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 week or so ago I was able to speak at a conference on Mormonism and the Internet. It was sponsored by the Religious Studies Department at Utah Valley University, and they did a great job pulling it all together and getting a diverse group.
Of most worth to me was the opportunity to meet with people to discuss the foundations of their belief. I talked with members who were politically liberal and I talked with members who were politically conservative. If you are wondering, I came to the conclusion that both Democrats and Republicans should be welcomed within Mormonism although each group has its own unique set of challenges in living the gospel. For those readers saying, “No, I don’t–it is the people in the other political party who do!” I have one word: Repent! Said another way, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Members of each party are able to pick out gospel principles that the other side isn’t following
I thought that all of the speakers at the conference had something unique to contribute. I can name something I gained from each one of them. Even the speaker who has lost his faith, and was somewhat hostile to the Church and especially hostile to organizations like FAIR had a point in saying that those who had lost their faith were hurting. I think that is true. Maybe some of our negative interactions with the ex-Mormon community are because of that.
Between sessions I talked with some who had lost their faith. I appreciate those conversations as the individuals were trying very hard to be polite even though they profoundly disagreed with me. I was struck by the fact that they viewed just about everything the brethren or the Church did in a very negative light. Their position came across to me as the Church could do nothing–or next to nothing–right or good, and the Church was purposefully trying to deceive.
One story was told at the conference about a man who lost his faith in the Church and felt compelled to not only kill himself, but his wife and two children as well. He would speed through stop signs and purposefully try to get in a traffic accident with his wife and children in the car in an attempt to kill them all. I believe the speaker telling this story was poignantly trying to illustrate how much damage had been done because the man had been “lied to” by the Church and had now found the “truth.” The Church was at fault and the Church needed to fix it.
I, on the other hand, was absolutely horrified that this man who obviously had mental illness and was trying to attempt a murder-suicide was being held up as an example of anything. The man needs help from mental health professionals. Only the man, with the help of the professionals, could fix it.
I was struck that many of the disbelievers were profoundly disappointed they found differences of opinion within the Church and between the apostles. If the Church were really true, the brethren would have a revelation from God setting us straight.
I realized that the Church that they left was not the Church I wanted to belong to either. But I also realized I don’t look at the Church the same way that they do. I believe that the gospel is true, the Church is inspired, and the people are lifted up and sanctified by growing line upon line. I didn’t believe in a Church where the brethren are all in direct communication with God at all times, bishops are all perfect, and God will not let us teach anything that is not true.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and has been restored to the earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is inspired. But, it is run and managed by imperfect people from Apostle down to nursery leader. They are doing the best that they can and we have to cut them some slack. While they get inspiration, the Lord lets them figure things out by themselves. That is how they learn and grow. The members of the Church are here to grow line upon line and to be sanctified.
There is much joy, happiness, and good within the Church. But, we have to be willing to look for it and to forgive others. We need to reach out to those who expect perfection and uniformity within the Church. They are, after all, our brothers and sisters. It is better to reach out to them now than try to pick up the pieces after they feel hurt and leave our community because they discover that we aren’t perfect. I hope that our love will make up for our imperfections.
–Scott Gordon President of FAIR
You can read more about similar thoughts in a blog post done by Kevin Barney titled “Lowered Expectations”. I think it is an interesting read.
“Lowered Expectations” by Kevin Barney
Dispelling the Myth of the “Curse of Cain”
by Mike Parker on February 28th, 2012
In connection with Mitt Romney’s Mormon faith, the priesthood ban is getting a lot of attention from the media again.
The most recent turn comes from The Washington Post, where reporter Jason Horowitz interviews Darius Gray and other black Latter-day Saints about their experience with and feelings about the ban. Searching for a theological explanation for the ban, Horowitz contacted BYU associate professor Randy Bott. Horowitz paraphrases Bott:
According to Mormon scriptures, the descendants of Cain, who slew his brother Abel, “were black.” One of Cain’s descendants was Egyptus, a woman Mormons believe was the namesake of Egypt. She married Ham, whose descendants were themselves cursed and, in the view of many Mormons, barred from the priesthood by his father, Noah. Bott points to the Mormon holy text, the Book of Abraham, as suggesting that all of the descendents of Ham and Egyptus were thus black and barred from the priesthood.
