LATIN – apologeticus GREEK – apologetikos 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, 4th edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2009).
- MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT. Scott Gordon announces the 7th Annual FAIR Conference and notes the sad and difficult events involving the Nibley family this month.
- REMEMBERING HUGH NIBLEY. Scott Gordon looks back on Hugh Nibley’s impact on LDS apologetics and the lives of LDS apologists.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Fantastic Fiction.” Tom Kimball reviews Martha Nibley Beck’s book about her relationship with her father and the Church.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Loss and Sadness Among the Saints.” Allen Wyatt also reviews Martha Nibley Beck’s book “Leaving the Saints.”
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Leaving the Saints or Leaving Reality?” Scott Gordon provides a third review of Beck’s “Leaving the Saints.”
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Dealing with Demographics.” Tim Heaton’s 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, focusing on demographics and the Church, is now available.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Monotheism, Messiah, and Mormon’s Book.” Brant Gardner’s 2003 FAIR Conference presentation is now available.
- RESOURCES ON THE WEB: “Is the MSN Search Engine Equation Anti-Mormon?” Scott Gordon narrates his experience with using MSN’s search engine to find official LDS websites.
- ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here’s how.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. The FAIR Bookstore has discounted a number of items that you will want to have in your personal libraries.
- 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.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
We have an eventful journal for you this month. We are announcing our Seventh Annual FAIR Conference on August 4th & 5th at the South Towne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. The FAIR Conference is an event that you won’t want to miss. The FAIR speakers consistently provide outstanding presentations on a wide range of topics defending The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For information about the conference go to
We will be updating this site as we finalize plans for our program. There is a special discount for purchasing your tickets in advance, so sign up soon and start making your plans!
This month we also mourn the passing of Hugh Nibley and have included a statement about that in this Journal. It is sad to note that Hugh Nibley’s death coincides with the publication of Martha Nibley Beck’s book on her life and her memories of her father, Hugh Nibley. This month’s Journal includes three separate reviews on Beck’s book “Leaving the Saints.”
We invite you to visit our website to learn more about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and to take advantage of the articles and books that are available there.
– Scott Gordon President, FAIR
FAIR relies on your kind donations to remain in business. Now is the time to make a donation. FAIR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so if you are in the United States, your donation is tax deductible.
Remembering Hugh Nibley
by Scott Gordon
We at FAIR are greatly saddened by the passing of Hugh Nibley. He was a great man, a great scholar, and a great apologist. His example has led many to study the scriptures, to study ancient languages and cultures, and to deepen their understanding and faith. Many FAIR members credit Hugh Nibley for inspiring and motivating them to go into the world of apologetics. In reference to Nibley’s profound impact on a generation of LDS scholars, Juliann Reynolds, one of FAIR’s co-founders, stated, “Nibley can probably be credited for FAIR.” Juliann said that she was inspired to delve into New Testament scholarship and go to graduate school because of a book written by Nibley. Many other FAIR members have similar stories. We mourn his loss; we celebrate his life; we honor his work. Our condolences go out to all members of the Nibley family.
by Tom Kimball
In his review of Martha Nibley Beck’s “Leaving the Saints,” Kimball notes that he went from “kindred spirit to unfamiliarity, to puzzlement, and, finally, to frustration.” Kimball points out that Beck’s approach is “reminiscent of nineteenth-century anti-Mormon narratives” and that her enjoyable writing style was misused in writing what Kimball suspects is “most likely heavily laced with fiction.”
Read the article:
Loss and Sadness Among the Saints
by Allen L. Wyatt
In our second review of Martha Nibley Beck’s “Leaving the Saints,” Wyatt attempts to “look at the quality of the evidence provided [by Beck], along with its internal consistency and credibility.” Wyatt points out that Beck is consistently inconsistent, with a story that is well-told but fascinating in its self-contradictions and unbelievable in the face of conflicting evidence.
Wyatt concludes that although “Beck’s tale is a fantastical journey,” he believes “the willingness of readers to assign credibility to such a story may ultimately reveal more about the reader’s proclivities” than the allegations in Beck’s book.
Read the article:
Leaving the Saints or Leaving Reality?
by Scott Gordon
In our third review of Martha Nibley Beck’s “Leaving the Saints,” Gordon looks at three issues: the Oprah Winfrey e-mail campaign, Beck’s allegations of molestation, and Beck’s attacks on the Church. Gordon points out that Beck’s claims of molestation by her father are difficult to believe given the home situation and the testimony of other family members. Gordon also points to several areas where Beck’s charges against the Church are demonstrably false.
Gordon concludes that Beck appears to be “a troubled person” and he hopes “that she one day finds peace,” but as for Beck’s book, “it is difficult to find anything of value in its pages.”
Read the article:
Leaving the Saints or Leaving Reality? by Scott Gordon
Dealing with Demographics
by Tim Heaton
Dr. Tim Heaton’s presentation at the 2002 FAIR Conference is now online. In his presentation, Heaton conducts an information discussion with the FAIR audience about Church demographics and how they are used. He discusses various trends in a variety of areas of interest to apologists.
