THE FAIR JOURNAL May 2009
The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research
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, Fourth
INSIDE THE JOURNAL
* MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. The FAIR Conference is fast
approaching! It is time to register.
* NEWS FROM FAIR. Conference lodging details are announced.
* NEWS FROM FAIR. Donate to FAIR to keep us operating.
* IMPORTANT NEWS FROM FAIR BOOKSTORE.
Nobody Knows: The Untold Story Of Black Mormons DVD is finally
available at the FAIR bookstore. Get your copy now!
* RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A listing of important articles and
resources related to African-Americans in The LDS Church from the
* RESOURCES ON THE WEB. A detailed examination of the anti-Mormon
books One Nation Under Gods and Becoming Gods.
* FAIR WIKI. The FAIR Wiki has many great articles and resources.
* RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
The FAIR YouTube channel has been expanded with lots of new
videos. In addition, we are announcing FAIR videos on an online
* ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here’s
* FAIR TOPICAL GUIDE. The Topical Guide on the FAIR Web site is one
of the most popular resources offered. Learn what is available and
help us expand our references.
* FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. This month the FAIR Bookstore has some great
books and DVDs on sale. Some of these should not be missed.
* PUBLISHING NOTES. Learn how you can become more involved in FAIR
and how you can reuse the material we publish.
* FAIR JOURNAL ARCHIVES. All of the FAIR Journal issues since
October 2001 are on the FAIR web site.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
Now is the time to sign up for the FAIR conference, which will be held on August 6 & 7 in Sandy Utah. Last year, the conference was essentially sold out, so reserve your tickets early.
As always, we have speakers addressing several topics of interest.
John Gee will be discussing the larger picture in the Book of Abraham discussion. Wade Miller will be discussing animals in the Book of Mormon, Matthew Brown will be discussing what Brigham Young taught about Adam. Brant Gardner will be discussing Nephi’s narrative and the missing “others.” Greg Smith will be discussing polygamy.
In addition there will be Ugo Perego, Dan Peterson, Richard Sherlock, McKay White, Vicky Taylor, Robert White, John Lynch and more. Come find out what everyone else is talking about.
This is an event you won’t want to miss. Sign up now at http://www.fairlds.org/conf09a.html
The official hotel for the FAIR Conference is the Best Western Cottontree, just minutes away from the South Towne Exposition Center.
Rooms are available for only $84 per night (plus tax), which includes high-speed wireless Internet access; a great breakfast of eggs, hash browns, waffles, French toast, etc.; and free shuttle to the conference. This special FAIR Conference room rate is only available through July 25, 2009.
To make your reservations, contact the hotel at 800-662-6886. Tell them you want a FAIR Conference room, or use the confirmation number 902097.
Best Western Cottontree
10695 South Auto Mall Drive
Sandy, UT 84070
FAIR is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We rely on your donations to stay in business and to do the things that we do.
We introduced an optional monthly auto-pay option last month with several people signing up. We are hopeful that it will help our funding issues.
For as little as $5 per month, you can make a difference. For less than the cost of one trip to your favorite fast-food restaurant, you can do something that may favorably impact the life of someone who is otherwise struggling.
And if you are able, you should consider $10, $25 or more. One-time donations are also welcome. For more information on this, click here:
You can also donate to FAIR via the U.S. Postal Service using the following address.
P.O. Box 491677
Redding, CA 96049-1677
SPECIAL BOOKSTORE ANNOUNCEMENT
Nobody Knows: The Untold Story Of Black Mormons DVD is now available at the FAIR bookstore.
This celebrated documentary about African American Latter-day Saints was headed by Margaret Young and Darius Gray , authors of several award-winning books and articles about Black Mormons. It was edited by Jim Hughes and Danor Gerald.
Few people, Mormon and non-Mormon, are aware that there has been an African American presence in the LDS Church from its earliest days, that the vanguard company of Mormon pioneers included three “colored servants”–at least one of whom was a baptized Mormon, and whose descendants remained active in the Church for several generations, intermarrying with other Black Latter-day Saints. This documentary talks about that little-known legacy, and confronts the hard issues which surfaced in the most turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement, when the Church’s long-standing restriction of priesthood from those of African descent became a focus of national attention. It discusses how that restriction was lifted and what the lives and challenges of the modern Black Mormon pioneers are. Besides never- released footage shot in 1968 and many rare archival photographs, the documentary includes interviews with renowned scholars, historians, Black Mormons, with Martin Luther King III, and with Dr. Cecil “Chip”
Murray, retired pastor of the First AME Church of Los Angeles, which was founded by a former slave of Mormon pioneers.
This is a subject that every Latter-day Saint should be familiar with.