Professor Bott’s explanation is an example of how doctrinal folklore continues to be taught by well-meaning members of the Church. Ironically, the dubious “folk doctrine” in question is no longer even relevant, since it was created to explain a Church policy that was reversed nearly thirty-four years ago. Read the rest of this entry:
Dispelling the Myth of the Curse of Cain by Mike Parker
by David Farnsworth on March 28th, 2012
I went to see John Carter of Mars last night (bear with me… this is actually NOT off-topic from apologetics), and the theater was gracious enough to give me a (virtually) private screening in 3D. Loved the movie (although apparently no one else does, and my teenage kids refused to come with me, saying all their friends hated it…).
But (believe it or not) I actually mentioned this movie in my home teaching message earlier this month about prophets, and the role of prophets.
Read the rest of this article here:
John Carter by David Farnsworth
City Creek Mall
by Cassandra Hedelius on March 30th, 2012
Salt Lake City, Utah, was founded by leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1847, as they arrived after a difficult overland trek to escape religious persecution. Over time, the church has grown from a small, regional group to a world-wide, thriving major religion. Likewise, the city has grown into a major center of commerce and industry, with residents of many religions. Despite the broadened scope of each, a special relationship between the Church and its headquarter city remains.
Salt Lake City has faced many of the challenges common to cities: upper-income flight to the suburbs, aging infrastructure, an influx of low-income residents with heavier claims on public services, decreased economic vitality, and increased crime. Like many cities, Salt Lake City has sought to attract businesses in order to provide jobs for residents and prevent the degradation of the city environment.
The Church has shared the city’s concern for economic vitality, both out of concern for the residents’ livelihoods and because of the Church’s downtown Temple Square which attracts thousands of visitors annually. Were Salt Lake City to suffer urban decay, these visitors would be affected.
In recent years the area around Temple Square in Salt Lake City looked likely to suffer exactly that fate. Many businesses had moved to other areas of the city and the area was becoming run down, decreasing the quality of life for residents.
The Church has responded in two ways. First, through its Inner City Project, the Church has assigned service missionaries to provide job training, transportation, and other help to inner-city Salt Lake City residents. The hope is that the city environment will benefit from residents who are less plagued by joblessness, health troubles, and feeling hopeless to rise economically. Second, the Church has invested in the City Creek Mall as an economic development project, in hopes that the construction and other jobs will provide opportunity for residents and that the new infrastructure will stave off urban decay.
Some criticize the Church for its investment, judging that the funds could have been better spent elsewhere. (The total estimated cost of the project is $1.5 billion; it is not known how this was shared between the church and its development partner, The Taubman Company.) These criticisms ignore the merits of the Church’s strategy-the City Creek Center addresses the roots of urban decay, and the Inner City Project addresses its symptoms. There are many places in the world with greater need-and the Church’s humanitarian programs commit significant resources to them-but the Church shouldn’t be condemned for helping its own neighbors in the city to which it has special historical ties.
Whatever funds the Church spent on City Creek did not come from member tithes; the funds came from returns on Church properties and investments. The Church owns these assets from the happy historical accident of acquiring them many decades ago and prudent management since then.
City Creek Mall by Cassandra Hedelius
AWARD WINNING FAIR PODCASTS
FAIR Issues 32: A Lutheran bishop’s perspective on Mormon baptism for the dead
by SteveDensleyJr on March 1st, 2012
The Mormon practice of baptism for the dead has been the subject of heated discussion of late by many who seem to not understand the practice. Suprisingly, one of the most sympathetic views of this ancient practice come from an eminent New Testament scholar named Krister Stendahl. Professor Stendahl served as chaplain and dean of Harvard Divinity School and as the Lutheran bishop of Stockholm (i.e., effectively, as the head of the state church of Sweden). Professor Daniel Peterson shares how Professor Stendahl became the author of the article on baptism for the dead in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
The articles referenced by Dr. Peterson include: 1) “Salvation for the Dead in Early Christianity,” by Roger D. Cook, David L. Paulsen and Kendel J. Christensen; 2) “Baptism for the Dead in Early Christianity,” by David L. Paulsen and Brock M. Mason; 3) “Redeeming the Dead: Tender Mercies, Turning of Hearts, and Restoration of Authority,” by David L. Paulsen, Kendel J. Christensen and Martin Pulido; and 4) “Redemption of the Dead: Continuing Revelation after Joseph Smith,” by David L. Paulsen, Judson Burton, Kendel J. Christensen and Martin Pulido. The first three are accessible online atmaxwellinstitute.byu.edu/publications/jbms/; the most recent article is available in print, but hasn’t yet been put online.
