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).
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: ANTI-MORMON ACTIVITY AT OCTOBER 2003 GENERAL CONFERENCE. A photo essay of some of the claims made by anti- Mormons protesting at General Conference.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: WITHOUT THE WALLS OF TEMPLE SQUARE. A first- hand account of anti-Mormon activity at the April 2003 General Conference, from the perspective of a sister missionary.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: WHY WE SHOULD LOVE THE STREET PREACHERS. Reflections on activities by the “Street Preachers” at the October 2003 General Conference.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: HOW ABOUT TOLERANCE FOR ALL? Columnist and radio personality Bob Lonsberry weighs in on the behavior of protesters at General Conference.
- NEW WEBSITE: A NEW FAIR-SPONSORED WEB SITE. FAIR is sponsoring a new Web site designed to dispell myths related to blacks and the LDS Church.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: DEALING WITH DIFFICULT ISSUES. When faced with new information that we don’t understand, we can feel that our faith is challenged and our testimony shaken. How can we deal with such “earth shaking” moments in our lives?
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: HOMOSEXUALITY AND THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST. An honest, forthright look at an intensely personal and very timely issue.
- REMEMBERING A FRIEND. A personal look at the too-short life of a remarkable apologist.
- HUMOR: DNA AND THE BOOK OF MORMON. A very apt cartoon draws attention to the double-edged sword presented by criticisms of the Book of Mormon based on DNA studies.
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT, SCOTT GORDON.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. Check out the monthly specials available in the FAIR LDS 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.
- FAIR JOURNAL ARCHIVES
Anti-Mormon Activity at October 2003 General Conference
by Allen L. Wyatt
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has attracted critics from its earliest days. The pictures in this photo essay provide a small glimpse at the efforts of some critics of the Church. The pictures were taken October 4-5, 2003, in Salt Lake City, during the LDS General Conference. Protesters positioned themselves all around Temple Square and along the west side of the Conference Center.
Read the article:
Without the Walls of Temple Square
by Tiffany Wilde
To be a missionary on Temple Square during General Conference is absolute heaven! Members of the Church travel hundreds of miles to Salt Lake City to see a prophet of God. The feeling within the walls is of peace, sacrifice, love, and testimony. Some members of the Church who don’t have a ticket to get into a conference session will wait in lines inside the square for hours in hopes of crossing the street to the beautiful Conference Center. No one is impatient or grumpy as they wait. Even as it hailed and snowed, smiles are seen and laughs are heard as members try to squeeze under umbrellas of those in line with them. What a happy, joyous thrill it is to be a part of this event.
Outside the walls of Temple Square, however, the scene is quite different…
Read the article:
Without the Walls of Temple Square by Tiffany Wilde
Why We Should Love the Street Preachers
by Lance Starr
Another General Conference has come and gone. With it, came more disruptions from the bands of “Street Preachers” who regularly show up with their signs and slogans to berate and belittle believing Latter-day Saints. As one member of FAIR who attended Conference this year noted, “The good weather seems to bring out all the kooks and nuts.” Unfortunately, the higher numbers of protestors also seem to bring out even more vitriol and hatred. Especially disturbing was the approximately five protestors who held up female temple garments and proceeded to treat them rudely by blowing their noses into them and rubbing them against their buttocks. Aside from the fact that these men show an unnatural preoccupation with women’s underwear, they were able to provoke at least three confrontations with LDS attendees, one of whom was thrown into jail and given a $20,000 bond for trying to take the garments from one of the protesters.
Read the article:
Why We Should Love the Street Preachers by Lance Starr
How About Tolerance For All?
by Bob Lonsberry
Some Muslims wear sacred clothing. So do some Jews. The same for Native Americans and some Hindus and others. Bits of cloth or string that are physical reminders of God and his bond with man. Sacred things, really. Prayer shawls or beads, head coverings or aprons, medicine bags. Things that are special to people, honorable and good things. Things that should be respected. One would not, for example, rip the yarmulke from a Jewish man’s head and mockingly fling it like a Frisbee. Nor would you wear a yarmulke as a spoof or joke. Certainly not as an attack on Judaism. Not as a mockery of Jews and their faith. Yet something like that happened this weekend.
Read the article:
How About Tolerance For All? by Bob Lonsberry
A New FAIR-Sponsored Web Site
There is a lot of folklore and misinformation about black members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. These myths are partly spread and promoted by some who belong to anti-cult ministries, where they are paid to tear down the beliefs of Mormons, and they are paid to prevent people from joining the LDS Church. Unfortunately, these myths are also passed on by well-meaning but misguided members of the LDS Church.
