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 – Black History Month
- New Article- Kinderhook Plates
- Interpreter – Two controversial articles
- FAIR Wiki – Oliver Cowdery’s 1839 Defence a forgery?
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
February is Black History Month. Most of us probably don’t care. Some probably have the urge to roll their eyes and stop reading this message right now. Please read on. My own ancestry is northern European with my father’s line being traceable to a small community named Helmsdale on the very northern tip of Scotland. Check it out on the map. It is way, way, north. That means I don’t have that skin coloring with increased levels of melanin that helps block the sun. Being born with red hair, which has now faded to a reddish blond, means that my skin coloring is not well adapted for California where I live, but is very good for collecting vitamin D in a heavy fog bank. So why should I care about black history month? More importantly, why should you care about black history month? Obviously, I think that we should all care. I hope I can convince you with a few words here.
Several years ago, there was discussion on various internet message boards about the relationship of blacks and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. As you know, those of African descent were denied the priesthood. Unlike many American Churches, the LDS church was not segregated. But, the reality is that pre 1978 the number of Africans and African Americans numbered in the hundreds in a church that had membership in the millions. So an African-American FAIR volunteer suggested we put together a timeline of black history. Thus was born the Website blacklds.org.
I had a lot of help putting that Website together. I even had non-LDS blacks at my college give me helpful suggestions. So, I put together the timeline which showed the history of African-Americans within the LDS church compared with the history of African-Americans in the United States and other religious denominations.
It was a life changing experience for me. It opened my eyes to what people went through for hundreds of years. It helped me gain a deeper appreciation for freedom. It helped me gain a deeper appreciation for people who suffered so much, and yet maintained a deep and abiding faith in God and their fellow man.
Most Latter-day Saints are probably not aware that we had blacks, both free and enslaved, in those first pioneer wagon trains into the Salt Lake valley. Most Latter-day Saints are probably not aware of the impact that many of those early black pioneers had on our history and our faith, in keeping those early saints alive and building Zion. Most Latter-day Saints are probably not aware we had a black man, Joseph Ball, serving as branch president of the Boston Branch from October 1844 to March 1845. Most Latter-day Saints are probably not aware some black Mormons had an even wider historical impact, such as Walker Lewis who had a hand in the Underground Railroad and helped lay the groundwork for the emancipation of slaves.
One of the reasons most Latter-day Saints are not more aware of black history is because those historical contributions have been downplayed due to racism within our culture. We all know that history is written and taught by those who are in control. For several hundred years we lived in a culture where those of African descent had very little control.
So how does this relate to Black History Month? Most people reading this article come from families who did not cross the plains into Utah. In spite of that, we still care about Mormon pioneers. We sing about pioneer children in our primary classes. It is part of our culture; it is part of our history. Black Mormons also contributed to that LDS history. African’s have also heavily contributed to the music and general culture of North and South America. The history of Africans, and who they interacted with within the United States and other countries, teaches us a lot about freedom and true Christian discipleship.
Today, the number of black members continues to grow within the Church. With that growth, I have heard questions of how we should fellowship them. Should we apologize for blacks not receiving the priesthood on our first or second discussion with an African-American investigator? Should we immediately confide in them that we really never believed that whole Curse-of-Cain thing?
To answer those questions, I will quote the words of a very wise Bishop’s counselor named Dave. He is not African-American, but is Native American (For my Canadian readers, that would be First Nations people). He is also a close friend. In my Northern California community, there are some in that group who like to be known as “Indians” with others who like to be known as “Native Americans.” One day, I approached Dave and asked him, “Dave, help me out with cultural sensitivities and political correctness. Should I call you an Indian, or should I call you a Native American?” He looked at me for a while and then said, “You should call me Dave.” I was ashamed.
We should treat all of our brothers and sisters as brothers and sisters. We need not do anything that excludes or somehow makes those brothers and sisters different. They are not. They are a part of us. They are a part of our culture.
We should study the history of the Mormon pioneers. We should also study those cultures that have impacted us. For those of us in the United States that would include European history, Mexican history, Native American history, Asian history, and Black history. No matter our skin color, it is who we are. By studying those cultural interactions, it helps us to be aware of what we should strive to be in the future. To quote Margaret Blair Young, “These are histories we should know. They can help us thoughtfully respond to questions we will be asked…, and they can enlarge our hearts with compassion and with greater resolution to become both unified and diverse.”
