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
The FAIR conference has its speaker list all firmed up. As always, we have conference speakers talking about many relevant and controversial topics. We would love to see you come to the conference. Here is where you find more information:
For those who cannot make the journey, we are working to get video streaming again. Stay tuned for more information on that. Here are the speakers and their topics.
- Joshua Johanson: Navigating the Labyrinth Surrounding Homosexual Desire
- Hannah Smith: Unprecedented Threats to American Religious Freedom: What Can Latter-day Saints Do?
- Neylan McBaine: To Do the Business of the Church: A Cooperative Paradigm for Examining Gendered Participation Within Church Organizational Structure
- Royal Skousen: Do We Need to Make Changes to the Book of Mormon Text?
- Darius Gray: No Johnny-Come-Lately: The 182-Year-Long BLACK Mormon Moment
- Brian C. Hales: Joseph Smith’s Sexual Polyandry and the Emperor’s New Clothes: On Closer Inspection, What Do We Find?
- Ugo Perego: Book of Mormon Genetics: A Reappraisal
- Jack Welch: Forty-five Years of Chiasmus Conversations, Criteria, and Creativity: What Chiasmus Proves and Does Not Prove
- Brant Gardner: From the East to the West: The Problem of Directions in the Book of Mormon
- John Gee: Book of Abraham, I Presume
- Rosemary Avance: Seeing the Light: Parallels in Mormon Conversion and De-conversion Stories
- Don Bradley: Piercing the Veil: Temple Worship in the Lost 116 Pages
- Hartt Wixam: Perception and Reality: Then and Now
- Dan Peterson: The Restoration: Even Bigger Than We Thought
Find a friend and come see us at the conference. You won’t want to miss this!
–Scott Gordon President of FAIR
WE NEED YOUR HELP
I know I make this plea every month, but until we get someone who feels like giving us one or two million dollars, as annoying as it is, we will continue to ask.
Without your donations, there would be no FAIR. But, with your donations, we are able to reach more people, participate more in the public square, and get more involved in refuting the mischaracterizations of our faith.
If you like our articles and want us to continue to be involved, please make a donation now.
Please go to Donate to FAIR to make your donation now. We really need your help.
FAIR is a 501c(3) corporation, so if in the United States your contributions are tax deductible.
WEB SITE REVIEW ON FAIR
We have continued the review of the Web site MormonThink.com, adding new responses to their articles.
MormonThink’s “Translation of the Book of Mormon” source quotes without critical commentary
This is the “no spin” version. We provide all of the complete primary and secondary source quotes without the “Critic’s comment,” “Apologetic rebuttal” or “Our Thoughts” sections.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Book of Mormon Difficulties” (Part 1)
The critics take the position that if an animal does not appear in a picture on a wall in a ruin, then it must never have existed. The critics claim that FAIR avoids mentioning certain Book of Mormon verses “at all costs,” despite the verses being avoided actually appearing in the FAIR Wiki article on the subject. It is also claimed that apologists must be “embarrassed” when they correct mistakes based upon new data, and that apologists wish to redefine animals as different animals.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Book of Mormon Difficulties” (Part 2)
The critics take the position that it should be “relatively easy” to locate the first temple built by Nephi’s group of 30 to 40 people among the ruins of Mesoamerica (which have only been 5% explored due to the difficulty of uncovering ruins in the jungle). This also despite the fact that Mesoamericans tended to build their new temples on top of their older ones. They also assert that the Nephites and Lamanites should have used the wheel, despite the difficulty of the terrain. It is also asserted that none of the numerous archaeological remains located in the Americas could possibly be related to the Book of Mormon, including those 95% yet uncovered in Mesoamerica. Finally, the critics conclude that despite solid evidence and correlation between the Book of Mormon narrative and the location in the Old World called NHM, that it simply doesn’t count as evidence for the Book of Mormon.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Could Joseph Smith have written the Book of Mormon?”
