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
- Promoting FAIR
- Donating to FAIR
- Richard Bushman Symposium
- The European Mormon Studies Association
- Book of Abraham Article
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- Mormon Scholars Testify
- FAIR’s ‘Front Page’
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
You won’t want to miss this year’s FAIR Conference on August 4 & 5 with our exciting collection of Topics. First we have two speakers covering political topics with Newell Bringhurst talking about the presidential election and the Mormon question, and we have Cynthia J. Lange, who is managing partner of the Northern California office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen and Loewy, a world-wide firm specializing in immigration law who will be speaking on that very controversial issue of immigration. Staying with controversial topics, we have Valarie Hudson giving her views on reconciling polygamy, Don Bradley who plans to offer new perspectives on Joseph Smith as translator and the Kinderhook plates, Steven Harper on the differing accounts of the first vision and McKay Jones on blood atonement. Looking at sacred scripture, we have Brant Gardner talking about translating the Book of Mormon, Chris Watkins talking about archeology and the Book of Mormon, Paul Fields talking about Wordprints, and Steven Ricks talking about the sacred embrace with the Ancient Egyptians. On more contemporary issues, we have Roger Nicholson talking about the impact of the Wiki on apologetics, and Dan Peterson talking about Mormonism, Islam and the question of other religions. In addition to the great speakers, the FAIR conference gives you the opportunity to interact with others in discussing the faith building topics of LDS apologetics. I look forward to seeing you there.
You can read more information about the conference and see the tentative schedule here:
You won’t want to miss this. Register now for the conference here:
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Here are some additional conference details: When you register, please list the names of all people attending and their home city and state. This can be done in the comments section of your checkout. You will not receive any “tickets,” so you may want to print out your receipt as proof of purchase. We will also have your name on a list when you check-in at the registration table.
The conference will be held at the South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 South State Street, Sandy, Utah 84070.
If you need a place to stay, 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 15, 2011.
To make your reservations, contact the hotel at 800-662-6886 or 801-523-8484. Use the confirmation number 902508.
The week of the conference is one of the biggest weeks of the year for conventions in the Salt Lake area, so you will want to book your room and your rental car early.
–Scott Gordon President of FAIR
In order for FAIR to be ranked highly enough in the search engines to make a difference, lots of people have to link to it. We find that many people of other faiths link to the counter-cult ministry pages, which makes them show up high in the search engine rankings when someone searches for information on Mormonism. So we ask all of you to link to FAIR on your Websites, and social network pages such as Facebook. This is one way to provide service and help the work move forward.
Please link to FAIR at www.fairlds.org and to the FAIR Wiki at en.fairmormon.org. Please click on “Like” on the FAIR Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/fairlds
DONATING TO FAIR
FAIR is labor of love. We are a group of volunteers who spend many hours trying to research and publish information to help members respond to critics. We try to price our conferences to be accessible to as many as possible. But, providing this information does cost money. In all of your charitable giving, please consider donating to FAIR. It is only through your donations that we are able to stay in operation.
If you can donate $10, or $10,000, every dollar helps us.
You can also mail a check to our address:
FAIR PO Box 491677 Redding, CA 96049-1677
RICHARD BUSHMAN SYMPOSIUM
On the Occasion of Richard Bushman’s 80th Birthday, there will be a special Symposium on June 18, 2011 at the Springville Museum of Art in Springville Utah. The speakers include Terryl Givens, Phil Barlow, Armand Mauss, David Whittaker and Patrick Mason. This sounds like a great event. It is from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and is free and open to the public.
FAIR has launched a brand new Website at MormonTemples.net. We receive a number of questions related to the temple, so we thought it would be good to create a Website to answer those questions. MormonTemples.net is dedicated to helping people, especially non-LDS, understand Mormon temples. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints operates over 130 temples all over the world. These temples can be found in places like Nigeria, Brazil, Germany, Japan, New York, and everywhere in between.
But what is a Latter-day Saint temple? In a nutshell, Latter-day Saints believe that a temple is the house of God. It is a holy place where God’s presence can be felt and where worshipers find peace and strength.
Some of the questions we hope to help answer within the pages of this website include:
- What goes on in Mormon temples?
- Why do they exist?
- How is it different from a regular church building?
- How will a Mormon temple affect home values?
- Why can’t I go in a Mormon temple?
- Why do Mormons wear unique undergarments?
- Why is there a golden statue on top of Mormon temples?
