Skip to main content

Blog Update: January 2014

Beātus Novus Annus! (Happy New Year!)

Well, 2013 was a pretty big year for me, in terms of my participation, in various ways, in the wider world of Mormon scholarship and apologetics. In addition to changing the name and look of the blog, I posted more content here in 2013 than any other preceding year. It also seems that people are beginning to catch wind of this little corner of the Internet. Traffic is still quite meager, to be sure, but made huge increases in 2013. In fact, I had more hits in 2013 than the entire previous three years combine. 2013 also marked my first published paper, a book review for Interpreter. I was also co-recipient of the 2013 John Taylor Defender of the Faith Award for a project I co-developed with my friend, S. Hales Swift.

With the passing of the year, and school starting up again tomorrow, I felt it was time to give a brief update. Despite the increased visibility, I may not post here as often in 2014 as did in 2013. The wider world keeps calling me, and I have already had two blog posts go up on the Interpreter Blog in 2014. I also have a couple of items lined up for the Interpreter journal, that should be published soon. 2014 will also see me launch a new project that Interpreter has agreed to house as a part of their resources for students and teachers. More details on this project will be forthcoming. I also have material on Book of Mormon geography that I am fleshing out which may get posted/presented through an organization dedicated to studies on Book of Mormon archaeology/geography (again, more details will be forthcoming). I’ve also been asked, once again, to provide some research assistance for a very bright fellow working on a book relative to the Book of Mormon.

Outside of scholarly/apologetic pursuits, I’ll be starting the “Teaching Seminary” class at the Orem Institute this semester. Getting a job teaching seminary is a highly competitive process, so I’ll need to make that a main priority, along with my other classes this semester.

Amidst all of that, though, this blog will not be abandoned. I still hope to keep at least a monthly posting pace. Perhaps I’ll mange more, as I do already have several pre-planned posts that will require little time to get ready for posting. For those who just can’t get enough of this kind of stuff, though, my ever productive friend Stephen Smoot’s new blog should be able to fill in any void left in your life from whatever decrease in production is seen on my blog here (and what he has to say is bound to be more interesting than my mindless drivel anyway).

 In any event, I hope to build on the strong year of 2013 and continue to provide the best material I can on Latter-day Saint scholarship, apologetics, and commentary.


Thanks to all those who bother to read my nonsense! 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The 15 “Best Books” to Read BEFORE Having a Faith Crisis

Elder M. Russell Ballard recently stressed that it is important for Gospel educators to be well-informed on controversial topics, not only by studying the scriptures and Church materials, but also by reading “the best LDS scholarship available.” I personally think it is imperative in today’s world for every Latter-day Saint—not just Gospel educators—to make an effort to be informed on both controversial issues as well as knowing reliable faith-building information as well.
(Given that Elder Ballard’s CES address was published to general Church membership in the Ensign, I think it’s safe to say that Church leadership also feels this way.)
An important step in the process of getting informed is reading the 11 Gospel Topic essays and getting familiar with their contents. But what’s next? How can a person learn more about these and other topics? What are the “best books” (D&C 88:118) or “the best LDS scholarship available”?
Here are 15 suggestions.
1. Michael R. Ash, Shaken Faith S…

Responding to the New Video on Nahom as Archaeological Evidence for the Book of Mormon

Many of my (few) readers have probably already seen the new video by Book of Mormon Central on Nahom as archaeological evidence for the Book of Mormon, starring my good friend (and co-author on a related paper) Stephen Smoot. If you haven’t, check it out:


As usual, comments sections wherever this video is shared have been flooded by Internet ex-Mormons insisting this not evidence for the Book of Mormon. I’ve actually had a few productive conversations with some reasonable people who don’t think Nahom is, by itself, compelling evidence—and I can understand that. But the insistence that Nahom is not evidence at all is just, frankly, absurd. So I’ll just go ahead and preempt about 90% of future responses to this post by responding to the most common arguments against Nahom/NHM now:
1. The Book of Mormon is false, therefore there can be no evidence, therefore this is not evidence. First, this is circular reasoning. It assumes the conclusion (Book of Mormon is false) which the evidence pre…

“The Dominant Narrative is Not True”: Some Thoughts on Recent Remarks by Richard Bushman

The following is making its rounds on Facebook (from this video): Questioner: In your view do you see room in Mormonism for several narratives of a religious experience or do you think that in order for the Church to remain strong they would have to hold to that dominant narrative?
Richard Bushman: I think that for the Church to remain strong it has to reconstruct its narrative. The dominant narrative is not true; it can’t be sustained. The Church has to absorb all this new information or it will be on very shaky grounds and that's what it is trying to do and it will be a strain for a lot of people, older people especially. But I think it has to change. As I have seen this quote flash across my Facebook news feed and thought about how to make sense of it, I have been reminded of the short essay response questions I would often have on tests or assignments in college or even high school. It would not be uncommon for these questions to be built around a quote from an important schola…