Download the podcast by clicking on this link and then clicking on the download link.
Or by downloading it in itunes
“FAIR Conversations,” Episode 15: Matthew Bowman on his new book, “The Mormon People”
by bhodges on March 7th, 2012
The latest, greatest one-volume history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was published just in time for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential bid. It’s Matthew Bowman’s The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. He’s been all over the place since the book came out, including appearances in Slate, theHuffington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and on MSNBC’s Morning Joe.
In this episode, Bowman talks about the genesis and production of his new book. Find out why he describes Bruce R. McConkie as a “Progressive-minded” leader, and why he sees the LDS Correlation department as being a sort of “catechism” constructor. We also discuss Bowman’s view of how the media has treated Mormonism during this, the latest of many Mormon moments.
Bowman earned his Ph.D. in American religious history at Georgetown University. He currently teaches that exact subject at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. He’s also the associate editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and the author of a variety of award-winning articles on Mormonism.
Download the podcast by clicking on this link and then clicking on the download link.
Or by downloading it in itunes
Mormon FAIR-Cast 79: Does Mitt Romney belong to a “racist religion”?
by SteveDensleyJr on March 14th, 2012
In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on March 11, 2012, Martin Tanner and the president of FAIR, Scott Gordon, discuss the recent allegation of a Florida minister that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a “racist religion.” The minister has called on Mitt Romney to, as the minister puts it: “openly renounce his racist Mormon Religion.” Tanner and Gordon discuss the past history of racism that was pervasive in many Churches, even before the founding of the LDS Church, and the way in which some racist attitudes and myths may have crept into the thinking of some early members of the Church. They emphasize the more recent statements from the Church that “unequivocally condemn racism, including any and all past racism by individuals both inside and outside the Church.” (See Official Statement here: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/race-church.)
Mormon FAIR-Cast 80: The controversy surrounding Mormon baptisms for the dead
by SteveDensleyJr on March 21st, 2012
In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on March 18, 2012, Martin Tanner and Steve Densley, Jr. of FAIR discuss the recent controversy regarding the practice of baptisms for the dead as practiced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. How did this controversy arise? Why do Mormons perform this ordinance? Were baptisms for the dead really practiced in the ancient Church? These and other topics are discussed.
FAIR Questions 3: Sharing the Book of Mormon
by SteveDensleyJr on March 28th, 2012
FAIR Questions features a question that was submitted to FAIR volunteers through the FAIR website at fairlds.org. The answer in each episode is compiled from the various responses provided by the volunteers.
And now for the question:
I just want to start out by saying that I have the highest respect for all church apologists. I am 19 years old and just saving up some money before I send my papers in to serve a mission. I download the podcasts from FAIR and I listen to them all the time. I just want to say, thank you so much for everything you do. After having some questions of my own answered, my testimony has been strengthened beyond words. I have also been able to help others because of what I have learned from the podcasts and books I have read. I just want to ask a question from the point of view of someone who deals with non-members and apostate members on a daily basis: What is the best advice you can give me as a prospective missionary in regards to teaching people about The Book of Mormon? I know it’s a very general question, but if you could leave one ounce of your knowledge with me it would be a blessing to me!
And now for the answer:
Thank you for your kind words. We here at FAIR are not compensated monetarily. Our only “payment” is kind words of gratitude that we get from individuals such as you. Congratulations on your decision to serve a mission! Although it will be challenging at times, it will be completely worth it.
Can you think of anything the world needs right now more than the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Unfortunately, the world is extremely divided as to what is meant by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Bible alone, as magnificent as it is, has not united the believing world under one Lord, one faith or one baptism. In fact, it seems that the Bible itself has never come under more criticism or skepticism at any time since its inception than it is today. Many around the world are concluding that the Bible is irrelevant in their lives. They say that Jesus may have been just a legend or a mere myth which, over time, transformed him into a God in the minds of a group of people who came to call themselves Christians. The very value of scripture seems to be assailed constantly.
