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. The FAIR Conference is fast approaching! It is time to register.
- NEWS FROM FAIR. Conference lodging details are announced.
- NEWS FROM FAIR. Donate to FAIR to keep us operating.
- IMPORTANT NEWS FROM FAIR BOOKSTORE. Nobody Knows: The Untold Story Of Black Mormons DVD is finally available at the FAIR bookstore. Get your copy now!
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A listing of important articles and resources related to African-Americans in The LDS Church from the FAIR Websites.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A detailed examination of the anti-Mormon books One Nation Under Gods and Becoming Gods.
- FAIR WIKI. The FAIR Wiki has many great articles and resources.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS. The FAIR YouTube channel has been expanded with lots of new videos. In addition, we are announcing FAIR videos on an online television Website.
- 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. This month the FAIR Bookstore has some great books and DVDs on sale. Some of these should not be missed.
- 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
Now is the time to sign up for the FAIR conference, which will be held on August 6 & 7 in Sandy Utah. Last year, the conference was essentially sold out, so reserve your tickets early.
As always, we have speakers addressing several topics of interest. John Gee will be discussing the larger picture in the Book of Abraham discussion. Wade Miller will be discussing animals in the Book of Mormon, Matthew Brown will be discussing what Brigham Young taught about Adam. Brant Gardner will be discussing Nephi’s narrative and the missing “others.” Greg Smith will be discussing polygamy.
In addition there will be Ugo Perego, Dan Peterson, Richard Sherlock, McKay White, Vicky Taylor, Robert White, John Lynch and more. Come find out what everyone else is talking about.
This is an event you won’t want to miss. Sign up now at
–Scott Gordon President
The official hotel for the FAIR Conference is the Best Western Cottontree, just minutes away from the South Towne Exposition Center. Rooms are available for only $84 per night (plus tax), which includes high-speed wireless Internet access; a great breakfast of eggs, hash browns, waffles, French toast, etc.; and free shuttle to the conference. This special FAIR Conference room rate is only available through July 25, 2009.
To make your reservations, contact the hotel at 800-662-6886. Tell them you want a FAIR Conference room, or use the confirmation number 902097.
Best Western Cottontree 10695 South Auto Mall Drive Sandy, UT 84070 801-523-8484
FAIR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We rely on your donations to stay in business and to do the things that we do.
We introduced an optional monthly auto-pay option last month with several people signing up. We are hopeful that it will help our funding issues.
For as little as $5 per month, you can make a difference. For less than the cost of one trip to your favorite fast-food restaurant, you can do something that may favorably impact the life of someone who is otherwise struggling.
And if you are able, you should consider $10, $25 or more. One-time donations are also welcome. For more information on this, click here:
You can also donate to FAIR via the U.S. Postal Service using the following address.
FAIR P.O. Box 491677 Redding, CA 96049-1677
SPECIAL BOOKSTORE ANNOUNCEMENT
Nobody Knows: The Untold Story Of Black Mormons DVD is now available at the FAIR bookstore.
This celebrated documentary about African American Latter-day Saints was headed by Margaret Young and Darius Gray , authors of several award-winning books and articles about Black Mormons. It was edited by Jim Hughes and Danor Gerald.
Few people, Mormon and non-Mormon, are aware that there has been an African American presence in the LDS Church from its earliest days, that the vanguard company of Mormon pioneers included three “colored servants”–at least one of whom was a baptized Mormon, and whose descendants remained active in the Church for several generations, intermarrying with other Black Latter-day Saints. This documentary talks about that little-known legacy, and confronts the hard issues which surfaced in the most turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement, when the Church’s long-standing restriction of priesthood from those of African descent became a focus of national attention. It discusses how that restriction was lifted and what the lives and challenges of the modern Black Mormon pioneers are. Besides never- released footage shot in 1968 and many rare archival photographs, the documentary includes interviews with renowned scholars, historians, Black Mormons, with Martin Luther King III, and with Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, retired pastor of the First AME Church of Los Angeles, which was founded by a former slave of Mormon pioneers.
