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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

A battlefield report from Paris, “third-world hellhole”

3 weeks 3 days ago
    I’ve been informed by several people that, in the words of one of them, Paris has now become “a third-world hellhole.”  Why?  Because of Islam.  Because a number of Muslims have moved here.   I’ve been in and out of Paris now for many more decades than I would like to admit, and […]
Dan Peterson

Two poems at the Garden Tomb

3 weeks 4 days ago
    A few days ago, in remarks that I shared with a group at the Garden Tomb in Jerusalem, I shared a couple of poems that I find meaningful.  I’ve shared each of them more than once here on this blog, but think that I’ll do so yet again:   1.   I’m very […]
Dan Peterson

Quotations to Ponder

3 weeks 4 days ago
      Back in 2012, shortly after the (to me) unexpected and devastating death of my brother, my longtime friend Thomas Rogers was at our house for the monthly reading group to which he and I and our wives belong, and he brought with him a page of quotations that he thought might be […]
Dan Peterson

Winding up, for the moment, with Lebanon

3 weeks 4 days ago
    Concluding the second-to-the-last chapter of my book manuscript, at least as it currently stands:   Misunderstanding was also the problem when the American Marines were sent to Lebanon in 1982. The United States thought, as well it might, that it was sending the troops in to prop up the legitimate government of Lebanon […]
Dan Peterson

On the unpopularity of Utah

3 weeks 5 days ago
    Not too long ago, a study from Public Policy Polling found that my beloved home state of California is the least popular state in the Union these days.   I’m not altogether surprised.  The leftist self-righteousness of Hollywood and its relentless immorality haven’t endeared the place to many Americans.  And the descent of the […]
Dan Peterson

Science and Beauty, Truth and Belief

3 weeks 5 days ago
    A remarkable photo essay in the January 2015 issue of Scientific American, entitled “Living Large” — you can see the first paragraph or two, and the first image, online here without subscribing — features images of quite astounding beauty.   They’re pictures of bone and cervical cancer cells, barnacle appendages, the hind legs of an insect called a “plant […]
Dan Peterson

Lebanon: The Continuing Saga

3 weeks 5 days ago
    The tale goes on:   One quite unintended consequence of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon was the energizing of the largest of the country’s ethnic factions, the Shiites, who had been relatively docile. The way in which this was done is a tribute to the awesome power of ignorance and misunderstanding. (Another factor, […]
Dan Peterson

An update from the Interpreter Foundation

3 weeks 5 days ago
    The latest instantiation of the biweekly Saturday Hamblin/Peterson column in the Deseret News:   “Remaking, modernizing Christian architecture in Spain’s Basilica de la Sagrada Familia”   ***   In the pages of Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture, the inimitable Jeff Lindsay — our man in China — critiques an innovative argument against […]
Dan Peterson

“Will We Still Enjoy Pinot Noir?”

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Kimberly A. Nicholas grew up on her family’s Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard in Sonoma, California.  Today, though, she’s an associate professor of “sustainability science” at Sweden’s Lund University, from which she advises grape growers and winemakers around the world.   She wrote a 2014 article for Scientific American that was titled “Will We Still Enjoy […]
Dan Peterson

A few more lines on Lebanon

3 weeks 6 days ago
    Some additional paragraphs:   “Beirut’s enduring lesson for me,” writes Thomas Friedman, “was how thin is the veneer of civilization, how easily the ties that bind can unravel, how quickly a society that was known for genera­tions as the Switzerland of the Middle East can break apart into a world of strangers.[1] This too […]
Dan Peterson

Part of the problem to which Christ’s resurrection is the solution

4 weeks ago
    Our culminating meeting yesterday afternoon, prior to the farewell dinner at a nearby hotel, was at the Garden Tomb, just outside the walls of Old City Jerusalem, in the eastern, Arab, part of the “suburbs.”  For my wife and me, this was the third time at the Garden Tomb during the past month. […]
Dan Peterson

A blast from my publishing past

4 weeks ago
    Some time ago, on a whim, I discovered — to my delight and also somewhat to my horror — that my very first “serious” publication is available on the web:  “The Future of Capitalism: Manifest Destiny on the New Frontier.” The Freeman 27/3 (March 1977).   I hadn’t even thought about that possibility […]
Dan Peterson

Wisdom from the first Islamic caliph

4 weeks ago
    I related this story to each of the three groups that I’ve recently led around Jerusalem and Israel:   Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, died unexpectedly and rather suddenly in 632 A.D., after only a brief illness.   When the news reached ‘Umar that Muhammad was gone, that strong man, who would later […]
Dan Peterson

Lebanon, Syria, and Hobbesian State of Nature

4 weeks ago
    A few more lines:   In April of 1976, Syria dispatched its army, ostensibly to put an end to the civil war. In fact, they were probably undertaking an effort to restore the boundaries of ancient Greater Syria, which had included modern Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel, as well as the mod­ern state of […]
Dan Peterson

“‘The Lord’s Standard of Morality’ Promotes LDS Rape Culture”

4 weeks 2 days ago
    I’m still sincerely interested in the reactions of committed, believing Latter-day Saint women to this item from back in 2014.   I’m not particularly interested in hearing from angry, alienated, and disaffected former Mormons, etc.  Not because I’m trying to silence them, but because I already have a fairly good idea, I think, […]
Dan Peterson

“Why I Remained Loyal to a ‘Racist’ Church”

4 weeks 2 days ago
    I posted the item below back in 2012.  With attention focused now on the approaching fortieth anniversary of the 1978 priesthood revelation, I think it not inappropriate to repost what I said on that occasion:   In a widely publicized encounter a day or two ago, a youngish Ron Paul supporter in Wisconsin […]
Dan Peterson

Another note on Lebanon

4 weeks 2 days ago
    Continuing with the discussion:   Furthermore, when Yasir Arafat fled Jordan after “Black Sep­tember,” he was welcomed in Lebanon by the Muslims and the Druze, who saw the PLO as an ally—another private army, and one with considerable battle experience—against their stubborn Maronite Christian opponents. The Maronites, for their part, grew increasingly furious […]
Dan Peterson

Very provincial folks in a very provincial church

1 month ago
    Back in 2014, President Henry B. Eyring, who was then serving as first counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — in the new presidency of Russell M. Nelson, of course, he serves as second counselor — addressed a conference on marriage that was held in […]
Dan Peterson

Lebanon (continuing)

1 month ago
    The book manuscript continueth:   The trouble was, nobody had asked the Druze and the Sunnis and the Shiites whether they wanted to be part of this new and rather artificial Christian-dominated state. And, in fact, the over­whelming majority seem to have resented it from the beginning. They would have preferred to have […]
Dan Peterson

“Thoughts on Streetergate,” and etc.

1 month ago
    Sometimes, it’s nice to be far away from Utah when Mormon-related controversies are in the air.  I was flying from Cairo to Amman to Tel Aviv when news of Jonathan Streeter’s hoax apology reached some Mormons traveling in the Middle East, and I never even heard the discussions about it.  By the time […]
Dan Peterson
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1 hour 41 minutes ago
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