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).
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
A recent survey done by political pollster Gary Lawrence found that for every person who strongly likes Mormons, there are more than four who strongly dislike us. Of several religious groups surveyed, we are next to last. And yet, our exposure in the media continues to increase. We have been discussed on TV, we are talking about in the newspapers, and blogs are filled with conversations and comments about Mormons. What can we do about it?
To help with this, we have asked Dr. Gary Lawrence to speak on this topic at our upcoming FAIR conference. We also will have Peter Watkins who served as White House Spokesman and Deputy Press Secretary to First Lady Laura Bush. Also speaking will be Valarie Hudson, who was recently named to the list of Foreign Policy magazine’s Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2009. As Proposition 8 created a lot of LDS-related news, we have invited William Duncan to speak on Religion in the Legal controversy over Marriage.
In addition to these speakers, we will also be tackling many of our more traditional subjects. For instance, Royal Skousen will be speaking on restoring the original text of the Book of Mormon, Shirley Ricks will be speaking on Editing Hugh Nibley, and much more.
Purchase your tickets by going to the FAIR Website and clicking on the FAIR Conference link, or by going directly to the FAIR bookstore. We hope to set up audio streaming as well.
More information will be forthcoming. You can find the latest info on the website:
–Scott Gordon President of FAIR
FAIRs YouTube channel, which can be found at
has recently posted a few videos on one man’s journey to conversion through the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ and his later triumph over trials through his faith.
Kerry Shirts has video recorded a lecture he gave on the facsimiles in the Book of Abraham. These videos can be found on YouTube.
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 1
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 2
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 3
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 4
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 5
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 6
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 7
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 8
- Book of Abraham Facsimiles Lecture – Pt. 9
The FAIR wiki project began in 2006 as a way to provide more flexible and searchable resources on LDS apologetic issues. FAIR wiki articles are created, expanded and edited on a continual basis by various FAIR volunteers. The FAIR wiki’s main page can be accessed at:
*NEW* French FAIR Wiki
Anyone who is interested in helping to translate and/or refine the French wiki articles is encouraged to write FAIR through the contact page located on FAIR’s main web site.
Analysis and response to the article “Reinventing Lamanite Identity,” by Brent Lee Metcalfe, published in Sunstone, March 2004, 20-25. Critics who wish to use DNA evidence to disprove the Book of Mormon must use a hemispheric model of the lands described in the book and assume that the Lehites and Mulekites arrived on an empty continent. The article argues for a traditional interpretation of the Book of Mormon which would exclude the presence of others on the American continents and thereby enable critical DNA claims to be valid. The article’s claims are examined one-by-one and links to corresponding responses in the FAIR Wiki are provided. The analysis can be found here:
Thoughts and commentary from the apologetic frontlines (articles are open to public comment):
- Scott Gordon, “Northwest College and LDS Student Recruitment”
- Tyler Livingston, “Book of Mormon Geography in Joseph Smith’s Day”
- Tyler Livingston, “Zelph in Relation to Book of Mormon Geography”
- Tyler Livingston, “Another Look at Barley in the Book of Mormon”
- Tyler Livingston, “The Book of Mormon and the X Haplogroup . . . Again”
- Trevor Holyoak, “Review of Truman G. Madsen, Joseph Smith, the Prophet (Illustrated Edition)”
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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.
Be sure to check out the Clearance Section. We have many older books and some new books with slightly damaged covers that offer great deals to buyers.
Hard Questions, Prophetic Answers [Covers are slightly worn. Limited to stock on hand]
Daniel K. Judd, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2004, 6×9″ softbound, 245 pages.
Author Daniel K. Judd writes: “The issues I have selected for inclusion in this book are representative of the difficult questions I have grappled with over the last several years in my work as a professor, a therapist, a bishop, a stake president, and a father.”
The author shows that the most meaningful answers to all our questions lie in the counsel of prophets and the miracles of the Atonement.
- Self, Family, Church, Profession: How Can a Proper Balance Be Achieved?
