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 an inflammatory article about the Church where anti-Mormon sentiments are used to gain political support.
- FAIR CONFERENCE REPORT. The 11th annual FAIR Conference was successful and well-attended.
- FAIR’S RISING GENERATION. FAIR’s new organization for LDS youth and young adults interested in apologetics has been expanding its presence on the Internet.
- FAIR’S FRONT PAGE. FAIR is now offering a daily digest of news clippings relating to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Mormonism.
- FAIR IN THE NEWS. With the recent FAIR Conference, FAIR has been featured in a number of newspaper and magazine articles.
- FAIR BLOG. FAIR’s blog continues to feature interesting opinion pieces, including an ongoing weekly segment that discusses issues related to the Gospel Doctrine Sunday School lesson scheduled for the week.
- FAIR ON TWITTER. FAIR now offers a Twitter feed.
- FAIR ON FACEBOOK. FAIR has set up a Facebook group for those interested in interacting on Facebook with those who are interested in LDS apologetics.
- DONATIONS TO FAIR. Donate to FAIR to keep us operating using FAIR’s one time or monthly donation options
- NEW ON THE WEB. The Reliability of Mormon History Produced by the LDS Church. Ron Barney examines the background and state of scholarly histories produced by the Church.
- NEW ON THE WEB. Science and the Book of Mormon. In this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation, Wade Miller examines correlations between science and what is in the Book of Mormon.
- NEW ON THE WEB. Joseph the Seer–or Why Did He Translate With a Rock in His Hat? Brant Gardner examines differing reports of how the Book of Mormon was translated in his 2009 FAIR Conference presentation.
- NEW ON THE WEB. The Larger Issue. Egyptologist John Gee examines the Book of Abraham’s method of translation in light of “the larger issue” of God’s plan.
- NEW ON THE WEB. Joseph Smith DNA Revealed: New Clues from the Prophet’s Genes. In his 2008 FAIR Conference presentation, Ugo Perego examines what he has learned from examining the DNA of Joseph Smith.
- NEW ON THE WEB. “Uh oh!” to “Ah ha!” in Apologetics: 20/20 Foresight for a Faithful Future in Defending the Church. In this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation, John Lynch examines FAIR and the place of apologetics in the Church.
- NEW ON THE WEB. The Kirtland Safety Society: The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name. The full paper concerning the demise of the Kirtland Safety Society. This is an expanded version, in PDF format, of R. McKay White’s 2009 FAIR Conference presentation.
- NEW ON THE WEB. Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Plural Marriage(*but were afraid to ask). Greg Smith discusses the criticisms and realities of plural marriage as practiced in the early LDS church.
- NEW ON THE WEB. The Kirtland Safety Society. A popular topic for critics is the demise of the Kirtland Safety Society and Joseph Smith’s role in the failure. Economist R. McKay White examined the fall of the Safety Society in this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation.
- NEW ON THE WEB. The Sariah Dilemma: Finding Increased Faith When Our Children Misplace Their Own. What is one to do when a child loses their faith or falters in their testimony? Vickey Taylor shared ideas on the topic at the 2009 FAIR Conference.
- 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 that you won’t want to miss.
- 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
A headline on the Des Moines Register’s Website for August 24 screams out the phrase “Anti-gay, Mormon-funded Group Spreading Lies and Fear in Iowa.” The article, written by Jason Clyworth, goes on to quote Carolyn Jenison, Executive Director for a gay and lesbian civil-rights group, as saying, “The Mormon Church and NOM [The National Organization for Marriage] have invested millions of dollars to spread lies and fear in California and now they have their sights set on rural Iowa.”
This article is troubling for several reasons. The first is that it is deceptive. Anyone reading this would likely believe that the Mormon Church “invested millions of dollars” in the Proposition 8 initiative in California. The truth is that except for a few plane tickets, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contributed only with in-kind donations, and the total of donations of all kinds was vastly less than even a half million dollars. The second problem is that the article uses highly inflammatory language to describe the opposition in what is seen by millions of citizens–LDS and non-LDS alike–as a moral issue for society. Clearly this was an attempt to incite and leverage anti-Mormon bigotry.