Check out the following excellent posts on some of our black pioneers done by Margaret Blair Young.
–Scott Gordon President of FAIR
FAIR is an all-volunteer organization. Our volunteers donate their time and money. We are staffed with a wide diversity of people, who have a diversity of thought on gospel topics, politics, and social topics. I believe that is one of the strengths of FAIR. I have been amazed to see kindness and love extended to people who email us. I have seen FAIR volunteers reach out to people who are struggling with their testimonies, even when those people express views contrary to those of the volunteer.
But, FAIR does not exist without donations. Without funding, we close up shop and go away. Consider setting up a monthly donation. Just $25 a month would be a huge help. Even $10, or $5, set up in automatic monthly deposits would help us in our mission. Can you donate the price of one lunch or dinner a month to help members with struggling testimonies?
Donate to FAIR at http://www.fairlds.org/donate
FAIR is a 501c(3) corporation, so in the United States your contributions are tax deductible. If you have questions, check with your tax advisor.
The Kindhook plates are an often quoted theme of critics. Don Bradley’s 2011 FAIR presentation on the Kinderhook plates is now published on the FAIR website.
“President Smith has translated a portion”: Solving the Mystery of the Kinderhook Plates.
INTERPRETER: A JOURNAL OF MORMON SCRIPTURE
There has been a controversy brewing in the LDS Apologetics world about a review of “Mormon Stories.” This previously unpublished review has allegedly lead to a number of people being fired, LDS apologetics being vilified, and several people having their names dragged through the mud. Even though FAIR was never intended as the outlet for this article, several false claims have been made about our involvement.
Excerpts from the paper were recently leaked on a message board, without the permission of the author. In response, our friends at the Interpreter have officially published the paper in its draft form.
Additionally, a second intriguing paper has been published that outlines the events surrounding the non-publishing and reaction to this paper. I count this paper as a must read.
The first article by Gregory L. Smith, “Dubious ‘Mormon’ Stories,” is the review originally prepared for inclusion in the Mormon Studies Review in the spring of 2012. The second article, “The Return of the Unread Review,” is Greg Smith’s careful analysis of the course of events surrounding the ‘Dehlin Affair.’
In “Forgeries related to Mormonism”, we have a new item:
Oliver Cowdery’s 1839 Defence in a Rehearsal of my Grounds for Separating Myself from the Latter Day Saints –
Although this document purports to have been published in 1839 by Oliver Cowdery, the earliest copies in existence are dated 1906. The document was “discovered” by the Reverend R. B. Neal, who was a leader in the American Anti-Mormon Association. No references to this document exists prior to 1906. This document was believed to be authentic for many years, until it was discovered that it consists primarily of a selection of Cowdery’s phrases taken from various issues of the Latter Day Saints’ Messenger and Advocate that were removed from their original context and placed in a different context. A number of talking points appear to have been reworded from David Whitmer’s 1887 An Address to All Believers in Christ. Historians now agree that this document is a forgery.
THREE ILLUSTRATED LECTURES BY ROYAL SKOUSEN
25 Years of Research: What We Have Learned About the Book of Mormon Text
Three Illustrated Lectures by Royal Skousen Professor of Linguistics and English Language Editor of the Book of Mormon Critical Text Project
On consecutive Tuesday evenings
- 26 February 2013 “The Original and Printer’s Manuscripts”
- 5 March 2013 “The Printed Editions”
- 12 March 2013 “The Nature of the Original Text”
Each lecture begins at 7:00 p.m. in the Gordon B. Hinckley Center at Brigham Young University
Get there at least a half hour early if you want a seat.
FAIR STUDY AIDS
Don’t forget we have a great reference for your Book of Mormon studies.
You will also want to check out this blog post New Doctrine And Covenants Resources Available From Lds.Org And Interpreter by S. Hales Swift on February 3rd, 2013
At FAIR, we like to keep abreast of various resources which become available for studying, understanding, and teaching the gospel. With the current Sunday School year focusing on the Doctrine and Covenants, there are two new resources to which we would particularly like to call your attention, as well as some old favorites.
Our FAIR Android Apps has been updated. Among other things, it now allows you to donate to FAIR directly from your Android phone or Tablet. You can search for FAIRLDS in your Google Play store, or you can download them using your Android device here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/developer?id=FAIRLDS.