You will find the answers to these and many more questions on this website. Go to MormonTemples.net to check it out. Please link to it, put it in your blogs, and on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. www.MormonTemples.net or just MormonTemples.net will get you to the Website. Check it out!
THE EUROPEAN MORMON STUDIES ASSOCIATION ANNUAL CONFERENCE
The European Mormon Studies Association is not affiliated with FAIR, but they are working to support the academic study of Mormonism in Europe. They are having a conference at Durham University in England on August 4-5. You may not be able to attend because you will be at the FAIR conference in Sandy Utah on that date, but those of you who prefer the Englland location can find more information about their conference here:
BOOK OF ABRAHAM ARTICLE
We frequently get questions on the Book of Abraham. Indeed, we have some critics who claim that the Book of Abraham is the nail in the coffin of Mormonism. In this article, Kerry Muhlestein answers many of the common questions about the Book of Abraham, and goes on to show several elements that show it to be an ancient text.
by Kerry Muhlestein
Check out the FAIR Wiki at en.fairmormon.org
DNA and The Book of Mormon
Many accusations have come about in recent years claiming that DNA proves the Book of Mormon false. These videos discuss the issue and answer the question, does DNA prove the LDS faith false? (Hint: No, it doesn’t.)
- Topical Guide/Science and Religion/DNA
- Topical Guide/Book of Mormon/Archaeology and the Book of Mormon/DNA and the Book of Mormon
DNA and The Book of Mormon We have a host of videos that deal with this issue. See what the experts really say about this topic.
Our FAIR blog is now very active with a mix of blog posts and new Podcasts. Listen to them online or download them to listen to them on your MP3 player or I-Pod.
Here are this month’s entries. Please note that all entries on the FAIR Blog represent those of the writer/speaker and don’t necessarily represent the views of FAIR.
Best of FAIR, Episode 2: Humble Apologetics
by Steve Densley Jr on May 4th, 2011
In this 2008 FAIR Conference address, Daniel C. Peterson says “there is a tendency on the part of a lot of apologists, if we don’t know everything, to at least pretend that we do.” However, we often do not have a clear answer for everything. God sometimes deliberately withholds things from us to allow us freedom.
FAIR Issues, Episode 3: Challenging Issues and Keeping the Faith Pt 3
by Steve Densley Jr on May 7th, 2011
Does truth need a defense? Who should be an apologist? Why don’t the leaders of the Church engage in apologetics? Michael Ash raises these questions in this episode of FAIR Issues.
Best of FAIR, Episode 3: Online Apologetics
by Steve Densley Jr on May 11th, 2011
Scott Gordon, President of FAIR, provides an insider’s view into the history of FAIR and the development of online apologetics. He provides excellent advice on how to be effective in defending the Church on the internet. Toward the end of the presentation are testimonials from two women whose lives have been affected by FAIR.
FAIR Issues, Episode 4: Challenging Issues and Keeping the Faith Pt 4
by Steve Densley Jr on May 14th, 2011
Michael Ash provides some history and background of some of the organizations that defend the Church, including FARMS (now known as the Neal A. Maxwell Institute), and FAIR. The full text of this episode can be found at Mormon Times.
Mebaqqer and Bishop
by Keller on May 15th, 2011
In modern Mormonism, the office of Bishop straddles the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods. On the Aaronic side, the ward Bishop presides over the local Aaronic priesthood quorums (the Aaronic priests’ quorum in particular) and manages temporal affairs (ward budgets and the collection and distribution of welfare assistance). The Presiding Bishop of the church does these things on a global scale. On the Melchizedek side, the Bishop oversees much of the spiritual activities of the local congregations. The dual nature of the office makes it somewhat of a puzzle in studying its origins in Early Christianity. Hugh Nibley primarily situated the ancient office on the Aaronic side and saw attempts to elevate it to a Melchizedek status as pretentious. Later LDS writers have been more willing to grant the early Christian office more of a tie in with the mysterious Melchizedek priesthood, especially with a recent upswing in scholarly interest in it.
Best of FAIR, Episode 4: Shaken Faith Syndrome
by Steve Densley Jr on May 18th, 2011
In this address from the 2008 FAIR Conference, Michael R. Ash discusses “shaken faith syndrome.” He explains that “a shaken faith typically arises from two scenarios–1) Someone loses their faith because of a disaster in their life (such as a death, divorce, or other tragedy.) 2) Someone’s faith is shaken because they are exposed to information that seems to question the truth claims of the Church.” His address focuses on the second category.
