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 reflects on the ways that Mormonism has been portrayed in society and the media.
- 2007 FAIR CONFERENCE. The lineup for the 2007 FAIR Conference has been finalized, and time is running out to register at a reduced price.
- ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here’s how.
- 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
PBS, Mitt Romney, Harry Reid, movies, DVDs, and bigotry–this is a busy year for Mormons. We’ve been in the spotlight, and not all of that spotlight has been favorable.
PBS put on a big four-hour special on Mormonism. There was much anticipation leading up to the event, and lots of disappointed people after they saw it. I liked parts of it a lot and parts of it not at all. I am thankful PBS did this special. I certainly don’t like everything in it. I really didn’t like the out-of-context quotes and comments, but from a non-believer’s perspective, I can understand why much of it was made. One of the best things to come out of the special is the PBS Website which contains many full interviews:
The Mormons – Interviews, PBS.
There is also a page about Church history on the PBS site:
The Mormons – History, PBS.
Hollywood has come out with a movie titled “Georgia Rule” (rated R) that includes Jane Fonda as an LDS character. You can read the reviews:
A new movie on the Mountain Meadows Massacre titled “September Dawn” (rated R) is about to be released and can best be described as a fictionalized account of a tragic historic event. Here is one negative review of the film:
September Dawn, Slant Magazine
With Mitt Romney’s run at the presidency and Harry Reid in the top spot of the US Senate, there is an article in the Washington Post about the Mountain Meadows Massacre.
I especially like the end of the article where it quotes non-Mormon historian Jan Shipps:
Some observers suspect a rising tide of anti-Mormonism accounts for today’s intense focus on Mountain Meadows. Jan Shipps, professor emeritus of religious studies and history at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and an expert on Mormonism, doubts that Young was involved in the massacre.
“My sense is that Brigham Young was not that dumb as to order people to kill a wagon train” and stir up more ill feelings toward Mormons, she said. Nevertheless, she said, the prospect of implicating Young and his church in a historic tragedy appeals to modern-day critics.
“The important thing is, why is all this coming up right now?” Shipps said. Mormons used to live largely in the West, she says, but now “Mormons are everywhere. They are making converts that the evangelicals would like to make, so evangelicals are saying Mormons aren’t Christian. All of a sudden you get this [attitude of]: We’re going to look at Mormon history, and we’re going to find out what’s really there.”
And speaking of Mormons not being considered Christian, the reverend Bill Keller emailed 2.5 million people with his message that a ‘vote for Mitt Romney was a vote for Satan.’ Even though FAIR endorses no political candidates, I accepted an invitation to be on the Alan Colmes radio show (http://www.alan.com/show/) to talk about this type of attitude. I had the mistaken impression that Mr. Keller was there to discuss. Instead, he repeatedly attempted to launch a one-sided diatribe against Mormons. I tried to respond, but it was difficult.
I don’t like all of the answers that I gave in the heat of the moment, but I did the best I could under the circumstances. You can listen to that radio program here, on Mr. Keller’s Web site:
Bill Keller on Fox News Radio – Live LivePrayer.com
The year isn’t over. (It isn’t even half over.) We had the anti-Joseph Smith DVD release, a new documentary on Joseph Smith was just announced, and new books, films and TV shows are being produced with Mormon characters.
My words of advice? Don’t get upset; get involved. There are many ways to do that; a few of them are listed here:
Want another idea? Plan on attending this year’s FAIR Conference. It will help you learn the answers you need while talking with friends and family. The deadline for registering at a reduced rate is fast approaching. You can find more information later in this issue of the FAIR Journal.
-Scott Gordon FAIR President
2007 FAIR CONFERENCE
This is your last chance to purchase tickets to the FAIR conference at a discounted price. While we will continue to sell tickets online though July, we will only keep the price at $49.95 for the two-day conference until May 30, and this is a conference you won’t want to miss!
We are pleased to announce that we’ve finalized our lineup for the August 2-3 event at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. Speakers can be heard beginning at 9:00 am each day.
The following is the list of our speakers, along with a very brief introduction and title of their talk. The schedule shown may be subject to change.
For a more complete description of the speakers’ backgrounds, go to:
For more information about the conference, go to:
You can find registration information on either of these pages.
THURSDAY SCHEDULED SPEAKERS
- Steven L. Olson, Ph.D. Associate Managing Director of the Family and Church History Department. Presentation: Are the Church Archives Closed?
- Terryl Givens, Ph.D. Professor of Literature and Religion, James Bostwick Chair of English at the University of Richmond, Author of “By the Hand of Mormon.” Presentation: When Souls Had Wings: What the Western Tradition Has to teach Us About Pre-Existence.
- Brian M. Hauglid, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Ancient Scripture at BYU. Co-general editor of “Studies in the Book of Abraham” series. Presentation: Whence the Book of Abraham? A Case Study for Re-Thinking LDS Apologetics.
- Larry E. Morris Writer and editor with the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship. Author of “Oliver Cowdery: Scribe, Elder, Witness.” Presentation: The Cowdery Controversies.
- Jeffry N. Walker, J.D. Series manager and co-editor for the legal and business volumes of the “Joseph Smith Papers.” Presentation: A Change of Venue: Joseph Smith’s Escape from Liberty Jail.
- Wendy Ulrich, Ph.D. Psychologist, author, corporate trainer and a past president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists Presentation: Seeing Our Blindness: Personal History, Religious Experience, and the Need for Story.
- John L. Sorenson, Ph.D. Professor emeritus of anthropology at Brigham Young University and author of more than 200 publications including “An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon.” Presentation: The Trajectory of Book of Mormon Studies.
FRIDAY SCHEDULED SPEAKERS
- Richard E. Turley, Jr. Managing Director of the Family and Church History Department, recently involved in a major study on the Mountain Meadows Massacre Presentation: Reflections on Mountain Meadows.
- Craig L. Foster Research specialist and author of “Penny Tracts and Polemics: A Critical Analysis of Anti-Mormon Pamphleteering in Great Britain, 1837-1860,” as well as several articles.
- Steven L. Mayfield Documentation collector. Presentation: Demonstrations, Protests, and Pamphleteering in the Heart of Mormonism.
- David Bokovoy Doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible and the Ancient Near East at Brandeis University. Presentation: Isaiah in the Book of Mormon: The Things of Joseph and the Things of the Jews.
- Blake Ostler, J.D. Author and widely published LDS philosopher. Presentation: Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment.
- John F. Hall, Ph.D. Professor of Classical Languages and Ancient History, editor of “The BYU New Testament Commentary,” and noted author. Presentation: As Far as It is Translated Correctly: The Problem of Tampering with the Word of God in the Transmission and Translation of the New Testament.
- William Hamblin, Ph.D. Associate Professor at BYU where he specializes in Near Eastern Studies and the Crusades
- David R. Seely, Ph.D. Professor of Religion and One of the team of editors of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Presentation: Solomon’s Temple: Myth and History.
- Daniel Peterson, Ph.D. Professor of Islamic Studies and Arabic at BYU, author of several books and articles, and editor of the “FARMS Review”. Presentation: God and Mr. Hitchens
Every year we have to make difficult choices as to whom we invite to speak at our conference and I know there are some disappointed potential speakers. We appreciate the willingness of all those who speak and who apply to speak at the conference.
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.
You can also contact FAIR via the U.S. Postal Service using the following address. (NOTE: This is a new mailing address for FAIR.)
FAIR P.O. Box 491677 Redding, CA 96049-1677
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, you may submit it through the FAIR web site.
Questions sent to FAIR will be shared with members of FAIR, so it is not uncommon to receive several responses that approach the issue from different angles.
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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