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 many of the speakers scheduled for this summer’s 2005 FAIR Conference. It’s time for people to register for the conference and put in on their calendars!
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “Historical or Hysterical. Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources.” Matthew Brown demonstrates how anti-Mormon attacks on Joseph Smith are contradicted by the historical evidence.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE: “The Grace of Apologetics.” In his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, Roger Keller spoke on how it is important to look beyond apologetics to dialog, teaching, and true missionary work.
- ASK THE APOLOGIST. Got a question you are dying to ask? Here’s how.
- FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE. This month we have discounted four items ranging from LDS history to practical helps for living the Gospel.
- 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 are excited and pleased about this year’s FAIR Conference and speakers. As in past years, the conference, located in Sandy Utah, is on the first Thursday and Friday in August, August 4 and 5.
We have an outstanding speaker lineup:
- We have Dr. Robert Millet. Yes, this is the Robert Millet with all of the books you see at the bookstore. Yes this is the Robert Millet that used to be the Dean of the Religion department at BYU. Yes, this is the Robert Millet that everyone enjoys listening to.
- Speaking with Dr. Millet, we have the Rev. Greg Johnson from Standing Together Ministries. Greg is ordained through the conservative Baptist church and has served as a pastor in two key churches in the Ogden and Provo areas, as well as serving as a founding pastor in a church plant. We are excited to have him speak with Dr. Millet on the topic of “Bridging Differences.”
- We also have another “big name” speaker with Dr. Richard Bushman. Dr. Bushman has a Ph.D. in history of American Civilization from Harvard University and he is Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University. He is also Chair of the Executive Committee at the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History, Brigham Young University. He will be speaking on Joseph Smith and discussing some of the issues raised by his critics.
- We know that DNA and the Book of Mormon continues to be an issue that is raised, so we have invited Dr. Ryan Parr to come all the way from Ontario Canada where he works in the field of DNA. His work has recently involved the use of mtDNA to identify unclaimed victims from the 1912 RMS Titanic disaster and he has worked with DNA from Amerindian mummies. He is uniquely qualified to talk about “DNA and the Book of Mormon” as he truly is an undisputed expert in the field.
- With Hugh Nibley’s passing and because of some of the controversy that some have launched against him, we have invited Boyd Peterson, Hugh Nibley’s biographer and son-in-law, to come speak. All those who have read Brother Peterson’s book on Hugh Nibley know that this will be a great talk. I mentioned that Boyd was speaking at the conference to one of my ward members here in California and she immediately said, “If Boyd Peterson is speaking, how do I buy tickets?”
- We have seen some discussion on the Internet in the area of Cognitive Dissonance, so we have invited Dr. Wendy Ulrich to speak. Dr. Ulrich has served as the president of the Association of Mormon Counselors and Psychotherapists, has authored numerous professional articles in both psychology and business. She is an exciting speaker and has done training for several large corporations. Her topic is titled “‘Believest thou…?’: Faith, Cognitive Dissonance, and the Psychology of Religious Experience.”
- Following our long tradition of supporting black members in the LDS church, we have invited Darius Gray, past president of Genesis, who will be speaking on blacks in the Bible, and Marvin Perkins from southern California who will be speaking on reaching out to black saints.
- Every conference I get multiple requests to have Blake Ostler come speak. So this year, Blake Ostler will be speaking. Blake is well known for his brilliant discussions on Mormon philosophy and theology. His topic this year is “The Fallacy of Fundamentalist Assumptions.”
- Masonry and Mormonism is always a hot topic. So we have invited journalist, Pulitzer prize finalist, and LDS Master Mason Greg Kearney to come give his unique insights on Masonry and Mormonism.
- Dr. Davis Bitton, retired University of Utah history professor, Ph.D. from Princeton University, served for ten years as assistant Church historian. After his exciting talk last year, he has been invited back to speak with us again. His talk this year is titled, “George Q. Cannon and the Apostates.”
- In all of the discussions on Book of Abraham translation, one topic that no anti-Mormon likes to talk about is what Joseph Smith got right in the Book of Abraham. This year John Tvedtnes, senior resident scholar at the BYU Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts, will be speaking on “Book of Abraham Hits.” This is one talk that no LDS apologist should miss.
- Perennial conference favorite Dr. Daniel Peterson of the BYU Institute for the Study and Preservation of Ancient Religious Texts will also be speaking. This year his topic is secular anti-Mormonism.
Sign up now for the conference. When you get there, come up and say hello to me. Let us know how we are doing. You can register for the 2005 FAIR Conference at
I look forward to seeing you there.