This MormonThink article concludes that the Book of Mormon really isn’t that special, and that pretty much anyone could have written it. It is asserted that Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdon or Oliver Cowdery, or some combination thereof, used the work of Solomon Spalding, or Ethan Smith, or some combination thereof, to create the Book of Mormon without any assistance from God. The authors note that non-LDS authors are not impressed with the Book of Mormon enough to believe that it could “not have been written by a man,” and that the Book of Mormon is not as impressive and complex as novels such as the Lord of the Rings or A Tale of Two Cities. The authors also conclude that Joseph was indeed educated because he was “home schooled,” despite Joseph’s own words stating that “we were deprived of the bennifit of an education suffice it to say I was mearly instructid in reading writing and the ground rules of Arithmatic which constuted my whole literary acquirements.” Regarding the translation of the Book of Mormon, it is noted that Joseph used a curtain to shield the process of translation from those around him so that he could consult all of his notes, and that Emma was lying when she stated that Joseph openly translated in the presence of others using a stone and a hat without the use of notes, despite the numerous other witnesses that confirmed the use of the stone and the hat.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “The Lost 116 Pages of the Book of Mormon”
Among the conclusions that the critics make in this page are 1) That Joseph must have lied and made up the story about the 116 lost pages of manuscript and 2) That a South Park episode provides “the most telling comment we’ve ever heard about the lost 116 pages debacle”: “Wait, Mormons actually know this story and they still believe Joseph Smith was a Prophet?”
“The Lost 116 Pages of the Book of Mormon” source quotes without critical commentary
This is the “no spin” version. We provide all of the complete primary and secondary source quotes without the “Critic’s comment,” “Apologetic rebuttal” or “Our Thoughts” sections.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Moroni’s Visitation”
The web page asserts that Moroni’s visit would have awakened the rest of the Smith family, and that Church artwork does not accurately show Joseph’s siblings asleep in the room during Moroni’s visit, except those paintings that actually do show it. It is also asserted that if the Church continues to use artwork that shows Joseph alone in bed during Moroni’s visit, that the Church is “not becoming more open and forthright about this issue.” It is indicated that Moroni’s visit was likely a “dream or hallucination.”
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “The Kinderhook Plates”
All we have to say is: Get with the program. The new data obliterates any old apologetics on the subject. Apologists update their positions based upon the discovery of new data. Continuing to quote old apologetics and calling the new data an apologetic “ploy” is simply a load of nonsense. Joseph attempted to translate a character on the Kinderhook Plates manually by matching it to a similar character in the Grammar and Alphabet of the Egyptian Language (which actually had nothing to do with Egyptian). The “translation” recorded by William Clayton matched the explanation given for the character in the GAEL.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “The First Vision”
The website takes the position that the First Vision “wasn’t even known by church members until 1842,” despite Joseph writing in his 1835 journal that he related the story to a man who happened to be visiting him. It is assumed that local newspapers would have been interested enough in a 14-year-old’s claim to have seen God to have published it. They also claim that earlier accounts of Joseph’s vision written by Joseph himself are not “official” (whatever that means), and that Joseph’s different accounts of the First Vision are “relatively ignored” by the Church, despite an entire web page being devoted to them on lds.org and various mentions in the Ensign, including a statement by Gordon B. Hinckley. The website also repeats a claim that Joseph embellished his vision story in 1838 to bolster his leadership during a time of apostasy, despite the fact that he told the same story to strangers visiting his house three years earlier in 1835.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Blacks and the Priesthood”
The critics assert that even though the Church has refuted explanations for the priesthood ban, such as that of blacks not being valiant in the pre-existence, that they are bothered that these explanations are no longer acknowledged. Critics wish to assert that President Kimball did not actually receive a revelation ending the ban, despite his clear statement that he did. The critics believe that prophets should be “forward thinkers.” Critics, therefore, take the position that the fact that prophets are influenced by the society and culture that they live in indicates that they cannot actually be prophets.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Conflicts with Science”
The critics assert that acceptance of scientific facts and a belief in God are incompatible. They cite the incompatibility of scientific facts with the idea of a global flood, the earth being created over a period of 7000 years, and the idea that Adam and Eve could not have been the first people on the earth. They assert that if believers disagree with these fundamentalist ideas, that they must be at odds with the Church.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page” The Greek Psalter Translation”
Joseph reportedly made a false identification about the language and contents of a Greek Psalter (book of psalms written in Greek). The website claims that this action speaks to whether Joseph was a prophet and whether he was capable of translation. Curiously, it is also claimed that no “church” sources or websites discuss this matter, although they cite the Church-sponsored Maxwell Institute and Hugh Nibley. MormonThink states that this “wasn’t really a translation,” but concludes that because of the “Book of Abraham, Kinderhook Plates and the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible,” that the Greek Psalter story “further damages Joseph’s claims to be a true seer.”
