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2003 FAIR Conference Proceedings

Matthew Roper, "Nephi's Neighbors: Some LDS Perspectives on Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations"

LDS scholars overwhelmingly agree that there were other indigenous people in the New World when the Lehites arrived. It is claimed that such a belief is contrary to the official LDS position (at worst), or contrary to all the teachings of early General Authorities (at best). Matt Roper's presentation demonstrates that many early LDS were open to the possibility that there were already people in the Americas prior to the coming of Book of Mormon peoples.

Nephi's Neighbors: Some LDS Perspectives on Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations, Matthew Roper, 2003 FAIR Conference

Margaret Young, "Black Latter-day Saints: A Faith-FULL History"

Margaret Young's inspiring presentation relates several stories of early black Latter-day Saints and their struggles as well as dedication to the Gospel.

Black Latter-day Saints: A Faith-FULL History, Margaret Blair Young, 2003 FAIR Conference

John Tvedtnes, "The Charge of 'Racism' in the Book of Mormon"

Some critics have claimed that the Book of Mormon teaches "racism," as demonstrated in the use of such terms such as "black" and "white." John Tvedtnes dispels such misreadings and explains how the Nephites would have understood such terminology.

The Charge of Racism in The Book of Mormon, John Tvedtnes, 2003 FAIR Conference

Trent Stephens, "Evolution and Latter-day Saint Theology: The Tree of Life and DNA"

"Creationism" or evolution? Trent Stephens explains the ChurchÆs officially neutral position on the issue, and why faithful Latter-day Saints can accept evolution and still remain faithful believers in the scriptures.

Evolution and Latter-day Saint Theology: the Tree of Life and DNA, Trent D. Stephens, 2003 FAIR Conference

Brant Gardner, "Monotheism, Messiah, and Mormon's Book"

The 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon refers to Mary as the "Mother of God." Current editions have been changed to read the "Mother of the Son of God." It is claimed that Joseph Smith's views developed as time passed. Brant Gardner argues that the original 1830 usage was correct based on Lehite terminology.

Monotheism, Messiah, and Mormon's Book, Brant Gardner, 2003 FAIR Conference

Roger Ekins, "Defending Zion"

During the early years of Mormons in Utah, many newspapers throughout the country wrote scathing editorials about the Latter-day Saints. Roger Ekins recounts some of these nasty editorials as well as the rebuttals written by George Q. Cannon.

Defending Zion: The California Mormon Newspaper War of 1856-57, Roger R. & Helen Ekins, 2003 FAIR Conference

George Potter and Richard Wellington, "Lehi in The Wilderness: 81 New Evidences Documenting the Book of Mormon Is a True History"

Potter and Wellington have both spent many years living in, and investigating, the terrains of Arabia. Their presentation (complete with video footage) shows the plausibility of Nephi's account of their travels through the wilderness, and the unlikelihood that Joseph Smith could have known about such details.

Lehi In The Wilderness: 81 New Evidences Documenting the Book of Mormon Is a True History, George Potter, 2003 FAIR Conference

Michael Ash and Kevin Barney, "LDS Apologetics 101"

What are some of the tactics used by critics of the Church? What are their motives, and how should we respond to them? What are the sources from which LDS apologists can cull information for counter-arguments? Ash and Barney give outlines and basic suggestions to those who are beginning their journey into LDS apologetics.

LDS Apologetics 101, Michael Ash and Kevin Barney, 2003 FAIR Conference

Jeffrey Meldrum, "The Children of Lehi: DNA and the Book of Mormon"

It is claimed that current DNA research proves the Book of Mormon to be fiction. Jeffrey Meldrum examines such arguments and shows how they are not only premature in determining Book of Mormon historicity, but why DNA evidence might never be able to prove the Book of Mormon true or false.

The Children of Lehi: DNA and the Book of Mormon, D. Jeffrey Meldrum and Trent D. Stephens, 2003 FAIR Conference

Michael Rhodes, "The Book of Abraham: Dealing with the Critics"

Ever since the rediscovery of the Joseph Smith Papyri, critics have charged that Egyptology has found the Book of Abraham to be fraudulent. Mike Rhodes demonstrates the weakness of such arguments and shows how the critics have failed to give Joseph Smith credit in areas where Joseph got it right.

The Book of Abraham: Dealing with the Critics, Michael Rhodes, 2003 FAIR Conference

Roger Keller, "The Grace of Apologetics"

A one-time Protestant minister himself, Roger Keller recognizes that God loves and inspires those outside the LDS faith. Apologetics, he explains, should be about dialogue not about arguing. Keller relates some of his experiences and offers suggestions when dialoging with those with whom we disagree.

Gene Sessions, "Shining New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre"

What happened at Mountain Meadows and why? Was Brigham Young at fault? Gene Sessions answers these questions and more in this hard-hitting and balanced presentation.

Shining New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, Gene A. Sessions , 2003 FAIR Conference

Craig Foster, "The Unchanging Ways of Anti-Mormons"

Some things never change. Craig Foster shows that many of the charges made by anti-Mormons today are simply rehashes of anti-Mormon arguments of yesterday—and of early romance novels!

The Unchanging Ways of Anti-Mormons, Craig Foster, 2003 FAIR Conference

Armand Mauss, "The LDS Church and the Race Issue: A Study in Misplaced Apologetics"

Was Brigham Young a racist? Why was the priesthood withheld from black members until 1978? Armand Mauss deals with these, and other difficult questions regarding the early LDS ban on the priesthood, in this thought-provoking presentation.

LDS Church and the Race Issue: Study in Misplaced Apologetics, Armand Mauss, 2003 FAIR Conference

Daniel Peterson, "Reflections on the Passing Scene"

Perennial favorite, Dan Peterson reflects on his experiences with critics, and atheists, and how he continues to find evidence for the reality of God and the truthfulness of the Gospel.