– Scott Gordon President, FAIR
2005 Annual FAIR Conference Speakers and Topics
In case you’d like to see the current lineup of spekers and their topics in a condensed form, here it is:
- Dr. Davis Bitton, George Q. Cannon and the Apostates
- Dr. Richard Bushman, Joseph Smith
- Darius Gray, Blacks in the Bible
- Greg Kearney, Masonry and Mormonism
- Dr. Robert Millet & Rev. Greg Johnson, Bridging Differences
- Blake Ostler, The Fallacy of Fundamentalist Assumptions
- Dr. Ryan Parr, DNA and the Book of Mormon
- Marvin Perkins, Reaching out to Black Saints
- Boyd Peterson, Hugh Nibley
- Dr. Daniel Peterson, Secular anti-Mormonism
- John Tvedtnes, Book of Abraham Hits
- Dr. Wendy Ulrich, Faith and Cognitive Dissonance
To see more about each of this year’s speakers, go to
With this exciting group of speakers and topics, you won’t want to miss the 2005 FAIR Conference. You can buy your FAIR Conference tickets at
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.
Historical or Hysterical. Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources
by Matthew B. Brown
At the 2004 FAIR Conference, Matthew Brown presented a presentation that examined many of the claims made by anti-Mormons about Joseph Smith’s character and his account of the events of the Restoration. Anti-Mormon literature is filled with many accusations against Joseph Smith: he was of low moral character, he was not spiritually-minded as a youth, the “true” accounts of his behavior and personality have been nefariously suppresed by the Church, and that historical records show that Joseph Smith’s accounting of the Restoration evolved into the story that is told today.
Brown brings up evidence showing that these anti-Mormon claims are unsupported and contradicted by the evidence. This article includes the slide presentation used by Brown, and shows point by point how anti-Mormon accusations really are more hysteria than history.
Read the article:
Historical or Hysterical: Anti-Mormons and Documentary Sources by Matthew Brown
The Grace of Apologetics
by Roger Keller
In his 2003 FAIR Conference presentation, Roger Keller, Presbyterian minister before being rebaptized into the Church, pointed out the need for spiritual, contention-free dialog with those who are not of our faith, even those who are openly hostile to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Keller said that “any forum in which the Spirit can’t be present isn’t a place worth being.” With this preface, Keller pointed out that apologetics can often be contentious and fruitless, whereas dialog, teachine, and missionary work can be attended by the Spirit and result in understanding. Keller shared a number of experiences he has had with anti-Mormon hostility and prejudice, and explained that our goal should always be to focus on sharing what we believe and to help ourselves and others move closer to Christ.
Read the article:
The Grace of Apologetics by Roger Keller
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
This month the FAIR LDS Bookstore is offering three books and one DVD as our special for the month. We hope that these special offers will inspire you to expand your libraries and your studies and by doing so will help strengthen your testimonies of Jesus Christ and the Restored Gospel.
Life, Loves, and Legacy of Emmeline B. Wells, The (DVD)
In this video presentation of the play, “The Sixth Wife,” dramatist and historian Joan Oviatt portrays the inspiring story of Emmeline Blanche Woodward Harris Whitney Wells (1828-1921), the fifth Relief Society General President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and one of the most influential women of the 19th Century. This is available this month for $12.70, a 15% discount.
Onward Christian Road Warrior: Avoiding the Turbulence of the Adversary While Traveling away …
This new book by Matthew S. McNaughton is written for the benefit of all men and women whose careers take them away from their home and family. Through the author’s own experiences, along with others, this book will instruct, inspire, enlighten and assist you in avoiding the turbulence of the Adversary, while traveling away from home. This is available this month for $8.95, a 10% discount.
Understanding Alcohol and Drug Addiction: An LDS Perspective
As a missionary in the LDS Addiction Recovery Program, Merlin O. Baker brings unique insight into the pain and despair that addicts and their families endure because of the curse of alcohol and drug addiction. This book provides a comprehensive gospel-oriented perspective on addiction and recovery. This is available this month for $8.35, a 40% discount.
Joseph Smith: The Man, The Mission, The Message
Get to know Brother Joseph in this stunning photo-biography by Matthew B. Brown (author) and Val W. Brinkerhoff (photographer) that portrays a multidimensional man: his upbringing, his charismatic personality, his devotion to family, his humor, his leadership, and his dedication to his mission and to God’s message–even unto martyrdom. Using text, photographs, and artwork, Brown and Brinkerhoff glean the lesser-known details of Joseph’s life and place them into the context of the time to tell of this American Prophet’s successes, failures, tragedies, and triumphs. Available this month for $22.45, a 25% discount.
– 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.