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).
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. Our annual FAIR conference is only a month away. We have a great lineup of speakers, so be sure to get your reservations made!
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: The Charge of “Racism” in the Book of Mormon. In his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, John Tvedtnes examines the accusation that the Book of Mormon contains racist ideology and comments.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: Accusations Against the Articles of Faith. Matthew B. Brown looks at four common attacks made against the Articles of Faith.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: Random Reflections on the Passing Scene. In this transcript of Dan Peterson’s 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, Peterson looks at recent events and trends in anti-Mormon treatment of the LDS Church.
- FAIR ONLINE BOOKSTORE. In recognition of the early LDS pioneers, whose sacrifices have given us a marvelous spiritual heritage, the bookstore is offering some specials on items relating to LDS history. Check out this month’s great offers.
- 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.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Now is the time to purchase your tickets to the FAIR conference! If you have been putting it off, you need to go now to
and scroll to the bottom of the page to order your tickets.
There are thirteen presentations from noted scholars. Conference attendees always look forward to meeting the speakers. You have the opportunity to have them sign your books, eat lunch with them, and ask them questions directly. Now is your chance to do all of these things.
Dr. Dean Byrd will be discussing the innate/immutable theory of homosexuality and examine the contributions of both the biological and the psychological sciences in increasing our understanding of this phenomenon.
Dr. Davis Bitton, retired assistant church historian, will be giving a presentation entitled, “I don’t have a Testimony of the History of the Church.” Given the recent books from those who claim they read church history and lose their testimonies, this should be a great talk.
Dr. Richard Lloyd Anderson will be speaking on the Book of Mormon witnesses. I have heard that this will be a very powerful and faith-promoting topic.
Other talks include the historicity of the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, women in the church, blacks in the church, the LDS nature of God, the apostasy, the recent anti-Mormon “history” books, and more.
The speakers include John Tvedtnes, Dan Peterson, Richard Lloyd Anderson, Michael Ash, Andrea Radke, Dean Byrd, Brant Gardner, Roger Keller, Davis Bitton, David Paulsen, Matthew Brown, Kevin Barney, Margaret Young, and Alex Boye.
Don’t wait to the last minute thinking you can still get in. Call a friend and sign up now!
The Charge of “Racism” in the Book of Mormon
by John A. Tvedtnes
Critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints frequently charge that not only are the Church and its leaders guilty of a century and a half of racist policies and doctrine, but that the Book of Mormon itself contains racist statements and doctrine. These charges have two primary objectives. First, to convince people that neither the leaders nor the institution of the Church could be divinely inspired if they can be shown to have been racist. And second, to argue that the Book of Mormon’s comments on skin color, inherited curses, and chosen nations are little more than reflections of Joseph Smith’s nineteenth century American environment.
In responding during his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, Tvedtnes points out that the Old Testament patriarchs and prophets frequently claimed special blessings for their own people and encouraged segregation from their neighbors of different “races” and nations. Evidences of similar distinctions in the Book of Mormon is just as likely to be evidences of a Hebrew-based Nephi culture as it is of nineteenth-century America.
Tvedtnes also responds to these charges by looking at how the Book of Mormon comments can be taken in context to refer not specifically to skin color, but to the attitudes, traditions, and level of righteousness of the Book of Mormon people. The white and black imagery is used in the Book of Mormon to contrast purity and virtue with idleness, unrighteousness, and sin.
And finally, the Book of Mormon makes it clear that God considers neither race nor skin color when dispensing blessings or offering salvation to His children.
Read the article:
The Charge of “Racism” in the Book of Mormon by John Tvedtnes
Accusations Against the Articles of Faith
by Matthew B. Brown
For several decades after the Church or Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was restored in 1830, various leaders and missionaries made lists of key doctrines of the Church. The most famous of these was made by the Prophet Joseph Smith in his Wentworth letter. This list, later named “The Articles of Faith,” was canonized by the Church and now appears in the Pearl of Great Price. Anti-Mormon critics seem to be unaware of the number of such lists made during the nineteenth century and that none of these lists was held to be more than general statements of LDS beliefs. None of them was put forth as a definitive catalog of LDS doctrine.
Matthew B. Brown looks at four common attacks made against the Church relating to the Articles of Faith: (1) the Articles of Faith misrepresent LDS beliefs by ignoring deeper doctrines, (2) the fourth Article of Faith was changed over time to reflect changes in LDS doctrine, (3) the Articles of Faith actually originated with Orson Pratt rather than with Joseph Smith, and (4) there used to be a fourteenth Article of Faith that has since be removed.
In each of these instances, Brown shows how anti-Mormons fail to understand the sources and development of the Articles of Faith and similar lists in the early church. Accusations made about the Articles of Faith, intended to “enshroud them in the fog of controversy,” are utterly without merit.
Read the brochure:
Accusations Against the Articles of Faith by Matthew Brown
Random Reflections on the Passing Scene
Daniel C. Peterson
In his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, Peterson looked at recent events and trends in anti-Mormon treatment of the LDS Church. Using personal experiences, including appearances on radio talk shows and anti-Mormon gatherings where he has been asked to represent the Church, Peterson shows how both LDS doctrine and values are being attacked and ridiculed.
Against a background of publicity relating to the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Book of Mormon DNA controversy, and attacks by atheists and humanists against the LDS vision of the purpose of life and the hope offered through the Gospel, Peterson argues that LDS apologetics fills an important need to help defend the Gospel that brings hope and meaning to the lives of believers. Whether anti-Mormonism stems from Evangelical Christian attacks or secular or atheistic arguments, it is important that the message of the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ be defended and proclaimed to all those willing to accept the spiritual blessings offered through its message.
Read the article:
Random Reflections on the Passing Scene by Daniel C. Peterson
FAIR ONLINE BOOKSTORE
July 24th is cause to remember our spiritual heritage and increase our gratitude to the Lord for all He does. Celebrate this year with more purpose by ordering from the FAIR Bookstore’s ever growing LDS History category:
In a similar spirit, our monthly specials carry the same theme with 20-40% savings. The following books would be great additions to any library!
Before Zion: An Account of the 7th Handcart Company by Allen C. Christensen.
- Sale Price: $18.35 (save 20%).
Heroic Mormon Women by Ivan J. Barrett.
- Sale Price: $11.15 (save 20%).
Isn’t That Odd?: Amazing and Unusual Pioneer Stories by Shirley Bahlmann.
- Sale Price: $6.55 (save 40%).
To visit the FAIR LDS Bookstore:
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).
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.