The prevalence of a spirit of contention amongst a people is a certain sign of deadness with respect to the things of religion. When men's spirits are hot with contention, they are cold to religion. - Jonathan Edwards “The Book of Mormon does not supplant the Bible. It expands, extends, clarifies, and amplifies our knowledge of the Savior. Surely, this second witness should be cause for great rejoicing by all Christians.” - Joseph B. Wirthlin

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

AI from GA

As you study the #BookofMormon, slow down, come to know the #Savior. Don’t worry about getting through the book but let the book go through you, this will create an anticipation of learning each day. #KnowHim #ComeUntoChrist

Monday, February 26, 2024

Summary of Restoration living


Fast, lift, sprint, stretch, and meditate. Build, sell, write, create, invest, and own. Read, reflect, love, serve, seek truth, and ignore society. Make these habits. Say no to everything else. Avoid debt, jail, addiction, disgrace, shortcuts, and media. Relax.
Victory is assured.

learning is fun

If you're not having fun, you're not learning. There's a pleasure in finding things out.

Friday, February 23, 2024

Intellectuals for sale

Jeffrey Tucker wrote an insightful article about the economic pressures under which many intellectuals operate.

It's easy to apply these concepts to the context of Latter-day Saint studies.

Key excerpts:

... much of the professional intellectual class is currently dependent on some institution. It is not lost on anyone that the people today who are most likely to say what is true about our times — and there are some major and brave exceptions to this — are mostly retired professors and scientists who have less to lose by speaking truth to power.


The trouble really comes down to the market for intellectual services. It’s neither broad nor deep. This reality goes against all intuition. Looking from the outside in, one might suppose that a tenured professor at an Ivy League university or famous think tank would have all the prestige and security necessary to speak truth to power.

The opposite is the case.

Taking another job would at the very least require a geographic move, and this would come with a likely downgrade in status. In order to ascend up the ranks in intellectual pursuits, you must be wise and that means not bucking the prevailing ideological trends.

In addition, places where intellectuals live tend to be quite vicious and petty, and instill in intellectuals an eye toward adapting their writings and thoughts toward their professional well-being.

This is especially true in working for a think tank. The positions are highly coveted as universities without students. A job as a top scholar pays the bills. But it comes with strings attached. There is an implicit message in all these institutions these days that they speak with one voice, especially concerning the big issues of the day.

The people there have little choice but to go along. The option is to walk away and do what? The market is extremely limited. The next-best alternative is not always clear.


The people we pay to think, influence and guide the public mind — and possess the requisite intelligence and training to do so — also happen to be the least capable of doing so because their professional options are so limited. As a result, the term “independent intellectual” has become nearly an oxymoron.

If such a person exists, he is either very poor or otherwise living off family money, and not likely making much of his own.

These are the brutal facts of the case. If this shocks you, it certainly shocks absolutely no one employed in academic or think tank spaces. Here, everyone knows how the game is played. The successful ones play it very well. Those who supposedly fail at the game are the principled people, the very ones you want in these positions.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Brave spaces

Dartmouth seems to be avoiding the absurd censorship culture among modern college students. 

There are plenty of fine LDS scholars (including young ones) who would benefit from learning alternatives to censorship and intolerance.

From the WSJ:

Like nearly every other school in America, Dartmouth College is struggling with the breakdown of civil discourse and free expression. Students tend to self-censor or shout down views they don’t like.

“I don’t want safe spaces, I want brave spaces,” says Dartmouth President Sian Beilock in a phone interview. At the start of the winter term in January, the Hanover, N.H., college launched the Dartmouth Dialogues program.

Ms. Beilock says the program aims to convince students and professors that being challenged is crucial to education. “The idea is to be around the brightest minds and to be pushed and to be a little uncomfortable,” she says. “Even if you’re not going to change your mind, the ability to hone your arguments and to think differently from different perspectives, these are skills and tools of higher education.”


Faculty are already being trained on how to guide debate—particularly when a topic is likely to become charged. Ms. Beilock’s hope is that students will learn to disagree respectfully and take that skill with them when they leave the classroom. Starting in the fall, new students will be given similar training. These types of training sessions sometimes elicit eye-rolls from students, but by consistently reminding students that disagreement is OK, Ms. Beilock believes that the college can “create the environment to get this right.”

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Why beliefs are "sticky"

Leo Tolstoy, What is Art (1897) 

I know that most men—not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical or philosophic problems—can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty—conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Explaining things to people who don't want to know


We have this terrible struggle to try to explain things to people who have no reason to want to know.

There was a time when we honored those who created the prosperity and the freedom that we enjoy. Today we honor the complainers and sue the creators. Perhaps that is inevitable in an era when we no longer count our blessings, but instead count all our unfulfilled wishes.

Wise people created civilization over the centuries and clever people are dismantling it today. You can see it happening just by channel surfing on TV or hear it in rap music or read it in the pompous nonsense of academics and judges.

The more I study the history of intellectuals, the more they seem like a wrecking crew, dismantling civilization bit by bit — replacing what works with what sounds good.