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.
- NEWS FROM FAIR. FAIR on Twitter.
- NEWS FROM FAIR. Donate to FAIR to keep us operating.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A closer look at the Word of Wisdom.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A detailed examination of the anti-Mormon book LOSING A LOST TRIBE.
- 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.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. This month the FAIR Bookstore has some great books and DVDs on sale. Some of these should not be missed.
- 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.
- PUBLISHING NOTES. Learn how you can become more involved in FAIR and how you can reuse the material we publish.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Don’t procrastinate any longer. Sign up now for the FAIR conference, August 6 and 7 in Sandy, Utah, and reserve your seat.
Our planned schedule is as follows:
Time Speaker/Event Presentation
- 8:00 am Registration
- 9:00 am Opening
- 9:10 am Wade Miller Science and the Book of Mormon
- 10:10 am Vickey Taylor The Sariah Dilemma: Finding Increased Faith When Our Children Misplace Their Own
- 11:10 am John Gee The Book of Abraham: The Larger Issue 12:10 pm Lunch
- 1:15 pm Ugo Perego Haplogroup X in Light of Recent Book of Mormon Claims
- 2:30 pm McKay White The Kirtland Safety Society: The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name
- 3:30 pm Snack Break
- 3:45 pm Ron Barney The Reliability of Mormon History Produced by the LDS Church
- 4:45 pm Robert White On Being An Apologist: Imperatives, Predicaments, Perils, and Blessings
- 5:45 pm Closing
Time Speaker/Event Presentation
- 8:00 am Registration
- 9:00 am Opening
- 9:05 am John Lynch “Uh oh!” to “Ah ha!” in Apologetics– 20/20 Foresight for a Faithful Future in Defending the Church
- 10:05 am Brant Gardner Joseph the Seer, or Why Joseph Translated with a Rock in His Hat
- 11:05 am Ron Hellings Joseph Smith and Modern Cosmology 12:05 am Lunch
- 1:00 pm FAIR Business 1:30 pm Matthew Brown Brigham Young’s Teachings on Adam
- 2:30 pm Greg Smith Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Plural Marriage but Were Afraid To Ask
- 3:30 pm Snack Break 3:45 pm Richard Sherlock Mormonism and the Public Square
- 4:45 pm Daniel Peterson Title to Be Announced
- 5:45 pm Closing
We are actively trying to set up a video steaming of the conference. Stay tuned.
Here is an article about the conference in the Deseret News’ Mormon Times: http://www.mormontimes.com/studies_doctrine/doctrine_discussion/?id=9580
Here is an article about the conference in the Ogden Standard: http://www.standard.net/live/news/178148/
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 ON TWITTER
FAIR has established a presence on Twitter. If you would like to keep up to date on what is happening at FAIR, while it is happening, you can check out our Twitter feed:
Follow us today!
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. 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. 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
THE WORD OF WISDOM
This month we are highlighting a number of articles on the Word of Wisdom. Critics claim that Joseph Smith and other early Latter-day Saints didn’t follow the Word of Wisdom. They point to accounts in the Church’s own printed history where Joseph drank wine and beer, and Brigham Young admitted drinking coffee regularly.
Word of Wisdom (FAIR Wiki)
Joseph Smith and the Word of Wisdom
Critics charge that Joseph Smith drank tea, used tobacco, or encouraged others to do so, thus violating the Word of Wisdom as we practice it today.
- Joseph Smith used tea—Critics charge that Joseph Smith drank tea, used tobacco, or encouraged others to do so, thus violating the Word of Wisdom as we practice it today. (Link)
- Almon Babbitt followed Joseph in violating the Word of Wisdom—Critics charge that Joseph Smith violated the Word of Wisdom, and that another member (Almon W. Babbitt) followed his example. (Link)
- Joseph Smith sold liquor in Nauvoo—Critics charge that Joseph Smith sold liquor in Nauvoo, and this is evidence that he either didn’t believe the Word of Wisdom was from God, or was hypocritical about it. (Link)
Brigham Young and the Word of Wisdom
Critics charge that Brigham Young used snuff, tobacco, and tea, thus violating the Word of Wisdom. In addition, Brigham had a whiskey distillery in Utah, thus encouraging others to violate the Word of Wisdom and showing his hypocrisy.
