July 26, 2003
by Karen Hoag
The fifth annual Mormon Apologetics Conference, sponsored by the Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR), will be Aug 7 and 8 at Utah Valley State College.
The word “apologetics, ” used in this sense, has nothing to do with expressing regret.
It comes from the Greek apologetikos and apologeisthai, meaning “to defend, ” and logos, which pertains to speech. Thus, religious apologetics offer defense and vindication of the tenets of their faith.
A highlight of the program will be a presentation on the relationship between African-Americans and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The sessions are titled “Unfinished Business, ” presented by Armand Mause, and “Black Latter-day Saints: A Faith-FULL History ” by Margaret Young.
“The conference allows people in the LDS Church to learn about difficult issues or old issues that come up with new twists to them, ” said Sharon Bunch, bookstore manager for FAIR. “They can learn ways to address criticisms and those struggling believers can be helped to understand these issues. ”
Dr. Trent Stevens and Dr. Jeff Meldrum will offer a session on DNA and the Book of Mormon. Gene Sessions addresses the Mountain Meadows Massacre with “Shining New Light on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. ”
“Sometimes if these things aren’t addressed people lose faith, ” Bunch said.
She explains by taking a quote by C.S. Lewis from Austin Farrer’s “The Christian Apologist “: “Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish.”