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

Sic Et Non

Today, this weekend, and nearly two centuries ago

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Here are some notes from a rough and only partially finished manuscript:   Another indication of the Prophet’s sincerity is the striking fact that his own family manifestly believed him.[1]  “The parents and all living brothers and sisters of Joseph Smith believed his account of his visions.  In fact, the two grandparents still […]
Dan Peterson

“By the speed of thought”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I can say with regard to parting with our friends, and going ourselves, that I have been near enough to understand eternity so that I have had to exercise a great deal more faith to desire to live than I ever exercised in my whole life to live. The brightness and glory of […]
Dan Peterson

Of Christians and Mormons and Related Matters

1 month 2 weeks ago
    For the 28 October 2018 edition of the Interpreter Radio Show, Steve Densley, Craig Foster, and James Goldberg joined for a discussion of new Interpreter articles, church history,  and — in something of a first for the program — literature and poetry (particularly James Goldberg’s own).  A recording of the show, shorn of commercial […]
Dan Peterson

A different perspective, probably, than you’ve typically seen regarding shari‘a

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I share with you an additional passage that caught my notice in John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007):   The heightened sense of the West’s threat to political freedom and to Islamic identity has likely reinforced the desire for Sharia. […]
Dan Peterson

“We’re prophets to the whole world”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    The headline is slightly misleading, since only President Russell M. Nelson and Elder Gary E. Stevenson are actually interviewed in this particular video clip:   “Latter-day Saint Prophet, Wife and Apostle Share Insights of Global Ministry: President Nelson says process of Church restoration continuing”   It’s an interesting conversation, though.  I especially enjoyed the […]
Dan Peterson

“The most real thing that’s ever happened to me”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Over the next while, at intervals, I’m going to extract some marked passages from John Burke, Imagine Heaven: Near-Death Experiences, God’s Promises, and the Exhilarating Future That Awaits You (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2015).  I hope that you’ll enjoy them as I have.   If you read history, you will find that […]
Dan Peterson

“Change and decay in all around I see”

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Evidence of dramatic climate change:   “Archaeologists find 300,000-year-old stone tools in Saudi Arabia: At the time, the Arabian Peninsula was a grassland dotted with lakes.”   A chilling prediction, if it’s accurate:   “We are heading for a New Cretaceous, not for a new normal”   But it’s not merely on Earth that […]
Dan Peterson

The view from the Islamic world

1 month 2 weeks ago
    I share with you four additional passages that caught my notice in John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007):   When we asked respondents in 10 predominantly Muslim countries how they view a number of nations, the attributes they most associate […]
Dan Peterson

More on what Muslims think of the United States

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Here’s another pair of passages excerpted from the fascinating and very valuable John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007):   Why Do They Hate Us and Our Way of Life? This question, raised in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, looms large […]
Dan Peterson

Life on Earth, and in it, and elsewhere

1 month 2 weeks ago
    A common notion among some critics of theism or religion is that, with our recent appreciation for how large the universe is and, accordingly, how small and seemingly unimportant our home planet is, the idea of a God who cares about us is simply no longer believable.   This idea can be discussed […]
Dan Peterson

Abandoning Cumorah?

1 month 2 weeks ago
    Big news out of Church headquarters:   “Church Statement on Local Celebrations, Including Pageants: Conversations underway with local Church and community leaders”   “Church of Jesus Christ re-examining its 7 pageants: Hill Cumorah Pageant to close, Nauvoo Pageant will go on and Manti’s pageant may continue with changes, officials say”   I actually heard that […]
Dan Peterson

Why do many Muslims mistrust the United States?

1 month 3 weeks ago
    Here’s another trio of excerpts from the extremely interesting and valuable John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007):   Muslim attitudes toward the United States have been affected by what is perceived as America’s — and to a great extent Europe’s […]
Dan Peterson

Are we ashamed of Joseph Smith?

1 month 3 weeks ago
    “President Nelson Dedicates Concepción Chile Temple: Latter-day Saint prophet completes South America ministry tour”   And, speaking of temples, please don’t forget the event that will take place on Saturday, 10 November 2018:   “2018 Temple on Mount Zion Conference Schedule”   ***   Something more to add to your already-bulging “Religion Poisons Everything” […]
Dan Peterson

Is it possible to be both a fine scientist and a prominent theologian?

1 month 3 weeks ago
    Are you feeling complacent, safe, and secure?  If so, read this:   “The 18 Most Dangerous Volcanoes in the United States”   And maybe this, as well:   “2017 Mexico quake came from unexpected location, study says”   ***   An interesting dissent:   “What the Economic Models of Nobel Laureate William Nordhaus […]
Dan Peterson

“May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths”

1 month 3 weeks ago
    In the aftermath of the horror visited on Saturday upon innocent Jewish worshipers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, I think it worthwhile to call attention to a famous 1790 exchange between Moses Seixas, the warden of the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, and George Washington, the president of the United […]
Dan Peterson

What do the world’s Muslims actually think?

1 month 3 weeks ago
    In an entry that I posted on Friday, I cited the account given by John L. Esposito and Dalia Mogahed of the survey on which they based their book Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (New York: Gallup Press, 2007).  Here, now, are some of their results, in headline form (from pages […]
Dan Peterson

Darwin’s Doubt

1 month 3 weeks ago
    Some notes from (as usual) an incomplete manuscript:   In Charles Darwin’s 1876 autobiography, he wrote: Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason, and not with the feeling, impresses me as having much more weight.  This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this […]
Dan Peterson

The “History of the Saints,” in Ephraim, Utah

1 month 3 weeks ago
    I’m back from Ephraim, Utah, where I participated in a History of the Saints program in the Eccles Performing Arts Center at Snow College.  This is the first one of these in which I’ve taken part; I’ve been invited to participate two or three times before, but my schedule of travel and other […]
Dan Peterson

It started very early, and it continued until the end.

1 month 3 weeks ago
    A passage from a rough manuscript:   “The Book of Mormon is true,” David Osborn heard [Joseph Smith] testify in 1837, “just what it purports to be, and for this testimony I expect to give an account in the day of judgment. . . . If I obtain the glory which I have […]
Dan Peterson
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1 hour 31 minutes ago
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