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “The Temple”
MormonThink used to have a page called “The Temple” which discussed specific details of the endowment ceremony. They removed this page, not because it was offensive to Latter-day Saints, but only because it was driving ex-Mormon’s believing spouses away from examining their critical website. FAIR responds to a number of issues raised on their original page which were not related to the explicit temple content that they once hosted.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Lying for the Lord”
The critics conclude that lying is “standard operating procedure for Church leaders” from Joseph Smith’s time to the present, and that pretty much everything that the Church does is somehow related to deception (this is a standard position taken by many ex-Mormons after their disaffection with the Church).
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Tithing”
The critics conclude that the Catholic definition of offerings is somehow supposed to affect the Mormon definition of tithing, and that the requirement by the Church for members to pay tithing and offerings is a “guilt trip.” The critics also claim that the Church should divest itself of any profit-making businesses, and that any profit from those businesses should be given to the poor, classifying the Church as simply a corporation that does not provide sufficient return-on-investment to its members. Finally, the critics conclude that the Church spends little on humanitarian aid, and that members ought to send their contributions elsewhere.
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Joseph Running with the Plates”
The website concludes that the plates didn’t weigh 200 pounds, but instead that they weighed 40 to 60 pounds just as the witnesses stated that they did. The site also concludes that Joseph could not have run with the gold plates because he had a limp from his leg operation as a child (this despite Joseph’s physical health demonstrated by his vaunted “stick-pulling” abilities), and that his story of running with the plates is a “tall tale.”
A FAIR Analysis of MormonThink page “Joseph’s Translation of the Bible”
MormonThink concludes that Joseph Smith’s statement about the Book of Mormon being the “most correct book” means that there should be no mistakes in the text, despite the fact that the Book of Mormon title page (written by Mormon) itself states that any mistakes contained therein are the mistakes of men. They also claim that the JST footnotes in the LDS Bible are supposed to represent “correctly translated passages,” yet acknowledges that Joseph was making “inspired” revisions rather than translating an ancient text. They conclude that translators who “go back to the original sources” have not “confirmed any of Joseph Smith’s inspired version passages, and that the “Joseph Smith Translation” of the Bible needs to be added to the “Book of Abraham facsimiles and papyri, the Anthon Manuscript, the Kinderhook Plates, Joseph Smith’s Book of Egyptian Alphabet and Grammar and the Greek Psalter” as demonstrations that Joseph lacked the ability to translate anything.
We continue to have our beliefs misrepresented in the press. There also seems to be a piling on by some of the ex-Mormon critics, and others in the comments sections. Join the MormonVoices email list to get alerts on articles that need a response.
MORMON SCHOLARS TESTIFY
Two testimonies have been added to the Mormon Scholars testify Website:
Gordon F. Holbein
We have a large number of excellent articles this month.
by Allen Wyatt on May 2nd, 2012
On March 29, 2012, Utah Valley University hosted a fascinating conference entitled Mormonism and the Internet. Perhaps the most interesting exchanges, for me, were those in session five of the conference, which was a panel discussion among John Dehlin, Scott Gordon, and Rosemary Avance. UVU has just posted this particular conference session online, and I just watched it again.
Rather early in the panel discussion, I asked a question of John Dehlin, as a follow-up to his presentation earlier in the day. You can hear my question beginning at about 13:05 into the video:
People often study the same facts or issues and come to vastly different conclusions-some have their faith strengthened, while others have their faith destroyed. To what do you attribute this difference in outcome, and why do you feel that the stories of those who have suffered a negative outcome should be privileged over those with a positive outcome?
