More Islands and Atolls

The Scientific Deformation and Reformation of Genesis: How “Science” Messed It Up, but Also Fixes It @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I was grateful for the invitation to speak at UVU’s Mormon Studies Conference on...

Hope Dances the Tango with Doubt @ Segullah
  -  Photo by Sergey Kuznetsov via Creative Commons Hope and doubt are vying for control of...

Your Calling Is To Be An Example @ Segullah
  -  their faces while looking at President Nelson’s face when he was sustained at...

Growing Up @ Segullah
  -  At what point does a person realize she is now more or less old? Is it when she...

April 2018 Editorial and Table of Contents @ Segullah
  -  I’m heading to West Africa in 8 days. I’ll be traveling to Liberia with my...

Mary Keeps All These Things @ Segullah
  -  I stir the innkeeper’s sympathy only when my water breaks and runs down my leg,...

Python Killed to Save Woman: newspaper headline @ Segullah
  -  Python Killed to Save Woman newspaper headline When our pet python wrapped around...

Parallax @ Segullah
  -  —an apparent difference in the position of an object when viewed along different lines...

The Morning Mile @ Segullah
  -  I am destined not to run, but to sputter slowly, to amble on, wheezing, as cars zoom...

Interview with Brooke Smart @ Segullah
  -  You live in Utah now. Where were you raised? Did you travel much as a child? Was there...

Daily Bread @ Segullah
  -  AN ENORMOUS PLATE OF RICE sat in front of me, a mountain of rice, rice mixed with peas,...

Mother’s Milk: A Review @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I first read Mother’s Milk, by Rachel Hunt Steenblik, last July, about a month after I...

Don't Ignore Complexity: A Broad Look at a Basic Book of Mormon Issue @ Mormanity
  -  The more complex a machine is, the more beautiful and awe-inspiring it can be. Great...

The Alternative to Alternative Facts @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The alternative to alternative facts is, of course, real facts. So, in the interest of...

When Engineers Err: My Favorite Story from General Conference @ Mormanity
  -  Listening to General Conference has been a profound pleasure for us over here in China,...

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 14- Exodus 15-20, 32-34. @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  Insert here my usual gripe about how we’re trying to cover so much ground in so...

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 13: Exodus 1-3, 5-6, 11-14 @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  As we move into Exodus, time passes suddenly. We move away from the individual novella of...

What Happens When Leaders are Duped by Predators, and Other Hard Questions about Spiritual Guidance @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -   The Mormon circles in which I am active have been rocked in recent weeks by the stories...

That’s *President* Soares to You: Probabilities of New Q12 Members Becoming Church President @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I’m so happy that I was so wrong last week when I predicted that President Nelson...

The Hope of the Resurrection: Renewed Awareness from Two Painful Experiences in One Day @ Mormanity
  -  On the Wednesday before Easter (March 28), two shocking events gave me renewed reason to...

Another First: An Apostle in an Interracial Marriage @ Peculiar People
  -  There’s no denying the historic nature of Saturday’s sustaining vote for two...

What Will Combined MP Quorums Mean? @ Small and Simple
  -  In a shocking announcement during the Priesthood Session of the 2018 March/April General...

An International Church with More Visibly International Apostles @ Mormanity
  -  A familiar face for longtime members of the Church in Shanghai and the Asia Area in...

Why I’ll No Longer Go to Priesthood Interviews Alone @ Peculiar People
  -  The more stories break about women who’ve been abused or sexually harassed by...

General Conference Predictions @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  General Conference starts tomorrow, and this provides all kinds of opportunities to...

Where Horses Can Take You, and My Quest for Li Jing (李荆) @ Mormanity
  -  Li Jing, China's Greatest Long Distance Rider and the Subject of My New QuestOne of the...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 6 (part 2) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  A Nation of Wage Earners (Part 2)The Individual versus the Human ResourceThe fundamental...