We currently have three Apps.
- A full featured FAIR App.
- A standalone App for the FAIRs Front Page Newsletter. This is included in the first App, but some only wanted this feature of daily press clippings.
- An App we created for our friends over at the Interpreter.
MORMON SCHOLARS TESTIFY
Several new testimonies have been added:
- Arthur Henry King, English Literature
- Elizabeth W. Watkins, Scholarly Editing
- Shinji Takagi Economics, Osaka University
- Robb Cundick, Medial Software Development
- Ralf Grünke, Political Science
- Charles Rogers, Russian Literature
BOOK REVIEW: SHAKEN FAITH SYNDROME by Stephen Smoot on November 23rd, 2012
Shaken Faith Syndrome and the Case for Faith
Stephen O. Smoot
Abstract: Michael R. Ash is a Mormon apologist who has written two thoughtful books and a number of insightful articles exploring a wide range of controversial issues within Mormonism. His recent book Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt is an outstanding apologetic resource for individuals searching for faith-promoting answers that directly confront anti-Mormon allegations and criticisms. Ash does an excellent job in both succinctly explaining many of the criticisms leveled against The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and articulating compelling answers to these criticisms.
THE GOSPEL IS FOR EVERYONE by Joshua Johanson on December 7th, 2012
I always look forward to the time that General Conference rolls around. Listening to the inspiring words of our leaders lift my spirit and renew my commitment to follow my Savior. My favorite talks are the ones that call me to action. They help me see doctrine in a new light and inspire me to change my life to more fully honor my covenants.
TRUSTING IMPERFECT PROPHETS by Neal Rappleye on December 20th, 2012
An important part of the mission of FAIR, as part of defending the faith, is to promote and defend the credibility of the Brethren in the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles as Prophets, Seers, and Revelators, authorized to lead and guide the Church in the Latter-days. For some, the notion that the prophets or apostles might at times be wrong is just too earth shattering. “They speak with God,” so the thinking goes, “and therefore cannot be wrong.” This leads them to the conclusion that since they are sometimes mistaken, they must not be prophets. Others may perhaps come away with a distorted view of prophets, with an inordinate focus on their imperfections that erodes their faith and confidence in them as men of God. Our hearts go out to those who have had, or do have, similar concerns and struggles.
With that in mind, I would like to offer a few suggestions that have helped me maintain faith in the prophets and apostles and other leaders despite my awareness of their imperfect and fallible status
Reports of the Death of the Church are Greatly Exaggerated by Stephen Smoot on January 15th, 2013
There has been a bit of buzz (mostly amongst ex- and anti-Mormons) recently over some remarks of Elder Marlin K. Jensen, an emeritus member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and former Church Historian and Recorder, who is alleged to have said that, thanks to Google, the omniscient fount of all knowledge, members of the Church are leaving “in droves”. A titanic exodus of members, the likes of which have never before been seen, are leaving the Church, Elder Jensen is reported by many on the Internet to have said. This, the claim on the Internet goes, is because the seedy truth of Mormon history and doctrine, kept secret by a conniving leadership, has been exposed by intrepid researchers on the web.
Wikipedia’s Deconstruction of Martin Harris by Roger Nicholson on January 23rd, 2013
The Martin Harris We Know Every Latter-day Saint who has attended Sunday School is familiar with the story of Martin Harris. We learn that Martin was a relatively wealthy man for the area in which he lived, and that he mortgaged his farm to finance the publication of the Book of Mormon. The importance of this act cannot be underestimated,
New Doctrine And Covenants Resources Available From Lds.Org And Interpreter by S. Hales Swift on February 3rd, 2013
At FAIR, we like to keep abreast of various resources which become available for studying, understanding, and teaching the gospel. With the current Sunday School year focusing on the Doctrine and Covenants, there are two new resources to which we would particularly like to call your attention, as well as some old favorites.
KEEPING THE FAITH PODCASTS
Keeping The Faith 4: Mike Parker-Navigating Difficult Doctrinal, Historical Or Political Issues by SteveDensleyJr on November 21st, 2012
A long-time member of FAIR, Mike Parker, addresses a variety of questions related to apologetics and gospel learning: Where should gospel teaching begin? To what extent should teachers bring up and address troubling historical or doctrinal issues? Should missionaries tell investigators about such issues before they are baptized? What should be the goal of a Gospel Doctrine teacher or missionary? How can a faithful member navigate the challenges that are posed by difficult doctrinal, historical or political issues? Mike provides his insight on this issues and many others.
