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Faith is By Choice An LDS Faith Blog

Sic Et Non

On the Camp David Accords

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with The Manuscript:   Those agreements, signed at the American presidential retreat known as Camp David, included plans for Israel’s complete with­drawal from the Sinai Peninsula, which it had occupied in the 1967 war, and for a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. The peace treaty was signed in 1979, and the […]
Dan Peterson

Two notes on the limitations of science

1 month 1 week ago
    Many, many years ago, when I was in a high school civics course of some kind, our class was dragged off to the Los Angeles County Courthouse, where we were obliged to listen to part of a trial.  The one that was chosen for us concerned an alleged instance of medical malpractice in […]
Dan Peterson

Does learning about Mormon history necessarily destroy faith?

1 month 1 week ago
    Someone shared this little pie chart with me a while back.   Now, there’s no question that some people have lost their faith because of learning things about the history of Mormonism that they were unable to reconcile with their previous belief.  Sometimes true things.  Sometimes incorrect things.   It’s a cute little […]
Dan Peterson

Defeat and Victorious Defeat

1 month 1 week ago
    My blogging has suffered greatly over the past few weeks from poor connections, jet lag, a bout of illness, a slight cold, and a very, very full schedule.  So I’m trying now to catch up just a bit, with another installment from The Forthcoming Book:   In Jordan, things came to a head […]
Dan Peterson

“Relics of the Crucifixion”

1 month 1 week ago
    A new Hamblin/Peterson column has appeared in the Deseret News:   “Relics of the crucifixion”   ***   A new article has also appeared in Interpreter: A Journal of Mormon Scripture:   “On Being the Sons of Moses and Aaron: Another Look at Interpreting the Oath and Covenant of the Priesthood”   *** […]
Dan Peterson

“Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?” (Part 4)

1 month 1 week ago
    I continue with my brief response to a terrible 2012 Huffington Post article by a certain Ms. Eliza Wood:   Ms. Wood explains that “both Islam and Mormonism are at best very distant cousins of Christianity with some of the same overarching guidance.”   It’s impossible to know what Ms. Wood means by […]
Dan Peterson

A note about (and from) the modern Middle East

1 month 1 week ago
    This section of The Manuscript begins with a reference to the segment of the Palestinian population living within the boundaries of the state of Israel or, at a minimum, under Israeli control:   From his rise to control of the PLO in 1969, and well through the 1970s, it was this latter faction […]
Dan Peterson

A bit more about Mr. Arafat

1 month 1 week ago
    The manuscript goes ever onward:   Another of Arafat’s achievements was his getting the Pales­tinian movement to speak mainly with one voice. There had been many factions among the Palestinians. Palestinian Christians mis­trusted Palestinian Muslims; residents of one town were suspicious of the residents of other towns. Arafat was able to get them […]
Dan Peterson

Worlds in Collision

1 month 1 week ago
    The natural prospects of the Universe, and of life within it, aren’t good.   The atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell eloquently recognized this more than a century ago:   “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and […]
Dan Peterson

“Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?” (Part 3)

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with my hasty response to a lamentable 2012 article in the often-lamentable Huffington Post:   “In order to lead,” claims Ms. Wood, “both Islam and Mormonism do not require formal seminary training, but take regular members and move them up into leadership roles.”   Ms. Wood seems to presume that the Apostle […]
Dan Peterson

Meet Mr. Arafat

1 month 1 week ago
    Continuing with the manuscript:   Even with all of its many setbacks, Palestinian nationalism was not easily put down. “What Palestinian nationalism?” you are ask­ing yourself. “Didn’t I just read that Palestinian nationalism was vir­tually dead after the disaster of 1948 left the Palestinians and their land parcelled out among various countries and […]
Dan Peterson

Some thoughts for graduating seniors

1 month 1 week ago
    In August 2013, I delivered the summer convocation address for BYU’s College of Humanities.  Rereading it after nearly five years, I conclude that it may actually not be the worst graduation speech of all time.  Here is what I said:   It’s a privilege to speak to you this morning—even wearing what Hugh […]
Dan Peterson

“Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?” (Part 2)

1 month 1 week ago
    I continue with a few remarks about an unfortunate little 2012 Huffington Post piece by one Eliza Wood:   “While in some ways neither Islam nor Mormonism is very much like Christianity,” writes Ms. Wood, who has never actually defined Christianity, but who appears to believe that merely asserting that Mormonism isn’t Christian […]
Dan Peterson

The passion of Nizar Qabbani

1 month 1 week ago
    Yesterday, I introduced a famous political poem by the Syrian writer Nizar Qabbani, written in response to the catastrophic 1967 Six Day War between Israel and several Arab states.  But I didn’t actually cite the poem.  Here it is (at least in part):   Friends, The ancient world is dead. The ancient books […]
Dan Peterson

“Are Mormons more like Christians than like Muslims?” (Part 1)

1 month 1 week ago
    A few years ago, a certain Ms. Eliza Wood posted an extraordinarily inept entry on Huffington Post entitled “Are Mormons Closer to Muslims or Christians?”   Her answer is “No.”   But a walk down memory lane will illustrate how, at least with some folks, ignorant anti-Mormonism harmonizes very nicely with anti-Islamic prejudice. […]
Dan Peterson

From the Mailbag

1 month 1 week ago
    I just found the following comment on my blog.  It was apparently sent (by somebody calling himself “Jon”) at around the time that I left for the Middle East, about — what was it? — three weeks ago.  A reader evidently marked it as “spam.”  (Not I.)  It’s referring to my April Ensign […]
Dan Peterson

In the Wake of the Six-Day War

1 month 1 week ago
    Another small dose of The Manuscript:   Since 1948, of course, there have been other wars, in 1956, in 1967, and 1973, and a state of almost permanent tension and fre­quent military clashes between Israel and her neighbors. After the fighting of 1948 came to an end, the new Israeli state signed armi­stice […]
Dan Peterson

Exile

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Another selection from The Manuscript:   The sense of loss among Arabs was powerful and profound. A poem by Abdul Wahab al-Bayati, “The Arab Refugee,” gives voice to this. Notice its lament over the lost Arab town of Jaffa, whose orange groves, now in Jewish hands, supply Europe with a substan­tial proportion of […]
Dan Peterson

From the City of Palm Trees

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Sometimes, traveling in the Holy Land reminds me how very much I miss Truman Madsen.   He was a huge influence on me at a pivotal point in my life, and he ultimately became a friend.  He was the director of BYU’s Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies during the nearly six months […]
Dan Peterson
Checked
1 hour 39 minutes ago
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