FAIR is pleased to announce the creation of a new Web site dedicated to dispelling the inaccuracies and myths related to Black Mormons. The purpose of the Web site is to educate and to support the black and white members of the LDS Church as they deal with these issues.
The Web site is still in its early stages, and many changes are forthcoming. If you have comments or contributions (such as facts, documents, or pictures), send them to FAIR President.
Dealing with Difficult Issues
by Scott Gordon
Faith, and what the LDS term testimony, can be a fragile thing. Sometimes we can run across information that challenges our long-held beliefs, or that presents us with seemingly negative information that we did not know before. As we come across new information, we may question our testimony or wonder how our faith can survive intact in the light of the new information.
A friend of mine was recently faced by such questions in the light of something she had read. Knowing that I had dealt with like information in the past, she asked how I deal with difficult issues that are presented from Church history or doctrine.
Read the article:
Dealing with Difficult Issues by Scott Gordon
Homosexuality and the Church of Jesus Christ
by A. Dean Byrd, Ph.D.
The issue of homosexuality provokes significant emotion in our society. The media has weighed in heavily on the issue of homosexuality with sound bites of tolerance and diversity from the secular world. Social and political developments such as homosexual marriage, homosexual adoption, homosexual clubs in the school system and “alternative families” have taken center stage in modern life. The Church has not been bypassed. While there has been a general scientific consensus that homosexual orientation is not biologically determined, (that is, there are many factors-biological, psychological, familial and cultural-involved in the development of homosexual orientation) there is less of a consensus about whether or not homosexuality is immutable.
Read the book:
Remembering a Friend
by Tom Matkin
[Editor’s note: This past week, on October 19, one of our Father’s sons was called home. In the passing of Marc Schindler, FAIR lost an ardent supporter and a valuable friend. This essay was written by fellow FAIR member Tom Matkin.]
Years ago, long before LDS Gems had been taken into the official lds.org fold, when they would still accept contributions from almost anyone, I sent them a short essay about Veteran’s Day (or Remembrance Day as we call it in Canada). In response I received a great many “atta boys” from all over the world, but only one of them sticks in my mind–it was from Marc Schindler. He praised my contribution, took me to task where I deserved it, added three pages of his own experiences with Remembrance Day, plumbed the origins and evolution of the holiday, noted the differences in its observation in various countries, and introduced himself as a fellow Latter-day Saint. Thus began, for me, a delightful association and friendship with one of the more remarkable people I have ever known.
Since that first encounter, hardly a day has gone by that I haven’t enjoyed some sort of e-mail from Marc Schindler. He was the undisputed heavy-weight champion of LDS e-mail. In volume, content, wit, and folksy trivia he had no peer. His worldview on religion, politics and events was truly amazing. He was always more than just a breath of fresh air; he was a hurricane of ideas, anecdotes, science, art, politics and religion. His keen mind, quick wit, vast knowledge and abundant imagination allowed him to cut to the heart of any issue. He was opinionated, a constant thorn in the side of political conservatives, a tireless exponent of his very studied and authoritative position on evolution, a geography junkie, an unabashed Canucklehead (although he was proud of his U.S. citizenship as well), a formidable opponent, and a kind and generous defender of the Church.
In apologetics it was his intuitive understanding of what was truly anti-Mormon and what was not that set him apart. He had a liberal nature that tolerated all sorts of ideas and allowed him to be a trusted friend to many outside the fringes of the Church, and yet he was a true and constant defender of the faith. Marc was fascinated by the obscure, the esoteric, the cryptic and even the trivial. And despite his erudition, or perhaps because of it, he was equally at home answering the question “Does the ‘Shema’ Support Trinitarianism?” as he was explaining “Why we celebrate the Sabbath on Sunday.” He was always witty, full of good humour, thick skinned as a rhino, and never without an answer. In short, he was the perfect apologist. His body of good practical apologetic work will last for as long as the Internet. Marc was not yet fifty years old when he unexpectedly passed, and we had anticipated many more.
