LATIN – apologeticus GREEK – apologetikos Apologetics: “The branch of theology that is concerned with defending or proving the truth of Christian doctrines” (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2009).
- TURNING STUMBLING BLOCKS INTO STEPPING STONES: Responding to Challenging Issues in Mormonism. FAIR announces this year’s conference to be held at UVSC in Orem Utah on Friday August 9th and Saturday August 10th.
- CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS. We are looking for speakers for this year’s conference. If you have a topic in mind, contact us. .
- ‘The Seer:’ Reliable Source? A quick look at the validity of “The Seer” as a source of LDS doctrine. Author Lance Starr examines why so many anti-Mormons quote this publication. .
- HEBREW NAMES IN THE BOOK OF MORMON. A new FAIR Paper by John A. Tvedtnes discusses the Hebraic roots of some of the names used in the Book of Mormon. This paper was first presented in Jerusalem, August 2001, at the Thirteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies.
- WHEN THE PROPHET SPEAKS, IS THE THINKING DONE? An examination of an often-used criticism of the Church that is used to label LDS with blind obedience. .
- FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX. The Index continues to grow. .
- FAIR WEBSITE HACKED. The message board was taken off line. Additionally, we had a hard drive crash. .
- BOOKSTORE SHIPPING SALE. Shipping is still free at the FAIR bookstore. .
- GET FREE BOOKS. Learn how you can earn free books, just by signing people up for the FAIR Journal. .
- ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS. Interested in writing for FAIR? Learn how you can have your apologetics work published. .
- PUBLISHING NOTES. Learn how you can become more involved in FAIR and how you can reuse the material we publish.
TURNING STUMBLING BLOCKS INTO STEPPING STONES: Responding to Challenging Issues in Mormonism
FAIR announces this year’s conference to be held at Utah Valley State College (UVSC) located at 800 West University Parkway in Orem Utah on August 9th and 10th. This location is just off of the freeway and is easily accessible. Last year’s conference was a big success, so we are following the same format.
The conference will be from 10-4 on Friday, August 9th, and from 9-3 on Saturday, August 10th. Lunch will be included each day. This gives an opportunity to renew friendships and to eat lunch with the speakers. After you factor in the price of lunch and the accessibility of the conference speakers, you will agree that the FAIR conference is one of the best bargains out there.
The price of the conference is as follows (including 2 lunches):
- Purchase in advance: $45.00 per person (full conference) $75.00 per couple (full conference) $27.50 per person (single day)
- Pay at the door: $65.00 per person (full conference) $95.00 per couple (full conference) $37.50 per person (single day)
We also offer discounted student tickets, but you must show a student ID at the door. The student prices will be:
- Purchase in advance: $35.00 per person (full conference) $55.00 per couple (full conference) $22.50 per person (single day)
- Pay at the door: $55.00 per person (full conference) $75.00 per couple (full conference) $32.50 per person (single day)
Last year’s conference was a lot of fun. We believe this year’s conference will be great and we look forward to seeing you there.
Sign up for this conference at the following address:
If you have a business and are interested in sponsoring a booth at the conference conference contact us.
CALL FOR PAPERS
We look forward to many of you suggesting and presenting papers for this year’s conference. The focus is on dealing with topics that are a little more involved in their answer than just pointing to a scripture in the Bible. Some examples of the types of papers we are looking for would be: blacks and the Priesthood, black contributions to the Church, the Book of Abraham, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, polygamy, the banking “scandal,” the trial of Joseph Smith, or any other historical or social issues.
Certainly we are open to other papers that don’t exactly fit the theme if we feel it has exceptional merit. If you have an idea for a talk, or would like to speak on one of these topics, please contact us through our Web site, at this page:
THE SEER: RELIABLE SOURCE?
by Lance Starr
Many anti-Mormons make extensive use of this publication in framing their accusations against the Church. Many members of the Church have not even heard of this publication, much less are familiar with its origins. The Seer was published in England by Orson Pratt, and he used the publication to provide a printed pulpit for his own ideas and pet speculations. It was never considered official LDS doctrine, nor was it ever published by or endorsed by the Church. Elder B.H. Roberts wrote the following in response to those in his day who were heralding the writings of The Seer as representative of official LDS doctrine:
The Seer, by formal action of the First Presidency and Twelve Apostles of the Church was repudiated, and Elder Orson Pratt himself sanctioned the repudiation. There was a long article published in the Deseret News on the 23rd of August, 1865, over the signatures of the First Presidency and Twelve setting forth that this work–the Seer–together with some other writings of Elder Pratt, were inaccurate. In the course of that document, after praising, as well they might, the great bulk of the work of this noted apostle, they say: “But the Seer, the Great First Cause, the article in the Millennial Star, of Oct. 15, and Nov. 1, 1850 contains doctrine which we cannot sanction and which we have felt to disown, so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where these objectionable works or harts of works are bound in volumes, or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed.”
The next time you see an anti-Mormon argument, look carefully at what they cite as the sources, if any. There is a good chance their sources will be from The Seer. Interestingly, they almost never use official sources of LDS doctrine to level their accusations.
