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 notes how often LDS theology has been recently discussed in the press.
- FAIR IN THE NEWS. Some recent news articles in which FAIR has been cited.
- YOU CAN HELP FAIR. It’s the end of the year, and you can help FAIR achieve its goals.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. The Church has put a series of short video clips on YouTube dealing with a number of topics.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. Orson Scott Card compares the LDS view of God with the biblical view.
- 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 WIKI. The FAIR Wiki is an excellent resource for someone looking for a summary of an issue and for pointers to more detailed information.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. Check out the great selections in the FAIR 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. All of the FAIR Journal issues since October 2001 are on the FAIR web site.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The political campaign here in the US has certainly thrust our beliefs front and center into the public limelight. A quote from the Boston Globe on this says
“Everyone knows why there is a national debate going on about Mormons right now,” the church says in a statement. “But over the past several months, we have seen an endless parade of ‘experts’– from academics to pollsters to evangelical Christians and even journalists–commenting on, describing, explaining and expounding our faith. Too often, the Church itself is left out of that conversation altogether. We’d like to join it.”
To join this conversation, the Church has sent out Apostles to meet with various editorial boards.
Recently Elder Ballard has encouraged people to get involved in getting the message out by becoming involved in the “new media.”
“Sharing the Gospel Using the Internet,” M. Russell Ballard, Ensign, July 2008
In a press release dated December 15 on the Church Website it says,
Two hundred graduating students at Brigham Young University-Hawaii were urged today to use the Internet – including blogs and other forms of “new media” – to contribute to a national conversation about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder M. Russell Ballard, an apostle in the Church, told the mostly Mormon student body that conversations about the Church would take place whether or not Church members decided to participate in them.
“We cannot stand on the sidelines while others, including our critics, attempt to define what the Church teaches,” he said.
“While some conversations have audiences in the thousands or even millions, most are much, much smaller. But all conversations have an impact on those who participate in them. Perceptions of the Church are established one conversation at a time.”
Church leaders have publicly expressed concern that while much of the recent extensive news reporting on the Church has been balanced and accurate, some has been trivial, distorted or without context.
Elder Ballard said there were too many conversations going on about the Church for Church representatives to respond to each individually, and that Church leaders “can’t answer every question, satisfy every inquiry and respond to every inaccuracy that exists.”
He said students should consider sharing their views on blogs, responding to online news reports and using the “new media” in other ways.
But he cautioned against arguing with others about their beliefs. “There is no need to become defensive or belligerent,” he said.
We hope that FAIR can become a resource for you in this effort. You can find a number of resources at www.fairlds.org. Click on the “Topical Guide” link. You can also find resources at the FAIR wiki:
The FAIR wiki provides many short answers to questions that come up.
Additionally, FAIR has put together two more resources. One is a response to 50 Anti-Mormon Questions at
50 Questions to Ask Mormons, (Contender Ministries, Tower to Truth Ministries)
A second resource is designed to help Journalists. This resource is still under construction, so suggestions are welcome.
Please use FAIR to help in your blogging and other Internet activities and let us know if there are areas where we need to provide additional resources.
–Scott Gordon President
FAIR IN THE NEWS
FAIR has been a resource in several news articles that have come out recently.
- New York Times: “Huckabee Is Not Alone in Ignorance on Mormonism” (December 14, 2007)
- The Los Angeles Times: “A look at Mormon theology and practice” (December 16, 2007)
- The National Post: “A reader writes in defence of mormonism …” (December 11, 2007)
- The Los Angeles Times: “Mormon theology is striking in its differences” (December 7, 2007)
- The Los Angeles Times blogs: “Other opinions on Romney’s faith talk tomorrow” (December 5, 2007)
- The Alan Colmes Radio Show. This was the second appearance on this nationwide show for FAIR’s president, Scott Gordon.
Additionally, FAIR has started a new partnership with Meridian Magazine, where we are providing a number of short articles to the readers.
