response article, David Tolman, science, religion


When I picked up David's paper to read it, I had a pencil in my hand. Years of reading my students' and my own papers made it natural to edit as I read. However, I heard in my mind the voice of my mother advising me to put the pencil down. This wasn't time to edit but to hear and understand. Still, I kept the pencil in my hand for the first few pages and made a few notes before I put it down and just read. I could hear David's voice speaking the words I read. It was good to hear it. I have missed hearing his voice. We met David when we attended the Princeton Ward a little over thirty years ago. That was a powerful time. The ward was a mixture of local people and transplants from the West. Students were not the largest group, but there were enough to leaven the loaf. The Princeton Institute met Friday nights in a room in the Firestone Library on campus. It was still listed as the "Deseret Club" in the university's publications, and the meetings were more like a graduate seminar than a seminary class. The students took turns presenting papers or thoughts on various themes. Most of us were graduate students and were comfortable with a seminar style.

Original Publication Citation

David D. Allred, "What the Universe Means to People Like Me," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, 36(1), Spring 23.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Dialogue Foundation




Physical and Mathematical Sciences


Physics and Astronomy