Keeping The Faith 5a: Don Bradley-Seeing With An Eye Of Faith by SteveDensleyJr on November 28th, 2012
Don Bradley is a writer, editor, and researcher specializing in early Mormon history. In his early years as a historian, he found it difficult to understand and explain many of the actions of Joseph Smith. He found that he could make sense of much of the history if he assumed that Joseph Smith was a fraud who sought after money, sex and power. As he pursued this strategy of analysis, he drifted further and further away from the Church in which he had been raised. Along the way, he spent time as an agnostic and atheist, then back to theist, then Baha’i, then generic Protestant. As he continued his research into the history of Joseph Smith, he found that the Joseph-as-fraud approach proved increasingly inadequate to explain what he was finding. In this interview, Don talks about what eventually led him back to the Church, why he finally decided that Joseph Smith is truly a prophet of God, and how adopting this new interpretive model has helped him to understand Joseph Smith better than he ever did before. There are 4 parts.
Keeping The Faith 6a: A Household Of Partial Faith by SteveDensleyJr on December 5th, 2012
How can we help activate less-active family members and friends? What happens when we can’t? What does a person do when a spouse leaves the Church? How can we maintain our faith when those closest to us are losing theirs? In this interview, we hear from a woman who grew up with a less-active father. After she was married in the temple, her husband too became less-active, and eventually had his name removed from the records of the Church. She discusses her experience with these family members and what she has done to retain her faith in the gospel. There are two parts.
Keeping The Faith 7a: The Reel Story by SteveDensleyJr on December 12th, 2012
Bill Reel talks about how he became converted to the Church, became a bishop and then nearly resigned his membership in the Church. He discusses the role the internet, on-line chat groups and podcasts played in both weakening his testimony as well as strengthening it. He also talks about how bad apologetics contributed to undermining his faith, how good apologetics reinforced his faith, and the central role the spirit plays in establishing a foundation for our testimonies. There are two parts.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 121a: Mark Wright And Mayan Mysteries by SteveDensleyJr on December 19th, 2012
- Did the Mayans prophesy that the world would end in 2012?
- What is the probability that the Mayans are direct descendants of Lehi?
- Were the Lamanites and Nephites located in North America?
- What did Joseph Smith say about the location of Zarahemla?
- What about Zelph?
- Where there horses in the Americas before Columbus?
- Were there two hills Cumorah?
- Is there archeological evidence that proves the Book of Mormon is true?
Mormon FAIR-Cast 122: Changes in the Bible by SteveDensleyJr on December 26th, 2012
Is the Bible the complete, inerrant, inspired, infallible word of God? Is it a book that has errors in it now, but that did not have errors in the original? Have changes in the Bible been made? If so, why and what were some of those changes? These questions and others are discussed in this episode of Religion Today, with Martin Tanner, which originally aired on KSL Radio on June 3, 2012.
Fair Questions 4: What’s Wrong with Masturbation? by SteveDensleyJr on January 2nd, 2013
This is FAIR Questions, on the Mormon FAIR-Cast. 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.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 124: Controversies Regarding the Nature of Christ by SteveDensleyJr on January 9th, 2013
One of the primary reasons some claim that Mormons are not Christians is because the Mormon view of the trinity differs from that of most modern Christians. Mormons claim that their view of the Godhead is correct and that the view of God as set forth in various creeds, such as that which was proclaimed at the Nicean Council, is a corrupt version of the truth. Some modern Christians counter that the concept of the trinity as believed by most Christians today was already considered doctrine by the time of the Council of Nicea and the council was simply held to address other heresies. So what really happened? Why does the majority view of the nature of Christ differ from the view of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on September 2, 2012, Martin Tanner discusses these issues.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 125: Deification in LDS and early Christian thought by SteveDensleyJr on January 16th, 2013
Do Mormons believe they will become gods? Is this belief supported in the Bible? Are there other Christian religions that have similar beliefs? In this episode of Religion Today that originally aired on March 27, 2011, Martin Tanner discusses the concept of deification, or theosis, and the way in which it has been discussed in the Bible, by early Christians, and by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 126: Anti-Mormon Criticisms of the Book of Mormon by SteveDensleyJr on January 23rd, 2013
Why does the Book of Mormon say Christ was born in Jerusalem? Why does a French word appear in the text of the Book of Mormon? Didn’t Joseph Smith simply borrow Book of Mormon names from the Bible? Why was the Book of Mormon written in Reformed Egyptian? Are there any other instances of such writing? How can one believe the Book of Mormon when so many of the Book of Mormon witnesses left the Church? Why did Nephites build temples outside of Jerusalem? Isn’t the mention of coins in the Book of Mormon an anachronism? Why do the words “church,” “synogogue,” “book,” and “Jesus Christ” appear in the Book of Mormon? Did crucifixions and crosses exist before Lehi left Jerusalem? Wasn’t Joseph Smith fooled by the Kinderhook Plates? Did Elder B.H. Roberts lose his faith? Why haven’t Book of Mormon cities been found? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on May 29, 2011, Martin Tanner responds to these questions.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 127: Did an Apostasy Actually Occur? by SteveDensleyJr on January 30th, 2013
What is an “apostasy?” Are there any scriptures that say there was an apostasy that required a restoration? Do we know when the apostasy occurred? Does that matter? In this episode of Religion Today, which originally aired on KSL Radio on August 19, 2012, Martin Tanner responds to claims that an apostasy did not occur.
