All Posts By

James C. Schaap

Essay

A story we need to hear

  A Mormon monument stands out there in the middle of nowhere. You have to hunt to find it, search hard simply to get up close. It's been at the confluence of the Niobrara and Missouri Rivers for 110 years,…
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Delight and Decadence

  The monument to the doge Giovanni Pesaro, in this church, is a curiosity in the way of mortuary adornment. It is eighty feet high and is fronted like some fantastic pagan temple. Against it stand four colossal Nubians, as…
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Homecoming

The church where I grew up had no altar, no altar boys, and no priests. It had no wall-size oil painting of Jesus, and certainly no images of Mother Mary. It didn't look at all like this one. But the…
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“Come, Come Ye Saints”

Just a week or so ago, the LDS church told its millions that they should cease and desist from calling each other “Mormons.” Maybe, as the Prophet ordered, a name change is just what’s called for. It certainly isn’t my…
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Buffalo Chip

  A full rack of ribs, with beans and slaw, will cost you twenty bucks at Buffalo Chip Saloon and Bar, Cave Creek, AZ. Sounds reasonable, even inviting. But seriously, who'd want to eat anything served up at a saloon…
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Angel in a crew cut

Some years ago now, I walked through the valley of the shadow of death when I sat for several days at the bedside of my father, who was dying. I knew he was going, even though the doctors and nurses…
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Precious in His Sight

It's an odd title, Mystery Having Eight Mothers, and she didn't have an editor. You can't help but smile at an occasional misspelling, and often there's little rhyme nor reason why one section follows another, although the book is roughly chronological. Stuck…
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The St. John’s Bible

He's the Queen's scribe, the man--the artist--responsible for creating England's most important state documents. He's the royal calligrapher, an artist, a past chair of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators (a word so rare my spellcheck red-lines it). He's a…
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John, Next Door

School was less than a block away when I was a kid, so I walked, every day, sometimes out the front door, sometimes the back. I went home every noon for lunch.  That's when I saw what I did. I…
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Robert D. Ray, 1928-2018

It may well have been one of the best marketing ploys I'd ever come up with--get former Iowa Governor Robert Ray to come out west to Sioux City for a book rollout, a collection of stories about Tai Dam people,…