Send a FB email to Lima, and soon after a package is picked up in Chiclayo

Social media, and Facebook, reconnect a world thought too far away. I relate the following as an example of how small the world has become in the digital age and how much has changed in 30-plus years. The tale starts … Read More

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‘A Short Stay in Hell’ is an odd, compelling novella about an eternity of the mundane

I read — mostly during Sacrament meeting — the novella “A Short Stay in Hell,” (Strange Violin Editions) by BYU professor Steven L. Peck. It’s perhaps the oddest book I have read, but it’s also so compelling that you can’t … Read More

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Jacob Hamblin biography captures the many talents of the ‘apostle to the Indians’

This is an era of outstanding biographies of early LDS leaders. Several years ago we got “Rough Stone Rolling,” on Joseph Smith, and more recently there have been well-researched, candid looks at the lives of Parley P. Pratt and Brigham … Read More

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Sacrament-first LDS church bloc schedules and other Mormon rituals

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) I avoided it for 50 years, but finally, at the too-early time of 9 a.m., my family and I headed into the ward chapel building Sacrament-first. It was … Read More

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The late novelist John D. Fitzgerald is Utah’s Mark Twain

There was a brainy, scheming little Mormon capitalist who roiled the early 1900s town of Adenville, Utah, with his exploits. The books are The Great Brain series, written by the late John D. Fitzgerald, a roving Gentile reporter/adventurer who spent … Read More

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LDS Church has a test to discern good, and bad spirits

Mormonism, even in its more modern version today, does firmly believe in the visitations of spirits, good and bad, as well as resurrected beings. After all, the church’s genesis involved the presence of an evil spirit, followed by the appearance … Read More

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After First Manifesto, LDS internal debate over polygamy raged for a generation

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post click here.) In Official Declaration No. 1, found in the LDS scripture “Doctrine and Covenants,” then-Prophet Wilford W. Woodruff says, “…  I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day … Read More

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Emma Hale Smith Bidamon remains an enigma to most Mormons

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) In the biography, “Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith,” a visit to Nauvoo from Hannah Tapfield King, a Salt Lake City Mormon, to the widow of Joseph Smith is … Read More

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LDS doctrine on gathering of scattered Israel has shifted

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) In Sunday School class, there was some debate, and mild concern, when the teacher explained to students that there is not a specific physical transfer of the lost … Read More

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C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce’ and the LDS Spirit World

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) A couple of times a year, usually on a Sunday after church, I re-read C.S. Lewis’ marvelous post-mortal novella/fable, “The Great Divorce.” It relates a journey of diminutive … Read More

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