Mormon FAIR-Cast 128: Blacks in the Bible by SteveDensleyJr on February 6th, 2013
In a study performed by the Higher Education Institute, in association with UCLA, which concluded in 2005, African Americans ranked number one in seven of the twelve spirituality categories measured. These deeply spiritual roots have been passed on from generation to generation of church goers and Bible faithful. This commitment is especially impressive in light of the absence of positive religious teachings, mentions or artistic renderings of Black African ancestors in today’s Christian religions.
There are many who regularly mention Cain and Ham and the curses associated with them, leaving and reinforcing the impression that Black equates to cursed or less than. Was there a positive Black presence in the biblical days? If there was, wouldn’t the entire world benefit from this knowledge? Those of African descent could gain a greater sense of self. This could also help to repudiate much of the confusion about race and encourage unity.
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. http://bookstore.fairlds.org/category.php?id_category=19
► Every Person in the Doctrine and Covenants
Limited to stock on hand.
Lynn F. Price, Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 6×9″ softbound, 240 pages. This is one of the most useful Doctrine and Covenants study aids in print. This book provides pertinent biographical information on more than 220 individuals and groups mentioned in the text and headings of the Doctrine and Covenants. The biographical sketches are presented in four groups: Latter-day People, Book of Mormon People, New Testament People, and Old Testament People. The biographical sketches are presented in alphabetical order, by group, with each sketch presented in a year-by-year chronological fashion. Sources are carefully identified. Occasional conflicting historical data are noted. No person is excluded-the book covers both saints and sinners. Clearly, a strong knowledge and understanding of individuals who are referred to in the scriptures is essential for grasping the deepest meanings of the Lord’s revealed words. Retail Price: $17.98 Special FAIR Price: $12.59 (30% Discount)
► The Sermon on the Mount in Latter-day Scripture
Limited to stock on hand.
The 39th Annual Brigham Young University Sidney B. Sperry Symposium Gaye Strathearn, Thomas A Wayment, and Daniel L Belhap, Editors. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University and Deseret Book Company, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Hardbound, 6×9″, 352 pages.
It is easy to love those who love us, but how do we treat those with whom we have differences? How do we respond toward political adversaries, athletic rivals, unkind neighbors, insensitive friends or family members, business associates who speak evil of us, insensitive or incompetent leaders, or critic of our religious or moral beliefs? These are among the many questions answered in this thoughtful study of the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount has been described as the greatest sermon ever given. It contains both timeless truths and timely advice for the challenging circumstances of our day. It is a divine call to a higher righteousness. It is an invitation to an enlightened obedience and an elevated discipleship that incorporates the spirit of the law and invites all to become better acquainted with their Lord and be partakers of the heavenly gift. “The teachings of Jesus Christ provide profound understanding and distinct direction concerning the relationship of good and evil in God’s plan for the redemption of his children. In addition to discussing the origin of evil and its meaning from a variety of scriptural, prophetic, and scholarly sources, this paper includes an examination of the Savior’s teachings in the Sermon on the Mount concerning humankind’s response to evil.”