Confronting information that seems to question the truth claims of the Church can create cognitive dissonance. “When we encounter cognitive dissonance with weighty issues–such as religious beliefs–we can experience a very uncomfortable and emotional state of mind. This discomfort has been called a “negative drive state” because it causes psychological tension almost like hunger or thirst and requires immediate attention and resolution. Reducing this distress may require a change in belief or behavior. There are at least four ways in which this is generally accomplished, and we are not often consciously aware of doing so. We will either: (1) reject the new information–the competing cognition–as false; (2) reject the new information as unimportant; (3) reject old beliefs in favor of the new information; or (4) add information (additional cognitions) to validate the original belief.”
Ash goes on to explain, “When critical information destroys conclusions based on straw men or false assumptions, some members will lose their entire testimonies. The most common misconceptions that seem to factor into personal apostasy include: (A) Unrealistic Expectations of Prophets (B) Confusing Tradition With Doctrine (C) Imposing Our View on Others (D) Unrealistic Expectations of Science and Scholarship”
He concludes with some thoughts on inoculation against shaken faith syndrome: “While adding cognitions may salvage damaged testimonies, a change in paradigms before encountering challenging issues often serves as an inoculation against shaken faith syndrome. Inoculation, however, can also cause damage on its own.”
FAIR Issues, 5: Challenging Issues and Keeping the Faith Pt 5
by Steve Densley Jr on May 22nd, 2011
What is an “anti-Mormon?” When did anti-Mormons first appear? Is the term “anti-Mormon” pejorative? In the episode, Michael Ash discusses these issues and sets forth differences between two different types of anti-Mormons: sectarian critics and secular critics. The full text of this article is available at Mormon Times.
FAIR Issues, 6: Challenging Issues and Keeping the Faith Pt 6
by Steve Densley Jr on May 25th, 2011
What happens when the average member of the Church first encounters anti-Mormon literature? Why do some members casually reject it and others become deeply unsettled? In this episode, Michael Ash explores these questions. The complete text of this article can be found at Mormon Times.
FAIR Issues, 7: Challenging Issues and Keeping the Faith Pt 7
by Steve Densley Jr on May 28th, 2011
People can experience discomfort, and even distress, when they encounter new information that conflicts with deeply held beliefs. This is called “cognitive dissonance.” When this happens, we either: (1) reject the new information as false; (2) reject the new information as unimportant; (3) reject old beliefs in favor of the new information; or (4) find new information to validate the original belief. These various ways of resolving cognitive dissonance can be rational, irrational, or extra-rational and are used by faithful members as well as by anti-Mormons alike. The full text of this article can be found at Mormon Times.
‘American Grace’ and LDS women
by Cassandra Hedelius on May 30th, 2011
In the April 2011 General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook gave the probably most-discussed talk: “LDS Women Are Incredible!” My attention went mostly to a very short line: “The recent highly acclaimed book American Grace…noted that Latter-day Saint women are unique in being overwhelmingly satisfied with their role in Church leadership.”
At the risk of assuming too much, I think that in including that one line Elder Cook was aiming at two related criticisms: First, that the Church’s gender-based organization harms women, and second, that it blunders by not fully acknowledging women’s distress over that issue.
Best of FAIR, 5: A Black Man in Zion: Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
by Steve Densley Jr on May 31st, 2011
Marcus H. Martins was the first Black man to serve a full-time mission after the revelation that extended the priesthood to worthy men with Black African ancestry in 1978. He was also among the first to be ordained a high priest in 1981 and quite possibly-at least outside of Africa-may have been among the first to be ordained a bishop in 1987. Since 1994, he has been the first Black man to work as a religion professor in the Church’s universities: Brigham Young University; then Rick’s College; BYU-Idaho and BYU-Hawaii. In this 2006 FAIR Conference address, he speaks of the burden carried by Latter-day Saints with Black African ancestry, and how he has been able to reconcile the pain he has experienced with his faith in the Church.
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MORMON SCHOLARS TESTIFY
Mormon Scholars Testify now has over 256 testimonies, representing more than124 schools or organizations. There are new testimonies added every week. Many of them have very interesting stories that are uplifting and testimony building. Check out the Website and read the testimonies here:
If you like the testimonies, link to them from your Facebook or other social network.
FAIR’S ‘FRONT PAGE’
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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. FAIR Bookstore – Clearance Section
God on the Quad (Limited to stock on hand)
Naomi Schaefer Riley, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2005, hardbound, 274 pages.
