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 annual conference, to be held next month.
- ADVERTISING THE FAIR CONFERENCE. You can help get the word out about the upcoming FAIR Conference with a free poster you can download. .
- FEATURE: BREAKING THE RULES: CRITICS OF THE LDS FAITH. A review of Dr. Daniel Peterson’s 2000 FAIR Conference presentation, as he discusses the deceptive approaches of the critics of our faith, identifying specific examples from various critics. This is a real eye-opener for those who are not familiar with the tactics of anti-Mormons. .
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: REVIEWS OF “THE NEW MORMON CHALLENGE.” Blake Ostler takes on the newest anti-Mormon book, written by many Evangelical scholars. An outstanding piece of work. .
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: RACISM IN THE CHURCH. A landmark paper on the issue of race in LDS faith and all of Christianity. .
- ASK THE APOLOGIST. Questions this month address inverted stars on the Nauvoo Temple and contradictory scriptures regarding polygamy. .
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON. .
- FAIR PROJECT UPDATE: MORMONISM 201. A response to the recently published and widely publicized anti-Mormon book, Mormonism 101. FAIR apologists dismantle the work of Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson. .
- JOIN THE FAIR APOLOGETICS LIST. The FAIR Journal isn’t the only communication forum available to FAIR members. .
- 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
CONFERENCE IS LESS THAN THREE WEEKS AWAY!
Join us for the FAIR conference on August 9th and 10th at UVSC in Orem Utah. We have wonderful speakers scheduled such as Dan Peterson (Chairman of the Board of FARMS), John Tvedtnes (Research Associate with FARMS), Tim Heaton (Sociologist at BYU), Kathryn Daynes (BYU History associate professor and accredited geneologist), Royal Skousen, and many others.
For a full listing and description of the speakers, click here:
The topics covered will include Blacks and the Priesthood, polygamy, the 1826 trial of Joseph Smith, changes in the Book of Mormon and lots more. (All topics are covered from an LDS point of view.)
The Conference price is reasonable, with discounts available for couples and students. Prices include lunch each day:
- 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)
For information on the conference (times, dates cost etc.) click here:
ADVERTISING THE FAIR CONFERENCE
FAIR needs your help to advertise our upcoming annual conference. Help us to get the word out. Go to the following page:
Scroll to the very bottom of the page. Under the “Publicity” section there is a link that will give you an 8-1/2 X 11 flyer you can print out and post wherever Latter-day Saints are likely to gather. Maybe your local bookstore will agree to put it up where everyone can see.
Because of its smaller size, the poster also makes a great handout. If you have someone you want to send it to, feel free to do so. Help us continue to offer these fabulous conferences at a discounted rate.
BREAKING THE RULES: CRITICS OF THE LDS FAITH
by Cooper Johnson
When was the last time you were told, by someone of another faith, what you believe? How many times have you attempted to clarify the religious doctrines of your faith, only to be told, “that is not what you believe”? Have you ever told an uninformed person that they misunderstood our religious beliefs, only to be corrected with, “Oh, I understand your beliefs all too well.”
Needless to say, these kinds of situations can lead to some frustration. Imagine being in a group setting with many people you don’t know, and the following conversation commences as one person approaches you:
“Hi, Scott, how are you?” “I’m doing well, thank you…and actually, my name is Mike.” “But the person on the other side of the room said your name was Scott.” “Oh, well…I get called a lot of different things. But my name is Mike.” “I don’t think so. I have it on pretty good authority that you are really Scott.” “I’m telling you, my name is Mike…seriously.” “No, I don’t believe you. I say you are Scott.”
Might this be a bit frustrating? This person has decided to believe someone else, when you are telling them the truth about your own name. What are you to do?
This is an all-too-common situation, unfortunately, for anyone who gets involved in gospel conversations with those not of our faith. As much as we try to clarify our beliefs and teachings, we are constantly rebuffed and told that we are wrong.
Dr. Daniel Peterson, BYU Professor and Director of FARMS and ISPART, opened his presentation at the 2000 FAIR Conference with a story about an experience of Truman G. Madsen that can help all people in trying to understand other religions.
Read the full article:
Easier than Research, More Inflammatory than Truth by Daniel C. Peterson
NEW ON THE WEBSITE: REVIEWS OF “THE NEW MORMON CHALLENGE”
by Blake T. Ostler
The New Mormon Challenge (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2002) is, by many accounts, a different type of anti-Mormon book. Indeed, many would take exception with using the term “anti-Mormon” in reference to the book. The book does not use trite, insubstantial, and oft-answered arguments in building its case against Mormonism, and in that regard it is a refreshing change from the plethora of “me-too” books that take recycled pot-shots at the LDS Church.