– Daniel K Judd (keynote speaker) The Sermon on the Mount “has inspired and lifted millions of people throughout the globe and through the centuries, but it has special relevance to those who have come out of the world by covenant into the marvelous light of Christ.”
– Robert L. Millet “Latter-day scripture provides windows to a deeper understanding of the Lord’s words that are recorded in Matthew chapter 5 through 7. The Book of Mormon contains a similar sermon given to the Nephites that clarifies and expands on the original. We also have other scriptures that give us additional insights.”
– Richard D. Draper “The Psalms greatly influenced both the author of the sermon, Jesus Christ, and the sermon’s chief New Testament chronicler, Matthew.”
– Andrew C. Skinner This book is a valuable resource for those striving to better understand the Sermon on the Mount and implement its teachings in their lives. Those followers of Jesus Christ who gain a lifelong trust in Christ and sustain an effort to keep the commandments and walk in the light will come to know their Lord and gain the prize of everlasting life.
Contributors include: Daniel L. Belnap, Matthew L. Bowen, Richard D. Draper, Matthew J. Grey, Nicholas J. Frederick, Amy B. Hardison, Eric D. Huntsman, Daniel K. Judd, Frank F. Judd, Jr., Jennifer C. Lane, David A. LeFevre, Jared W. Ludlow, Eric Marlowe, Robert L. Millet, Matthew O. Richardson, Andrew C. Skinner, Valerie Triplet-Hitoto, Thomas A. Wayment, John W. Welch
Table of Contents
1. “Resist Not Evil”: The Supreme Test of Christian Discipleship Daniel K Judd
2. The Sociocultural Context of the Sermon on the Mount Amy B. Hardison
3. Audience Astonishment at the Sermon on the Mount and the Sermon at the Temple Valerie Triplet-Hitoto
4. Israel’s Ancient Psalms: Cornerstone of the Beatitudes Andrew C. Skinner
5. Salt and Light: Being in the World but Not of the World Matthew O. Richardson
6. The Six Antitheses: Attaining the Purpose of the Law Through the Teachings of Jesus Eric D. Huntsman
7. “What Therefore God Hath Joined Together, Let No Man Put Asunder”Richard D. Draper
8. “Be Ye Therefore Perfect”: The Elusive Quest for Perfection Frank F. Judd, Jr.
9. The Father in the Sermon on the Mount Jared W. Ludlow
10. The Kingdom of God: God’s Vision for Society in the Sermon on the Mount Jennifer C. Lane
11. “Beholdest Thou … the Priests and the Levites” (JST, Matthew 7:4)Matthew J. Grey
12. The Golden Rule: A Moral Searchlight Eric Marlowe
13. “By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them” Robert L. Millet
14. “Thy Will Be Done”: The Savior’s Use of the Divine Passive Matthew L. Bowen
15. “As Your Father Also Is Merciful”: The Sermon on the Plain and the Development of Mercy Nicholas J. Frederick
16. “A Wise Man Built His House upon a Rock”: The Doctrine of DiscernmentDaniel L. Belnap
17. The Sermon on the Mount in the Joseph Smith Translation David A. LeFevre
18. How New Testament Variants Contribute to the Meaning of the Sermon on the Mount Thomas A. Wayment
19. Echoes from the Sermon on the Mount John W. Welch
Retail Price: $31.99 Special FAIR Price: $22.39 (30% Discount)
► School of the Prophet: Joseph Smith Learns the First Principles, 1820-1830
Limited to stock on hand.
Richard E. Bennett. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 2010. Hardbound, 6×9″, 176 pages.
“One consistent way the Lord teaches us doctrine is by giving us life experiences that encourage us to seek and practice truth. Dr. Richard Bennett, a seasoned historian, illuminates this process through the life and teachings of Joseph Smith. A fascinating perspective on important years in Church history.”
– Virginia H. Pearce, Educator and Best-selling Author “Professor Richard Bennett combines the curiosity and precision of a superb historian with an excellent knowledge of the restored gospel. The result is a singular contribution to Latter-day Saint literature – readers will never see the early years of the Restoration in the same way.”
