Blog Archives

Sunday School Lesson 44

November 13, 2004 | no comments

Lesson 44: Mormon 7-9 Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 43

November 2, 2004 | 2 comments

Lesson 43: Mormon 1-6, Moroni 9 Since I’m putting these together between conferences all over North America, the last lesson and this are not as complete as I would like. My apologies. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 42

October 27, 2004 | 2 comments

Lesson 42: 3 Nephi 27-30 and 4 Nephi Chapter 27 Verse 6: What does it mean to take Christ’s name upon us? (What sermon in the book of Mormon has the most to say about that?) When we are told to endure to the end, what are we to endure? Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 41

October 21, 2004 | 4 comments

Lesson 41: 3 Nephi 22-26 I’ll be out of town for each of the next three weekends, but I will try to keep up on the study materials for Gospel Doctrine class. Read more »

Two Questions from Jim F (1)

October 19, 2004 | 12 comments

A year ago I met a French philosopher, Michel Juffé, at a conference on Levinas and psychology at Seattle University. In August of this year, I took part in a conference on loss that he sponsored at Cerisy-la-Salle, in Normandy. Read more »

Two Questions from Jim F. (2)

October 19, 2004 | 39 comments

Second question (go here for the first): This question is more philosophical. Read more »

Welcome Wilfried Decoo

October 17, 2004 | 3 comments

Professor Decoo, a Belgian convert to the Church in 1964 (hah! I beat him by two years), is a professor of French in the French and Italian Department of BYU, where he has been since 1999. However, he continues also to work in Belgium, during Spring and Summer terms, at the University of Antwerp, where he is head of the Didascalia Research Center. Most of his academic work is in the area of applied linguistics, but he has also ventured out from there, and he persuaded a major Catholic publisher to publish a book on Mormonism in Dutch. Wilfried... Read more »

12 Answers from Royal Skousen

October 13, 2004 | 34 comments

Professor Royal Skousen has gone far beyond what we asked of him and provided a full and fascinating response to our twelve questions. Read more »

Cheapening Ourselves by Cheapening Our Arguments

October 12, 2004 | 60 comments

I’m wondering why I am being so defensive of Derrida on the thread on my post about his death and on Russell’s—and in the hallway at BYU today when I accosted a poor student who was going on about deconstruction and Derrida in a remarkably uninformed way. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 40

October 10, 2004 | 5 comments

Lesson 40: 3 Nephi 16, 20-21 Chapter 16 Verses 8-10, especially 10: Who are the Gentiles? Look at each condition for when these things will happen. What does each mean? Read more »

Be Patient!

October 10, 2004 | 3 comments

Fans of Brandie Siegfried, please be patient. She intended to start blogging last Monday or Tuesday, but as sometimes happens even to professors and bloggers, life got in the way. You can expect her any day now. Read more »

Derrida is dead

October 10, 2004 | 53 comments

Perhaps no philosopher of the 20th century caused more of an uproar in the U.S. than Jacques Derrida. Though he was not religious in any standard sense, he understood a great deal about what it means to be religious. Though he was often described in the English-speaking press as arrogant, he was in fact quiet and kind. I will miss him. Read more »

An additional guest

October 5, 2004 | 11 comments

Professor Brandie Siegfried has agreed to take time from her busy writing schedule to guest blog for a couple of weeks. She is a professor in the English Department at BYU, teaching Renaissance literature, early modern women writers, gender studies, and Irish literary history. She did her Ph.D. work at Brandies University and has been at BYU since 1993. Brandie is very athletic (something that I overlook because I have considerable respect for her) and she, Renata Forste (Sociology, BYU), and I will be teaching in BYU’s London Study Abroad program in the Fall of 2005. (If you know... Read more »

Sister Manners

October 4, 2004 | 62 comments

Someone needs to write an etiquette book for members of the Church. I’m not up to writing it, but I’m willing to make some of the first contributions. Read more »