Read the presentation:
Dealing with Demographics by Tim Heaton
Monotheism, Messiah, and Mormon’s Book
by Brant A. Gardner
Gardner’s presentation at the 2003 FAIR Conference is now available on the FAIR website. In his paper, Gardner traces the development of monotheism in Israelite theology during Old Testament times, with a focus on the relationship between Elohim (father), Yahweh (son and father), and the nation of Israel (sons). Gardner points to theological developments and conflicts occurring at the time of Lehi and notes that the Book of Mormon fits well into this cultural and religious environment.
Gardner concludes that “when we approach the Book of Mormon text from the viewpoint of the historical context that it declares to be its origin, we find an absolutely consistent theology of God.”
Read the article:
Monotheism, Messiah, and Mormon’s Book by Brant Gardner
Is the MSN Search Engine Equation Anti-Mormon?
by Scott Gordon
Search engines use equations to determine site ranking. On the MSN Web site it states, “The MSN Search ranking algorithm analyzes factors such as page content, the number and quality of sites that link to your pages, and the relevance of your site’s content to keywords. The algorithm is complex and never human-mediated.”
That’s why I was so surprised on February 1, 2005 when I typed in the word “Mormon” I found page after page of Web site listed, but www.mormon.org was nowhere to be found. I went through several pages of links, and didn’t find it.
Next I typed in “LDS.” Once again, the Web site www.lds.org wasn’t on the list. I scanned through several pages of links and it simply wasn’t there.
Concerned about this issue, I typed in the words “Baptist”, “Catholic”, “Presbyterian”, “Methodist” and “Jewish”. In each of those cases the first link that came up was an official Web site for the organization. In contrast, for “LDS” the first link was anti-Mormon.
I next tried my experiment on Google and Yahoo. On both of those search engines, www.lds.org and www.mormon.org were the first two Web sites listed when I typed in either “Mormon” or “LDS”.
I sent an e-mail to MSN and received the following response, “Please do not worry, I will forward your concern to the MSN Search Product Specialist Team for proper attention.”
Sure enough, the next day they added the links www.lds.org and www.mormon.org to their list of links that show up on the first page. I appreciate that.
Now my next questions are why do they show up as the VERY LAST links on that first page, and why don’t they have ANY text associated with those links as every other link does?
I exchanged several e-mails with MSN on this issue, but the only other suggestion I got was that I might want to “submit” my Web site (www.lds.org?) to the search engine.
Maybe I will just have to stick with Google and Yahoo.
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 website as a FAIR paper or brochure. If you have a question, simply mail it to our Contact address.
FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE
Now that you have settled into a new year and have finished paying for all those Christmas gifts, it’s time to start looking at expanding your library. This month the FAIR Bookstore is offering a number of fascinating books and other items at substantial discounts.
The Book of Moses and the Joseph Smith Translation Manuscripts
This book by Kent P. Jackson is hot off the press. It gives both the history of the Book of Moses and an analysis of the text as it was presented by the Prophet Joseph Smith. A must-read for those who want to understand how the scriptures came to be. This book retails for $19.95, but is available from the FAIR Bookstore for $15.95, a 20% savings!
The Faith of an Observer: Conversations with Hugh Nibley (DVD)
With the recent passing of Hugh Nibley, we are reminded again of the tremendous contributions he made to LDS scholarship. In this DVD (VHS is also available) you can explore various aspects of Hugh Nibley’s life and teachings. This item retails for $14.95, but it is now available from the FAIR Bookstore for $11.95, another 20% savings.
Many other books by Nibley are available from the FAIR Bookstore. Let us know if there is something you are looking for but just can’t seem to find!
Pocket Dictionary of Biblical Studies
This guide defines over 300 terms relating to the Bible and Biblical studies. An important reference for most libraries, this is being offered at the FAIR Bookstore for $5.60, a 20% discount from its retail price of $7.00.
Turning from Truth: A New Look at the Great Apostasy
This brand new book by Alexander B. Morrison provides a new LDS perspective on the Great Apostasy. Elder Morrison draws on contemporary scholarship and early Christian writings to explain how the Gospel was lost and why the Restoration was necessary. This book normally sells for $19.95, but is now available from the FAIR Bookstore for $16.95, a 15% discount.
We hope that you will use these and other Bookstore items to expand and improve your study of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
– The FAIR Bookstore Staff
We welcome article submissions for the FAIR Web site. If you would like to submit an article, please review the editing guidelines at:
Submit your article to the FAIR Journal Editor. An appropriate article would be one that affirms the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
While LDS apologetics (in the broadest sense) deals with refuting critics of the Church, articles don’t necessarily have to deal with anti-Mormonism, but may deal with some new evidence of the Book of Mormon, some interesting scripture interpretation, a viewpoint or quote from the early Christian Fathers or other historical figure, an interesting lesson idea, an inspiring missionary story, Church history, or your view on a current event related to the Church or a piece from a historical journal.
We may also accept articles from people who are not members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that may not necessarily meet the guidelines of supporting the church if it is a topic of general interest to people involved in apologetics.
A submission may range in length from several pages to a single paragraph.
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 FAIR Publications link.
If you are very interested in apologetics and would like to actively participate in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the Join FAIR link to join this list.
If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these thoughts or articles on your list, contact us through our Web site, at this page: www.fairlds.org/contact.psp. We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material so long as you contact us first to gain permission and clearly identify that your source was FAIR and by adding a link to the FAIR Web site (www.fairlds.org).
If you would like to sign up to receive the FAIR Journal automatically, click here.
To return to the index of past FAIR Journal issues, click here.