Sunday morning, 2 March 1873, President Smith arranged with their guide to take a tent, a table, several chairs, and a carpet up onto the Mount of Olives. He and his companions rode up the slope on horseback. When all was ready, and after Elder Carrington had offered an invocation, President Smith […]
Dan Peterson

“Reflections on the Revolution in France”

3 weeks 2 days ago
    I could not help but think, as I looked over the once-lethal Place de la Concorde, where, among hundreds if not thousands of others, Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette, were beheaded during the French Revolution, and as I walked about the one-time “Temple of Reason” (aka the Cathedral of Notre Dame), […]
Dan Peterson

A quiz question regarding Christian history, plus some quotations on a different topic

3 weeks 2 days ago
    I was reading something a while ago by the prolific Boston-based Catholic philosopher and apologist Peter Kreeft, and it gave me an idea for an item that perfectly combines my religious-historical interests and my libertarian-leaning political conservatism:   Q.  Who was the first Christian in history to be given a government grant?   […]
Dan Peterson

Further lines on the rededication of Palestine

3 weeks 2 days ago
    Continuing with the current draft of the last chapter of my book on Islam for Mormons:   Their travels took them to England, Holland, Belgium, France, Bavaria and other parts of Germany, Austria, Russia, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, and Syria. The journey was strenuous, but the little party of Latter-day Saint tourists seems to […]
Dan Peterson

“Die, heretic!”

3 weeks 2 days ago
    As this blog should have long since made clear, I’m a committed political conservative with libertarian leanings.  On the whole, this means that my political views cohere fairly comfortably with the majority of American Latter-day Saints–and certainly so in the Western United States.  They don’t fit in perfectly — I’m somewhat more libertarian […]
Dan Peterson

Do such remarks say more about the critic than about the Church?

3 weeks 2 days ago
    I frequently read online comments, especially from former believers, claiming that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a corporation that cares only for its own interests and doesn’t care about the needs of its members.   I must admit that I find such remarks baffling.  Weird, even.   It’s true, […]
Dan Peterson

The virtue of hatred?

3 weeks 2 days ago
    A provocative figure on the political Right, Andrew Breitbart, died suddenly, of natural causes, somewhat more than five years ago.  He was forty-three years old.  (Please note that he’s not to be blamed for the Trumpist and sometimes rather xenophobic direction in which his successor at Breitbart, the execrable Steve Bannon, eventually took […]
Dan Peterson

Rededicating the Holy Land

3 weeks 2 days ago
    Continuing the forward slog with The Book Manuscript:   The Latter-day Saints and their leaders never lost the deep interest in the Near East, and especially in Palestine, that had been with them from the beginning. Even as they abandoned their temple in Illinois, they saw themselves as a modern-day Camp of Israel, […]
Dan Peterson

“Is God a Moral Monster?”

3 weeks 3 days ago
    Many people — seekers, believing Christians, even some Latter-day Saints — have problems with the portrayal of God in the Old Testament.   Probably even more people just have problems with the Old Testament itself, because they find it hard to follow.  This is, I think, very unfortunate, both because the Old Testament […]
Dan Peterson

Red Faler, Scriptorian

3 weeks 3 days ago
    When I was a teenager (and, later, when I was in college and then in graduate school), I worked for the family construction business every summer.  Typically, during my teenage years, my father (who owned and ran the company until midway through my mission, when my brother Kenneth took over) assigned me to […]
Dan Peterson

The Beginning of the End

3 weeks 3 days ago
    Beginning the last chapter of the book:   When leadership of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fell to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith, they faced one crisis after another. The Prophet was dead. Many of the Saints wondered what this meant and what […]
Dan Peterson
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1 hour 54 minutes ago
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