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).
- THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE. The latest info on our upcoming annual conference.
- SPEAKERS AT THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE. Catch a glimpse of the top-notch speakers lined up for our conference.
- FEATURE: KING BENJAMIN OR MOSIAH–A LOOK AT MOSIAH 21:28. A review of Ara Norwood’s FAIR Conference Presentation on one of the most commonly attacked changes in the Book of Mormon, Mosiah 21:28.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “DOES THE BIBLE CLAIM TO BE INERRANT?” An examination of the Bible to find the truth about the claim of inerrancy.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “TO ADD TO OR TO TAKE FROM.” Does the Bible teach that no new scripture should be added unto it? Is this the “silver bullet” that shoots down Mormonism?
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “DOESN’T MATTHEW 22:23-30 CONTRADICT THE LDS DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL MARRIAGE?”
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “REAL ANSWERS FOR THE BIBLE ANSWER MAN.” Using FAIR’s Apologetics Index, answers are provided to Hank Hanegraaf (President of Christian Research Institute and self-proclaimed “Bible Answer Man”) and his radio-program guest Richard Abanes, anti-Mormon author.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “CAN WE TRUST OUR FEELINGS?” Some say we should not pray about truth, but only rely on those things that can be proven with evidence. Is this the Lord’s standard? Is it a Biblical standard?
- FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX. The Index continues to grow.
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON.
- BOOKSTORE SHIPPING SALE. Shipping is still free at the FAIR bookstore.
- 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.
THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE TURNING STUMBLING BLOCKS INTO STEPPING STONES–Responding to Challenging Issues in Mormonism.
“Critics of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are quick to point out what they perceive as thorny issues that ‘prove’ the Church is not true. For some, these issues present stumbling blocks to learning and progression. Whether these issues are historical, cultural, or doctrinal, they can be turned into stepping stones leading to greater awareness and growth. This conference will explore the evidence surrounding potential stumbling blocks and discuss them in the context of the truthfulness of the Gospel.” (Scott Gordon, FAIR President)
This year’s conference will 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 should be easily accessible. Last year’s conference was a big success among the participants, 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 provides 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 per person $75 per couple
- Pay at the door: $65 per person $95 per couple
This year we will sell a single day ticket
- Single Day $27.50 ($37.50 at the door)
We will also offer discounted Student tickets, but you must show a student id at the door. The Student tickets will be:
- Two day student Purchase in advance $35 per person $55 per couple
- Pay at the door student tickets $55 per person $75 per couple
- Single day student $22.50 ($32.50 at the door)
SPEAKERS AT THE FOURTH ANNUAL FAIR APOLOGETIC CONFERENCE
The FAIR Conference includes top-notch speakers that promise great sessions. This year’s line-up includes the following speakers and presenters, in alphabetical order:
- Russell Anderson (FAIR), speaking on Joseph Smith and the trial of 1826.
- Mike Ash (FAIR), speaking on anti-Mormon influence on LDS research.
- Kathryn Daynes (BYU), speaking on plural marriage.
- Brant Gardner, speaking on The Book of Mormon and the Gadianton Band.
- Tim Heaton (BYU), speaking on how to deal with demographics.
- Renee Olsen (FAIR), speaking on dispelling the Black myth.
- Dan Peterson (ISPART/FARMS)
- Royal Skousan (BYU and FARMS), speaking on changes in The Book of Mormon.
- John Tvedtnes (ISPART/FARMS)
- Nate Womble, speaking on Blacks in The Church of Jesus Christ.
You can find full biographical information on the speakers at the following Web page:
Last year’s conference was a lot of fun. This year’s conference will be outstanding and we look forward to seeing you there. Once you’ve been to one conference, you won’t want to miss another.
Sign up for the conference at
If you have a business and are interested in sponsoring a booth at the conference, contact us at the Webmaster.
KING BENJAMIN OR MOSIAH–A LOOK AT MOSIAH 21:28
by J. Cooper Johnson
Something I’ve noticed in my encounters with literature critical of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a common theme of agendas and purpose. While anti-Mormon authors fly the “learn-the- truth-about-the-Mormons” banner high atop their ministry headquarters, I have been unable to find those who truly seek just that…the truth. In my experience, the “search” of the critics is more for items that are consistent with their agenda: condemn and rip apart the LDS faith and the Book of Mormon. This is their search and most times, it is in spite of the truth.