This is a subject that every Latter-day Saint should be familiar with. There are many myths that are repeated even by good members of the church. This DVD should dispel many of those myths and create a better understanding of our history. Order the DVD at http://store.fairlds.org/prod/pNKUSBM.html
MORE RESOUCES ON BLACKS IN THE LDS CHURCH
For a better understanding on LDS race issues, check out the following articles.
For an excellent summary this article is on the FAIR Wiki:
Blacks and the priesthood—Members of African descent were restricted from holding the LDS Church’s lay priesthood until 1978. Understanding the priesthood ban is difficult, because the historical record is not entirely clear about the ban’s institution. There is no contemporary, first-person account of the ban’s implementation. Critics with an agenda, as well as sincere seekers with a laudable abhorrence of racism have used this fact to portray the former (or present) Church and its members as racist. Critics argue that God would not allow His church to ever deny blessings or privileges based on race. (Link)
Sociologist Armand L. Mauss gave a presentation on this subject at the 2003 FAIR conference. You can read the text of his presentation here: http://www.fairlds.org/cgi-bin/site.pl?228
You can find a history timeline of blacks in the LDS church here:
Many members of the church still use the Curse of Cain or Ham as a justification for the priesthood ban and believe that it came by revelation. But, there is no known revelation on the matter. There isn’t anything printed in official Church Handbooks about the priesthood ban. Many LDS members don’t realize is that the belief in a curse upon those of African lineage was common in American Churches in the 19th Century and had been used for centuries to justify the slave trade. There is a non-Mormon discussion of this on the Wikipedia Website here:
A chapter review of an anti-Mormon book gives excellent insights into the LDS black issue. It is a must-read article to understand how this issue is misused:
Additional valuable articles on this topic are:
- Dispelling the Black Myth by Renee Olson
- Blacks and the Priesthood by Marvin Perkins
- Black Latter-day Saints: A Faith-FULL History by Margaret Young
- A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel by Marcus Martins
- The Curse of Cain by Mike Parker http://pool.fairmormon.org/wiki/images/5/5a/Gd06_cursemythFINAL.pdf
- And this article about our new African General Authority http://www.fairlds.org/cgi-bin/site.pl?232
ONE NATION UNDER GODS
Anti-Mormon author Richard Abanes has written two books on Mormonism that are filled with loaded and prejudicial language, absurd claims, presentism, and mind reading. The author often uses sarcasm to belittle what he claims to be LDS beliefs and doctrine.
One example from his book One Nation Under Gods is the claim that Elder Haight said we should “do nothing without the assistance of the moon.” FAIR addresses this rather unique claim that Elder Haight invoked some sort of astrological principle during a talk in General Conference. After the claim was made in his first anti Mormon book, it was later discovered that Elder Haight had made no such claim. The author then assumed in his subsequent book Becoming Gods that the Church hid the reference by removing it from the online version of the talk! FAIR looks at the truth behind this amusing claim.
Haight: assistance of the moon—Critics claim that Elder David B. Haight “reinvoked the astrological principle that people should ‘do nothing without the assistance of the moon'” in a talk that he gave during General Conference in 1998. One critic takes this a step further by claiming that the phrase “do nothing without the assistance of the moon” was deleted from the transcribed version of Elder Haight’s talk. This claim has evolved over time due to successive misinterpretation of the original sources. (Link)
You will find more on this book as well as an index to many of the claims here:
A FAIR Analysis of One Nation Under Gods by Richard Abanes—In early 2002 a new book entitled One Nation under Gods (ONUG) appeared on bookshelves, promising to tell the “real” history of the Mormon Church. The author attempts to pull disparate sources together to paint a picture that, when compared to objective reality, more closely resembles a Picasso than a Rembrandt—skewed and distorted—obscuring and maligning the actual doctrines and beliefs as understood and practiced by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than 150 years. (Link)
You will find the list of claims and a response from his second book Becoming Gods (later re-titled Inside Today’s Mormonism) here:
A FAIR Analysis of Becoming Gods: A Closer Look at 21st-Century Mormonism by Richard Abanes—This book could best be described as an Evangelical apologetic work against Mormonism. The book spends much time refuting LDS interpretation of scriptural passages in the Bible, often claiming that Mormons have misinterpreted the scriptures and that they require “deeper study.” In fact, it is claimed that LDS scholars have only a superficial knowledge of the scriptures, at one time stating that “[p]roperly interpreting them is not as simple as reading today’s newspaper” (Link)
LDS USE OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Critics charge that the rate of antidepressant use is much higher among Mormons than the general population. They claim this is evidence that participation in the LDS Church is inordinately stressful due to pressure for Mormons to appear “perfect.” Read the response here:
Use of antidepressants in Utah—Critics charge that the rate of antidepressant use is much higher among Mormons than the general population. They claim this is evidence that participation in the LDS Church is inordinately stressful due to pressure for Mormons to appear “perfect.” (Link)
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR WIKI
Many great articles and resources can be found on the FAIR Wiki at www.fairmormon.org. If you speak another language and want translate an article, please email us.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
FAIR multimedia is continuing its mission of uploading positive LDS videos on Youtube, which has been flooded with anti-Mormon clips. Recently, LDS scholar and Semiticist David Bokovoy, has given FAIR permission to upload some podcasts done by him. So this month, we are featuring a series on similarities between the Middle East and The Book of Mormon called The Nephites vs. The Lamanites.