Looking Honestly by Allen Wyatt
Another Look at Baptism for the Dead
by Steve Willoughby on May 4th, 2012
THE topic of vicarious or “proxy” baptisms performed by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has recently received a lot of attention, both positive and negative. (And both factual and lacking in accuracy, it’s fair to say.) I’m sure the topic will come up again, so even though it’s not at this moment a hot topic bouncing around the news, I’d like to share a few of my own thoughts about this issue and the way it’s been characterized as a horrible, disrespectful thing to do on behalf of the deceased.
Another Look at Baptism for the Dead by Steve Willoughby
How NOT to keep people from leaving the Church
by SteveDensleyJr on May 6th, 2012
I led a discussion in a high priests group today about personal apostasy and how we can help by sharing the gospel over the internet. I asked for people to share their personal experiences regarding why people leave, and I shared some figures from a 1988 study that is summarized by Kevin Barney here. With regard to reasons people become inactive in the Church, the study reported the following:
- 54% wanted to spend their limited time and resources on other interests and activities.
- 40% indicated that they didn’t feel they belonged
- 25% reported feeling it didn’t matter to anyone whether they attended or not.
- About a third gave contextual reasons (movement to a new community where they didn’t get involved, work schedule conflicts, etc.).
- 23% reported problems with specific doctrines or teachings,
- 20% reported problems with other members of the congregation
- Some said the church demanded too much of their time and money
- Others said it no longer was a help in finding the meaning in life.
- Female respondents in particular were affected by marriage to a nonmember spouse.
As I opened it up for discussion, the idea was expressed, and I agreed, that a fundamental reason for loss of faith was a loss of the Spirit. So many of the factors listed above can be tolerated if an individual feels a strong connection with God that is associated with activity in this Church (prayer, scripture reading, Church and temple attendance, etc.)
How NOT to keep people from leaving the Church by SteveDensleyJr
Joseph Smith’s First Vision Accounts: More Mormon Church Suppression and Cover-Up
by Stephen Smoot on May 9th, 2012
The Church is at it again. The different accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision, which the Church has been sneaky enough to hide in places like the Ensign and BYU Studies, continues to be suppressed and hid from unsuspecting Church members. The damning contradictions in the Prophet’s different accounts are, in fact, so damaging that the Church thought it wise to talk about them only in a place so obscure and so concealed that nobody would be able to find it without any serious effort. I am speaking, of course, about YouTube. After all, nobody watches the Mormon Messages videos produced by the Church. What better place to hide this information from Church members than in a place that certainly has never been talked about in an official Church magazine or website?
Our History of Nasty Ad Hominem Attacks
by Allen Wyatt on May 10th, 2012
Earlier today a well-known critic of FAIR made the following statement on an Internet message board:
“MI/FAIR/FARMS has a history of nasty ad hominem attacks (see the Simon Southerton adultery accusations)…”
We at FAIR have been asking, for a long, long time, for concrete examples of where we have engaged in ad hominem fallacies, as we don’t really want to do so. (I know; that may seem incredulous to some. But it really is true.) This statement, by the critic on the message board, was the first concrete example I’ve noticed.
Our History of Nasty Ad Hominem Attacks by Allen Wyatt
If Lamanites were black, why didn’t anyone notice?
by Brant Gardner on May 21st, 2012
One of the most controversial verses in the Book of Mormon is 2 Nephi 5:21, which states:
And he had caused the cursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
The focus of this verse has been the phrase “skin of blackness,” which is read rather literally as a change in pigmentation. It is much easier to compile a list of writers who take the phrase literally than of those who suggest an alternate reading. As a single representation of this reading, see Milton R. Hunter of the Council of the Seventy:
As is well-known, two peoples-a white race and those of a darker color-inhabited ancient America for approximately one thousand years’ time. The white race was called Nephites and the darker race Lamanites…. The reader may say: “Yes, we understand that there were a white race and a dark race in ancient America from approximately 600 B.C., until approximately 400 A.D., but we have understood also that by the latter date all the white people (Nephites), except Moroni, had been killed in a war with the darker people or Lamanites.”