YOU CAN HELP FAIR
It is the end of the year and now is your last chance to make a tax deductible (if you are in the US) donation to FAIR. We would like to do more Internet advertising, but are limited by our volunteers’ time and by our meager financial resources. We have two books and two DVDs we would like to publish and distribute, but we anticipate a cost of about $40,000 to do those tasks effectively.
That means we can’t achieve our goals without your help. With that in mind, FAIR has three requests:
1) Please make a donation of any size to FAIR. You can either go to the donation page at the bookstore
or you can mail it to
FAIR PO Box 491677 Redding, CA 96049
2) If you are able, consider making a donation that will cover the entire cost of our publishing or at least a substantial part of it.
3) If you would like to specifically help with the publication of our book “Shaken Faith Syndrome” — an excellent book by Mike Ash that will help many people who struggle with Church issues — make a $100 donation and when the book is printed, Mike will send you an autographed copy.
Regardless of how you choose to help, please realize that we appreciate your support. It is only through the good graces of our volunteers and benefactors that we are able to do our work.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: CHURCH VIDEO CLIPS ON YOUTUBE
As more people rely on video for their information, the Church has responded by putting short video clips on YouTube. Here are a few that are available.
- Do Mormons Worship Jesus Christ in Their Church Services?
- How are Mormon Beliefs Similar to Other Christians?
- Is There Scientific Proof Authenticating the Book of Mormon?
- Are Mormons Christian?
- Why Do People Say Mormonism is a Cult?
There are many more clips. You can find them by searching for LDSPublicAffairs using the YouTube search feature.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: ORSON SCOTT CARD ESSAY ON LDS THEOLOGY
Writer Orson Scott Card considers the LDS concept of God and argues that LDS theology is very much in line with the biblical description of God.
Read the article: http://www.fairlds.org/cgi-bin/site.pl?s268
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.
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 FAIR wiki project was started in 2006 to provide a more flexible and searchable resource for Latter-day Saints and allow others to get answers to Gospel questions. The wiki is, by design, always a “work in progress,” with many editors at FAIR contributing to articles on a daily basis. You can access the FAIR wiki at:
This month the FAIR wiki focuses attention on issue of Jesus and Satan being brothers.
Latter-day Saints believe that all angels and men are children of God, and thus they believe there is a sense in which Jesus, Satan, angels, demons, and all mankind are all brothers and sisters. Over the last few decades, critics of the Church have increasingly used this belief to create shocking headlines in anti-Mormon publications.
Anti-Mormons hope that readers will see the sentence “Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers” and jump to a false conclusion about how LDS Christians view Jesus. By divorcing the sentence from the context of LDS doctrine, by omitting any reference to the huge gulf that Mormons believe exists between Jesus Christ and Satan, and by ignoring the ways in which LDS believe that Satan is outside the family of God and thus in certain ways is not a brother of Christ, critics falsely present LDS beliefs hoping that people will reject the restored Gospel out of hand without further investigation.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released a brief statement on this issue.
The FAIR Wiki has a section dealing with this topic.
Brother of Satan?—Critics claim that the LDS consider Jesus and Satan to be “brothers,” thus lowering the stature of Christ, or elevating Satan. Some go so far as to imply that the LDS “really” worship or revere Satan, and are thus not true “Christians.” (Link)
FAIR has a downloadable brochure on this topic (in PDF).
This paper and other resources are available in the FAIR Topical Guide.
A humorous look at this topic was recently published on the Townhall.com. In her article “He’s Not Satan, He’s My Brother,” Kathleen Parker sets up a political debate between Republican candidates and moderated by Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady.
FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE
The FAIR Bookstore has a huge selection of books, CDs, and DVDs that deal not only with apologetics but with a great range of topics, including Church history, scripture studies, archaeology, theology, comparitive religion, philosophy and many more.
Be sure to check out our specials each month and save money while building your personal library.
–FAIR Bookstore Volunteers
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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To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.