Now, I must say that we all have our own agendas on different matters, but when our agenda hinders finding the truth there is a real problem. This problematic aspect of agendas is exactly what I see in the world of anti-Mormonism as they attempt to attack the Book of Mormon.
As one surveys the critical arguments aimed at the Book of Mormon, some of the most common are those having to do with all the changes that took place from the original manuscript. And while the large majority of the changes have to do with grammar and spelling and other insignificant changes, there are indeed a few that have more significance.
At the Third Annual Mormon Apologetics Conference, held by FAIR last year, one of the best examples of succinct and effective examination of changes in the Book of Mormon was the presentation prepared and delivered by Ara Norwood. Not that Brother Norwood dealt with this issue in it’s entirety, rather he took one of the most attacked changes in the Book of Mormon and demonstrated how one should go about examining it to find the truth about why it was changed. Then, and only then, as Brother Norwood shows us, are we properly able to make an evaluation of the underlying purpose and validity of the change itself.
Read the full article:
King Benjamin or Mosiah: A Look at Mosiah 21:28 by J. Cooper Johnson (Includes information on how to purchase Brother Norwood’s complete presentation on audio CD.)
DOES THE BIBLE CLAIM TO BE INERRANT?
by Barry Bickmore
One of the major disagreements Latter-day Saints have with our fundamentalist Protestant neighbors is our attitude toward the authority of the Bible. For the fundamentalist, the Bible is the final religious authority, whereas the LDS look to our prophets for continuing revelation. This is a vital issue, for their belief in the authority of the Bible allows Protestants to claim knowledge of the way to salvation and authority to preach the Gospel, without being able to trace a line of priesthood ordinations back to Christ, or any other particular prophetic insight.
Read the full article:
Does the Bible Claim to be “Inerrant” (PDF) by Barry Bickmore
TO ADD TO OR TO TAKE FROM
by Scott Gordon
For many people the whole concept of Mormonism can be summarily dismissed with a single scripture. It says in Revelation 22:18–19: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
For some, this scripture is the “silver bullet” that shoots down Mormonism. The Mormons have the Book of Mormon. This counts as additional scripture. That means they add to the Bible which violates what is written in Revelation 22:18–19. This concept is clearly stated by noted anti-Mormon Walter Martin, author of many books including the best-selling Kingdom of the Cults and Through the Maze of Mormonism. In speaking of Joseph Smith he states: Smith apparently was either oblivious to the expressed warning against adding to or subtracting from the Word of God, or willfully disobedient to it (see Rev. 22:18, 19). At any rate he clearly transgressed God’s revealed will and all loyal Mormons who follow his example continue in his transgression.
So why do Mormons continue in this “transgression?” Is Walter Martin right? Does this one scripture prove Mormonism to be a false gospel?
Read the full article:
To Add To or To Take From (PDF) by Scott Gordon
DOESN’T MATTHEW 22:23-30 CONTRADICT THE LDS DOCTRINE OF ETERNAL MARRIAGE?
by Marc Schindler
In response to the LDS doctrine of eternal marriage, you may hear Matthew 22:23-30 (or it’s scriptural counterparts: Mark 12:18-25 and Luke 20:27-36) brought up as proof that there won’t be marriage in heaven. The Sadducees, who didn’t even believe in the afterlife, deliberately tried to trip up Jesus by asking which of seven husbands a woman, who outlived them all, would belong to. The wording is almost identical in all three versions. Jesus answers:
Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in Heaven. (Matthew 22:39-30)
There are three things you need to appreciate in order to answer this claim:
- The restored gospel is not “biblicist” in nature, meaning we believe the word of God is not subject to individual interpretation, but is that which proceeds from the mouth of a living prophet.
- The Sadducees tried to set Jesus up with a hypothetical, self-contradicting question.
- The original Greek, in which the Gospels were written, does not support our critics’ claim that there will be no marriage in heaven.
Read the full article:
REAL ANSWERS FOR THE BIBLE ANSWER MAN
Compiled by J. Cooper Johnson
One of the most well-known and widely broadcasted religious radio talk shows in the country is The Bible Answer Man, hosted by Hank Hanegraaf. Hank never misses an opportunity to assault The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. An anti-Mormon author, Richard Abanes, was Hanks guest a few weeks ago and for three consecutive broadcasts (total of three hours), these two men did their best to damage the LDS faith.