- Is Depression a Sin or a Sickness?
- Can Ye Be Angry, and Not Sin?
- Is Divorce the Answer for a Faltering Marriage?
- Is Homosexuality a Sin or a Biological Fact?
- Can a Person Who Has Been Abused Be Healed?
- Is it Possible to Reconcile War with the Teachings of Jesus Christ?
- How Can We Find Peace amidst Adversity?
- Notes Index
Retail Price: $15.95
Special FAIR Price: $9.57 (40% discount)
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide
Grant Hardy. New York City: Oxford University Press, 2010. Hardcover, 6×9″, 368 pages.
Mark Twain once derided the Book of Mormon as “chloroform in print.” Long and complicated, written in the language of the King James version of the Bible, it boggles the minds of many. Yet it is unquestionably one of the most influential books ever written. With over 140 million copies in print, it is a central text of one of the largest and fastest-growing faiths in the world. And, Grant Hardy shows, it’s far from the coma-inducing doorstop caricatured by Twain.
In “Understanding the Book of Mormon” Hardy offers the first comprehensive analysis of the work’s narrative structure in its 180 year history. Unlike virtually all other recent world scriptures, the Book of Mormon presents itself as an integrated narrative rather than a series of doctrinal expositions, moral injunctions, or devotional hymns. Hardy takes readers through its characters, events, and ideas, as he explores the story and its messages. He identifies the book’s literary techniques, such as characterization, embedded documents, allusions, and parallel narratives. Whether Joseph Smith is regarded as author or translator, it’s noteworthy that he never speaks in his own voice; rather, he mediates nearly everything through the narrators Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni. Hardy shows how each has a distinctive voice, and all are woven into an integral whole.
As with any scripture, the contending views of the Book of Mormon can seem irreconcilable. For believers, it is an actual historical document, transmitted from ancient America. For nonbelievers, it is the work of a nineteenth-century farmer from upstate New York. Hardy transcends this intractable conflict by offering a literary approach, one appropriate to both history and fiction. Regardless of whether readers are interested in American history, literature, comparative religion, or even salvation, he writes, the book can best be read if we examine the text on its own terms.
- The first detailed academic introduction to the contents of the Book of Mormon.
- Designed to be accessible to those interested in any aspect of the Book of Mormon: religious, historical, literary, or otherwise.
Retail Price: $29.95 Special FAIR Price: $23.96 (20% discount)
40 Ways to Look at Brigham Young: A New Approach to a Remarkable Man
Chad M. Orton, William W. Slaughter. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2008. Softbound, 6×9″, 335 pages.
If Brigham Young is not the most maligned individual on the list of the 100 Most Influential Americans, he is certainly the most misunderstood. Although 130 years have passed since his death, much of the confusion that surrounded him in life remains. He continues to be praised by millions as a prophet of God and admired for his contributions in settling the American West, but he is also frequently vilified. Through a series of brief essays that look at the fundamental aspects of a complex man, this unique biography examines both his remarkable life and his accomplishments and separates fact from fantasy.
Retail Price of $23.95 Special FAIR Price: $19.16 (20% discount)
Forgotten Women of God
Diana Webb. Springville, Utah: Bonneville Books, 2009. Softbound, 6×9″ 188 pages.
Have you ever wondered why there aren’t more stories about women in the Bible? Or why there aren’t more details about the women who are included? “Forgotten Women of God” offers a fascinating analysis of ancient women who have, in recent years, been mostly omitted from the Christian canon. This book by Diana Webb pairs captivating accounts of faithful women from ancient texts with modern research to offer insightful, informative glances into the lives of the women who, until now, have largely been ignored. Chapters include detailed summaries and background on Susanna, Judith, Aseneth, Hagar, Tamar, and more!
Explore the little-known details behind these inspiring tales to gain a greater understanding of the powerful influence that these holy women have had on the history of mankind.
Retail Price: $13.99 Special FAIR Price: $10.49 (25% discount)
Thank you for using the FAIR Bookstore!