Religious colleges and universities in America are growing at a breakneck pace. In this startling new book, journalist Naomi Schaefer Riley explores these schools–interviewing administrators, professors, and students–to produce the first popular, accessible, and comprehensive investigation of this phenomenon.
Call them the Missionary Generation. By the tens and hundreds of thousands, some of America’s brightest and most dedicated teenagers are opting for a different kind of college education. It promises all the rigor of traditional liberal arts schools, but mixed with religious instruction from the Good Book and a mandate from above.
Far removed from the medieval cloisters outsiders imagine, schools like Wheaton, Thomas Aquinas, and Brigham Young are churning out a new generation of smart, worldly, and ethical young professionals whose influence in business, medicine, law, journalism, academia, and government is only beginning to be felt.
In God On The Quad, Riley takes readers to the halls of Brigham Young, where surprisingly with-it young Mormons compete in a raucous marriage market and prepare for careers in public service. To the infamous Bob Jones, post interracial dating ban, where zealous fundamentalists are studying fine art and great literature to help them assimilate into the nation’s cultural centers. To Thomas Aquinas College, where graduates homeschool large families and hope to return the American Catholic Church to its former glory. To Yeshiva, Wheaton, Notre Dame, and more than a dozen other schools, big and small, rich and poor, new and old, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Mormon, and even Buddhist, all training grounds for the new Missionary Generation.
Retail Price: $24.95 Special FAIR Price: $9.98 (60% Discount)
Mormonism for Dummies (Limited to stock on hand)
Christopher Bigelow and Jana Riess, Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley Publishing, 2005, 9″x7.5″ softboud, 264 pages.
At last, an accessible guide that demystifies the Mormon religion.
The Mormon Church, formally known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS, has 5.2 million members in the U.S. and adds about 300,000 converts every year. This eye-opening book takes the mystery out of Mormonism, describing the beliefs and rituals that set the LDS apart from other Christian denominations as well as its views on women, race, homosexuality, and polygamy.
Introduction Part I: What the Mormon Faith Is All About
- Chapter 1: A New World Religion.
- Chapter 2: The Mormon Plan of Salvation.
- Chapter 3: Heavenly Parents, Savior, and Holy Ghost.
- Chapter 4: Restoring the Priesthood and the Church.
- Chapter 5: Together Forever: The Eternal Importance of Family.
Part II: Eternal Rituals and Endless Meetings
- Chapter 6: Welcome to the Meetinghouse!
- Chapter 7: Sacred, Not Secret: Inside Mormon Temples.
- Chapter 8: In and around Church Headquarters.
Part III: Holy Books and Sacred History
- Chapter 9: The Bible and the Book of Mormon.
- Chapter 10: MormonismÆs Other Scriptures.
- Chapter 11: Searching for a Home.
- Chapter 12: Moving on to Utah with Brigham Young.
- Chapter 13: Building the Kingdom in Utah.
Part IV: Mormonism Today
- Chapter 14: Called to Serve: Missionaries and International Growth.
- Chapter 15: Hot-Button Issues for Mormons.
- Chapter 16: Sacrificing on Earth to Receive Blessings in Heaven.
- Chapter 17: Connecting with God and Each Other.
- Chapter 18: In the World but Not of the World.
Part V: The Part of Tens
- Chapter 19: Ten Famous Mormons.
- Chapter 20: Quick Answers to Ten Common Questions About Mormonism.
- Chapter 21: Ten Mormon Places to Visit.
Retail Price: $21.99 Special FAIR Price: $10.99 (50% Discount)
Women of Commitment: Elect Ladies of Brigham Young University (Limited to stock on hand)
Marian Wilkinson Jensen, Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1997, 6.5×9.5″ hardbound, 220 pages.
This compilation of unique biographical sketches is a tribute to the role of women in the development of Brigham Young University. The portraits of 32 outstanding ladies encompassed in its pages provide not just a compendium of personal and University history, but portfolios of personal qualities and characteristics worthy of emulation.
The book opens with a brief history of the University’s noted women’s organization, BYU Women. This group had a significant impact over the years, both socially and on important causes such as the First and Second World War efforts. The missions of this organization-to provide intellectual and social opportunities and to promote charity and the ideals of the University-are amply reflected in the lives of the women commemorated in the balance of the book.