The Church's New Policy on Personal Interviews in the Church and New Guidance on Preventing Abuse: Welcome Steps in a Messy World @ Mormanity
  -  The Church just announced important new steps taken to reduce the risk of abuse in the...

When a Victim of Abuse Cries For Help: The Perspective Needed to Be a Modern Good Samaritan @ Mormanity
  -  My previous post on the horrifying abuse scandal involving a former president of the...

My Take on the Joseph L. Bishop Scandal, and Steps We Can Take to Better Help Victims and Reduce the Threat of Abuse in the Church @ Mormanity
  -  I've struggled with grief and anger for the past couple of days after reading reports...

Gospel Doctrine Lesson 12: Genesis 40 onwards @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  These chapters carry on the novella of Joseph in Egypt. It’s over 10 chapters,...

It is the nature and disposition of almost all men @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Like many Americans, I have had a new appreciation for the existence of checks on the...

As Now We Pass the Sacrament @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  This is slightly adapted from a sacrament meeting talk I gave a few years ago (hence, all...

Priesthood Leaders and Abuse of Power @ Peculiar People
  -  The interview between an anonymous woman and Joseph Bishop, a former MTC president, is...

An essay on the nature of prophetic knowledge, with a side helping of evolution @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  Regardless of what you think about evolution, it poses a problem. In the past, the issue...

Monsters Among Us: Can the Men Who’ve Sexually Harassed and Assaulted Reform? @ Peculiar People
  -    Author’s note: I originally wrote this post months ago, just as the #MeToo...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 6 (part 1) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  A Nation of Wage Earners (Part 1)Sure, cried the tenant men, but it’s our land. We...

Why A Wrinkle in Time Falls Short @ Peculiar People
  -  More than a week since opening night, A Wrinkle in Time has evoked some surprisingly...

The Cost of a Kidney Stone @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  If you have never had a kidney stone, count yourself blessed. I had one in 1999 after...

“Here, Take My Camera”: Responding to the Miraculous Message and Convincing Power of the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  The Shanghai International District Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of...

Jimmer Fredette, the "Lonely Master," Might Be Doing Better and Doing More in China than the Deseret News Thinks @ Mormanity
  -  Salt Lake City's Deseret News recently published a thoughtful, nicely written, but rather...

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 11- Genesis 34, 37-39 @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  Link to the lesson manual. Today, I’ve got a bit of writing about these chapters in...

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 10: Genesis 24-29 @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  One of the aspects of scripture study as commonly practiced by LDS is the idea of...

Women Are Like Hydrogen @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  I read some discussion on Facebook recently of a diagram showing the organization of the...

The Broken Tooth: Guest Post from Sister Deb Roundy, New Missionary in Vanuatu @ Mormanity
  -  One of Shanghai's most interesting and famous foreigners, Debra Roundy from Idaho, has...

Are Mormons More Homogeneous in Belief than Members of Other Churches? @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  Since she started attending church with the Episcopalians, I’ve heard my sister...

Old Testament Gospel Doctrine Lesson 09- Abraham 1:1, 5-20; Genesis 15-17; 21-22 @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  This weeks’s chapters are difficult and socially significant like last...

New Life for Ancient Word Plays in the Book of Mormon: Paanchi, Ankh, and Deadly Oaths @ Mormanity
  -  It's no secret that secret combinations are one of the most salient and intelligent...

Dealing with Difficult Questions @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Sorry I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’ve been busy going over page proofs...

Update on Horses in the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  One of the toughest challenges for the Book of Mormon is the issue of horses. At first...

Worse Than I Thought: Apologies for My Mistake about the CES Letter and Joseph's Cosmology @ Mormanity
  -  In my previous post, "Joseph Smith and the Concept of Multiple Inhabited Worlds: Just...

Lesson 08- Genesis 13; 14:1-2, 8-24; 18:16-33; 19:1-29 @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I suspect this lesson will be somewhat charged and sensitive, given the variety of...

A Man By Any Other Name @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When we were using the Joseph F. Smith manual for Relief Society a few years ago, I...