- Brigham Young and tobacco—Critics charge that Brigham Young used snuff, tobacco, and tea, thus violating the Word of Wisdom. (Link)
- Brigham Young’s whiskey distillery—Critics note that Brigham had a whiskey distillery in Utah, thus encouraging others to violate the Word of Wisdom and showing his hypocrisy. (Link)
Modern prophets and the Word of Wisdom
Critics quote Joseph Fielding Smith as saying that the consumption of tea may bar someone from the celestial kingdom.
Consumption of tea may bar someone from the Celestial Kingdom?—Critics quote Joseph Fielding Smith as saying that the consumption of tea may bar someone from the celestial kingdom. (Link)
Modern day implementation of the Word of Wisdom
Critics charge that Mormons do not keep the Word of Wisdom by eating meat “sparingly.”
Are we violating the Word of Wisdom if we do not eat meat sparingly?—Critics charge that Latter-day Saints do not keep the Word of Wisdom by eating meat “sparingly.” (Link)
LOSING A LOST TRIBE–A BOOK ABOUT DNA AND THE BOOK OF MORMON
LDS scholar John L. Sorenson predicted the appearance of a work such as Simon G. Southerton’s “Losing a Lost Tribe” as early as 1984:
One problem some Latter-day Saint writers and lecturers have had is confusing the actual text of the Book of Mormon with the traditional interpretation of it. For example, a commonly heard statement is that the Book of Mormon is “the history of the American Indians.” This statement contains a number of unexamined assumptions–that the scripture is a history in the common sense–a systematic, chronological account of the main events in the past of a nation or territory; that “the” American Indians are a unitary population; and that the approximately one hundred pages of text containing historical and cultural material in the scripture could conceivably tell the entire history of a hemisphere. When unexamined assumptions like these are made, critics respond in kind, criticizing not the ancient text itself, but the assumptions we have made about it.
–Dr. John L. Sorenson, “Digging into the Book of Mormon: Our Changing Understanding of Ancient America and Its Scripture,” Ensign, September, 1984 (The presentation of the limited geography theory in the official Church magazine)
“Losing a Lost Tribe” was published some twenty years after Dr. Sorenson made the statement above. Dr. Sorenson’s warning about the critics responding to the “traditional interpretation” of the Book of Mormon, rather than to the text itself, appears to have been fulfilled in this work. Ironically, out of the eight works authored by Dr. Sorenson that Dr. Southerton quotes as references on pages 249-250, the Ensign article quoted above is not included among them. The author clarified in September 2008 that the focus of the debate is not about the genetic origin of Native Americans, but the LDS theology associated with it. Indeed, a full third of “Losing a Lost Tribe” is devoted to a discussion of what the author calls ‘The Troubled Interface Between Mormonism and Science’ and the role of FAIR, the Maxwell Institute (formerly FARMS) and LDS apologists.
You can read a detailed examination of this book here:
And an index of the Book’s claims here:
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 and article, please email us.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
FAIRs Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/fairldsorg has recently added a debate between LDS scholars Daniel C. Peterson and William Hamblin, with anti-Mormon James White on Martin Tanners radio program.
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 1
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 2
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 3
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 4
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 5
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 6
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 7
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 8
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 9
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 10
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 11
- Daniel C. Peterson and James White debate – Part 12
FAIRLDS deaf channel has also transcribed several videos for our hearing impaired brothers and sisters, which include “Dispelling the Black Myth,” “The Unchanging Ways of Anti-Mormonism,” “Book of Mormon Geography and History,” among many others.