Scholar and author Matthew B. Brown discusses many of the arguments against Joseph Smith and answers them in his 2004 FAIR Conference address Historical or Hysterical? Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources
The year 2003 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the lifting of the ban excluding black members from the priesthood of the Mormon church. The articles collected in Newell G. Bringhurst and Darron T. Smith’s Black and Mormon look at the mechanisms used to keep blacks from full participation, the motives behind the ban, and the kind of changes that have–and have not–taken place within the church since the revelation responsible for its end.
This challenging collection is required reading for anyone concerned with the history of racism, discrimination, and the Latter-day Saints.
On Sale for $14.95! Retail is $19.95
Unlocking the Idioms: An LDS Perspective on Understanding Scriptural Idioms. George M. Peacock. Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2009. Softbound, 6×9″, 225 pgs. ISBN: 9781599552415
Idioms are as real in holy scripture as are prophecies and parables. Like a cultural shorthand, they describe without using lengthy explanation. Idioms and idiomatic language are words and phrases that express more than the actual words themselves. They paint mental or emotional images and bring intensity to events and feelings described in holy writ.
Idioms may also be meaningless and misleading if the reader has no experience with the culture and language from which they originate. Both mistranslation and cultural differences contribute to the misunderstanding of scriptural idioms. Phrases such as:
- Gird up your loins
- Salt of the Earth
- Mountain of the Lord’s house, and
- Kick against the pricks
Lose their intended effect if they are only taken literally. In unlocking the idioms, George M. Peacock explains how to identify idioms, what they are, and how learning their meanings adds to your comprehension of the scriptures.
Unlocking the idioms brings you new levels of insight, understanding, and knowledge as you feats upon the words of the Lord.
On Sale for $12.95! Retail is $15.99
Compare Isaiah: Understanding Biblical Scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Mark Swint. Springville, Utah: Horizon, 2009. Softbound, 6×9″, 175 pgs. ISBN: 9780882909608
Why did Nephi feel compelled to quote from Isaiah, a prophet who lived 100 years before he did? Why was Abinadi willing to give up his life to cite a passage of Isaiah to King Noah?
Author Mark Swint answers these questions and more in “Compare Isaiah: Understanding Biblical Scriptures in the Book of Mormon.” Discover how the words of Isaiah influenced Nephi, Abinadi, Mormon, and others, and examine why they were included in the Book of Mormon. You’ll learn:
- Why Isaiah is the source of over 85 percent of the biblical scriptures in the Book of Mormon;
- What the differences are between the words of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon and the Bible;
- Why the Savior would quote Malachi to the Nephites; and
- How the Savior adapted the Sermon on the Mount to his audiences.
Mark Swint has provided a valuable resource for the average student as well as the serous scholar in understanding Isaiah. With Swint’s expert guidance, the words of Isaiah, Malachi, and the Sermon on the Mount become easier to understand and simpler to apply. As you learn about the importance of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, you also come to understand the importance of the Lord’s divine plan for all of us.
On Sale for $9.95! Retail is $12.99
Thank you for using the FAIR bookstore!
–FAIR Bookstore Staff
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.
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