Joseph Smith and the Concept of Multiple Inhabited Worlds: Just Simple Borrowing from Others? @ Mormanity
  -  Neighbors in the Tarantula Nebula, just 160,000 light years away.Latter-day Saints with...

The Longer Abraham Drama, co-written by M. Night Shyamalan (Lessons 7-9) @ Benjamin the Scribe
  -  I taught this Gospel Doctrine lesson after the scheduled teacher was informed that his...

Penitence: Some Reflection on Lent   @ Zelophehad's Daughters
  -  When they asked us about the meaning of “penitent” at a church group I was attending...

Your Bishop Won’t Save You From Abuse @ Peculiar People
  -  In the wake of revelations about former White House Chief of Staff Rob Porter, another...

How Can Anyone Remain a Mormon in the Face of All the “Facts”? @ Small and Simple
  -  One of the things that you will see sometimes in anti-Mormon forums is what appears to be...

New Light on Mesoamerica from LiDAR, Something Book of Mormon Fans Are Likely to Like @ Mormanity
  -  Thanks to Kirk Magleby for sharing some exciting implications from an advanced...

Exposed: Ironic Inconsistency in the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  Given all the complexities of preparing the Book of Mormon -- multiple ancient sources...

About That Taylor Christensen Video @ Small and Simple
  -  There is a video making the Mormon facebook circuit by Taylor Christensen.  He starts...

The Explanatory Power of an Ancient Setting for the Book of Abraham: One Example @ Mormanity
  -  Critics of LDS scriptures sometimes exert great efforts to find parallels to Joseph's...

Some Resources for the Puzzling Facsimile 3 of the Book of Abraham @ Mormanity
  -  Latter-day Saints interested in the Pearl of Great Price have much to be excited about...

On Mormons and Planets @ Peculiar People
  -  One of the most common canards about Mormon teachings —embraced by attempted comics...

The Day I Interviewed Elder Russell M. Nelson @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  One day when I was working as a senior editor at Church magazines, I had the opportunity...

Henry Eyring's Eye-Opening Experience with Councils @ Mormanity
  -  Yesterday in Hong Kong I was fortunate to be part of a meeting where Elder Randy D. Funk...

Astonishing Correlations: The Book of Moses and Ancient Texts @ Mormanity
  -  Jeffrey Bradshaw's latest publication, "Could Joseph Smith Have Drawn On Ancient...

Science: "How a Mormon Lawyer Transformed Mesoamerican Archaeology—and Ended Up Losing His Faith" @ Mormanity
  -  Lizzie Wade, an excellent science writer with impressive experience and credentials (see...

Remembering Thomas S. Monson: The Painful Obituary from the New York Times @ Mormanity
  -  Scott Gordon at FairMormon.org offers a firm but gentle rebuke to the New York Times for...

One Mormon Feminist’s Thoughts on the New First Presidency @ Peculiar People
  -  A friend recently asked me to share my thoughts on Russell M. Nelson’s appointment...

A Surprise in Alma 7:11 @ Mormanity
  -  Thomas Wayment's "The Hebrew Text of Alma 7:11" in Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 14/1...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 5 (part 2) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Of Course the Rich Are Getting Richer (Part 2)The Irrelevance of Right and LeftNeither...

The New York Times Thomas Monson Obituary and Fake News @ Small and Simple
  -  The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently died, and the...

The Valley of Alma and Another Candidate for Janus Parallelism in the Book of Mormon @ Mormanity
  -  In my last post, I offered an update to my article at the Interpreter on Janus...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 5 (part 1) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Of Course the Rich Are Getting Richer (Part 1)Often there is one pay system for...

Following a Prophet Who Lacks Charisma @ Peculiar People
  -  When I taught writing courses at Brigham Young University, President Monson always...

Perfect College Football Playoff System: 2017 Version @ Small and Simple
  -  Several years ago I published to the world the perfect college football playoff system. ...