David Bokovoy continues his discussion with the second portion of his lecture on Lehi and the Heavenly Council: Hebraisms in The Book of Mormon in this podcast:
We also have a supply of videos that are categorized into subject matter in our “playlists”. Under this link:
We have the following divisions on the FAIR YouTube channel:
- Answering other anti-Mormon claims
- Bible vs Book of Mormon answered
- Biblical evidences
- Blacks in the Church
- Book of Abraham
- Book of Mormon, Old world
- DNA and The Book of Mormon
- Evidences of The Book of Mormon
- FAIR Conference lectures part 2
- FAIR conference talks
- Funny Mormon videos
- Great LDS Resources
- Hugh Nibley
- Hugh Nibley, Time Vindicates the Prophets
- Joseph Smith
- LDS Apologetics
- LDS talks in ASL, for the deaf
- Margaret Barker interviews
- Masonry and Mormonism
- Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon
- Old Testament and Mormon doctrine
- Portugese Mormon videos
- Prophets and Apostles
- Salvation, Grace alone?
- Testimonies of
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
- The Bible, infallible?
- The Book of Mormon
- Women and the Church
FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE
Come to the FAIR Bookstore to find the Internet’s best selection of materials for LDS apologetics. Whether you are looking for books, study aids, DVDs, or audio products, the FAIR Bookstore has what you need. You can begin your browsing by going to our main site.
On Sale this Month!
A Pillar of Light: The History and Message of the First Vision Matthew Brown. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2009. Hardbound, 9 1/4 x6 1/4 “, 282 pgs. ISBN: 1598117955
In this rich, in-depth study, author Matthew Brown helps the reader realize the First Vision more Fully–with added detail, clarity, and understanding. He places events in historical context, answers criticism, and compares and contrasts the various recitals of the First Vision, showing the remarkable harmony that exists between the accounts as well as the minor differences in the retellings. Gain deeper insight about one of the most important events in history in this fascinating, well-researched volume by acclaimed LDS historian Matthew B. Brown.
On Sale for $18.95! Retail is $23.95 http://store.fairlds.org/prod/p1598117955.html
A Pillar of Light: The History and Message of the First Vision (Unabridged on CD) Matthew Brown. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2009. 4CDs, 5 hours, unabridged. ISBN: 9781598117967
In this rich, in-depth study, author Matthew Brown helps the listener realize the First Vision more Fully–with added detail, clarity, and understanding. He places events in historical context, answers criticism, and compares and contrasts the various recitals of the First Vision, showing the remarkable harmony that exists between the accounts as well as the minor differences in the retellings. Gain deeper insight about one of the most important events in history in this fascinating, well-researched volume by acclaimed LDS historian Matthew B. Brown.
On Sale for $16.95! Retail is $21.95 http://store.fairlds.org/prod/p9781598117967.html
Your Study of The Pearl of Great Price Made Easier David J. Ridges. Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2009. Softbound, 6×9″, 272 pgs. ISBN: 9781599553443
Now for the first time, you can enjoy the Pearl of Great Price as part of the popular Gospel Studies Series. The full text of the scripture is included with in-the-verse notes that provide a highly effective, unique teaching tool. Notes between the verses offer additional insights and teach principles and doctrines. This wonderful new volume brings the gospel full circle from the Creations story in Moses to the early history of the restored Church in latter days. Study along with David J. Ridges as he brings the Pearl of Great Price to life with this unique “teacher in the hand.”
On Sale for $14.95! Retail is $18.99 http://store.fairlds.org/prod/p9781599553443.html
Thank you for using the FAIR bookstore!
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
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 “Join & Support FAIR” link.
If you are interested in apologetics and would like to participate actively in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the “Join & Support FAIR” link to join this list as well.
If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these thoughts or articles on your list, contact us by going to
We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material as long as you contact us first to gain permission, clearly identify that your source was FAIR, and add a link to the FAIR Web site (www.fairlds.org).