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

Sic Et Non

“They ought even to be helped to perish”

1 week 5 days ago
    A couple of passages from Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist: A Criticism of Christianity [1888], translated by Anthony M. Ludovici (New York: Barnes and Noble, 2006).  But, first, a few lines from Dennis Sweet’s introduction to this edition:   In earlier books Nietzsche had made that most profound announcement: “God is dead.”  In other words, […]
Dan Peterson

A Note on Muslims and Christian Churches

1 week 6 days ago
    An interesting article from The Economist:   “Anglophones and Francophones still approach Islam differently: The English and Americans offer pragmatism, the French zeal”   ***   Not infrequently, people write to me to assure me that all Muslims always want to destroy churches and obliterate Christianity, and that no Muslim would ever defend a […]
Dan Peterson

Coming: The Fourth Temple on Mount Zion Conference

1 week 6 days ago
    I’m pleased to be able to share the provisional program for an upcoming conference, co-sponsored by the Interpreter Foundation.   The Fourth Temple on Mount Zion Conference in memory of Matthew B. Brown 10 November 2018 251 Tanner Building, Brigham Young University   Stephen Ricks: Session chair 9:00                 Welcome and prayer 9:15                 S. […]
Dan Peterson

A note from a wren

1 week 6 days ago
    From one of my still-incomplete manuscripts:   An anonymous correspondent for the Buffalo Spectator, recounting his alleged encounter with a Mormon missionary, a fellow-passenger in a stage coach, supplies a striking illustration of what many early nineteenth century skeptics expected to find in the Book of Mormon: I stated that I had read […]
Dan Peterson

Happy birthday, Kenneth. I miss you.

1 week 6 days ago
    I found President M. Russell Ballard’s talk at the beginning of today’s morning conference session profoundly significant and deeply, personally, moving.  And particularly appropriate, for me, on this very date.   My brother, my only sibling, would have been seventy-six years old today.  Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly in March 2012.   I […]
Dan Peterson

Is there any actual truth to this?

2 weeks ago
    I believe that I’ve seen the image above before, but I definitely ran into it today and, thus, I assume that it’s going the rounds now at conference time.   First of all, let me state for the record — though some will doubt my words, since I’m widely known in certain circles […]
Dan Peterson

“Directed Evolution” and the 2018 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

2 weeks ago
    A few days ago, Frances Arnold (of the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech), Gregory Winter (of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom), and George Smith (of the University of Missouri at Columbia) were announced as the winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2018.  For what it’s worth, Dr. […]
Dan Peterson

Into the woods

2 weeks ago
    A few days ago, I posted an item in which Joseph Smith described retreating into a grove of trees to pray.  I commented that that account, from much later in his life, seemed to strengthen the plausiblity of the account of his First Vision, since it suggested that such withdrawals into the woods […]
Dan Peterson

Possibly my last post on the Kavanaugh controversy (Hallelujah!)

2 weeks ago
    I have not often been an enthusiastic fan of Susan Collins (R-ME).  But I am today:   “Kavanaugh fight: Susan Collins stands up to Democratic bullies and becomes a profile in courage”   If you have the time and the interest, listen to her speech on the floor of the Senate.  It is […]
Dan Peterson

Some interesting little items from the Book of Mormon

2 weeks ago
    Notes from a manuscript of mine:   Poetic form called climax (from the Greek word for “ladder”)[1]     And the first fruits of repentance is baptism; and baptism cometh by faith unto the fulfilling the commandments; and the fulfilling the commandments bringeth remission of sins; And the remission of sins bringeth meekness, […]
Dan Peterson

My campaign against Islam

2 weeks 1 day ago
    My wife and I had dinner earlier tonight, in The Garden Restaurant atop the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, overlooking the Salt Lake City Temple, with Russell McGregor and his wife, who are visiting from New Zealand.  It was a very pleasant evening, and I’m grateful to them for spending time with us.   […]
Dan Peterson

In which I endorse the ordination of women?

2 weeks 1 day ago
    New this week in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture (and, it should perhaps be noted, written by a non-relative of mine):   “To Be Learned Is Good, If One Stays on the Rails”   ***   Many people — presumably basing their expectations on April’s rather eventful conference, which was President Nelson’s first […]
Dan Peterson

Do the Right Thing, Jeff Flake!

2 weeks 1 day ago
    I’m a strong admirer of Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ).  I’ve been proud of him for his criticisms of Donald Trump.  He is a principled, libertarian-leaning conservative and a courageous voice of political morality.  I regret that he’s leaving the Senate after this year.   I’m even fine with his recent successful call for […]
Dan Peterson

If you would just buy ENOUGH of them, I could retire sooner!

2 weeks 1 day ago
    A number of years ago, I published a biography entitled Muhammad: Prophet of God.  It was essentially my section from David Noel Freedman and Michael J. McClymond, eds., The Rivers of Paradise: Moses, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus and Muhammad as Religious Founders, a hefty (and heftily-priced) volume that featured a foreword by the celebrated/controversial Swiss theologian […]
Dan Peterson

A brief trip through ancient Greek astronomy (Part 1 of 2)

2 weeks 2 days ago
    From Richard Panek, The 4% Universe: Dark Matter, Dark Energy, and the Race to Discover the Rest of Reality (Boston and New York: Mariner Books Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011):   When Plato challenged his students, in the fourth century B.C., to describe the motions of the celestial bodies through geometry, he didn’t expect […]
Dan Peterson

A prophecy given through Joseph Smith that has definitely been fulfilled

2 weeks 2 days ago
    I confess that I’m not quite accustomed yet to the new order of things, but my column for this week seems to have appeared in today’s print edition of the Deseret News and most definitely appeared today in LDS Living:   “Why a Worldwide Church Wasn’t Even Possible Until Now + the Miracle […]
Dan Peterson

A schematic summary of Islamic history

2 weeks 3 days ago
    The great philosopher of history Ibn Khaldun (AD 1332-1406) speaks out on the controversy surrounding the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court of the United States:   If the soul is impartial in receiving information, it devotes to that information the share of critical investigation the information deserves, and its […]
Dan Peterson

Notes on the Testimony of George Q. Cannon

2 weeks 3 days ago
    From some notes that I’ve gathered:   George Q. Cannon, a counselor in the First Presidency to Brigham Young, John Taylor, Wilford Woodruff, and Lorenzo Snow, claimed on several occasions to have seen Christ and to have conversed with him face to face.  Cannon was a man of great integrity and remarkable ability […]
Dan Peterson

“I have described the Way”

2 weeks 3 days ago
    Here are a couple of passages that I like from Farid al-Din ‘Attar’s twelfth-thirteenth century Persian mystical poem The Conference of the Birds:   The wretches damned in hell will cry To those in paradise: “O, testify To us the nature of your happiness; Describe the sacred joys which you possess!” And they […]
Dan Peterson

How I hate and fear science!

2 weeks 3 days ago
    The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2018 was announced yesterday.  It was apportioned between three people, including (at ninety-six) the oldest person ever to win a Nobel Prize and the first woman to win the Physics Prize in fifty-five years — and only the third to win it in the entire history of […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
4 hours 22 minutes ago
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