Robert White discusses his experience as a church leader and as an apologist. He explains why apologetics is important and cautions against some pitfalls of apologetics. As C.S. Lewis said, “nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist. Because no doctrine of that Faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended. . . . That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments … from Christian apologetics [in]to Christ himself. That is also why we need one another’s continual help — oremus pro invincem (let us pray for one another).”
He shares his thoughts on the idea of inoculating the saints against anti-Mormon arguments. In providing an inoculation, can we be sure we know what disease, or argument, each individual will be exposed to? Is it possible that we may do more harm than good in administering the wrong inoculation? He contrasted inoculations with transfusions. The Gospel Principles manual is designed “not [to] inoculate but transfuse into the lives of the Latter-day Saints the fundamental faith in the fundamental gospel restored through the Prophet.” If people know the Church is true, then they will be strengthened against the attacks of anti-Mormon arguments when encountered.
The full text of this address can be found here.
Robert B. White, Q.C., served a mission in Eastern Canada after which he returned to Edmonton and received degrees in finance (with distinction) and law (with distinction and the Silver Medal) at the University of Alberta. He is a senior partner and litigation practice group leader in a large, multi-national law firm with offices across Canada and in Japan. Robert works exclusively in trials and appeals and loves the law. He is listed in each of the three published, peer reviewed “Best Lawyers in Canada” lists. He was hired as an adjunct professor in law while in my third year of law school, and while practicing he taught for 18 years. He has written four law books, all published by Canada Law Book, with a second edition of one under way. Robert has served in many Church positions, including bishop, stake president, and area seventy. He is married to Lonni. They have six children and twenty grandchildren.