While I am sure that there are individual Mormons who contributed to the Iowa group, I am also sure there are Catholics, Baptists, and Methodists who also made significant contributions. Undoubtedly there were Lion’s Club and Rotary Club members and even a few Masons who contributed. With over five million Latter-day Saints in the United States and over thirteen million world-wide, Mormons have probably participated in practically every national fund-raising activity. Likewise, Mormons have certainly contributed to the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, the United Way, and several political action committees on both sides of the aisle. Singling out and harshly criticizing Latter-day Saints as a group for participating in the democratic functioning of our society is something that would not be tolerated if it were done to another ethnic, racial, or religious group. And trying to use anti-Mormon suspicions and prejudice to fuel a cause and to incite a reaction is wrong.
Bigotry is never a good thing. Encouraging bigotry is worthy of contempt. I would hope that even though this particular group is using bigotry to further its political cause, we will never do the same.
–Scott Gordon President
FAIR CONFERENCE REPORT
Once again the FAIR conference came off with nary a hitch. We had excellent speakers and events that contributed to the field of Mormon apologetics. We want to thank all of those who put in countless hours and efforts to help us have a conference. We also want to thank those who donated toward our conference. Without the donations, we wouldn’t be able to continue providing the conferences.
This year the “John Taylor Defender of the Faith Award” was awarded to Roger Nicholson for his work on the FAIR Wiki. You can see a picture of Roger at
FAIR has a worldwide audience, but the conference happens only in Sandy Utah. So this year, to reach out to that worldwide audience, we offered audio streaming of the talks, with the PowerPoints viewable on-screen. We plan to do that again next year. Mark your calendars. The conference will once again be on the first Thursday and Friday in August 2010.
FAIR’S RISING GENERATION
In the Book of Mormon, Helaman led an army of two-thousand young men into battle and none of them were killed. Nearly all of them were injured, but because they were true to their commitments and because they listened and obeyed the instructions of their leaders, they were saved. These young men were described as “exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity,” and as “men who were true at all times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted” (Alma 53:21). The Lord still needs such willing young men and young women with these great qualities who are capable of fighting His battles for the souls of mankind.
Today, young men and women fight not with swords or armor, but with their minds and hearts to influence the lives of their peers for good. These are the youth and young adults who are “valiant for courage” to confess their beliefs at school and at work. These are those who are valiant for “strength” in personality, for they must struggle against the temptations of the Adversary on every front and are made stronger when they succeed. And these are those who are valiant for activity in the kingdom, not only staying in active in the church, but even in taking on the work of missionaries and apologists.
I have just described the volunteers of FAIR’s Rising Generation (FRG). Our members are becoming the Stripling Warriors of the new generation, with FAIR as our Helaman. FAIR has recruited high school and college students–that would be us–and shown them where to find the answers to apologetic questions. Then they asked them to find a way to teach the answers to their peers.
We took up that challenge and formed Rising Generation.
FRG members volunteer a great deal of time to working on projects that will increase our own knowledge and allow us to share what we learn with our friends and people who find us on the Internet. One of our projects is a blog that can be found at
which we update regularly with articles on topics relevant to youth and young adults. Other projects include videos about important subjects such as building relationships through dating or how to have confidence in a challenging world. You’ll find our first completed video and you can expect more in the coming months. Also be sure you check out the newest FRG articles including “Mission Prep: How to Look Sharp and Is Truth Relative?” by David Ferguson.
What you can do right now to support this great cause is tell your friends and fellow church members about it. Parents should get their kids involved in FRG. We need more help and this is the perfect way for them to develop skills needed by future missionaries. You can also sign up for email notifications when we write a new blog post. This way we can keep you notified about our new releases and increase your awareness of problems faced by today’s youth and how you can help make a solution.
Thank you for reading.
–Erik Slack President of FAIR’s Rising Generation
FAIR’S FRONT PAGE
For several years FAIR’s internal mail list has included a daily news clipping service that gives links to news articles relating to the Church, its members, and Mormonism in general. This is now being offered as a free service to anyone who would like to subscribe to it. FAIR’s Front Page message will come as a single, daily email with a very brief introductory sentence and URL for articles in newspapers and journals around the world. Subscribers to the FAIR Journal will not automatically be subscribed to FAIR’S Front Page, nor will subscribers to FAIR’s Front Page be automatically subscribed to the monthly FAIR Journal–interested visitors will need to sign up for the FAIR services individually.