Best of all, Marc was solid in the things that mattered. He loved his wife Kathy and their four children and doted on his granddaughter, Shae. His testimony of and devotion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was unstinting. He followed Nephi’s well-known exhortation to “…liken all scripture unto us, that it might be for our profit and understanding.” (1 Nephi 19:23) Marc was a master at likening things (not only scriptures, but everything) unto himself. He seemed to take a genuine interest in everything, never forgot anything, and learned and taught valuable lessons from everything. It was all personal to him–open, friendly, gregarious, honest and personal. He told us endlessly about himself and his experiences, his desires, his foibles, and his constant “self-promotional alerts” as he would have yet another letter to The Economist or some other magazine or newspaper published.
Perhaps, above all, he was a teacher. His style of participation on e-mail lists was like that described in Alma 12:1, he would establish that which he saw as being right and then give authorities beyond that. A thoughtful post would almost always generate a thoughtful comment from Marc.
One of the teachings of this Church that is perhaps as pleasing as any other, and surely most comforting at this moment, as we contemplate the death of such a good friend, is the notion that we take that same spirit that we have now into the next life (Alma 34:34) and that “the same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there, only it will be coupled with eternal glory.” (D&C 130:2) We have greatly enjoyed the sociality of our dear friend Marc Schindler and hope for the privilege of renewing and continuing it at some future time under the blessing and joy of eternal glory.
Goodbye then, dear friend and brother. We love you and weep for your loving family, praying that the Comforter will visit them most abundantly and constantly. May you be given your own glorified Heavenly Internet connection with everlasting high speed and no bandwidth limitations. You’ve earned it.
Humor: DNA and the Book of Mormon
In recent months, some anti-Mormon evangelical Christians have gleefully latched onto criticisms about the Book of Mormon based on DNA studies. Some anti-Mormon organizations have even banded together to help produce and distribute a video that paints a negative picture of the Church through the presentation of false conclusions based on incomplete evidence.
What most of these anti-Mormon Christians fail to realize is that the “truth” they present is a two-edged sword; it is equally damaging to their fundamentalist claims of biblical inerrancy and historical accuracy.
Greg Kearney, a FAIR member and political cartoonist, portrays this problem quite well in this humorous cartoon:
DNA and the Book of Mormon by Greg Kearney
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
This week, FAIR lost one of its most stalwart members with the passing of Marc Schindler. Marc spent countless hours responding to people’s questions, translating, writing articles, and scanning documents for us.
I did a quick review of the FAIR Web site and found the following articles, all written by Marc:
- Celebrating the Sabbath on Saturday
- Mormonism 201 Introduction
- Doesn’t Matthew 22:23-30 Contradict the LDS Doctrine of Eternal Marriage?
- What is Meant By the “Casting of Lots?”
- Evangelical Shows His Own Religion Isn’t Biblical After All: Review of “Will the Real Heretics Please Stand Up.”
- Deutero-Isaiah in the Book of Mormon,
- Christmas 2002 Message
- Heaven and Hell (Review of chapter in Mormonism 101)
There are dozens of other places that Marc has touched within FAIR, but where his name does not appear. For instance, he was instrumental in helping to scan the classic books “They Lie in Wait to Deceive” (They Lie in Wait to Deceive) and “The Truth About ‘The God Makers'” (The Truth About “The God Makers”).
Marc was also busy on numerous other e-mail lists and Web sites, as well. Notable among them are these:
Science, Scripture Studies and “Mormonism” (the Restored Gospel)
Atlas of LDS (Mormon) Temples, Missions, and Stakes
When we lost Marc, we lost one of our best and brightest. Our hearts and prayers are with the Schindler family.
-Scott Gordon President, FAIR
FAIR ONLINE BOOKSTORE
We just got in the audio and video products from our 2003 conference. Now you can experience these great talks for yourself. Each talk is available in audio CD, Windows video, or DVD format for $9.95. Check out the great list of speakers and topics.
Now is your opportunity to buy FAIR-WEAR. We have FAIR sweatshirts and FAIR T-shirts available for you. The sweatshirts retail for only $12.95, and the T-shirts retail for only $9.95. Don’t miss this opportunity (while supplies last).
Finally! A professional card you can give anybody to direct them to the FAIR Web site. These invaluable cards are the size of business cards and are printed on both sides. The cards are covered with a photo coating so they are more durable and resist grime. What can you do with these cards? Give them to you Bishop, your Ward Mission Leader, the full-time missionaries, investigators who are hitting “speedbumps” with difficult questions, or anyone who needs the answers that FAIR provides. You get a pack of 25 cards for $5.
You can find all of these great products and more at the FAIR LDS Bookstore:
– The FAIR Bookstore Staff
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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