It is true that the Nephite nation ended toward the close of the fifth century A.D., but probably many of the white Nephites were saved from death by joining the Lamanites. These then would not be followers of Christ and would be unfaithful ones. The last great war was not fought entirely on the lines of race, but probably the determining factor was that one group allied itself with the Lamanite traditions, and the other group followed the Nephite traditions, including a belief in Jesus Christ. Thus there probably were dark and white people in each army.
The modern cultural assumption that a skin of blackness must equal black skin is probably informed by racial issues in the United States. The 1981 change in verse 2 Nephi 30:6 from “white and delightsome” to “pure and delightsome” is therefore similarly interpreted in the context of political correctness, and an accommodation to issues of race in the United States. Of course, the fact that the change was made in 1981 obscures the fact that it was a change that Joseph Smith made for the 1840 Nauvoo edition of the Book of Mormon. While issues of race were certainly important in 1840, it is much less likely that the change was due to pressure to be politically correct in 1840 than it would have been had the change been unique to 1981.
I have elsewhere argued that this skin of blackness was a metaphor for a spiritual state rather than a change in pigmentation. While there are arguments to be made for or against that proposition, the decision as to whether a “skin of blackness” is a description of a physical or spiritual change should be decided upon something stronger than personal preference for one reading or the other. The text is the final arbiter of such questions. What might the text tell us to help us decide?
If Lamanites were black, why didn’t anyone notice? by Brant Gardner
Review: No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues
by Trevor Holyoak on May 29th, 2012
Review of No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues Edited by Robert L. Millett Published by BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book, 2011
Rather than focusing primarily on the methods commonly used by critics as other recent books of this genre do (such as Michael Ash’s Shaken Faith Syndrome, which I also highly recommend), this book contains essays that address some of the most common issues that are used to attack the faith of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is intended to help the reader gain a better understanding of these topics in a faith-promoting, but scholarly and honest environment, against the flood of misinformation available online today. Indeed, the editor notes that “The Internet is filled with thousands of pages of anti-Mormon polemic, and it is extremely difficult for people to receive an honest and fair appraisal of Mormonism without significant effort on their part” (page viii).
Besides those by the editor, Robert L. Millett, the book contains contributions by Daniel L. Belnap, J. Spencer Fluhman, Steven C. Harper, Brian M. Hauglid, Daniel K. Judd, Kerry Muhlestein, Ugo A. Perego, Brent L. Top, and John W. Welch. They are split into four categories: Restored Christianity, Latter-day Saint Church History, Scriptural Perspectives, and Doctrinal Teachings. The topics include what it means to be a Christian, the various accounts of the First Vision, the Smiths’ involvement in money-digging and the supernatural, the Kinderhook plates, Joseph Smith’s youngest plural wife, DNA and the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, and Jesus Christ and salvation, among many others. Many of the topics are written by experts in the area – for example, a population geneticist discusses DNA and the Book of Mormon, two Egyptologists discuss the Book of Abraham, and an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers tackles the subject of multiple versions of the First Vision. I would like to concentrate on a few topics of particular interest to me in order to give an idea of the overall book.
Review: No Weapon Shall Prosper: New Light on Sensitive Issues by Trevor Holyoak
Issues of Race, Sexuality and Gender to be Addressed at FAIR Conference
by SteveDensleyJr on June 4th, 2012
With the approaching Republican presidential nomination of Mitt Romney, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as well as its history and doctrines has been the focus of much media scrutiny. The annual FAIR Conference of scholars, apologists, and interested individuals will meet August 2-3, 2012 at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. At least fourteen scholars this year will address important and potentially controversial issues that have been highlighted by the national media or are confronting Latter-day Saints, including gay marriage, the impact of California’s Proposition 8, polygamy and questions of polyandry, Black Latter-day Saints, the Book of Mormon, the Book of Abraham, difficult issues in Mormon history, the threats to American religious freedom, and dealing with issues of faith and loss of faith.