You can sign up for FAIR’s Front Page on FAIR’s main website at:
FAIR IN THE NEWS
Have you ever wondered where FAIR came from? What is our history? In this article in Mormon Times, Michael Degroot interviewed several people who started FAIR. You can read about the unusual beginnings of FAIR here:
Michael De Groote, “Mormon apologists work to meet an evolving need for information”, Deseret News, Aug. 6, 2009.
We were featured in a number of news articles this month. We were listed in the Newsroom area on www.lds.org. We also had articles in Mormon Times and in the Church News. Here are some links to many of those articles:
Church News articles
- R. Scott Lloyd, “The Book of Abraham: The larger issue”, Church News
- R. Scott Lloyd, Addressing criticisms: Ancient religious texts and temple worship, Church News
- R. Scott Lloyd, “Addressing criticisms: 14 presenters defend Church at annual apologetics conference”, Church News
- R. Scott Lloyd, Reliable history: Church’s standards rigorous, Church News
- R. Scott Lloyd, Paleontologist defends the Book of Mormon, Church News
Index of Articles in Mormon Times (There are several articles here.)
Salt Lake Tribune article before Conference
Need help preparing for your Sunday School lesson? Want to make intelligent comments in class? Then you might be interested in the weekly Sunday School blog posts from Mike Parker titled “Gospel Doctrine Apologetics. You will find his articles, as well as others at
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 ON FACEBOOK
FAIR has established a presence on Facebook. If you are a Facebook fan, you will want to add FAIR to your friends list.
Follow us today!
DONATIONS TO FAIR
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 Reliability of Mormon History Produced by the LDS Church
Ron Barney examines the background and state of scholarly histories produced by the Church.
Read the article:
Science and the Book of Mormon
In this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation, Wade Miller examines correlations between science and what is in the Book of Mormon.
Read the article:
Science and the Book of Mormon by Wade Miller
Joseph the Seer–or Why Did He Translate With a Rock in His Hat?
Brant Gardner examines differing reports of how the Book of Mormon was translated in his 2009 FAIR Conference presentation.
Read the article:
Joseph the Seer—or Why Did He Translate With a Rock in His Hat? by Brant Gardner
The Larger Issue
Egyptologist John Gee examines the Book of Abraham’s method of translation in light of “the larger issue” of God’s plan.
Read the article:
The Larger Issue by John Gee
Joseph Smith DNA Revealed: New Clues from the Prophet’s Genes
In his 2008 FAIR Conference presentation, Ugo Perego examines what he has learned from examining the DNA of Joseph Smith.
Read the article:
“Uh oh!” to “Ah ha!” in Apologetics: 20/20 Foresight for a Faithful Future in Defending the Church
In this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation, John Lynch examines FAIR and the place of apologetics in the Church.
Read the article:
The Kirtland Safety Society: The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name
A popular topic for critics is the demise of the Kirtland Safety Society and Joseph Smith’s role in the failure. Economist R. McKay White examined the fall of the Safety Society in this 2009 FAIR Conference presentation.
Read the article:
The Kirtland Safety Society by R. McKay White
McKay’s full paper concerning the demise of the Kirtland Safety Society is an expanded version of his presentation, in PDF format:
Read the PDF article:
The Kirtland Safety Society: The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name (PDF) by R. McKay White
Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Plural Marriage(*but were afraid to ask)
Greg Smith discusses the criticisms and realities of plural marriage as practied in the early LDS church.
Read the article:
The Sariah Dilemma: Finding Increased Faith When Our Children Misplace Their Own.
What is one to do when a child loses their faith or falters in their testimony? Vickey Taylor shared ideas on the topic at the 2009 FAIR Conference.