Read the rest of the response here:
Mormon FAIR-Cast 82: Evidences for the Book of Mormon
by SteveDensleyJr on April 4th, 2012
In 2005, a film was released titled: “The Bible vs. The Book of Mormon”. Produced by an evangelical Christian ministry, the primary purpose of the film was to present arguments against the authenticity of The Book of Mormon, a text sacred to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Members of the LDS Church believe the Bible and the Book of Mormon are authentic ancient scriptures revealed by God to prophets, and join with other Christians in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is an audio version of the video presentation produced by FAIR that addresses some of the concerns raised by the film. FAIR’s video presentation can be viewed on YouTube.
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.
Daughters of God (Limited to stock on hand)
M. Russell Ballard. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2009. Hardbound, 5.25×7.25″, 80 pages.
“Of this you may be certain: the Lord especially loves righteous women–women who are not only faithful but filled with faith, women who are striving to live and serve as women of God.”–M. Russell Ballard
If you’ve ever wondered how women fit into God’s plan, how He feels about them, and what He needs them to do and to be, this book has answers.
“While women live in homes under many different circumstances–married, single, widowed, or divorced, some with children and some without–all are beloved of God, and He has a plan for His righteous daughters to receive the highest blessings of eternity,” writes Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Elder Ballard’s respect and love for women are evident in the way he speaks about them, which he has done in several landmark addresses in recent years. Daughters of God presents three of those classic messages to and about women, accented with inspirational images. A perfect gift, this meaningful book will lift and encourage women in all of life’s circumstances.
Retail Price: $13.99 Special FAIR Price: $9.79 (30% Discount)
I Have An Answer (Limited to stock on hand)
Dr. David Pressley Bowman, Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2003, 6×9″ softbound, 292 pages.
There are times when well-meaning non-LDS neighbors and friends ask questions about the Church. I Have an Answer is the perfect resource to provide the answers they are seeking on dozens of subjects. The book is also a valuable aid for members and missionaries to strengthen their testimonies of the restored gospel. Written in a smooth, easy-to-read style and organized alphabetically, this book is a must for every LDS family seeking greater understanding of Christ’s gospel.
Retail Price: $19.95 Special FAIR Price: $13.96 (30% Discount)
They Lie In Wait to Deceive, Volume 1 (Limited to stock on hand)
Robert L. and Rosemary Brown; Barbara Ellsworth (Editor), Gail A. Gibson (Art Direction). Mesa, Arizona: Brownsworth Publishing Company, Inc., Fourth printing, revised edition, 1992, 7×10 softbound, 290 pages.
Dee-Jay Nelson lectured at the invitation of numerous churches. On a lecture tour through Arizona, Robert L. and Rosemary Brown attended and taped one of his lectures. Ninety-six statements from Nelson’s 120 minute lecture were found to be false and misleading.
Dee-Jay Nelson, among other things, claimed to have earned two Ph.D. degrees, to be world renowned Egyptologist, to be an author of over 150 scientific papers and articles, to be a mathematician, and to be the one who, because of his reputation, was asked by the late King Farouk to article his artifacts. He used these and other impressive credentials to intimidate his audience into believing his false statements concerning Joseph Smith and the book of Abraham. However, Dee-Jay Nelson was found to be a high school dropout who purchased his only degree from a diploma mill shut down by Attorney General of the state of Washington, was unknown by real Egyptologists who were unaware of this “scientific papers” and etc…
All documentation is included in Volume I for the most discerning readers.
Book Review: “Best approach to anti-mormon literature I’ve ever seen. Very impressed! I recommend it to every Latter-day Saint!” –Garth Malan from Utah, Nov. 26, 2001
Retail Price: $8.95 Special FAIR Price: $2.69 (70% Discount)
Your Study of the Book of Mormon Made Easier, Volume 1 (Old Cover) (Limited to stock on hand)
David J. Ridges, Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Gospel Studies Series, 2003, 6×9″ softbound, 450 pages. ISBN: 1555177255
Noted teacher and gospel scholar, David J. Ridges, makes the Book of Mormon come alive in this new volume. Using the same unique in-the-verse notes format as found in his other Gospel Studies Series books, the author helps members gain an instant basic understanding of this book of scripture.
The complete text of The Book of Mormon, from 1 Nephi through Words of Mormon, is included, with notes between the verses clarifying and alerting readers to major concepts and messages. Readers will find the verse-by-verse explanation and notes for the Isaiah Chapters in this portion of the Book of Mormon extremely helpful.
