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 the new FAIR Bookstore layout and features.
- DONATIONS TO FAIR. Donate to FAIR to keep us operating using FAIR’s one time or monthly donation options
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE. “The Temple as a Place of Ascent to God.” Daniel C. Peterson explains the ancient view of temples as places where one can ascend into heaven.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB. The Journal of Discourses is now available on the FAIR Wiki.
- 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 newly structured FAIR Bookstore has some great books 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
The New FAIR Bookstore is now open!
In order to be a competent apologist, you have to read. Without information, your opinion has little value. As part of FAIR’s mission, we have tried to find and develop relationships with publishers who carry things related to Mormon studies. The FAIR Bookstore carries books from Yale Press, Chicago Press, Oxford Press, other university presses, BYU Studies, as well as a number of LDS publishers. We don’t carry novels, self-improvement books, or many of the other genres you will find in most LDS bookstores.
From the beginning we have tried to keep the FAIR Bookstore very competitive on price, and we carry almost every one of our products at a discount. Sales from the FAIR bookstore also help to fund FAIR operations. Without that funding stream, we wouldn’t be able to operate.
We have recently revamped and updated our bookstore to make it more user friendly. You can now find the books by category or author. We continue to load our products into the new format, so if you don’t find the book or DVD you are looking for, it probably means that it hasn’t been loaded yet. But, products are being loaded in daily, and we hope to have all of our products listed very soon.
We also need your help commenting on the books. A new feature has been added so that once you create an account with the bookstore you can leave comments about each of the books you have read. Your comments can help other readers pick the best books for what they need. We ask that you all post responsible and meaningful opinions that will add to the value of the Bookstore for other shoppers.
You can get to the bookstore by going to www.fairlds.org and clicking on the FAIR LDS Bookstore button on the left, or you can go directly to:
Have fun and buy FAIR.
– Scott Gordon President
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 Temple as a Place of Ascent to God
by Daniel C. Peterson
In his presentation at the 2009 FAIR Conference, Daniel Peterson spoke on the ancient view of temples as a place where people can ascend into heaven and into the presence of God. He shows that throughout history, Jewish and Christian writers, artists, and theologians have accepted and taught the idea that it is possible for humans to ascend to heaven and to be endowed with knowledge and power. These stories, images, and beliefs often are strikingly similar to aspects of LDS doctrine, particularly regarding the nature of man, the relationship between God and man, and the destiny of man.
Peterson concludes by saying, “It is my firm belief that the temple represents a model, which itself represents a cosmic reality, a reality that involves access to divine mysteries, access to the waters of life, access to cleansing and ascension, access to the presence of God, a symbolic representation of admission into the presence of God, an endowment of power that goes with that, with the ultimate culmination of a blessing of exaltation in the presence of God. That’s remarkable stuff, and it’s remarkable that Joseph Smith restored these ancient models from the ancient world, living in 19th Century America.”
Read the article:
The Temple as a Place of Ascent to God by Daniel C. Peterson
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: The JOURNAL OF DISCOURSES
FAIR has included on the FAIR Wiki the entire Journal of Discourses. Each volume is indexed and the text is searchable using google, yahoo, or other search engines or tools (i.e., these are not photo images but text files). This is an important resource for scholars and other people who are looking to read or research these talks and sermons from the 19th century.
Journal of Discourses Online (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.
The FAIR Journal focuses attention on wiki articles that have been added or updated. Each month hundreds of changes are made in the wiki as new information is incorporated, errors are found and corrected, and new topics are added. The following are only a few of the many wiki entries that have been modified this month.
“Book of Abraham/By his own hand.”
Critics have often attacked the Book of Abraham over statement that the book was written by Abraham in his own hand. This wiki article responds to that complaint.
“Revelation after Joseph Smith/Oliver Cowdery/Orson Hyde promise.”
The FAIR Wiki responds to the charge that Orson Hyde’s blessing contained unfulfilled prophecies and that the published version was modified for propaganda reasons.
Oliver Cowdery’s blessing and promise to Orson Hyde—Critics claim that the ordination blessing given to Orson Hyde is an example of false prophecy. They also claim that Hyde’s blessing was altered in the History of the Church for propaganda reasons. (Link)
“Revelation after Joseph Smith/Joseph Smith Sr./Joseph Jr. to continue in the priest’s office.”