Among the presenters are Brian C. Hales, author of Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto and the forthcoming Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, who will discuss new evidences relating to controversies about Joseph Smith’s sexual polyandry. Kathryn Lynard Soper, founder and editor-in-chief of Segullah, a journal of literary and visual art for Mormon women, and Neylan McBaine, associate creative director at Bonneville Communications, will both discuss issues confronting Mormon women. Hannah Smith, Senior Counsel of the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, will discuss the unprecedented threats to American religious freedom and what Latter-day Saints can do. Joshua Johanson, an outspoken advocate for Mormons with same-gender attraction, will share insights he has gained as a faithful, married, Latter-day Saint who also experiences same-gender attraction.
Relating to ancient scripture, Royal Skousen, editor of the Book of Mormon critical text project, will speak about whether Latter-day Saints need to make changes to the Book of Mormon text. John W. Welch, who has published extensively on issues dealing with the Book of Mormon and Mormon doctrine, will discuss chiasmus in the Book of Mormon while Don Bradley, author of the soon to be published, Lost 116 Pages: Reconstructing the Missing Contents of the Book of Mormon, will discuss those 116 pages. John Gee, a professor of Egyptology, will talk about the Book of Abraham and Rosemary Avance, a non-Mormon doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School of Communication, will discuss parallels in Mormon conversion and de-conversion stories. Hartt Wixam, a retired BYU professor and investigate reporter for the Deseret News, will give a presentation entitled “Perception and Reality: Then and Now.” And Mesoamerican scholar, Brandt Gardner, will discuss the problem of cardinal directions in the Book of Mormon.
Rounding out the conference are popular speakers like the venerable Darius Gray, one of the founders of Genesis Group for Black Latter-day Saints and co-writer of the documentary, Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons, Ugo A. Perego who will be traveling from Rome, Italy to discuss aspects of DNA research and Mormon history, and Daniel C. Peterson who will talk about the restoration of the gospel.
Members of the media are particularly invited to visit with these and other conference participants, as well as to attend this important and informative conference in August.
FAIR is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS doctrine, belief and practice. Along with the annual conference, which is open to everyone, FAIR also sponsors a website that includes answers to difficult questions. FAIR has an “Ask the Apologist” option where people can pose questions to apologists and FAIR also sponsors MormonVoices which responds to public discussions and comments from public figures that misrepresent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For details on the FAIR Conference, visit the FAIR website. Tickets may be purchased at the FAIR online Bookstore.
Issues of Race, Sexuality and Gender to be Addressed at FAIR Conference by SteveDensleyJr
AWARD WINNING FAIR PODCASTS
We have some excellent Podcasts this month. You can listen to them on your computer, or you can download them to put into your mp3 player. You can listen to FAIR Podcasts while you walk or exercise.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 86: Mesoamerican Evidences for the Book of Mormon
by SteveDensleyJr on May 2nd, 2012
Martin Tanner discusses various mesoamerican evidences for the historicity of the Book of Mormon in this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on September 4, 2011.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 87: Fostering Faith and Countering Criticism: The Role of Apologetics in in the Information Age
by SteveDensleyJr on May 9th, 2012
On March 29, 2012, Scott Gordon appeared at the UVU Conference on Mormonism and the Internet. In this address, he explains the mission, purpose and history of FAIR.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 88: Evidences of the Book of Mormon
by SteveDensleyJr on May 16th, 2012
In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on March 4, 2012, Martin Tanner discusses some of the evidences for the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 89: Are Mormons Christians?
by SteveDensleyJr on May 23rd, 2012
Martin Tanner discuss the reasons why some say that Mormons are not Christian and provides a response to these contentions in this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on February 12, 2012.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 90: Mormons on the BBC
by SteveDensleyJr on May 30th, 2012
This episode of the BBC World Service program, World Have Your Say, features members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The five-member panel answers questions from listeners from all over the world, including: Whether Mormons want to be recognized as a mainstream religion? What part of the Mormon faith is influenced by the Bible, and what part is influenced by the culture of its founders? Why is polygamy stereotypically linked to Mormonism? Would Mitt Romney be expected to spread the Mormon faith as a president? Why are Mormons secretive? Why are they not as open as other churches? What effect will the past ban on ordaining African Americans to the priesthood have on Mitt Romney’s ability to win over minority voters? What is the purpose of temples? What has generated the rapid spread of Mormonism? What would Christ think of a religion that teaches that it is the only true church? What is the Mormon view on the separation of church and state? What is it like to be a female member of the Church and a member of the Relief Society, the largest women’s organization in the world?