Retail Price: $24.95 Special FAIR Price: $14.97 (40% Discount)
Your Study of the Book of Mormon Made Easier, Volume 3 (Old Cover) (Limited to stock on hand)
David J. Ridges, Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2004, 6×9″ softbound, 425 pages.
The Book of Mormon comes alive in this latest commentary by noted teacher and gospel scholar David J. Ridges. This highly anticipated sixth volume of the Gospel Studies Series takes you from Helaman through Moroni–with unique in-verse notes to clarify passages and alert you to major concepts and messages. You will find The Book of Mormon Made Easier, Part 3 extremely helpful in your gospel studies. Ridges uses a clear, concise format that makes this an ideal gospel study tool.
“I love reading these books, for the clarify a lot of the teachings that I have been confused about.” –Gwen Evans, Utah, 2004.
Retail Price: $21.95 Special FAIR Price: $13.17 (40% Discount)
Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism
Terryl L. Givens and Matthew J. Grow. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Hardbound, 6.5 x 9.5″, 499 pages.
After Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, Parley P. Pratt was the most influential figure in early Mormon history and culture. Missionary, pamphleteer, theologian, historian, and martyr, Pratt was perennially stalked by controversy–regarded, he said, “almost as an Angel by thousands and counted an Imposter by tens of thousands.”
Tracing the life of this colorful figure from his hardscrabble origins in upstate New York to his murder in 1857, Terryl Givens and Matthew Grow explore the crucial role Pratt played in the formation and expansion of early Mormonism. One of countless ministers inspired by the antebellum revival movement known as the Second Great Awakening, Pratt joined the Mormons in 1830 at the age of twenty three and five years later became a member of the newly formed Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which vaulted him to the forefront of church leadership for the rest of his life. Pratt’s missionary work–reaching from Canada to England, from Chile to California–won hundreds of followers, but even more important were his voluminous writings. Through books, newspaper articles, pamphlets, poetry, fiction, and autobiography, Pratt spread the Latter-day Saint message, battled the many who reviled it, and delineated its theology in ways that still shape Mormon thought.
Drawing on letters, journals, and other rich archival sources, Givens and Grow examine not only Pratt’s writings but also his complex personal life. A polygamist who married a dozen times and fathered thirty children, Pratt took immense joy in his family circle even as his devotion to Mormonism led to long absences that put heavy strains on those he loved. It was during one such absence, a mission trip to the East, that the estranged husband of his twelfth wife shot and killed him–a shocking conclusion to a life that never lacked in drama.
Retail Price: $34.95 Special FAIR Price: $27.96 (20% Discount)
The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories, Volume 1, 1832 – 1844
General Editors: Dean C. Jessee, Ronald K. Esplin, Richard Lyman Bushman. Volume Editors: Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, Mark R. Ashurst-McGee, Richard L. Jensen. Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church Historian’s Press, 2012. Hardbound, 7×10″, 560 pgs.
The Joseph Smith Papers Project is a collection of primary Joseph Smith documents that is invaluable to American history scholars, Mormon history scholars, and of importance to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The latest volume, Histories, Volume 1: Joseph Smith Histories, 1832-1844, contains a number of highly readable and compelling historical narratives, some familiar to Latter-day Saints and historians, and some not well-known.
With the assistance of Frederick G. Williams, Joseph Smith first set about recording his own history in the summer of 1832. In it he recounted for the first time in writing his first vision of Deity and the discovery of the gold plates. Two years later a more ambitious project, the 1834-1836 history, was initiated. This history drew largely on existing records, including Oliver Cowdery’s account of the translation of the Book of Mormon and the conferral of priesthood authority. Like the 1832 history, this manuscript remained unfinished.
Presented in this first volume of the Histories series are the six histories that Joseph Smith personally wrote, dictated, or supervised. This volume of The Joseph Smith Papers includes:
- History, circa Summer 1832
- History, 1834-1836
- History Drafts, 1838-circa 1841
- “Extract, from the Private Journal of Joseph Smith Jr.,” July 1839
- “Church History” (familiarly known as the “Wentworth Letter”) 1 March 1842
- “Latter Day Saints,” 1844
- Appendix: Orson Pratt, A[n] Interesting Account of Several Remarkable Visions, 1840
Retail Price: $54.95 Special FAIR Price: $43.96 (20% Discount)
In Heaven As It Is On Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death
Samuel Morris Brown. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012. Hardbound, 6.5 x 9.5″, 408 pages.
