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).
- FROM THE EDITOR. New FAIR Journal Feature Announced: A FAIR Perspective.
- A FAIR PERSPECTIVE: MOTIVATION, BEHAVIOR AND DISSENTION. A behind-the-scenes examination of the Thomas Murphy news story.
- A FAIR PERSPECTIVE: MORMON MISSIONARIES AND THE VATICAN. Stemming from hot opinions about the Main Street Plaza issue in Salt Lake City, accusations about the behavior of LDS Missionaries at the Vatican have been fired. Are they true?
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD. A fireside presentation delivered by the Director of African American Relations for the Southern California Public Affairs Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM FAIR. Remember the Reason!
- ASK THE APOLOGIST: The question this month addresses the question of whether early LDS leaders were confused about the First Vision.
- FROM THE FAIR FILES – DNA AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
- BOOK STORE NEWS – Its all new news at the FAIR Bookstore.
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON.
- 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.
FROM THE EDITOR – A FAIR Perspective
It is likely that you will notice a few articles in this issue that might be a little different from what you have come to expect from the FAIR Journal. FAIR is an LDS Apologetic organization with it’s primary goal to address the charges leveled at the doctrines, practices and leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) with documented responses that are written in an easily understandable style.
With that said, we rarely publish papers or articles on current events. We do write letters to editors of varies news outlets when we see an unfair or inaccurate story published on the Church of Jesus Christ. But, that is usually the extent of our involvement with issues in the press. That has changed with this issue of the FAIR Journal.
It is my pleasure to announce a new feature of the FAIR Journal: “A FAIR Perspective.” You will notice two articles that cover current LDS-related events in this issue. We felt the need to address these topics as they most certainly overflowed into the Apologetics arena and will continue to do so, as needed, in the future. These stories will run as “A FAIR Perspective” feature. We are interested in your feedback on these two stories and covering current events like these, in general.
Lastly, you will also notice one article that has no apologetic application, but is important, nonetheless. At this time of year, we feel it is important to remember the reason for this season: Our Redeember, Jesus Christ, and the celebration of His birth. We hope you enjoy this issue of the FAIR Journal.
-J. Cooper Johnson Editor
A FAIR PERSPECTIVE: MOTIVATION, BEHAVIOR AND DISSENTION
by Allen Wyatt
Thomas W. Murphy, a University of Washington graduate student and nominal member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has made national news in recent weeks. In a story that reached the newswire of the Associated Press late on Friday, November 29, writer Patty Henetz reported that Mr. Murphy expected to “be excommunicated next week for articles he has written questioning the validity of the Book of Mormon.” Thus began the one-sided posturing to portray Mr. Murphy as an independent academic, singled out by the monolithic Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for persecution because he intelligently disagrees with its doctrinal issues.
This paper examines inconsistencies in the behavior and apparent motivations of Mr. Murphy—using his own words and those of his co-conspirators—in relation to the Church of Jesus Christ.
Read full paper here:
- Motivation, Behavior, and Dissension by Allen Wyatt
- Motivation, Behavior, and Dissension (PDF) by Allen Wyatt
A FAIR PERSPECTIVE: MORMON MISSIONARIES AND THE VATICAN
by Cooper Johnson
Don’t exhale just yet. While a potential compromise looms in downtown Salt Lake City, the artillery fire has not ceased. The smoke from shots recently fired has not settled quite yet. Interested observers will simply have to wait and see how this latest offer will play out. However, in the midst of the heated battle possibly bound for the Supreme Court, over the Salt Lake City Main Street Plaza, heated opinions continue to fly. Wedges are deepening. Heels are digging in. Fingers are-a-pointing. When one fights through all the legal maneuvering and spin-doctoring of our First Amendment rights, which are hanging in the balance (or so I’m told), the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is simply attempting to prevent it’s detractors from performing their activities on Church-owned property.
“Respect” seems to be the core of the LDS position. Many faithful members of the Church of Jesus Christ have done their part to publicize their opinions to reporters, journalists and in letters to editors about this “respect.” Some have posed the hypothetical “what if the shoe were on the other foot,” like Brenda Lyon,
I wonder how the American Civil Liberties Union, the First Unitarian Church and their other clients would feel if LDS Church members went to the public easements in front of their buildings during their special events and were offensive to their patrons. (Salt Lake Tribune, Forum, October 31, 2002)
This seems to be a fair question. Certainly, we don’t hear about the Mormon faithful with bullhorns and signs outside the Southern Baptist Convention headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee or at the steps of Prestonwood Baptist Church, home of one of the largest Baptist Churches in the nation, located in Dallas, Texas, and home to the SBC President, Pastor Jack Graham.
This just doesn’t seem to be the Mormon “style.” Instead, The Church of Jesus Christ sends it’s strapping young men and women out door to door, politely attempting to share it’s message with the utmost respect for others’ religious views. Smiles on faces; well groomed; dressed conservatively. Humble pie.
Read the full article:
Mormon Missionaries, the Vatican, and Respect by Cooper Johnson
BLACKS AND THE PRIESTHOOD
by Marvin Perkins
This talk was presented by Marvin Perkins, Director of African American Relations for the Southern California Public Affairs Council of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This talk was presented at the Westwood Chapel in Los Angeles on September 8, 2002, and is posted here with the permission of Brother Perkins.
