Suggestions for Missionaries in Lockdown

I have a young friend currently serving a mission in Norway, who is confined to her apartment except for groceries and cabin-fever prevention walks. She asked me to send her some reading, which prompted this post.

Missionaries tend to be out and about. Being in an apartment with minimal internet or personal connection can lead to feelings of wasted time and lack of utility. But it’s also a real opportunity for missionaries to dedicate time they wouldn’t otherwise have to some intensive and important study, about our own scriptures (especially the Book of Mormon), scripture we share with other Christians (especially the New Testament), or Church history and doctrine. Continue reading “Suggestions for Missionaries in Lockdown”

Come Follow Me: Jacob 1-4

A candle inside the Holy Sepulcher

A candle inside Jerusalem’s Holy Sepulcher

Jacob marks a distinct and important break of sorts in the Book of Mormon. Why? Unlike Nephi, Jacob did not grow up in Jerusalem. Born in a wilderness, the first eight or so years of his life were spent… we don’t know. Maybe in captivity, maybe in the desert, definitely under duress and hardship. Point is, everything Jacob knows about and his attitudes towards Jerusalem, Jews, Hebrew, etc. he has learned directly from his family (and whatever peoples they have encountered along the way); he hasn’t seen any of it first hand. It’s a socio-cultural-linguistic founder effect.

Continue reading “Come Follow Me: Jacob 1-4”

The Most Important Question I’ve Been Asked, and Public Speaking Updates

First, a reminder that I’m part of an event in Provo on April 3, sponsored by Uplift (which only exists on Facebook). The format (left, high res here) is a little different, starting with a roundtable discussion of  questions submitted by attendees. (Although space isn’t an issue, we do need people to register, and that’s where you can submit a question.) Continue reading “The Most Important Question I’ve Been Asked, and Public Speaking Updates”

March Madness! With books and deals!

I’ve been a user of Logos for almost 20 years. It’s my research library. I’ve written about how to use its free software; you buy the books, and can buy extra functionality, but you can download and get a lot of usage out of it for free. My previous posts about using Logos to get at Greek and Hebrew (instead of using Strong’s) here and here. I made some video demos, and there are many more on the site.

Every March, Logos holds March Madness uh, March Matchups. It’s a little different every year, but books, authors, or collections go into a bracket, and users vote. Every week, the winners move forward, with increasing discounts, until there is only one.  The winning books/collections this year get 60% off, which can be significant. Below is my “voting guide” for LDS users. Continue reading “March Madness! With books and deals!”

Announcement: Two Firesides This Weekend in the DC Area

It’s been a remarkably good Monday morning. Chilly, but I scored a $72 long-sleeve Merino wool bike jersey for $18 recently, and so went out for a 24-mile ride in 40 degree weather.


Made myself chilaquiles afterwards. Bit of a foodie here.

But more importantly, we’ve crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, so… I will be in the Washington DC area this weekend, doing two firesides. I know this announcement is sudden; technically I’m coming out for a family funeral, but I’d talked to people before about doing this, and now I have opportunity. Continue reading “Announcement: Two Firesides This Weekend in the DC Area”

Robert Alter, at BYU and on deep sale

Robert Alter is an emeritus professor of Hebrew, Literature, and Jewish Studies at UC-Berkeley. He recently completed his entire translation and commentary on the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament, in traditional Christian terms). It’s a lovely 3-volume hardcover set retailing for $125. However, Amazon

currently has it for about $65, with a checkbox coupon for another $21 off. This is a screaming deal on the magnum opus of a wonderful scholar, Continue reading “Robert Alter, at BYU and on deep sale”