The FAIR Wiki responds to the charge that Joseph Smith Sr.’s blessing to his son was an unfulfilled and thus false prophecy.
Joseph Jr. to continue in the priest’s office—Critics claim that the father’s blessing given to Joseph Smith, Jr., in which Joseph Sr. “declar[ed] that I should continue in the Priest’s office until Christ comes,” is an example of a false prophecy. (Link)
“Revelation after Joseph Smith/Oliver Cowdery/Lyman Johnson to live until gathering accomplished.”
The FAIR Wiki responds to the charge that there was an unfulfilled and thus false prophecy in a blessing given to Lyman Johnson.
Blessing given by Oliver to Lyman Johnson that he would live until the gathering was accomplished—Critics claim that the ordination blessing given to Lyman Johnson of the Twelve was a false prophecy. Given that Lyman Johnson apostatized and forsook his role in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, any promise made to him in a blessing would have been forfeited. (Link)
“Revelation after Joseph Smith/Oliver Cowdery/William Smith to remain on the earth until Christ comes.”
The FAIR Wiki responds to the charge that there was an unfulfilled and thus false prophecy in a blessing given to William Smith.
Blessing given by Olive to William Smith that he would remain on the earth until Christ comes—Critics claim that the ordination blessing given to William Smith, is an example of false prophecy. Since William Smith apostatized and was not true to his calling as an apostle, any promise made to him is arguably forfeit. (Link)
“Book of Mormon/Printing timeframe.”
Not all faith-promoting stories and claims are true, and it is important that Latter-day Saints rest their faith and testimonies on a solid foundation. It sometimes happens that when a member of the Church learns that a particular story or claim that he or she has accepted as fact is, in reality, false or distorted, that member begins to question many other events and teachings that are well-established. FAIR strives to defend the teachings of the Church through solid research and scholarship, including helping members understand what evidences and arguments are valid in explaining and defending their beliefs. In this FAIR wiki article, one claim for evidence of the divinity of Joseph Smith’s work is shown to have been based on faulty and inaccurate information, specifically the claim that the speed at which the Book of Mormon was printed is evidence of divine intervention.
“Joseph Smith/Martyrdom/Removed garments.”
Some critics have claimed that Joseph Smith and others removed their temple garments prior to the martyrdom in order to avoid being associated with plural marriage. This wiki article discusses the real reasons as reported by the those involved.
Removal of temple garments before leaving for Carthage—Joseph and others with him removed their garments before traveling to Carthage Jail. Why did they do this? (Link)
Over the years FAIR has reviewed a number of books, articles, and videos. Recently a new anti-Mormon website has appeared, masquerading as a site by faithful members who are merely “concerned about the historical accuracy” related to the Church. Although FAIR doesn’t generally respond to anti-Mormon websites since their content often quickly changes and they seldom present attacks that haven’t been published many times in books, the mormonthink website presented some particular anti-Mormon attacks as a challenge to faithful Latter-day Saints. FAIR has created a response to those anti-Mormon criticisms.
MormonThink—The web site MormonThink.com claims to be operated by active members of the Church with an interest in objectively presenting the “truth” about Mormonism. In general, the conclusions reached by the site reflect negatively on the Church. (Link)
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
FAIR’s YouTube channel has recently added a number of videos.
Kerry Shirts has produced several videos for the FAIR YouTube site regarding evidences of The Book of Mormon. He gives several insights on many different areas of study regarding The Book of Mormon.
The “Mesoamerican and Book of Mormon Populations” video discusses that areas in the Americas had populations large enough and had the correct climates mentioned in The Book of Mormon, as described in John Lund’s book “Mesoamerica and The Book of Mormon: Is This the Place?”
Kerry Shirts continues with a video series “Dead Sea Scrolls & The Book of Mormon Archaeological Veracity.”
- Dead Sea Scrolls & The Book of Mormon Archaeological Veracity – Part 1
- Dead Sea Scrolls & The Book of Mormon Archaeological Veracity – Part 2
- Dead Sea Scrolls & The Book of Mormon Archaeological Veracity – Part 3
- Dead Sea Scrolls & The Book of Mormon Archaeological Veracity – Part 4
We have also recently posted additional videos from FAIR’s 2007 FAIR conference. Included is Blake Ostler’s address “Spiritual Experiences as the Basis for Belief and Commitment.”