Read the article:
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
FAIRs Youtube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/fairldsorg has recently added
Daniel C. Peterson’s 2007 FAIR lecture “God and Mr. Hitchens”
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 1
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 2
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 3
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 4
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 5
- God and Mr. Hitchens – Part 6
John Gee’s 2007 FAIR Conference lecture “Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri
- Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri – Part 1
- Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri – Part 2
- Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri – Part 3
- Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri – Part 4
- Some Puzzles from the Joseph Smith Papyri – Part 5
David Bokovoy’s 2007 FAIR Conference lecture “Isaiah in The Book of Mormon”
- Isaiah in The Book of Mormon – Part 1
- Isaiah in The Book of Mormon – Part 2
- Isaiah in The Book of Mormon – Part 3
- Isaiah in The Book of Mormon – Part 4
FAIRs own George Cobabe explains how we can receive revelation and answers to our prayers
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!
“The Bible Vs. the Book of Mormon: A Closer Examination” (DVD) Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research. 2009. DVD. ISBN: 189303609x
In 2006, Living Hope Ministries released a video entitled “The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon,” which compares evidence for the two books of scripture as authentic ancient religious texts. Citing what they claim are ample evidences for the Bible, they find such evidences lacking in the Book of Mormon. The producers then conclude that The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is not what it claims to be. FAIR examined the video and found that it fails to account for current LDS and non-LDS scholarship, does not properly represent LDS scripture or doctrine, and contains other misleading information.
In response, the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) produced a new video. This new video contains interviews with anthropologist, linguists, semiticists, and other scholars who correct the errors and misleading information presented by Living Hope Ministries. As they do so, we also discover several evidences supporting LDS claims that The Book of Mormon is an ancient text, which strengthen the case for its divine authenticity. Even so, LDS scholars conclude that the truth claims of both books of scripture cannot be proven through scientific evidence. Rather, the eternal truths taught in scripture must be revealed by God through the power of the Holy Ghost.
On Sale for $7.95! Retail is $9.99
“Visions, Manifestations, and Miracles of the Restoration.” Trevan G. Hatch. Orem, Utah: Granite Publishing, 2008. Hardbound, 6-1/4 x 9-1/4″, 436 pgs. ISBN: 9781599360348
Meticulously researched, Visions, Manifestations, and Miracles of the Restoration is the result of years of the investigation and gathering of little-known accounts from diaries, biographies, books, unpublished manuscripts, and articles relating to the Restoration of Christ’s Church–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This work contains over five hundred statements and accounts from Joseph Smith, his fellow Saints, and non-Mormons who claimed to have experienced miraculous events, or who claimed to have seen beyond the veil during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Intellectually written it tells the story of the Restoration in a faith-promoting manner and verifies that vision, manifestations, and miracles played a major role in this Latter-day work and should not be overlooked or simply labeled as “faith-promoting” stories.
With new eye-opening understanding, Visions, Manifestations, and Miracles of the Restorations presents amazing information that has rarely been read, except by scholars. Now all of these wondrous events and experiences are combined in this easy-to-read volume. This insightful, testimony-building book is a must have for every LDS library.
On Sale for $23.95! Retail is $29.95
“They Knew the Prophet: Personal Accounts From Over 100 People Who Knew Joseph Smith.” Hyrum L. Andrus and Helen Mae Andrus, American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2004, 6×9″ softbound, 208 pages. ISBN: 1591566673
Get to know Joseph Smith from those who can tell the story best-those who personally knew the prophet. Dozens of fascinating stories reveal not only a man of exceptional spiritual power, but also a man full of kindness, charm, and warmth. Throughout these edifying accounts, Joseph Smith’s humanity shines as brightly as does the mantle of prophet, seer, and revelator.
This intriguing volume contains many of the more interesting statements made by those who were associated with the founder of the LDS Church. These insights illustrate the personality of a man who was as at home “rasslin” as he was proclaiming the word of God. Through personal recollections you’ll discover how children saw Joseph, how those who joined the Church loved him, and how those who worked with him felt about this complex spiritual leader.
Perfect for individual or family study, They Knew the Prophet will continue to build faith as it is read again and again. More than any other book, it will make you feel that you, too, know the Prophet.
On Sale for $11.95! Retail is $14.95
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).