The reason, of course, is very simple. Anti-Mormons are not interested, for the most part, in addressing the real beliefs held by Mormons or the real doctrines embraced by the Church as contained in our official sources of doctrine. They choose instead to focus on carefully selected excerpts from obscure writings to provide the sole foundation for their accusations. Not only is this approach dishonest, it is outright deceitful. But such is their methodology and modus operandi. Obscure, repudiated writings from the fringe of an individual’s personal speculations simply sound more damning. The fact that the Church publicly denounced them is simply a bothersome detail they correctly assume most people won’t take the time to find out.
See this article on the FAIR Website at:
‘The Seer:’ Reliable Source? by Lance Starr
HEBREW NAMES IN THE BOOK OF MORMON.
In the last issue of the FAIR Journal we presented notes from John Tvedtnes’s talk on Mormonism in scholarship and scholarship in Mormonism. This month we have a paper that Brother Tvedtnes recently presented at the Thirteenth World Congress of Jewish Studies in Jerusalem in August 2001. The paper discusses the Hebraic roots of names used in the Book of Mormon. What is truly amazing is how well this paper was received by the audience of non-LDS scholars.
To read this paper, go to the FAIR Website (www.fairlds.org) and click on link to the Hebrew Names article (under “What’s New”). The article is in pdf format.
WHEN THE PROPHET SPEAKS, IS THE THINKING DONE?
This is an examination of an often-used criticism of the Church that is used to label LDS with blind obedience.
This short article gives the full text and background of the quote and a letter of explanation by President George Albert Smith.
Don’t be caught off guard by this tactic.
FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX CONTINUES TO GROW AND GAIN POPULARITY
We continue to add content to the Apologetics Index. Now we not only have the Ensign articles on the various topics indexed, but we also have many of the LDS Websites on the Internet indexed. The Apologetics Index includes Website articles, many articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, the FARMS free site, and some electronic books.
Next time you have a gospel question, you no longer have to try to remember which Website the answer might be on. Instead, you can go to www.fairlds.org, click on the Apologetics Index link, click on that one topic and find a list of great responses from all over the Internet. You can also search the index by keyword.
The use of the Apolgetics Index continues to rise. We have Sunday School teachers and Seminary teachers using it now to help prepare for their lessons. We hope this will be a great resource for you.
FAIR WEBSITE HACKED
We’ve been hacked! Yes, unfortunately for the second time in our organizational life someone who “loves us” decided to hack into our Website and delete part of the message boards. After a week of working with our ISP, we were finally able to get it restored.
Since we were having trouble with our message boards, we took the opportunity to evaluate and change some of the rules to make it more usable to members and non-members alike.
Unfortunately, my own hard drive also crashed this past month. I had backups of almost everything, so other than time I didn’t loose much. There was one article that someone e-mailed me that I completely lost. If you sent me an article in the past few months, and you have a “PhD” after your name, send it to me again! I’m not ignoring you.
GET FREE BOOKS
We are working on expanding our mailing list of the FAIR Journal. To further this effort, for a limited time we will give you a FREE copy of “They Lie In Wait to Decieve,” a $12.95 value, for every 10 (ten) qualified e-mail addresses you give us to add to the FAIR Journal mailing list.
By “qualified,” we mean people you have already asked if they might be interested in being on the list for the monthly e-newsletter. If we send them the Journal and they e-mail us asking “Why did you send this to me?”, we won’t send you a book. We are looking for real people who don’t live with you.
There are four volumes of “They Lie In Wait to Deceive.” For more information on the books see the following page:
To participate, send your e-mail addresses to webmaster
We welcome article submissions for the FAIR Web site. If you would like to submit an article, please review the editing guidelines at:
Submit your article to the FAIR Journal Editor. An appropriate article would be one that affirms the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While LDS apologetics (in the broadest sense) deals with refuting critics of the Church, articles don’t necessarily have to deal with anti-Mormonism, but may deal with some new evidence of the Book of Mormon, some interesting scripture interpretation, a viewpoint or quote from the early Christian Fathers or other historical figure, an interesting lesson idea, an inspiring missionary story, Church history, or your view on a current event related to the Church or a piece from a historical journal.
We may also accept articles from people who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that may not necessarily meet the guidelines of supporting the church if it is a topic of general interest to people involved in apologetics.
A submission may range in length from several pages to a single paragraph.
FAIR is not owned, controlled by or affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided in the FAIR Journal and on the FAIR Web site (http://www.fairlds.org) are the sole responsibility of FAIR, and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief or practice.
If someone has forwarded this e-journal to you and you would like to join you should go to www.fairlds.org and click on the Membership link.
If you are very interested in apologetics and would like to actively participate in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the Membership link to join this list as well.
If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these thoughts or articles on your list, contact us through our Web site, at this page: www.fairlds.org/contact.psp. We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material so long as you contact us first to gain permission and clearly identify that your source was FAIR.
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To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.