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.
When some members think of anti-Mormonism, immediately they have an image pop into their minds of the Evangelical preacher standing outside the convention center with the bullhorn screaming that Mormons are members of an evil cult. Typically the arguments that come to mind have to do with either the Bible (FAIR only had one question on it this year) or the tension-state between faith and works (also only one question this year). For most members, those issues have been discussed and debated over many generations of anti-Mormons, and members typically dismiss them with a wave of the hand. And if those were the only issues that people dealt with, we probably wouldn’t need an organization like FAIR.
The Book of Mormon is inextricably intertwined with Joseph Smith. We undeniably have the text because he translated it. Recently there has been much ado about what Joseph Smith thought about the book’s geography. Without trying to tie Joseph down to any particular idea at any particular time (and there is also evidence that he was flexible in his thinking on the subject, altering and refining some of his views with later information), the real question is what we should expect of Joseph as a geographer of the Book of Mormon. For those who might suggest that Joseph should be held as the definer of Book of Mormon geography, that suggest appears to be based on one or more assumptions about Joseph that neither the church nor he would accept as accurate. Any of the following might be the basis for assuming that Joseph knew the geography of the Book of Mormon, but none are correct.
One week ago, I celebrated the twenty-eighth anniversary of my baptism into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One reason for my baptism was the fact that I saw the various hallmarks of the ancient Church I gleaned from studying ancient Roman history that were absent from the other Churches I attended.
In my early days as a member of the Church, I had thought, like James Talmage in his book, The Great Apostasy, that the Roman Catholic Church had fallen away from the true Christian Church, and that other non-LDS Christian Churches were corruptions of a corruptions. I have found that my opinions have, …, um, …, evolved. Rather than being the Great Apostasy, I now regard the Roman Catholic and other non-LDS Christian Churches as pious humans’ valiant attempts to salvage true Christianity from the Great Apostasy; attempts that were, for the most part, successful–significantly more successful than I had previously thought.
This is an open thread for participants and streaming listeners to comment on FAIR conference presentations on Friday, 8 August 2008.
Today’s speaker lineup:
- Ron Esplin (“The Joseph Smith Papers”)
- Matthew Brown (“The Israelite Temple and the Early Christians”)
- Newell Bringhurst and Craig Foster (“The White Horse Prophecy: Myth vs. Reality”)
- Scott Gordon (“Online Apologetics”)
- Brian Hauglid (“The Book of Abraham”)
- Brant Gardner (“Second Witness: The Book of Mormon”)
- Daniel Peterson (“Humble Apologetics”)
We look forward to your comments!
This is an open thread for participants and streaming listeners to comment on FAIR conference presentations on Thursday, 7 August 2008.
Today’s speaker lineup:
- Mike Ash (“Shaken Faith Syndrome”)
- Mark Wright (“The Book of Mormon and Mesoamerica”)
- Margaret Young and Darius Gray (“Nobody Knows, the Untold Story of Black Mormons”)
- Brian Birch, Blake Ostler, and James Faulconer (“Philosophy and Mormonism”)
- Jeffrey Bradshaw (“The Message of the Joseph Smith Translation: A Walk in the Garden”)
- Larry Poulsen (“Book of Mormon Geography”)
- Ugo Perego (“Joseph Smith’s DNA Revealed: New Clues from the Prophet’s Genes”)
We look forward to your comments!
My reader’s copy of this long awaited book arrived Monday (the 28th) and by Tuesday morning I finished it just in time to arrive at Bushman’s apologetic seminar 45 minutes late after pulling an all-nighter. I have been busy helping two different sets of relatives move, so I haven’t got this review completed as fast as I would like and now I am informed that Amazon is shipping the book. Nevertheless, I will still have to release my review in installments. Those who are just now getting their copies would be well served by checking out Kramer and Stapley’s review as well.
[Read more…] about Massacre at Mountain Meadows Pt. I
Some people have noticed that this year FAIR and Sunstone are running conferences on overlapping dates. We’ve received a few queries about that, asking if we did it on purpose. (Cue maniacally evil laugh: Buu-WAH-hah-hah-hah-hah!)
====================================================================== THE FAIR JOURNAL July 2008 ---------------------------------------------------------------------- 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 Edition, 2000.) INSIDE THE JOURNAL ---------------------------------------------------------------------- * MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. The 2008 FAIR Annual Conference is only a week away, and this year FAIR plans to offer streaming audio access for most of the Conference. * FAIR FUNDRAISING. If you would like to help FAIR in its work to provide "well-documented answers to criticisms of LDS (Mormon) doctrine, belief and practice," we encourage you to contribute through the FAIR web site. * NEW ON THE WEBSITE: Michael Ash has written a new article dealing with anti-Mormon argument pertaining to horses being mentioned in the Book of Mormon. * RESOURCES ON THE WEB: Meridian Magazine published an article by John Tvedtnes that discusses non-LDS scholars' use of the Book of Mormon. * RESOURCES ON THE WEB: Meridian Magazine published a summary of the FAIR resources relating to suicide rates in Utah and the critics' use of in attacking The Church of Jesus Christ. * RESOURCES ON THE WEB: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a new web site to respond to questions about polygamy. * RESOURCES ON THE WEB: Biology professor Steven Peck blogs on why the Lamanite DNA issue is irrelevant to the Book of Mormon claims. * ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here's how. * 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 WIKI. The FAIR Wiki is an excellent resource for someone looking for a summary of an issue and for pointers to more detailed information. Links to many new and changed articles are included in this issue. * FAIR YOUTUBE VIDEOS. FAIR has had a presence on youtube.com for several months and new video clips are added frequently. * FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. Visit the FAIR Bookstore at the FAIR Conference to build your apologetic library. * ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS. Interested in writing for FAIR? Learn how you can have your apologetics work published. * 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.
The 2008 FAIR conference is less than two weeks away!
Today (Friday, 25 July) is the last day to pre-register and have a box lunch included with your conference ticket.
Online pre-registration ends Saturday, 2 August. After that, tickets will be available at the door, based on available seating.
We’ll be liveblogging the conference from this site, so if you’re attending and you have a laptop, please bring it. We’ll have free wireless Internet access available.
If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below, or send an email to mparker (AT) fairlds (DOT) org.