There are many myths that are repeated even by good members of the church. This DVD should dispel many of those myths and create a better understanding of our history. Order the DVD at http://store.fairlds.org/prod/pNKUSBM.html
MORE RESOUCES ON BLACKS IN THE LDS CHURCH
For a better understanding on LDS race issues, check out the following articles.
For an excellent summary this article is on the FAIR Wiki:
Sociologist Armand L. Mauss gave a presentation on this subject at the
2003 FAIR conference. You can read the text of his presentation here:
You can find a history timeline of blacks in the LDS church here:
Many members of the church still use the Curse of Cain or Ham as a justification for the priesthood ban and believe that it came by revelation. But, there is no known revelation on the matter. There isn’t anything printed in official Church Handbooks about the priesthood ban. Many LDS members don’t realize is that the belief in a curse upon those of African lineage was common in American Churches in the 19th Century and had been used for centuries to justify the slave trade. There is a non-Mormon discussion of this on the Wikipedia Website here:
A chapter review of an anti-Mormon book gives excellent insights into the LDS black issue. It is a must-read article to understand how this issue is misused:
Additional valuable articles on this topic are:
* Dispelling the Black Myth by Renee Olson
* Blacks and the Priesthood by Marvin Perkins
* Black Latter-day Saints, A Faith Full history by Margaret Young
* A Black Man in Zion : Reflections on Race in the Restored Gospel
by Marcus Martins
* The Curse of Cain by Mike Parker
* And this article about our new African General Authority
ONE NATION UNDER GODS
Anti-Mormon author Richard Abanes has written two books on Mormonism that are filled with loaded and prejudicial language, absurd claims, presentism, and mind reading. The author often uses sarcasm to belittle what he claims to be LDS beliefs and doctrine.
One example from his book One Nation Under Gods is the claim that Elder Haight said we should “do nothing without the assistance of the moon.” FAIR addresses this rather unique claim that Elder Haight invoked some sort of astrological principle during a talk in General Conference. After the claim was made in his first anti Mormon book, it was later discovered that Elder Haight had made no such claim. The author then assumed in his subsequent book Becoming Gods that the Church hid the reference by removing it from the online version of the talk! FAIR looks at the truth behind this amusing claim.
You will find more on this book as well as an index to many of the claims here:
You will find the list of claims and a response from his second book Becoming Gods (later re-titled Inside Today’s Mormonism) here:
LDS USE OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS
Critics charge that the rate of antidepressant use is much higher among Mormons than the general population. They claim this is evidence that participation in the LDS Church is inordinately stressful due to pressure for Mormons to appear “perfect.” Read the response here:
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR WIKI
Many great articles and resources can be found on the FAIR Wiki at www.fairmormon.org. If you speak another language and want translate an article, please email us.
RESOURCES ON THE WEB: FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS
FAIR multimedia is continuing its mission of uploading positive LDS videos on Youtube, which has been flooded with anti-Mormon clips.
Recently, LDS scholar and Semiticist David Bokovoy, has given FAIR permission to upload some podcasts done by him. So this month, we are featuring a series on similarities between the Middle East and The Book of Mormon called The Nephites vs. The Lamanites.
Scholar and author Matthew B. Brown discusses many of the arguments against Joseph Smith and answers them in his 2004 FAIR Conference address Historical or Hysterical? Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources
Scholar John Tvedtnes speaks about errors in the Bible and The Book of Mormon in his 2002 FAIR Conference address The Mistakes of Men: Can the Scriptures be Error-Free?
FAIR’s Youtube channel is at http://www.youtube.com/user/fairldsorg
ASK THE APOLOGIST
FAIR invites the public to submit questions relating to LDS beliefs, practices, and history. Some questions are asked sincerely by members and investigators, others are clearly hostile questions challenging the veracity of the Church and its teachings. Many of these responses may end up on the Web site as a FAIR paper or brochure. If you have a question, you may submit it through the FAIR web site.
Questions sent to FAIR will be shared with members of FAIR, so it is not uncommon to receive several responses that approach the issue from different angles.
FAIR TOPICAL GUIDE
The Topical Guide is one of the most important LDS apologetic resources available. If you aren’t familiar with this part of FAIR’s Web site, check it out at
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, videos, or audio products, the FAIR Bookstore has what you need. You can begin your browsing by going to our main site.
On Sale this Month!
Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons (DVD)
Co-directors and producers: Margaret B. Young and Darius A. Gray.
Edited by: Jim Hughes and K. Danor Gerald. Sponsored by:
Independent Features Projects (IFP). 2009. DVD
There has been a continuous African American presence in the LDS Church from its earliest days. Until the 1850’s, some Black converts were even ordained to the Mormon priesthood. This documentary discusses the little-known legacy. It also confronts the hard issues which surfaced during the 1960s, when the Civil Rights Movement drew attention to the Church’s priesthood restriction. That restriction was lifted in 1978, which opened the door for an influx of new Black Mormon pioneers.