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.
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.
Lengthen Your Stride, The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball (Limited to stock on hand)
Edward L. Kimball, Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book, 2005, hardbound and CD-rom. ISBN: 1590384571
The sequel to one of the bestselling LDS biographies of all time by Edward L. Kimball and Andrew E. Kimball Jr.’s, Spencer W. Kimball: Twelfth President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was an excellent biography which primarily covered President Spencer W. Kimball’s youth and his service in the Quorum of the Twelve. That intimate portrait written by his son focused exclusively on the many dramatic events that occurred during President Kimball’s 12 years as Church president and obviously did not cover the revelation on priesthood, among other later events during President Kimball’s tenure. An accompanying CD-Rom includes a longer version of the biography, additional photos, and some audio clips.
The first book notes the approach to writing biography in the 1977 preface:
We have tried to be candid, neither omitting weaknesses and problems nor exaggerating strengths. Happily we were faced with no real test of our integrity as biographers, since our burrowing into the past only confirmed our personal impressions that this was a man of rare consistency, exemplifying in his private life the same virtues ascribed to the public man.
Spencer and Camilla Kimball read through the manuscript for this book in rough draft stage and made factual corrections and a few suggestions, but neither had a hand in writing or editing the book beyond that. They would not have written the same book, but they were trusting and generous enough to allow us our own perspective on their lives. The responsibility for selecting the events which would paint a fair picture and for the resulting emphases is wholly ours, though the whole undertaking was possible only because of their willingness to talk and write openly about themselves.
Retail Price: $29.95 Special FAIR Price: $19.47 (35% Discount)
Latter-Day History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Limited to stock on hand)
Brian & Petrea Kelly. American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2000. Hardbound, 10 1/2 x 6 1/4″, 586 pages.
President Gordon B. Hinckley has said, “I wish to go on record concerning the magnitude of what our forebears accomplished and what this means to us . . . It is a story so large in scope, so fraught with human suffering and the workings of faith, that will never grow old or stale.”
From the First Vision to the dedication of the new Conference Center, Church history comes to life with hundreds of inspiring stories, personal journal entries, rare pictures, and firsthand quotes. Including detailed biographies of each modern prophet, from Joseph Smith to Gordon B. Hinckley, Latter-day History offers unequaled insight into the significant events and people who shaped the history of the Church.
Carefully researched and thoroughly documented, this valuable resource will be a treasured addition to your family library for generations to come.
- Over 400 rarely seen photographs.
- National and world events coinciding with events in Church history.
- Comprehensive time line.
- Friendly, readable format for families.
- Fascinating little-known stories and firsthand quotes from Church history.
Retail Price: $39.95 Special FAIR Price: $23.97 (40% Discount)
40 Ways to Look at Brigham Young: A New Approach to a Remarkable Man (Limited to stock on hand)
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: $23.95 Special FAIR Price: $7.19 (70% Discount)
They Lie In Wait to Deceive, Volume 2 (Limited to stock on hand)
Robert L. and Rosemary Brown; Barbara Beckstead Ellsworth (Editor), Gail A. Gibson (Art Direction). Mesa, Arizona: Brownsworth Publishing Company, Inc., Second printing, revised edition, 1993, 7×10 softbound, 480 pages.
One of the more well known professional anti-Mormons who had used his radio broadcasts to spread misleading information was the late “Dr.” Walter R. Martin. His claims and credentials are examined to determine if his professed credentials are valid as claimed or if he is just another imposter. Walter Martin claimed a Doctorate degree, current ordination as a minister, and various other claims. As you read the numerous documents which trace his adult life – – you will see that Walter Martin follows the typical format for professional anti-Mormons – – they claim impressive credentials to gain the confidence of the public and take that opportunity to teach false and misleading information about the LDS Church. Martin and other professional anti-Mormons devote their entire lives to spreading false information.