On Wednesday, I’ll celebrate the 14th anniversary of my baptism. Many of you know that this issue almost kept me from joining the Church. As I was confronted with it, I thought, I’ll just ask some of the members. The more people I asked, the more offended and distant from the Church I became. I saw in the eyes of my friend who had introduced me to the Church, a desperate desire to find anyone who could give me better answers. The foolish virgins that did not prepare the lamps with oil come to my mind. No one that my friend knew, including herself, had prepared themselves to be able to answer the question that so greatly plagues the Church. And she feared that this baptism would not happen. I was fortunate enough to learn probably the most crucial lesson of my life before I was baptized. When the Stake President said that he couldn’t answer my question either, but if this book is true, holding up the Book of Mormon, that there are answers out there somewhere, I knew right then that my testimony would have to always be based on the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ alone, and not any other issue. That I would move forward based upon what I did know, and never be held back because of what I didn’t know. So hopefully what we cover tonight will help you to be better on your way to help your brothers and sisters into the Kingdom of the Lord.
I attended a baptism last Saturday of an African American brother who had been taking the discussions. He was rapidly losing his receptivity to the Elders and their message because they were not equipped to satisfy his questions on Blacks and the Priesthood. Many of you, I’m sure, have found yourselves in the same situation, and that may be one of the reasons you’re here tonight. Well the Elders called me. I receive these calls all the time. We all met and I taught some of what I had researched. It was enough to take down the barriers, and the discussion continued with increased receptivity. All but one of these calls, that I’ve ever gone out on, have resulted in baptism.
Read the full transcript:
Blacks and the Priesthood by Marvin Perkins
A FAIR CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
by Marc Schindler
We at FAIR would like to take some time at the end of this eventful and exciting year to leave you with some words to ponder over the Christmas season.
Some years ago, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland gave a talk to the Religious Instruction faculty at Brigham Young University shortly before Christmas. Now you might think that Elder Holland would have something very deep and profound-sounding for such an august group of scholars, but instead he related the Dr. Suess tale, “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.” As most readers probably recall, this is a story about a mean “grinch” who thinks he can “steal” Christmas from Who-ville by taking away all their Christmas presents, only to find that Christmas was really in the hearts of the little Who-ville people.
The earthly demands the season places on us can be distracting, to say the least: the cooking, the travel, finding a bed that’s comfortable enough for Uncle Jack (or finding the most comfortable way for you to sleep on Uncle Jack’s lumpy old couch!). Then comes January when the bills come in.
Read the article:
Christmas 2002 Message by Marc Schindler
ASK THE APOLOGIST – FAIR Journal feature.
This month’s question:
Anti-Mormons claim that Joseph Smith’s claims of a vision of the Father and the Son were added to his story later, replacing his initial claim of only seeing an angel. They use statements from early LDS leaders to demonstrate this claim. Did early leaders not know about the First Vision?
Read the answer:
FROM THE FAIR FILES: DNA AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
Due to this issue being a hot one, this article is being featured. This is a review of Scott Woodward’s FAIR Conference Presentation, 2001.
Read the review:
DNA and the Book of Mormon by Cooper Johnson
The full video of Scott Woodward’s presentation will be available on the FAIR Web site within the next couple of weeks, for free. So check back soon.
BOOK STORE NEWS – ITS ALL NEW NEWS AT THE FAIR BOOKSTORE!
Be sure your visit the FAIR Online Bookstore soon to see our new look and new approach; now with over 200 products available and adding items and specials daily. We are committed to not only raising funds for FAIR’s efforts through your purchases, but gathering quality books, tapes, and videos at great prices in one location for your convenience.
Apologetics will still be our focus, but in order to serve our customers better, we are adding items useful for research in a variety of topics as well as some things that are just enjoyable to look at (see our photography books on the Holy Land for added dimension to New Testament study.)
We will be offering a special selection of books for the 2003 course of study for Relief Society/Priesthood (Teachings of the Prophets: John Taylor) and the New Testament, including the illustrated collector’s edition of Jesus the Christ by Talmage, our price $33.95, (retail $39.95) and FARMS new book, Charting the New Testament, available through FAIR at $20.95 (retail $24.95).
Also from FARMS is the bestseller Echoes and Evidences, priced on our site at $11.95 (retail $14.95)
We emphasize the FARMS product line, but carry a variety of other companies as well. If you don’t see a product you want, e-mail us and we will be happy to try and track it down for you. Check us out at:
We’re interested in any suggestions you may have to improve our service as well. Let us know what you need and what you want.
The FAIR Bookstore Staff
A MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
We’re pleased to announce the new expanded bookstore on our Web site. We hope to bring you great books at a great price and provide some funding for FAIR at the same time. Don’t forget about “Guess Who Wants To Have You For Lunch!” The book is out and available to ship!
If you believe that FAIR is providing a valuable service, please consider making a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year. All labor and management is volunteer, but we rely on monetary donations to cover our other expenses. Without donations, we can’t continue to provide help to those who need it. You can make this donation at the FAIR Online Store (click on the word “Store” on the left side of the Web page), or you can send a check in the mail to FAIR, PO Box 491677, Redding, CA 96049.
At this Christmas season, we at FAIR would like to wish you a very merry Christmas. Now is a wonderful time to reflect on the birth and atonement of Jesus Christ and the blessings we have through Him.
-Scott Gordon President
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 FAIR Publications 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 Join FAIR link to join this list.
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 Web site (www.fairlds.org).
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