A compelling new interpretation of early Mormonism, Samuel Brown’s In Heaven as It Is On Earth views this religion through the lens of founder Joseph Smith’s profound preoccupation with the specter of death.
Revisiting historical documents and scripture from this novel perspective, Brown offers new insight into the origin and meaning of some of Mormonism’s earliest beliefs and practices. The world of early Mormonism was besieged by death–infant mortality, violence, and disease were rampant. A prolonged battle with typhoid fever, punctuated by painful surgeries including a threatened leg amputation, and the sudden loss of his beloved brother Alvin cast a long shadow over Smith’s own life. Smith embraced and was deeply influenced by the culture of “holy dying”–with its emphasis on deathbed salvation, melodramatic bereavement, and belief in the Providential nature of untimely death–that sought to cope with the widespread mortality of the period. Seen in this light, Smith’s treasure quest, search for Native origins, distinctive approach to scripture, and belief in a post-mortal community all acquire new meaning, as do early Mormonism’s Masonic-sounding temple rites and novel family system. Taken together, the varied themes of early Mormonism can be interpreted as a campaign to extinguish death forever. By focusing on Mormon conceptions of death, Brown recasts the story of first-generation Mormonism, showing a religious movement and its founder at once vibrant and fragile, intrepid and unsettled, human and otherworldly.
A lively narrative history, In Heaven as It Is on Earth illuminates not only the foundational beliefs of early Mormonism but also the larger issues of family and death in American religious history.
- Draws extensively on historical sources concerning the Mormon concept of death
- Offers insight into the way Joseph Smith’s newly founded church operated in the lives of its founding generation
- Illuminates the meaning of seemingly disparate aspects of the careers of Joseph Smith and the church he founded
“In this groundbreaking and important volume, Brown… delves deeply into the many streams of thought that informed Smith’s formulation of the life hereafter… Emerging at a time of intense religious competition, Smith and his closest associates developed a wonderfully complex belief system that mapped out the next life with clarity and consistency. Brown offers us a masterful look at this intriguing aspect of the Mormon worldview. This is must reading for students of the American religious tradition.”–Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“This is a book purportedly about the dead and the conquest of death in early Mormonism. It is actually much more than that. It traces the development of a large number of Joseph Smith’s most fundamental teachings from the beginning to his death. Brown weaves the most exotic elements of Mormonism–seerstones, new names, hieroglyphs, angels, the Adamic tongue, Masonic catechisms, seals, ritual adoptions–into an illuminating and compelling explication of Joseph Smith’s beliefs about the temple, family, and human salvation.” –Richard Bushman, Gouverneur Morris Professor Emeritus of History, Columbia University
“Scholars have looked long and hard at the Puritan way of death as well as the development of the funeral industry’s way of death. Working in between those historical domains on early Mormon views and practices of holy dying, Samuel Brown has produced an imaginative, yet gravely serious book-one of obvious consequence for Mormon studies, but also one of broad resonance in American studies.” –Leigh E. Schmidt, Edward Mallinckrodt University Professor, Washington University in St. Louis
“This is a brilliant work of intellectual and cultural history, in which Brown finds compelling continuities between Joseph Smith’s early supernatural quests and his later ministry. All the while, Brown charts Smith’s death-defying project as one that is both intensely personal and steeped in a rich and wondrous culture of death. Superbly executed.” –Terryl L. Givens, co-author of Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism
“Brown ably tackles Mormon beliefs about death in a highly readable series of connected essays . . . He has covered the primary sources in depth and unearthed little-used materials to support his argument. Students of American religious history will be interested in this readable book as will a more general readership.” –Library Journal
“[T]his book is one of the most significant Mormon titles to come out in a while . . . an interesting and well-researched version of Mormon history . . . Brown’s work is a major accomplishment and an example of where Mormon historiography is headed.” –Association of Mormon Letters
Retail Price: $34.95 Special FAIR Price: $27.96 (20% Discount)
The Infinite Atonement
Tad R. Callister. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2000. Hardbound, 6.25 x 9.25″, 356 pages.
