I’ve been a volunteer member of FAIR for years. It has been interesting to watch the reaction of many people—especially the critics—to the work done by apologists in general and FAIR in particular. Some of the reaction is quite comical and, I believe, shows that some people “just don’t have a clue” (as one of my friends used to say).
Late in June of this year, FAIR posted an initial review of Rodney Meldrum’s DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography. At the time, there were several folks who indicated that they were looking forward to the promised analysis of the DVD’s use of research and scholarship.
In a previous blog post I mentioned how Simon Southerton “has been trying to polarize apologists and others who promote various theories about the Book of Mormon.” An astounding example of that very avocation recently appeared under Dr. Southerton’s nom de plume on the Recovery from Mormonism message board.
An interesting “news” piece has appeared on the Signature Books website in the last few days. The undated piece, entitled Fair-weather Friends at FARMS and FAIR,” is interesting and somewhat amusing. Most interesting is why it would even appear as “news” on the website of a book publisher. It is not about one of their books or one of their authors; it is not about any of their employees; it is not about the company; it is not about the company’s financiers. What, then, makes a mention about FAIR’s analysis of a recent Book of Mormon geography publication news worthy?
FAIR provides an “Ask the Apologist” service to which people send questions. In recent months many well-meaning individuals have asked why FAIR has not endorsed DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography, a DVD created and promoted by Rodney Meldrum.
Last evening there was a fireside in the Tabernacle, on Temple Square, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the announcement of the revelation extending the priesthood to all worthy males. This was a joyous time for most people in attendance. Many there remember that day 30 years ago, as do I. Many remember the feelings of joy that the will of the Lord had been revealed to those we sustain as prophets, seers, and revelators.
Today a panel of the US Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (Denver Colorado) issued a ruling that is of special interest to FAIR and this writer. In a unanimous decision, the court upheld the earlier ruling of the District Court relative to the case originally brought by Utah Lighthouse Ministry against me, my company, my wife, FAIR, and FAIR’s president.
On the “Setting the Record Straight” thread there was a comment made by MarkW that indicated that Tracy Bachman, wife of Tal Bachman, had independently corroborated Tal Bachman’s story of what was said by their ex-stake president.
MarkW said: Actually, his wife did speak publicly about this at the exmo conference. So there is corroboration from her. I don’t remember how specific or on-point it was, so we’d have to go back and review that. And while her witness would not be direct corroboration of Tal’s meeting with the SP it’d be corroboration that the SP did say the type of things in question to someone else.
Tal Bachman, son of rock legend Randy Bachman, was raised in the Church. Through a crisis of faith, Tal decided to leave the Church in late 2003. Since that time he has been sharing his exit story with those who are curious and in various venues critical of the Church. (In the parlance of those who leave the Church, an exit story is their telling of awakening to the knowledge that the Church is no longer true for them. In many respects, an exit story is simply another type of conversion story or, more properly, a deconversion story.)
Part of Tal’s exit story revolves around his interaction with his stake president at the time, Randy Keyes. Tal often tells, with incredulity, how he heard from his stake president that he didn’t believe in different aspects of the gospel either.
FAIR has announced the dates for the 2008 FAIR Conference. It will be held August 7th and 8th at South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, Utah.
This is the tenth year for the FAIR Conference, and every one gets a bit better and bigger than the year before. The speaker lineup has not been announced, but is being finalized. (FAIR does take serious suggestions for speakers and topics, by the way.)
Additional information, as it becomes available, will be on the FAIR Conference page.