Beginning with a touching memorial to her mother, Alice Ludlow Wilkinson, the author has painstakingly assembled biographies that inspire and motivate as they provide a source of remembrance. All who read them will find in the lives and personal philosophies of these choice ladies a source of inspiration and encouragement. These vignettes present a broad cross-section of BYU women. They range from the wives of University presidents, department chairpersons and distinguished faculty to university staff members. All were women whose lives and personalities touched the minds and hearts of those who met them. The book provides sterling examples of what a person can accomplish through love, determination and dedication.
Women of Commitment was written over a period of six years, and was prepared with the collaboration of many friends, relatives and admirers of the Sisters whose lives are portrayed. It is presented with the firm belief that these remarkable women earned the right to have their lives recorded for generations to come.
Retail Price: $7.99 Special FAIR Price: $4.00 (50% Discount)
Divine Signatures: The Confirming Hand of God
Gerald N. Lund. Salt Lake City, UT: Deseret Book Company, 2010. Hardbound, 6×9″, 339 pages.
As Latter-day Saints, we know God exists, but sometimes we may wonder, “Heavenly Father, are you really there for me?”
When trials seem beyond our ability to bear, some people lose their spiritual bearings, while others are made even stronger. How can we strengthen our faith and deepen our testimony to the point that we can endure whatever life holds in store for us and emerge stronger than before?
In this unique book, Gerald N. Lund shows how having a correct idea of God’s character, perfections, and attributes is essential to our ability to strengthen our faith and develop our testimony.
He also reminds us of how much God loves His children and that He “delights” to bless us, especially when we are striving to do His will. As and example, Elder Lund introduces the idea of a “divine signature”: “Sometimes blessings come in such an unusual manner and with such precise timing that they accomplish something in addition to blessing us. They so clearly confirm the reality of God’s existence that they buoy us up in times of trials.”
Throughout the book, Elder Lund relates story after story – some from Church history, some from his own life, and some from acquaintances – that illustrate the inspiring and life-changing insights he shares.
This book is a powerful blend of personal reflection and deep doctrine that will help us identify the tender mercies and “divine signatures” that abound in our own lives and which will lead us closer to God.
Retail Price: $25.99 Special FAIR Price: $20.79 (20% Discount)
Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament
Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, Iric D. Huntsman, Thomas A. Wayment. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2006. Hardbound, 9.5×12″, 327pgs.
This important reference for any home library is the perfect guide to New Testament culture, language, history, and teachings. Jesus Christ and the World of the New Testament is richly illustrated with hundreds of images, including original artwork, artifacts, maps, and timelines. Uncover the origins of the books of the New Testament and learn how stories of Christ’s life and teachings were preserved after His death. Explore the relationships between Greek, Roman, and Jewish culture that explain much about how the gospel was shared and recorded. Examine scriptural issues that have been debated by scholars throughout the ages. Nearly 300 topics provide valuable context to understanding New Testament times, from the role of women and families, to portraits of key personalities, to controversial legends that have persisted to our day. This unique resource is sure to enrich New Testament studies as never before!
Retail Price: $45.99 Special FAIR Price: $36.79 (20% Discount)
The Mormon Quest For The Presidency
Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster, Independence, Missouri, John Whitmer, 2008, 6″x9″, softbound, 314 pages.
The Mormon Quest for the Presidency tells, for the first time, the fascinating histories of 10 Mormons who have run for president, beginning with the movement’s founder, Joseph Smith.
Retail Price: $24.95 Special FAIR Price: $15.97 (36% Discount)
Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt (CD)
Parley P. Pratt. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2003, 12 CDs, approx 15 hrs.
Ever since its publication in 1874 the Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt has provided a fascinating look into the events that shaped the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Parley P. Pratt, a beloved Apostle and missionary, was an eyewitness to the rolling forth of the newly restored gospel. His vivid descriptions of the people, the places, and the events surrounding the early Saints have enlightened and inspired generations of readers. Now, for the first time in audio format, this classic work comes to life in a complete, unabridged narration, providing nearly 15 hours of captivating listening.
You will hear Parley’s memorable account of Zion’s Camp, his painful descriptions of mob actions against the Saints, and his colorful missionary experiences that took him to such places as England, the Pacific Islands, and South America. You will also hear the unforgettable description of “majesty in chains” as the Prophet Joseph Smith rebuked the guards: “Silence, ye fiends of the infernal pit. In the name of Jesus Christ I rebuke you, and command you to be still; I will not live another minute and hear such language. Cease such talk, or you or I die this instant!”The Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt will be an inspiring and valuable addition to every audio library.
Retail Price: $29.95 Special FAIR Price: $23.96 (20% Discount)
Thank you for shopping in our FAIR bookstore!
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.