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. Scott Gordon discusses the recent revival of the DNA arguments against the Book of Mormon.
- FAIR CONFERENCE NEWS. The FAIR Conference is scheduled for August 3 and 4.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE. “Evolution and Latter-day Saint Theology: The Tree of Life and DNA.” Trent D. Stephens addressed issues relating to evolution, Adam and Eve, and the Garden of Eden in his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE. “Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony.” In his 2004 FAIR Conference presentation, Daniel C. Peterson discusses how he came to be involved in apologetics and why the Gospel is so important.
- ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here’s how.
- FAIR TOPICAL GUIDE. The Topical Guide on the FAIR Web site is one of the most popular resources offered. Learn what is available and help us expand our references.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. With the changes in the on-line bookstore, browsing and ordering is faster and easier than ever. Check out this month’s four special 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. All of the FAIR Journal issues since October 2001 are on the FAIR web site.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Did you feel the earthquake?
Bedrock of a Faith Is Jolted. DNA tests contradict Mormon scripture. So read the headlines of the Los Angeles Times on February 16. You may have felt the “earthquake” as the story was picked up by worldwide press, Internet blogs and message boards, and even a civil rights organization. Some message boards predicted it was the final nail in the coffin for the Mormon Church.
One anti-Mormon ministry referenced it in their newsletter writing, “These are exciting times in our ministry. Recently, DNA evidence proved once and for all that the American and Meso-American Indians are not the descendants of Jewish settlers but that they have entirely different DNA patterns.” The newsletter message then went to say disparaging things about Islam. I suppose they considered the Mormonism issue finally put to rest so they could focus on other things.
But the real story is that this article is even a story at all. FAIR, FARMS, and others have been writing on this issue for several years and we have all published articles that have explored this area in depth. We have over 20 links to articles on the FAIR Web site at
Book of Mormon – DNA evidence (FAIR Wiki)
While all of them are good, you might want to take some extra time and read this article written by Dr. David Stewart at
DNA and the Book of Mormon by Dr. David Stewart
On the FARMs Web site, they have their list of DNA articles at
Viewing Category: DNA (Book of Mormon » Criticism » DNA), Maxwell Institute
You will certainly want to read the first article by Dr. David Butler at
DNA And the Book of Mormon Bishop John M. Butler Ph.D.
Before you read it, make certain you read the part about who Dr. Butler is and what his credentials are.
And to put this all into context, you will certainly want to read the two articles that discuss the Book of Mormon peoples. The article titled “Before DNA” can be found here:
The article titled “Nephi’s Neighbors: Book of Mormon Peoples and Pre-Columbian Populations.” can be found here:
I hope that all of us, critic and believer alike, will take the time to review and read these articles. Please re-read them if you have read them before. It is time that people become educated enough to finally put this topic behind us.
–Scott Gordon President, FAIR
FAIR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so if you are in the United States, your donation is tax deductible. Without your donations, FAIR would cease to exist. Thank you for your support.
FAIR Conference News
The 8th annual FAIR Conference will be held in Sandy, Utah, on August 3-4. Mark your calendars and be ready to take advantage of the early bird discount on conference tickets! Details on the speakers and ticket prices will be announced in an upcoming FAIR Journal.
Evolution and Latter-day Saint Theology: The Tree of Life and DNA
by Trent D. Stephens
Trent Stephens is well-known for his publications with FARMS and his contributions to LDS apologetics. In his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation Stephens, a biologist at Idaho State University, reviews the scriptural stories of Eden and the Fall and looks at how they may be interpreted in light of evolution, DNA, and other basic understandings of modern biology. Stephens points out that much of our understandings of the Garden of Eden story are merely interpretations of the scriptural text rather than ideas that are explicitly stated. Stephens concludes that there is no conflict between evolution and the scriptural truth that God created man in His image.
Read the article:
Evolution and Latter-day Saint Theology: The Tree of Life and DNA by Trent D. Stephens
Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony
by Daniel C. Peterson
Daniel Peterson has been a prominent and effective defender of the Church and the Book of Mormon for several decades. An Islamicist by profession, Dr. Peterson has nevertheless been a prolific contributor in the LDS apologetics arena. Not only has he been one of the principals with FARMS, but Peterson has frequently engaged anti-Mormon attacks in print, on the Internet, and on the radio.
In his 2004 FAIR Conference presentation, Peterson discusses the background and basis of his testimony of the Restored Gospel and explains how and why he has been involved in LDS apologetics. His detractors often accuse Peterson of having mercenary interests in FARMS and in his other apologetic activities, but Peterson’s testimony and love of the Gospel are the true motivations. Peterson’s keen sense of humor, his rapier wit, and an excusable fondness for exposing pseudo-scholarship have made him a perennial favorite at the annual FAIR conferences. In this presentation Peterson looks at both how he arrived to where he is, but why he is excited about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Read the article:
Autobiographical Notes on My Testimony by Daniel C. Peterson
ASK THE APOLOGIST
FAIR invites the public to submit questions relating to LDS beliefs, practices, and history. Some questions are asked sincerely by members and investigators, others are clearly hostile questions challenging the veracity of the Church and its teachings. Many of these responses may end up on the Web site as a FAIR paper or brochure. If you have a question, simply mail it to our Questions address. Email sent to this address will be shared with members of FAIR, so it is not uncommon to receive several responses that approach the issue from different angles.