Review: “Expose of the character of “Dr.” Walter Martin, professional cult “expert.” This is a commentary on the character of Walter Martin, the famous Bible Answer Man and author of “The Kingdom of the Cults” and “The Maze of Mormonism.” While this book is not written in response to Martin’s works, it is a report on his qualifications, or lack there of. It documents his diploma mill PhD and his lack of credentials as a Baptist Minister. His life’s work must be considered in the light of his character and integrity. Though Walter Martin is no longer with us, his work and those who reference it in their assaults on Mormonism are.” –Deseret Book customer in Utah, June 12, 2001
Retail Price: $8.95 Special FAIR Price: $2.24 (75% Discount)
Shaken Faith Syndrome
Michael R. Ash, Redding, CA: Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, 2008, 6×9″ softbound, 302 pages, ISBN 1-893036-08-1.
In today’s Internet world, an increasing number of Latter-day Saints are encountering anti-Mormon material. In the absence of ready answers, LDS-critical claims can be unsettling or create doubt. Some arguments have caused a few members-even active members with strong testimonies-to lose their faith. Shaken Faith Syndrome explores how we can be both critical thinkers and devout believers.
Misconceptions that can make us vulnerable to shaken faith are dispelled, and some of the most frequent anti-LDS claims are refuted. Shaken Faith Syndrome invites us to strengthen our testimonies and intellectual foundations as we develop a more mature appreciation for prophets and revelation as well as a greater understanding of the inherent limitations of science, history, and even the scriptures.
Retail Price: $19.95
Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting Joseph Smith
Michael Ash. Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2008. Softbound, 208 pages, 6″ x 9″.
In the early 1800s, many people criticized the Prophet Joseph Smith for his prophecies and revelations; today, several evidences prove that Joseph was right.
Michael Ash, a well-known LDS apologist, explains why it is useful, and perhaps even necessary, to combine reason with faith in our testimony of Joseph Smith. He reminds us that although secular evidences can’t replace a spiritual witness, they can support a testimony and provide an atmosphere where a spiritual witness can flourish.
Using scholarly journal articles and ancient Jewish and Christian writings, Ash provides evidences that show how the Book of Mormon is a true account of an ancient people, how LDS scriptures are consistent with the traditions and culture of ancient Israel, and how the doctrines of the Church accurately reflect the teachings of Christ. Ash writes clearly and simply, providing numerous resources to foster further study.
With over 80 evidences, this book is an excellent resource for those seeking more information about Joseph Smith and his works.
Retail Price: $14.99 Special FAIR Price: $11.99 (20% Discount)
Shaken Faith Syndrome and Of Faith and Reason (Bundle offer)
Retail Price: $34.95 Special FAIR Price: $27.95 (20% Discount)
In Defense of Truth (DVD)
American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 2004, DVD Video, 55 minutes. ISBN: 1591564670
Ever since the origin of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Church members have experienced religious and physical persecution. Today’s persecution comes from attacks by “Christian scholars.” Using media technology, they spread false claims about the LDS Church and its teachings to large audiences. This DVD gives a believer’s point of view on those teachings. Testimonies of common mainstream Church members complement those of scholars who have made these beliefs their professional study. The presentation answers the following questions:
- Who was Joseph Smith? Was he a fraud?
- What is the Book of Mormon? Was it written by Joseph Smith, or did he really translate it from golden plates through divine inspiration?
- Are Mormons Christians?
- Is Mormonism a cult?
- Are Mormon youth forced to serve Church missions?
- What is the status of women in the LDS Church?
- What is the basis for anti-Mormon materials?
Also, join James B. Allen, well-known LDS Church historian, for a brief tour of Church historical sites and a narrative of the events that occurred at those sites. Dr. Allen explains how Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon; gives an account of the early group of believers who established the LDS Church; and relates the martyrdom of the Church’s first prophet.
Retail Price: $14.95 Special FAIR Price: $7.99 (46.5% Discount)
Joseph the Seer
Steven C. Harper. Provo, Utah: Harper Publishing, 2005. Softbound, 6×9″, 87 pages.
A biography of Joseph Smith’s early life by an editor of the Joseph Smith Papers, both scholarly and faithful, this book is accessible to a general audience.
Retail Price: $14.99 Special FAIR Price: $9.74 (35% Discount)
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