This section of the FAIR Journal is designed to focus attention on the wealth of information available in past FAIR Conference presentations, which began to be given in 1999.
Here are some talks that are well worth remembering.
- Wayne Arnett, “Apologetics 101”
- Richard Bushman, “A Joseph Smith Miscellany”
- John A. Tvedtnes, “The Mistakes of Men: Can the Scriptures be Error-Free?”
Mormon History Association Conference 27-30 May 2010 Independence, Missouri
Some of the presentations that may be of apologetic interest include the following:
- Samuel A. Dodge, “The History of the History: Rediscovering Joseph’s First Vision”
- Stephen C. Harper, “Memory and the First Vision”
- Robin S. Jensen, “Sharing and Restricting the Written Word: Joseph Smith, Text Making, and Divine Commandments”
- Mark Ashurst-McGee, “The Mosaic of Early Mormon History”
- Alex D. Smith, “Sensational Slander and Helpful History: John C. Bennett’s 1842 Anti-Mormon Publications”
- LeJean P. Carruth, “Brigham Young on the Missouri Persecutions: New Sources”
- Newell G. Bringhurst, “Joseph Smith’s 1843 Revelation on the ‘New and Everlasting Covenant'”
- Craig L. Foster, “‘Like Two Crazy Aunts in the Attic’: Stereotyping of Mormon Polygamy from Joseph Smith To Warren Jeffs”
- Richard O. Cowan, “The Lord’s House in Independence”
- Jeffrey N. Walker, “Mormon Legal Causes in 1833 Jackson County: Behind the Pleadings”
- Boyd J. Petersen, “One Soul Shall Not Be Lost: A History of the War in Heaven in Mormon Thought”
APOLOGETICS ON THE INTERNET
- Ancient Assyrian Gold Plate with Cuneiform Writing Recovered, Law.com
- “An Interview with Dan Peterson, Scott Gordon, and Tanya Spackman” [about the ‘Mormon Scholars Testify’ website]
- LDS Church Public Affairs Department: Newsroom Blog, “Are Mormons Christian?”
- Michael R. Ash, “More Limitations in Book of Mormon DNA Study, Criticism”
- Michael R. Ash, “Book of Mormon DNA Issue One of Science, Not Theology”
Occasionally there are publications and presentations that may be of interest or use to those who are involved in LDS apologetics. Here are a few examples:
- Matthew Roper, “Early Publications on the Book of Mormon”
- V.H. Cassler, “Polygamy,” Square Two, vol. 3, no. 1, Spring 2010
- Robert L. Millet, “The Book of Mormon, Historicity, and Faith”
- Donald W. Parry, “Sinai as Sanctuary and Mountain of God”
FAIR’S ‘FRONT PAGE’
FAIR’s ‘Front Page’ is a free news clipping service and the recipient can unsubscribe at any time. It is not sent in any official Church or other capacity. It is for those who are interested in keeping abreast with what is being said around the world about the LDS Church and its members. Sometimes media portrayal of the LDS Church, its members and of other religions is not positive or accurate. The responsibility for the interpretation and use of this information lies with the reader.
As all information comes from other news sources and has not been independently verified, FAIR cannot guarantee or be responsible for the security of links in the clipping service. FAIR will attempt to exclude news articles containing strongly offensive language but cannot guarantee that some will not slip through. Some links may also lead to offensive images. To receive this service click on the link below, enter your email address in the white box, and push the “Sign-Up” button.
ASK THE APOLOGIST
The public is invited to submit questions related to LDS *apologetic* issues to “Ask the Apologist.” This feature can be accessed by clicking on the following link:
Mark the box labeled “Questions (for the FAIR apologists)” then fill in accurate information in the five white boxes and push the “Send Comments” button. All inquiries will be shared with members of the FAIR List and the questioner may receive multiple responses from FAIR volunteers. All responses reflect the opinions of the respondents only and not the official position of FAIR or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.