Instead, The New Mormon Challenge pulls together essays from some of the brightest apologetic minds in Evangelical Christiandom, presenting their “best shots” against the theology of the LDS. Such attempts cannot, of course, remain unanswered.
The following reviews address different essays within The New Mormon Challenge.
Read the Reviews here:
- Reviews of The New Mormon Challenge
- The Doctrine Of Creation Ex Nihilo Was Created Out Of Nothing: A Response To Copan And Craig. Part 1: The Scriptural Argument
- The Doctrine Of Creation Ex Nihilo Is A Big Fuss Over Nothing: A Response To Copan And Craig. Part 2: The Inductive Argument
- The Doctrine of Creation Ex Nihilo: A Response To Copan And Craig. Part 3: Do Kalam Infinity Arguments Apply To The Infinite Past?
- Necessarily God Is Not Analytically Necessary: A Response to Stephen Parrish
- Evil: A Real Problem for Evangelicals: A Response to Carl Mosser
- Moral Obligation and Mormonism: A Response to Francis Beckwith
NEW ON THE WEBSITE: RACISM IN THE CHURCH
by Juliann Reynolds
(A reply to Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, authors of the anti-Mormon book Mormonism 101.)
LDS are not immune from human foibles. We, like all Christians, might wish that we had played a larger role in correcting social injustices. We must all look at our past and learn from it. But for the here and now, the LDS do have a decided advantage in our centralized leadership and our historical practice of maintaining congregations based on geographical boundaries rather than personal preference or race. Our members have never traveled past a white or black church to get to their own. We cannot fire ministers who do not succumb to the wishes of a congregation to remain racially segregated. Yet, we join all concerned followers of Christ in acknowledging that we have work ahead of us in putting aside differences accumulated through centuries of misunderstanding and intolerance.
We offer McKeever and Johnson a hand of fellowship in the hope that all religious traditions can combine their wisdom, understanding and love to unify mankind instead of divide. I hope McKeever and Johnson will desist in their racially divisive campaign against other religions. I challenge them to focus their talents on the important question of pastor Gregory E. Thomas as he says, “we must again note that a predominant pattern of church life for black churches has been that of racial separation. The question remains: why?”
ASK THE APOLOGIST
Welcome to Ask the Apologist. Here we post questions that we receive from FAIR Journal subscribers, from the Web site, or from the FAIR Apologetics list. FAIR apologists will answer the questions, and the results reported here and on the Web site.
This month we have two questions:
Q. I noticed on the new Nauvoo Temple the many inverted (upside down) stars all over the structure. I know that inverted stars are occultic and satanic symbols. Why would a Christian church put occultic and satanic symbols on their most sacred buidings?
Read the answer here:
- Symbols on the Nauvoo Temple—I’ve heard there are some strange symbols on the Nauvoo and Salt Lake temples. My non-member friend claims these have an “occult” significance. Some people are of the opinion that they are Masonic. (Link)
- Inverted Stars on LDS Temples—Some critics of the LDS Church claim that the inverted five-pointed star on some of its temples are a symbol of evil and thereby demonstrate that Mormonism is not really a Christian religion. (Link)
Q. How do you explain this direct contradiction found in the LDS scriptures: Jacob 2:24, which says that David and Solomon’s wives and concubines were “abominations” to the Lord and D&C 132:39, which says David’s concubines were received from the Lord? The passage from the Book of Mormon condemns David and Solomon’s practice and the practice of plural marriage in general, and the Doctrine and Covenants passage attempts to use David’s practice as justification for plural marriage. How can this be?
Read the answer here:
- Contradiction between Section 132 and Jacob 2—Critics note that D&C 132 speaks favorably about some Old Testament practitioners of plural marriage, while Jacob 2 is negative. Critics claim that this discrepancy is a contradiction, suggesting that Joseph Smith’s ideas about plural marriage changed, and the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants are not inspired. (Link)
- Ask the Apologist: Contradiction between Jacob and DC 132
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
by Scott Gordon, President
Thank you for the generous donations you have made to FAIR to help us republish the book “Guess Who Wants to Have You for Lunch”. So far we have collected over $1,100, well on the way to our goal of $3,500. Your donations allow us to operate. FAIR is an all-volunteer organization, so no funds go to salaries or benefits.
If you have not made your deductible donation yet, go to
Once there, just click on the Donations link at the left of the page. Any donation from $5 to $10,000 would be greatly appreciated.
I look forward to seeing many of you at the apologetics conference on August 9th and 10th in Orem, UT. We are only three weeks away, so for you last-minute planners, start planning!
FAIR is growing by leaps and bounds. Our FAIR Journal subscriber list is sky-rocketing. The traffic on our Web site is continuing to grow far beyond our expectations. Many, many people are benefiting from the apologetic work from FAIR, defending Jesus Christ, His gospel, His doctrines, and His Church.
Thank you for all your help and support.