Moderate Worship Losing Ground @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  While it’s not really new news, Sociological Science had an interesting story on how...

Clarifying the Principle of Confession @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  The LDS practice of male Church leaders holding interviews with youth has been in the...

How do we Eradicate Pedophile Culture? @ Peculiar People
  -  My grandmother was a child bride. Married at 14 after giving birth to twins, she spent...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 4 (part 2) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  When Speed Looks Like Growth (Part 2)The Technological TrapEver-increasing productivity...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 4 (part 1) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  When Speed Looks Like Growth (Part 1)Nothing in the modern workplace, and very little in...

Book Review: An American Sickness @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  If there is one book you should read in the coming months, it is Elisabeth Rosenthal’s...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Divine Hiddenness Argument @ Small and Simple
  -  The fourth week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion focuses on the...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 3 (part 2) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Not EverythingThat Grows Is Good (Part 2)Our Outrageous Demand for ProfitsIt is important...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 3 (part 1) @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Not EverythingThat Grows Is GoodGrowth of healthy organisms is a natural phenomenon, but...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 2 @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Consumerism: A Perfect CircleThat’s Empty in the Middle[Note: This chapter seems a bit...

I Mourn for My Country @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Tonight I mourn for my country. I mourn for those who lost their lives or were injured in...

Recycled High Council Stuff @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  I'll get back to Economic Insanity with the next post, but some of the conference talks...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: Friendly Disagreement, Testimonial Knowledge, and the Importance of Fellowship @ Small and Simple
  -  The third week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion addresses...

Economic Insanity: Chapter 1 @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Part 1Questioning the SystemWhen he was young Phædrus used to think about cows and pigs...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Conflict Between Science and Religion @ Small and Simple
  -  In the second week of the Coursera course on Philosophy, Science and Religion, professor...

Philosophy, Science and Religion: The Mind and The Religious Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I am taking an online course through Coursera on Philosophy, Science and Religion.  In...

Economic Insanity: Introduction @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Twenty-two years ago, Berrett-Koehler Publishers in San Francisco published my book...

Questions, Doubts, and Faith Crises @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   By all accounts, quite a few Mormons are leaving the faith, and many more are...

Taking a Gamble on Prayer @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I don’t know about you, but most of my prayers are not answered in the way I want....

Testimony and the Spiritual Experience @ Small and Simple
  -  I was raised in the religious tradition of my parents, which happens to be The Church of...

Trump Is the Best Thing That Could Have Happened to America @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   If you’ve been reading this blog for the past year, you are probably wondering if...

There, but for the grace of . . . @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   A few months ago, a new family moved into a rental home up the street. For several...

Bows, Arrows & the Book of Mormon @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  This is just a “holder” post for a discussion I was having over whether...

A Hundred Years from Now @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -  Before reading below, please listen to this audio file:Now the back story. I have this...

Of Witches and Terrorists @ Mormonomics & Mormonethics
  -   I know I told you I was taking a break from blogging, but I couldn’t resist one last...

Salvation in Mormonism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Robert at Scriptural Mormonism does a good job discussing the place of grace in “old...

Terryl Givens on Mormons at the Forefront @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Terryl Givens has up an essay at First Things called “Mormons at the Forefront.”...

God and Evolutionary Psychology @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Evolutionary psychology suggests God makes more sense than not. I’m not sure he sees...

PEL on Scientism @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -   “…[scientism] is contributing to a growing trend on the left, quite as ferocious...

Stats on LDS Retention @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Just a short post as I’m planning a longer post on this topic at T&S next week. A...

Blogging at T&S @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Just a note I’m blogging at Times and Seasons for the next while. I’ll still post...

Mormon Millennials Becoming More Republican @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  Somehow I missed that UVU (just a few blocks from work) was having a religious liberty...

Gallup on Number of Mormons @ Mormon Metaphysics
  -  I’d missed this when it came out. Gallup does regular interviews and keeps track of the...