Never-released footage shot in 1968 joins rare archival photographs in this documentary, which also includes interviews with Martin Luther King III, Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, as well as many renowned scholars, historians, Black Mormons, and descendants of Black Mormon pioneers.
On Sale for $19.95! Retail is $25.00
Black and Mormon: Reflections on Latter-day Saint African-Americans since 1978
Newell G. Bringhurst and Darron T. Smith (Editors), Urbana, Illinois, University of Illinois Press, 2004, 6.25×9.2″ hardbound, 173 pages, 2 line drawings.
The year 2003 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the lifting of the ban excluding black members from the priesthood of the Mormon church. The articles collected in Newell G. Bringhurst and Darron T.
Smith’s Black and Mormon look at the mechanisms used to keep blacks from full participation, the motives behind the ban, and the kind of changes that have–and have not–taken place within the church since the revelation responsible for its end.
This challenging collection is required reading for anyone concerned with the history of racism, discrimination, and the Latter-day Saints.
On Sale for $14.95! Retail is $19.95
Unlocking the Idioms: An LDS Perspective on Understanding Scriptural Idioms. George M. Peacock. Springville, Utah: Cedar Fort, 2009.
Softbound, 6×9″, 225 pgs. ISBN: 9781599552415
Idioms are as real in holy scripture as are prophecies and parables.
Like a cultural shorthand, they describe without using lengthy explanation. Idioms and idiomatic language are words and phrases that express more than the actual words themselves. They paint mental or emotional images and bring intensity to events and feelings described in holy writ.
Idioms may also be meaningless and misleading if the reader has no experience with the culture and language from which they originate.
Both mistranslation and cultural differences contribute to the misunderstanding of scriptural idioms. Phrases such as:
* Gird up your loins
* Salt of the Earth
* Mountain of the Lord’s house, and
* Kick against the pricks
Lose their intended effect if they are only taken literally. In unlocking the idioms, George M. Peacock explains how to identify idioms, what they are, and how learning their meanings adds to your comprehension of the scriptures.
Unlocking the idioms brings you new levels of insight, understanding, and knowledge as you feats upon the words of the Lord.
On Sale for $12.95! Retail is $15.99
Compare Isaiah: Understanding Biblical Scriptures in the Book of Mormon. Mark Swint. Springville, Utah: Horizon, 2009. Softbound, 6×9″, 175 pgs. ISBN: 9780882909608
Why did Nephi feel compelled to quote from Isaiah, a prophet who lived 100 years before he did? Why was Abinadi willing to give up his life to cite a passage of Isaiah to King Noah?
Author Mark Swint answers these questions and more in “Compare Isaiah:
Understanding Biblical Scriptures in the Book of Mormon.” Discover how the words of Isaiah influenced Nephi, Abinadi, Mormon, and others, and examine why they were included in the Book of Mormon. You’ll learn:
* Why Isaiah is the source of over 85 percent of the biblical
scriptures in the Book of Mormon;
* What the differences are between the words of Isaiah in the Book
of Mormon and the Bible;
* Why the Savior would quote Malachi to the Nephites; and
* How the Savior adapted the Sermon on the Mount to his audiences.
Mark Swint has provided a valuable resource for the average student as well as the serous scholar in understanding Isaiah. With Swint’s expert guidance, the words of Isaiah, Malachi, and the Sermon on the Mount become easier to understand and simpler to apply. As you learn about the importance of Isaiah in the Book of Mormon, you also come to understand the importance of the Lord’s divine plan for all of us.
On Sale for $9.95! Retail is $12.99
Thank you for using the FAIR bookstore!
–FAIR Bookstore Staff
FAIR is not owned, controlled by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided in the FAIR Journal and on the FAIR Web site (http://www.fairlds.org) are the sole responsibility of FAIR, and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief or practice.
If someone has forwarded this e-journal to you and you would like to join, you should go to www.fairlds.org and click on the “Join & Support FAIR” link.
If you are interested in apologetics and would like to participate actively in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the “Join & Support FAIR”
link to join this list as well.
If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these thoughts or articles on your list, contact us by going to
We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material as long as you contact us first to gain permission, clearly identify that your source was FAIR, and add a link to the FAIR Web site (www.fairlds.org).
FAIR JOURNAL ARCHIVES
For past issues of the FAIR Journal, go to
Copyright (c) 2009 by The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR). All rights reserved.
Foundation for Apologetic
Information and Research
PO Box 491677
Redding, CA 96049