While it was a sad attempt, trumping up old and tired rehashed anti- Mormon arguments which have been answered time and time again, we at FAIR felt like, due to the national audience this radio show enjoys, the true answers needed to be provided. But, rather than have apologists write answers to each point addressed on the show–rather than re-inventing the wheel–it was decided to provide links to answers already available through the FAIR Apologetic Index.
Using FAIR’s Apologetics Index, answers are provided to Mr. Hanegraaf and Mr. Abanes. Not only will you find that more-than-adequate answers exist to their arguments, this process will also demonstrate the power of the Apologetic Index.
View the answers to the Bible Answer Man:
Answering the Bible Answer Man by J. Cooper Johnson
CAN WE TRUST OUR FEELINGS?
by J. Cooper Johnson
Many critics of the LDS faith attack the foundation of one’s faith and testimony of truth by saying things like the following:
- “Truth is never measured by subjective feelings, but only by the Word of God, the Bible.”
- “You can’t trust your feelings. It could be something you ate.” (I’ve seen this one. Seriously.)
- “God works through evidence to demonstrate his word and truth.”
- “Our faith should be founded upon objective evidence, not our feelings.”
When thusly attacked, I always as a few questions.
- How does the Holy Ghost bear witness of truth?
- How do you know what is the Word of God? The Bible certainly doesn’t define itself. In other words, nowhere in the Bible does it say what books should be included as the word of God. And which Word of God do you use? Which Bible?
- How do you know what interpretation of the Bible to use?
- How do you know that the Bible is true?
- How do you know that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, the Savior of the world? How do you know that? What do you base your testimony on? Written words? And that begs the previous question: How do you know that the Bible is the word of God? Because it says so?
Read the full article:
Can We Trust Our Feelings? by J. Cooper Johnson
FAIR APOLOGETICS INDEX CONTINUES TO GROW AND GAIN POPULARITY
We continue to add content to the Apologetics Index. Now we not only have many Ensign articles on the various topics indexed, but we also have many LDS Web sites on the Internet indexed. You will also find articles and papers from the FAIR site, many articles from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, free information from the FARMS site, and several electronic books.
Next time you have a gospel question, you no longer have to try to remember which Web site the answer might be on. 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 use our handy keyword search feature.
The use of the Apologetics 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.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
by Scott Gordon, President
The Fourth Annual FAIR Conference is right around the corner and the buzz is everywhere! We are very excited with the speakers that have been chosen for this year’s conference. No one will walk away disappointed as the caliber and diversity of speakers along with the topics to be addressed continue to place the FAIR conference in a league of it’s own. The number of interested speakers continue to increase and with the overwhelming number we had this year, we had to make some tough choices. Additional information on the speakers is contained within this issue of the FAIR Journal and more will be forthcoming.
Speaking of FAIR conferences, Meridian Magazine, an online magazine for LDS, just published an article by our FAIR Editor, Cooper Johnson, about last year’s successful FAIR conference. That article can be read at the following site:
In other areas, we continue to post up new articles on the website and have some exciting surprises planned for the near future. So continue to check the website for updates and announcements.
We are working very hard in the area of book publication, but in that endeavor our resources are quite limited. If you would like to make a donation for that cause, go to http://www.fairlds.org/Join_FAIR/ scroll to the very bottom of the page and click on the link to make a one-time donation. Remember, FAIR is an all-volunteer organization. Your donations go directly to move forward the work of FAIR, not to salaries, etc.
One of our latest projects should be ready for Web-publication soon. Mormonism 201, a review of Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson’s latest anti-Mormon book, Mormonism 101, should be out in the near future. Stay posted to the FAIR Web site for it’s release. A variety of FAIR apologists have written, chapter-by-chapter, reviews and answers. It is an outstanding piece of apologetic work.
We are happy with the wonderful response we are receiving from the FAIR Journal and from the updates to the Web site. We like hearing from you. We also appreciate all of the volunteers that help us with writing and editing articles and doing those things that keep FAIR growing.
As always, pass this email around to other people you know and we thank you for your support and encouragement.
Scott Gordon President FAIR
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 and by adding a link to the FAIR website (www.fairlds.org).
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To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.