-Scott Gordon FAIR President
FAIR PROJECT UPDATE: MORMONISM 201–A RESPONSE TO THE ANTI-MORMON BOOK, MORMONISM 101
In April 2000, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson brought out a new book designed to provide “an accessible, informative introduction to Mormonism.” They titled the book Mormonism 101 (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, ISBN 0-8010-6335-3). McKeever and Johnson have quite a bit of experience sharing information about the LDS Church, as they are both affiliated with the Mormonism Research Ministry (El Cajon, California). At first glance it would appear that their credentials are appropriate to the stated purpose of the book, and that the reader is in for an authoritative discussion of the Church’s beliefs and practices.
Appearances can be deceiving, however. Like so many other books that speak out against the LDS Church (often called anti-Mormon books), Mormonism 101 often resorts to misrepresentation, selective citations, and poor scholarship to show how members of the LDS Church are lost souls, deceived by their history and their leaders and destined for eternal damnation unless they see the light.
Unfortunately, not every reader of Mormonism 101 will have the background and understanding necessary to see the book for what it is–one more attempt to stereotype members of the LDS Church and relegate them to the historical boneyard of misguided religions. Recognizing that some readers may be misled, Kevin Graham, a member of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), spearheaded a project with other FAIR members to do a chapter-by- chapter analysis and refutation of the materials presented in Mormonism 101. This is the genesis and background behind Mormonism 201. The undertaking was massive for the volunteer FAIR members, and it continues to be a work in progress. (Oh, how we have wished–more than once–for a paid, professional staff of apologists such as those associated with the Mormonism Research Ministry and dozens of other such groups that make their paychecks as professional anti-Mormons. Such is not the case, however.)
Access the project here: http://www.fairlds.org/Mormonism_201
INTERESTED IN A NON-LDS PERSPECTIVE ON THE PROJECT? David Waltz, who is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (he is Catholic) wrote a general review of McKeever and Johnson’s Mormonism 101.
We *MUST* reduce our inventory in the FAIR Bookstore–the Bookstore Manager needs to get his car back in the garage. (OK, so it’s his wife’s car!)
Now is the time to get your hands on THEY LIE IN WAIT TO DECIEVE (4-volume set) by Robert and Rosemary Brown. Each book normally sells for $12.50, which adds up to $50.00 for the entire set of four.
HERE IS THE SPECIAL OFFER!
- Purchase any two books for $17.50. (30% OFF)
- Purchase the set of four for $24.99 (50% OFF)
A more revealing look at the tactics used by LDS critics does not exist. The Browns research is unmatched, in efforts to verify the claims of many anti-Mormons. Thanks to the Browns, we now know all about the deceptive practices of critics of the LDS faith.
You should note that these books are not doctrinal defenses of the LDS faith, but expose the deceitful and dishonest practices of anti-Mormons. The Browns actually researched documents, obtained affadavits, obtained transcripts, verified facts from all kinds of institutions and the documents are actually included in these books. It is truly an amazing set of works.
- They Lie in Wait to Deceive by Robert L. and Rosemary Brown
- Volume 1. A detailed look at the antics of “Dr.” or “Prof.” Dee Jay Nelson and his crusade against the Book of Abraham, as well as some enlightening information about the work of Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
- Volume 2. Learn the truth behind well-known anti-Mormons such as “Dr.” Walter Martin, Wayne Cowdrey, Howard Davis, and Donald Scales.
- Volume 3. This is the magnum opus on the works of the late “Dr.” Walter Martin, a radio personality who would often use his pulpit to denegrate and deride the LDS faith.
- Volume 4. Focuses on the efforts of professional anti-Mormons such as Ed Decker, Richard Baer, “Dr.” Richard Fales, “Dr.” Charles Crane, and “Dr.” John L. Smith. Also includes additional information on Jerald and Sandra Tanner.
JOIN THE FAIR APOLOGETICS LIST
FAIR sponsors two mailing lists. You already subscribe to one of them–this one, which is used to publish the monthly FAIR Journal. It is a great tool for those who want to keep on top of the latest in apologetic efforts here at FAIR.
Our other mailing list, the FAIR Apologetics list, is a different type of beast. It is an unmoderated list in which FAIR members share their thoughts and outlooks on points of doctrine and discuss how to respond to recent and oft-repeated criticisms of the LDS Church. It is a “safe harbor,” so to speak, where those dedicated to defending the restored gospel of Jesus Christ can meet and discuss matters of common interest.
It is also a very busy list, with more than 100 messages per day quite common. Even so, the topics discussed and the viewpoints exchanged are both fascinating and enlightening.
If you want to be part of the FAIR Apologetics list, we invite you to apply. You can do so here:
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).
If you would like to sign up to receive the FAIR Journal automatically, click here.
To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.