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 1
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 2
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 3
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 4
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 5
- Spiritual Experiences As The Basis For Belief And Commitment – Part 6
Also now available is New Testament scholar Professor John Hall in his 2007 FAIR conference address “As Far as It Is Translated Correctly: The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament.”
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 1
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 2
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 3
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 4
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 5
- As Far is it is Translated Correctly The Problem of Tampering with the New Testament – Part 6
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.
We are excited about our new book store. We have added most of our books and are currently working on adding our audiovisual products. Check back regularly to see updated products.
Be sure to check out our new clearance section. We have many older books and some new books with slightly damaged covers that offer great deals to buyers.
We also have the following New Books:
“The Book of Mormon: The Earliest Text,” edited by Royal Skousen. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. Hardbound, 7.75×9.5″, 837pgs.
Over the past twenty-one years, editor Royal Skousen has pored over Joseph Smith’s original manuscripts and identified more than 2.000 textual errors in the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. Although most of these discrepancies stem from inadvertent errors in copying and typesetting the text, the Yale edition contains about 600 corrections that have never appeared in any standard edition of the Book of Mormon, and about 250 of them affect the text’s meaning. Citing the earliest sources available, Skousen corrects the text in a work of remarkable dedication that will be a landmark in American religious scholarship.
$29.75 (15% off Retail Price of $35.00)
“Liberty to the Downtrodden: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer,” by Matthew J. Grow. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Yale University Press, 2009. Hardbound, 358 pgs.
Thomas L. Kane (1822-1883), a crusader for antislavery, women’s rights, and the downtrodden, rose to prominence in his day as the most ardent and persuasive defender of Mormon’s religious liberty. Though not himself a Mormon, Kane sought to defend the much-reviled group from the “Holy War” waged against them by evangelical America. His courageous personal intervention averted a potentially catastrophic bloody conflict between federal troops and Mormon settlers in the now nearly forgotten Utah War of 1857-1858.
Drawing on extensive, newly available archives, this book is the first to tell the full story of Kane’s extraordinary life. The book illuminates his powerful Philadelphia family, his personal life and eccentricities, his reform achievements, his place in Mormon history, and his career as a Civil War general. Further, the book reviews previous understandings of nineteenth-century reform, showing how Kane and like-minded others fused Democratic Party ideology, anti-evangelicalism, and romanticism.
$34.00 (15% off Retail Price of $40.00)
“Leap of Faith: Confronting the Origins of the Book of Mormon” Bob Bennett. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2009. Hardbound, 330 pgs.
Is The Book of Mormon a forgery? Its detractors dismiss it as such. And its defenders too often fail to ponder it deeply enough to respond effectively to such criticisms. But as author Bob Bennett writes, “For anyone truly interested in the Church and its claims, a thorough examination of the Book of Mormon as a possible forgery is a requirement. Instead of being just a footnote in an overall review of current Church activities, discussion of the book should be a primary focal point of the investigation.” With that in mind, he brings to bear his own fascinating experiences with the world of forgery in this careful examination of the Book of Mormon and its claims.
In his role at billionaire Howard Hughes’s company, Bennett had opportunities to help disprove two significant attempts at forgery: Clifford Irving’s supposedly authorized biography of Hughes and later the fake Hughes will. In the process Bennett became acquainted with several tests commonly used to help identify a forgery. Leap of Faith chronicles the discoveries he made as he applied those tests to the Book of Mormon. Though Bennett concludes that “no final answer can be drawn about the authorship of the Book of Mormon on the basis of analysis alone,” his exploration of the book and his explanation of its contents will be invaluable to anyone interested in understanding it more clearly. His own leap of faith provides a springboard for meaningful discussion by people of all faiths.
$25.46 (15% off the Retail Price of $29.95)
“Exploring the Connection Between Mormons and Masons,” by Matthew B. Brown. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2009. Hardbound, 215 pages.
The subject of Joseph Smith and Freemasonry sparks a wide range of responses among Latter-day Saints, from curiosity to suspicion to outright excitement. In this helpful guide, trusted LDS scholar Matthew B. Brown clearly and skillfully addresses the subject’s history, theology, traditional understandings, and myths. Readers will consider provocative questions as well as meaningful scriptural patterns and interfaith connections. With research ranging from the particular to the panoramic, this volume offers an engaging, edifying exploration of the relationship between Freemasonry and the blessings of the House of the Lord as well as early Christianity and the practices of biblical times.
$16.96 (15% off the Retail Price of $19.95)
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).