– Robert L. Millet, Professor of Religious Education, Brigham Young University Between that crisp spring morning in 1820 when he knelt in prayer in a secluded grove of trees and April 6, 1830, when he organized the Church of Jesus Christ, the youthful Joseph Smith learned how to be a prophet. In a glorious time of intense preparation and careful instruction, he was taught by the Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost, and angelic messengers from previous gospel dispensations. It was essential that the message of the gospel be learned and lived by the messenger of the gospel. Drawing upon a fascinating combination of new historical research, scriptural insights, and prophetic statements, historian Richard E. Bennett documents how these early years of the Restoration were a divinely inspired apprenticeship, a careful schooling in matters of deep and lasting importance for the young man called to open the dispensation of the fulness of times. In School of the Prophet: Joseph Smith Learns the First Principles, Dr. Bennett shows us how Joseph Smith, the first convert and initial student of this “marvellous work and a wonder” (Isaiah 29:14), was taught by heavenly beings, refined in the fires of adversity, and firmly grounded in the saving principles and ordinances of the gospel. The preparation of the Prophet, including the translation and publication of the Book of Mormon and the restoration of priesthood authority, took time. And nothing was left to chance.
Retail Price: $21.99 Special FAIR Price: $15.39 (30% Discount)
►The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother (CD)
Limited to stock on hand.
Lucy Mack Smith, American Fork, Utah: Covenant Communications, 8 CDs, approx 9 hours. In this incomparable classic, Lucy Mack Smith, the mother of the prophet Joseph, takes a tender look back at the extraordinary life of her son. She relates with stirring personal detail the events that shaped his character, as well as the visions and miracles of the gospel restoration that reshaped the world. Through the eyes of a devoted mother, we see the remarkable family into which Joseph was born, the hardships and privations that plagued them at every turn, and the heavenly calling that would eventually lead to Joseph’s martyrdom. From the heart-breaking description of young Joseph’s leg surgery, Mother Smith follows the trail of miracles to which she was witness, and offers her own powerful testimony of Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling. Of this history, President Joseph F. Smith said that it “contains much interesting and valuable information, found in no other publication, relating to the life of the prophet Joseph Smith. . . . Both old and young will be pleased as well as benefited by the perusal of its pages.” To listen to these CDs (the book) is to know Joseph Smith more intimately and to be inspired by the insights and stories surrounding the events of this beloved prophet’s life.
Retail Price: $24.95 Special FAIR Price: $17.47 (30% Discount)
► Little Known Stories about the Doctrine and Covenants Dan Barker. Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, Inc. Softbound, 6×9″, 336 pages.
Add extra interest and depth to your study of the Doctrine & Covenants with these little-known stories and facts from Church history. With one story for each section, you’ll soon discover the details history has tucked away. Fascinating and informative, this book is perfect for sharing with friends and family and guaranteed to spice up your scripture study!
Retail Price: $18.99 Special FAIR Price: $15.19 (20% Discount)
► Light and Truth: A Latter-day Saint Guide to World Religions Roger R. Keller. Salt Lake City, Utah: Brigham Young University, 2012. Hardbound, 6.5×9″, 335 pages.
Do we as Latter-day Saint Christians really need to know anything about other faiths? Do we not know all we need to know? Sometimes in our ignorance of the true beliefs of our neighbors, we create our own skewed version of other faiths. If we are to be a world church, we need to understand and appreciate all the good that God has given to persons beyond the Latter-day Saint pale and to represent it accurately. President George Albert Smith said to persons of other faiths: We have come here as your brethren…and to say to you: “Keep all the good that you have, and let us bring to you more good, in order that you may be happier and in order that you may be prepared to enter into the presence of our Heavenly Father.” This book attempts to show the good that God has placed among his children and upon which the Restoration may build to bring more good. It is written in the spirit of seeking to appreciate all the good that each religion brings. At the same time, this book seeks to show what makes each religious tradition unique.
Retail Price: $28.99 Special FAIR Price: $23.19 (20% Discount)
► Mormon People, The: The Making of an American Faith Matthew Bowman. New York: Random House, 2012. Hardbound, 6.5×9.5″, 352 pages.