No doctrine is more central to the message of the restored gospel or to our individual happiness than the infinite and eternal Atonement of Jesus Christ. In this clearly written and powerfully moving book, Tad Callister focuses on the infinite power, coverage, and depth of the Atonement, and how the most profound blessings of the gospel are eternally linked to it. The Savior experienced infinite suffering as he brought the Atonement to pass, but because of the Atonement we are capable of experiencing the blessings of the resurrection and exaltation, of repentance, of freedom, of peace of mind, and of the healing of the Savior’s infinite love.
The Infinite Atonement is an outstanding book that can be read from cover to cover or used as a reference to study selected aspects of the Atonement. It is destined to become a classic.
Retail Price: $24.99 Special FAIR Price: $19.99 (20% Discount)
Marble Christus Statues
These awe-inspiring white marble Christus statues depicts Jesus Christ just as the scriptures describe Him, beckoning to us with open arms in a most pleasant manner, as if saying: “Come unto me.”
The original Christus statue by Sculptor Albert Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844) was made of plaster in 1823 and was used to create the 11-foot marble version in 1839 that stands today in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Thorvaldsen spent 40 years in Rome. There he made a sepulchral monument for Pope Pius VII in St. Peter’s Cathedral and numerous statues in the style of antiquity. While in Rome he also worked on another one of his masterpieces, “Christ and the 12 Apostles” which made him internationally known as the greatest sculptor of neo-classicism.
He returned to Copenhagen where he started and completed his greatest work, the Christus.
After Thorvaldsen’s death in 1844, the Christus was erected in the Copenhagen Cathedral.
This marvelous work of inspired art has now been painstakingly created in exact detail as the original.
Marble Christus Statue, 12″ Retail Price: $199.95 Special FAIR Price: $69.98 (65% Discount)
Marble Christus Statue, 19″ Retail Price: $299.95 Special FAIR Price: $104.98 (65% Discount)
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We also have a MormonVoices Twitter Account
Day in and day out, we are being represented and misrepresented in the press. Please join the mailing list at MormonVoices.org and spread the word to your friends and family.
As news articles are posted about Mormonism, we find people of varying beliefs commenting online. There are some who remain glued to the news media waiting for the opportunity to make a negative comment about the Church. At times, this has led to a very one-sided, negative series of comments.
What MormonVoices tries to do is point out important news articles where it would be helpful to have members of the Church make a positive comment about their experiences as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We have already had many positive experiences with this, but we need more help. We need you to stand up and be counted as a Latter-day Saint. We need you to sign up.
So, if you are willing to be online and to post in the comments sections of major newspapers, please go to
and sign up. We are going to ask you questions about who you are, but that information is only so we know you better and can better gauge the effectiveness of our program. Personal information will not be shared. Please sign up now.
Additionally, we ask you to invite your friends, relatives, Facebook friends, Google+ circle, and ward members to join MormonVoices and become a volunteer.
Please help us to make a difference. Join now.
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
For those of you who are wondering, our conference will once again be on the first Thursday and Friday in August at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. Mark your calendars now. I look forward to seeing you on August 2 and 3.
FAIR STUDY AIDS
The new FAIR Study Aids for Gospel Doctrine has been a huge success. We have received emails from all over the country praising what we have done and begging for more. So if you haven’t checked out the Gospel Doctrine FAIR Study Aid pages, you should do it now. It is a good way to further prepare for your Sunday School class.
FAIR’S ‘FRONT PAGE’
Do you like the news? Do you spend your time looking for articles about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? Then you need to sign up for the FAIR Front Page daily news briefing. Receive daily updates containing news clippings about how the LDS Church is represented in the media. FAIR’s Front Page (FFP) is a free service; you can un-subscribe at any time. To receive this service just click on the link below, enter your email address in the white box, and push the “Sign-Up” button.
Check out our FAIR Youtube channel at
MORMON SCHOLARS TESTIFY
Mormon Scholars Testify now has 332 testimonies, representing 142 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:
The newest testimony is from Michael Draper
If you like the testimonies, link to them from your Facebook or other social network.
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.
COPYRIGHT NOTICE & DISCLAIMER
Copyright (c) 2012 by The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR). All rights are reserved. FAIR is not owned by, controlled by, nor affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided in FAIR publications are the sole responsibility of FAIR and the individual authors who provide the information, and should not be interpreted as official statements of Latter-day Saint history, doctrine, practice or belief.