FAIR TOPICAL GUIDE
The Topical Guide is one of the most important LDS apologetic resources available. If you aren’t familiar with this part of FAIR’s Web site, check it out at
The following are the Topical Guide updates for the month.
- John M. Butler, “Addressing Questions Surrounding The Book of Mormon and DNA Research,” (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2006) Research Dr. John Butler is a DNA specialist and director of a project developing new DNA technologies for forensic and human identity applications. Dr. Butler examines the supposed DNA problem and how it affects Book of Mormon historicity.
- Early LDS Members Data Base. A resource for finding genealogical information for early members of the Church.
- “Utah Digital Newspapers,” (City Unknown: University of Utah) This web site has digitized all 19th century issues of the Salt Lake Tribune and is working on the Deseret News.
- Andrew C. Skinner, “The Dead Sea Scrolls and Latter-day Truth,” Ensign, February 2006, 44-49.
- FARMS, “LDS Perspectives of the Dead Sea Scrolls,” (Provo, UT: FARMS) This free electronic version of the FARMS book is now available on-line. It includes several articles by LDS scholars who discuss the details and significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- “Mormon Studies Portal,” (City Unknown: BYU) This web portal is full of links to a variety of sites dealing with Mormon studies. Topics include: Academic Programs in Mormon Studies, Arts and Letters, Biography, BYU Publications & Sites, History, LDS Church Publications & Sites, Migration & International, Mormon Document Repositories, Mormons in 19th Century Publications, Pictures, and Science, Social Science, & Philosophy. This portal is definitely worth mining for anyone doing LDS research.
- Brant Gardner, “Behind the Mask, Behind the Curtain: Uncovering the Illusion,” FARMS Review (Provo: FARMS, 2005) Mesoamerican specialist, Brant Gardner, tackles the latest anti-Mormon video entitled, “The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon.” This video attempts to show that, unlike the Bible, the Book of Mormon story is contrary to the archaeological evidence. Gardner shows that this video is based on misconceptions and sleight of hand and that the Book of Mormon is not so easily brushed aside.
FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE
You can find all those hard-to-locate books you need to round out your library at the FAIR LDS Bookstore. In addition, shopping at the bookstore helps to support FAIR. We have some great books featured this month in our “specials” section:
“Astronomy, Papyrus, and Covenant,” edited by John Gee and Brian M. Hauglid, FARMS, 2005 (hardbound) ISBN 0-93489376-4
The third title in the “Studies in the Book of Abraham” series, this book brings together fascinating articles from fifteen scholars addressing topics related to the biblical patriarch Abraham. Subjects address Abraham as an astronomer, the background of the Joseph Smith Papyri, and the nature of the Abrahamic covenant.
You can purchase this book for $29.95, 25% off its retail price. (It is regularly $39.95.)
“All God’s Children: Racial and Ethnic Voices in the LDS Church,” by Cardell Jacobson, Cedar Fort, 2003 (softbound) ISBN 1-55517-735-2
An insightful collection of accounts from members of the LDS Church who are in culturally diverse situations. This book, compiled and edited by a BYU professor of sociology, provides a powerful look at how the LDS Church is growing in outlying areas of the world, including successes and occasional struggles.
You can purchase this book for $10.45, 30% of its retail price. (It is regularly $14.95)
“Book of Revelation from A to Z: A Helpful Guide to the Themes, Topics, Terms, Symbols, Words…,” by Clay Westover, Cedar Fort, 2004 (softbound) ISBN 1-55517-738-7
A handy guide to the words, terms and symbols used in the Book of Revelation. Written from an LDS perspective, it is a wonderful, practical tool for students of the scriptures. The book contains a unique alphabetical listing of words, terms, symbols and phrases along with references, definitions and interpretations to help the reader better understand the Book of Revelation’s important message. This compilation has short, concise definitions in order to make this work both portable and practical for use during scripture study. Makes a perfect gift at a great price!
This book can be yours for only $7.65, 30% of the retail price. (It is regularly $10.95)
“The Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Edition” edited by Grant Hardy, University of Illinois Press, 2005 (Softbound) ISBN 0-252-07341-X
This great reader-friendly version of our familiar scripture reformats the complete, unchanged 1920 text in the manner of modern translations of the Bible, with paragraphs, quotations marks, poetic forms, topical headings, multichapter headings, indention of quoted documents, italicized reworkings of biblical prophecies, and minimized verse numbers. The book has charts, maps, and a glossary of names. If you’ve never seen this book before, it will provide you with new insights into the Book of Mormon.
You can purchase this book for $17.47, 30% off its retail price. (It is regularly $24.95.)
To see all of our specials in one place, visit this special page:
Thanks for your continued support of the FAIR 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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