Spirit and Body

October 3, 2004 | 13 comments

I cleaned the church building the other day, with the other High Priests. My job was to vacuum the chapel. As I was doing so, the organist came in to practice. She plays well, and she played hymns that I like, so it was pleasant. But as she began to play “Jesus, Lover of my Soul,â€? I was almost overcome. There was something about the physical activity combined with the hymn that seemed perfect to me, in spite of what might seem to be the anti-materialist theme of the hymn. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 39

October 3, 2004 | no comments

Lesson 39: 3 Nephi 17-19 Chapter 17 Verses 1-3: Does the Savior think what he has said is easy to understand? Are the things he has taught “plain and simpleâ€?? Why haven’t the Nephites understood him well? In what ways are they weak? What does it mean to ponder something? What does it mean to ask the Father for understanding? Read more »

12 Questions for Royal Skousen

October 1, 2004 | 14 comments

Royal Skousen, Professor of Linguistics at BYU, is important for at least two reasons. First, he has developed a unique theory of language learning and use based on analogy (see his Analogical Modeling of Language, Analogy and Structure, and Analogical Modeling: An exemplar-based approach to language). Skousen’s work is important because it gives us a rigorous alternative to Chomskian linguistics. Second, Professor Skousen is creating a critical text of the Book of Mormon, beginning with as much of the original manuscript as is available. The result of a more than 15-year project, the critical edition will show all changes... Read more »

Comfort Music

September 20, 2004 | 53 comments

I am not a connoisseur of music, I am an omnivore, and I think I recall Nietzsche pointing out that a person who will eat anything is a person who has no taste. That’s me. There are few kinds of music that I don’t enjoy. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 38

September 19, 2004 | 3 comments

Lesson 38: 3 Nephi 12-15 This will be one of the longer sets of notes. I would apologize for their length, but even at this length I have left a great deal unexplored. Though I will continue to post following lessons, I will spend more than one week on this material in my class. There are enough extra Sundays at the end that, given where I now am in the lesson materials, I can do so and still finish all of the materials. I’ve not had time to look carefully over this to correct typographical errors, so I apologize... Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 37

September 19, 2004 | no comments

Lesson 37: 3 Nephi 8-11 Chapter 8 Verses 1-23: Why might there have been so much destruction in this hemisphere at the time of the crucifixion and so little destruction in the other? Read more »


September 14, 2004 | 22 comments

It seems to me that there are academic issues that saints sometimes have difficulties with and that they might be helped if they had “answersâ€? to those questions from LDS academics who have thought about the problems. I can imagine a student in university who hears about a particular hot topic in the academy and doesn’t yet have tools for thinking about it from an LDS perspective. Read more »

Sunday School Lesson 36

September 13, 2004 | 9 comments

Lesson 36: 3 Nephi 1-7 We will concentrate on chapters 5-7. Read more »

Difference, Disagreement, and Contention

September 8, 2004 | 54 comments

If I were a self-disciplined person, I would be preparing my lessons right now and preparing the presentation I’m supposed to give to new faculty tomorrow afternoon. But when we were courting, my wife, then a graduate student in educational testing, made me take a personality test. She was shocked at how low I scored on self-discipline, and things haven’t changed. So, instead of preparing for work tomorrow, I’m going writing about something that has been bothering me for a while. I’ll figure out the lessons and the presentation later, meaning a long night. Over the last several months... Read more »

Some Random European (mostly French) Thoughts

September 5, 2004 | 53 comments

A week and a few days ago, I returned from a trip to Europe, mostly in France. I was at a conference center in a chateau in Normandy, Cerisy-la-salle. The conference was good; its only drawback, for me, was that it was an interdisciplinary conference. I think my presentation and the discussion afterward went well, especially considering the fact that my French is, to put it mildly, barbarous. Contrary to popular mythology, people were not rude about the state of my French. They worked hard to understand me and gave me the benefit of the doubt. I was the... Read more »