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

Sic Et Non

Laser scans and a Maya “megalopolis”

10 hours 22 minutes ago
    My mind has obviously been on Pre-Columbian America for the past week and a half, so I thought that I would call attention to this article, which I published in the Deseret News on 7 February 2018:   Many members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are excited about an […]
Dan Peterson

At the highest lake of its size in the world

11 hours 13 minutes ago
    We’ve just arrived at Puno (at nearly nine o’clock at night) after a long drive that began early in the morning in Cusco.  We took several lengthy sightseeing breaks, and, anyway, the roads in this region of Peru are slow and only double-laned.  Not exactly superhighways or the German Autobahn.   Moreover, we […]
Dan Peterson

An ancient alien space facility near the Sacred Valley

1 day 13 hours ago
    We began the morning by attending sacrament meeting at the Urubamba Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  They meet in a moderately sized and very well maintained building right in the center of the town.   It was good to be with the Saints.  They badly needed an organist, […]
Dan Peterson

Hiram Bingham of Honolulu, New Haven, Machu Picchu, and . . . Washington DC

2 days 8 hours ago
    In my immediately previous post, I wrote very briefly about the Rev. Hiram Bingham, the very prominent early Protestant missionary to what were then called the Sandwich Islands, which we today know as Hawaii.   His son — Hiram Bingham II — also served as a missionary in the islands of the Pacific […]
Dan Peterson

At Machu Picchu

2 days 9 hours ago
    The latest installment of the biweekly Deseret News column by Bill Hamblin and Dan Peterson has appeared:   “Viracocha and the gods of the Inca Empire”   ***   You might also find this recent ScienceNews article of interest:   “These knotted cords may hide the first evidence that the Incas collected taxes: […]
Dan Peterson

Hope for the eternities

2 days 11 hours ago
    Several times, here and elsewhere, I’ve cited a quip from the late Pope St. John Paul II, whom I greatly admired and to whom I was once was fairly close during a meeting held in Rome’s Basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls:   When asked whether a Christian must believe in Hell, he replied that, […]
Dan Peterson

Hebrew wordplay in the Book of Moses?

3 days 11 hours ago
    It being Friday, Interpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship has again published a new article.  This one is by the very productive Matt Bowen, of Brigham Young University – Hawaii:   “‘And They Shall Be Had Again’: Onomastic Allusions to Joseph in Moses 1:41 in View of the So-called Canon Formula” […]
Dan Peterson

In the Sacred Valley

3 days 12 hours ago
    We spent almost all of today in the so-called Valle Sagrado de los Incas, the Sacred Valley of the Incas, which is the valley of the Urubamba River.  (We’re still in it.)  It is generally reckoned as extending from the old Inca town of Pisac in the east through the old Inca town of Ollantaytambo to […]
Dan Peterson

A visit to the site of the once-fabulous Coricancha temple

3 days 13 hours ago
    It simply demands saying:  We’re in hot water now.   But we began the morning with a visit to what is left of the once enormously important Inca temple of Coricancha (or Qoricancha, or whatever spelling you prefer), which was principally dedicated to Inti, the sun god.  The name, in Quechua, means something […]
Dan Peterson

Cusco, Navel of the Earth?

4 days 9 hours ago
    The relevant Wikipedia article says that the indigenous name of Cusco is Qusqu and says that, although the name was used in the imperial Inca language, Quechua, it actually originated in the Aymara language, which may or may not be related to Quechua but which remains today as one of the official languages of Bolivia.  According to this account, […]
Dan Peterson

Corpus Christi in Cusco

4 days 13 hours ago
    Today — 20 June 2019 — is the Catholic feast day of Corpus Christi, set sixty days after Easter and celebrating the supposed continuing post-resurrection physical presence of Christ in the wafer and wine of the Mass.  (Catholics believe that presence to be literal, and not merely symbolic or metaphorical even if not […]
Dan Peterson


4 days 14 hours ago
    We headed out this morning to look at several very important Inca archaeological sites, beginning with the massive citadel or fortress — our local guide consistently called it a temple — of Sacsayhuamán or Saqsaywaman (or just about any roughly similar spelling that you care to choose; it sounds something like “sexy woman”) to the […]
Dan Peterson

Arrival and Departure

5 days 9 hours ago
    I don’t know whether I’ll ever be back to the Peruvian Amazon.  Perhaps not.  Probably not.  It’s odd to think such a thing, but it’s true.  When you’re twenty, the future is limitless.  You have all the time in the world.  Endless possibilities.  When you’re in the vicinity of a hundred and twenty, […]
Dan Peterson

I liked this jungle

5 days 10 hours ago
    I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Peruvian Amazon.  It’s a beautiful place, reminding me curiously of Pandora, the alien planet featured in the film Avatar.  (I realize that James Cameron was inspired, for that fictional cinematic environment, by the rainforest of Queensland in the northeast of Australia.  But the Amazon jungle brings […]
Dan Peterson

In Lima. (At the airport, that is.)

5 days 10 hours ago
    We were up really early this morning for a 5 AM boat trip back to Iquitos.   When we were first out on the water, the river was dark, but the moon was shining through a partly cloudy sky.  It was quite beautiful.  And also, rather surprisingly, even a bit cool as we […]
Dan Peterson

Walking above the rainforest, receiving a blessing from a shaman

5 days 11 hours ago
    On Tuesday morning, we were up very early and out on the River – the Amazon, that is – cruising briefly to Indiana, which really is called after the state of that name in the United States.  Apparently, the fellow who owned the ranch that formed the nucleus of the town graduated from […]
Dan Peterson

Among the Yagua people, and out on the river at sunset

5 days 11 hours ago
    Our Monday morning expedition concluded with a bit of fishing.  For pirañas (or piranhas).  Now, given my notable success at attracting pirañas by means of my blog and my other writings, I figured that I would have no problem catching my quota here from a small boat in the Peruvian rainforest.  Alas, though, […]
Dan Peterson

Dangers lurking on the land and in the water

5 days 11 hours ago
    I mentioned freshwater pink dolphins in my previous post.  I should say something else about them and their position in local lore.   At least some of the local tribes here in the Peruvian Amazon regard them as thoroughly evil.  How so?  Evidently, pink dolphins will occasionally transform themselves into very attractive male […]
Dan Peterson

Pink Dolphins and Black Water

5 days 20 hours ago
    On Monday morning, we spent about three hours out on the Amazon and some of its tributaries.   The first thing that we did was to look (successfully, I might note) for fresh water “pink” dolphins.  They’re called pink dolphins because, while they’re normally grey, they turn pink when hunting or agitated.  This […]
Dan Peterson

My Three Days of Silence

5 days 21 hours ago
    Much as certain of my critics might desire it, I have not been swallowed up by the Amazon rainforest.  But my ability to blog was temporarily impaired to the point of quite ungratifying frustration.  So I stopped trying.   WiFi simply isn’t always quite up to standard when one is traveling.  It’s actually […]
Dan Peterson
25 minutes 53 seconds ago
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