With Mormonism on the verge of an unprecedented cultural and political breakthrough, an eminent scholar of American evangelicalism explores the history and reflects on the future of this native-born American faith and its connection to the life of the nation. In 1830, a young seer and sometime treasure hunter named Joseph Smith began organizing adherents into a new religious community that would come to be called the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (and known informally as the Mormons). One of the nascent faith’s early initiates was a twenty-three-year-old Ohio farmer named Parley Pratt, the distant grandfather of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. In The Mormon People , religious historian Matthew Bowman peels back the curtain on more than 180 years of Mormon history and doctrine. He recounts the church’s origin and development, explains how Mormonism came to be one of the fastest-growing religions in the world by the turn of twenty-first-century, and ably sets the scene for a 2012 presidential election that has the potential to mark a major turning point in the way this “all-American” faith is perceived by the wider American public-and internationally. Mormonism started as a radical movement, with a profoundly transformative vision of American society that was rooted in a form of Christian socialism. Over the ensuing centuries, Bowman demonstrates, that vision has evolved-and with it the esteem in which Mormons have been held in the eyes of their countrymen. Admired on the one hand as hardworking paragons of family values, Mormons have also been derided as oddballs and persecuted as polygamists, heretics, and zealots clad in “magic underwear.” Even today, the place of Mormonism in public life continues to generate heated debate on both sides of the political divide. Polls show widespread unease at the prospect of a Mormon president. Yet the faith has never been more popular. Today there are about 14 million Mormons in the world, fewer than half of whom live inside the United States. It is a church with a powerful sense of its own identity and an uneasy sense of its relationship with the main line of American culture. Mormons will surely play an even greater role in American civic life in the years ahead. In such a time, The Mormon People comes as a vital addition to the corpus of American religious history-a frank and fair-minded demystification of a faith that remains a mystery for many.
Retail Price: $26.00 Special FAIR Price: $20.80 (20% Discount)
► God Who Weeps, The: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life Terryl Givens and Fiona Givens. Crawfordsville, IN: Ensign Peak, 2012. Hardbound, 6.5×9.5″, 148 pages.
“Whether by design or by chance,” Terryl and Fiona Givens write, “we find ourselves in a universe filled with mystery. We encounter appealing arguments for a Divinity that is a childish projection, for prophets as scheming or deluded imposters, and for scripture as so much fabulous fiction. But there is also compelling evidence that a glorious Divinity presides over the cosmos, that His angels are strangers we have entertained unawares, and that His word and will are made manifest through a sacred canon that is never definitively closed. What we choose to embrace, to be responsive to, is the purest reflection of who we are and what we love. That is why faith, the choice to believe, is in the final analysis, an action that is positively laden with moral significance.” As humans, we are, like the poet John Keats, “straining at particles of light in the midst of a great darkness.” And yet, the authors describe a version of life’s meaning that is reasonable-and radically resonant. It tells of a God whose heart beats in sympathy with ours, who set His heart upon us before the world was formed, who fashioned the earth as a place of human ascent, not exile, and who has the desire and the capacity to bring the entire human family home again.
Retail Price: $19.99 Special FAIR Price: $15.99 (20% Discount)
► But for a Small Moment: Light from Liberty Jail, Inspired Contributions from the Prophet in PrisonNeal A. Maxwell. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1986. Softbound, 5×8″, 200 pages.
The conditions were perfect for inducing deep, dark despair; four-plus months of incarceration; scant and poor food; primitive and dirty accommodation; virtually unrelieved gloom. Yet from Liberty Jail, the “prison-temple,” there emanated revelations so sublime as to constitute a towering witness to Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling and powers. The thick prison walls confined only the Prophet’s body, Elder Maxwell observes, while his mind and spirit soared to commune with heaven. Betrayed and unjustly imprisoned, he here met perhaps his greatest earthly test-to see large-scale suffering among his people, to bear cruel injustices with patience, fortitude, and Christian meekness, as enjoined by scriptures revealed through him. Here he pondered and consolidated in mind and heart the great Restoration doctrines for which he had already been the conduit. Here he wrote to the Church inspired words of transcendent sweetness and power, many of them profoundly revelatory and laden with unique insights. In his uniquely creative style the author opens up to the reader the spiritual and doctrinal gains arising from this period of reflection and revelation. The result is a major contribution to a developing understanding of the Prophet Joseph and his work, particularly of principles that exercised his mind during that trying period-such as priesthood, revelation, pre-mortal existence, foreordination, the mortal experience, and the necessity of adversity in one’s spiritual development. In terms of eternity, the Prophet’s trials were “but for a small moment,” but as this book stimulatingly portrays, the principles, doctrines, and insights we learn from his experience are timeless.
Retail Price: $10.99 Special FAIR Price: $8.79 (20% Discount)
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