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 reflect on what his time in the Church has taught him.
- 2007 FAIR CONFERENCE. The 2007 FAIR Conference has been announced and the speaker list is being finalized.
- SPECIAL CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED. FAIR has received notification that a special conference on the 1978 Revelation will be held
- at the Salt Lake Community College on Friday, March 16.
- MHA CONFERENCE ANNOUNCED. The Mormon History Association has announced its 2007 conference in Salt Lake City.
- NEW ON THE WEBSITE. “Apologetics by the Numbers.” In a humorous review of ranting on an ex-Mormon web site, Daniel Peterson examines the powerful arguments and relentless logic of certain critics of the Church.
- NEW ON THE INTERNET. A new Gallop Poll was released that looks at Americans’ views about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
- 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 LDS BOOKSTORE. Due to a recent move, the LDS Bookstore will postpone its March specials until April.
- 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.
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
“Things I Learned at Church”
From time to time I take the opportunity to read “exit stories” from people who’ve left the LDS Church. One story writer expressed sorrow that he had ‘wasted so many years in the LDS Church instead of spending it somewhere where he might have learned something.’ This led me to think about whether or not their time in the LDS Church had really been wasted. While I cannot speak for everyone, this train of thought led me to think about the many things I have learned in the Church.
For instance, I learned to set up and take down chairs. (I mean this is all seriousness.) Setting up and taking down tables and chairs was an expected thing to do for all stake conferences, activities, and Sunday school classes. More important than simply learning the skill of chair placement or the mechanics of table legs, I learned that it was up to me to get something done. The job really wasn’t complete until everything was put away. I learned that things don’t just poof into existence, but take a concerted effort. I also learned that working with others to reach that goal was much better and more fun than working alone. It helped me to learn that seemingly small things–like setting up and taking down chairs–were an important part of the greater whole.
I learned how to organize meetings, large dinners, and activities. This included following agendas, estimating group sizes, planning for food, and allowing for contingencies. I learned how important this skill was when I found that there were classes at various colleges and universities that taught these very skills that I learned in Church.
I learned how to stand up and speak in front of a group. This is a valuable lesson that has helped me throughout my life. Whether a group size is three or 3,000, the LDS Church taught me how to organize a presentation and to present it in front of a group.
I learned how to teach a lesson. I learned the important principle of the lesson is not what I have said, but what the class members have learned, and what they will incorporate into their lives. This concept is currently being promoted in the California college system.
I learned how to sing in Church. From primary songs to Church choirs and solos, I was given many opportunities to practice my talents.
I learned how to play the piano. I had lessons like many other young people, and like many young boys I did my best to avoid practicing. Then, one day, my bishop asked me to become priesthood pianist. At that time, I don¹t think I could have played a hymn if my life depended on it. I had to practice. That experience, combined with my call as ward pianist on my mission, helped me reach a level of piano playing that brings great joy to my life. I am currently the primary pianist and enjoy that greatly.
I learned to avoid addictive substances and behavior. While some of my friends have gone the way of drug abuse, alcoholism, and broken families, I have managed to avoid all of that. While it is true that not drinking wine or coffee has sometimes led to slightly uncomfortable social situations, I have found it to be a better and healthier lifestyle. I have never had to worry that someone might remember my bizarre or socially inappropriate behavior at a work party, or had to worry about getting a designated driver.
I learned to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort. I have been in a hospital room as parents of a two-year-old are told their son “didn’t make it.” I have stood with a husband and father as he has talked with his son about mom “not coming back.” I have wept with a woman as she shared how she had been molested for many years.
I have learned what it means to share joy with families. I have felt the joy as babies were announced, marriages were reconciled, blessings came true, and families were created. I have seen the joy as lives were changed through the gospel.
I have learned the importance of honesty and I have had honesty modeled by my Church leaders. I have been with them in their unguarded moments and honesty has been a guiding principle of their lives.
I have learned the importance of education in all areas, including the arts and sciences. Never have I been discouraged from learning or studying.
I have learned what it is like to feel the Spirit: that overwhelming feeling of love for everyone.
I have learned that there is a God in Heaven and that Jesus is my Savior. I have learned that the heavens are not closed to sincere seekers and that there is more at work in life than what we can experience with our five senses.
I’m sure there are other ways to learn many of these things, and I’m not claiming these things as being exclusively Mormon. What I am saying is that I learned these things in the LDS Church, and those teachings have been very valuable to me. My time in the LDS Church has not been wasted; it has been educational, enriching, and illuminating.
So the next time someone asks me what value there is in the LDS Church, one answer I can honestly give is, “That’s where I learned how to set up and take down chairs.”
–Scott Gordon President
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FAIR P.O. Box 491677 Redding, CA 96049-1677
2007 FAIR Conference
The FAIR conference will be on August 2nd and 3rd in Sandy, Utah.
We have an exciting lineup of speakers, including John Sorenson on the trajectory of Book of Mormon research and Richard Turley on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Our complete list of speakers will be posted in a future FAIR Journal.
Mark your calendars now!
Special Conference Being Held
FAIR has received a notification about a special conference that is being held.
“Join Darius Gray & Marvin Perkins for a special conference on using the scriptures to understand what a Deseret News study called ‘the most significant development in the LDS Church in the last 100 years,’ the 1978 Revelation.”
Free Admission – Limited Seating Attendees must register at [email protected] Friday, March 16, 2007 11:00 am
The Miller Campus Auditorium Salt Lake Community College 9750 South 300 West, Sandy, UT 84070
Topics to be covered include: blacks & the priesthood, the 1978 Revelation, blacks in the Bible, skin color in the scriptures, and curses.
MHA Conference Announced
The Mormon History Association has announced its 2007 Salt Lake City Conference, which will be held May 24-27 at the Hilton Salt Lake City Center.
Information about the conference is available at the MHA web site at
Apologetics by the Numbers
by Daniel C. Peterson
Anyone who has spent even a modicum amount of time looking up things Mormon on the Internet has undoubtably stumbled across websites that are not merely anti-Mormon, but unbelievably crude, hateful, and venom-filled. One such site is notorious for its absolute censorship of any remotely positive statement about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here embittered former Latter-day Saints are free, even encouraged, to post vitriolic rantings about LDS doctrine, LDS leaders, LDS history, and their personal experiences. On such web sites, unchecked by dissenting opinions and free of any sense of decency, posters often scramble to outdo each other in their tirades against anything remotely related to Mormonism.
In this humorous article, Peterson examines and exposes the impeccable logic and keen reasoning of several individuals who decry the efforts of LDS scholars and apologists who dare to attempt to defend their faith.
Read the article:
Apologetics by the Numbers by Daniel C. Peterson
Gallop Poll on Views about the Church
The Gallop Organization recently conducted a poll on how people in the United States view Latter-day Saints and The Church of Jesus Christ. The polls, entitled “Americans’ Views of the Mormon Religion,” shows a breakdown of views by region, political party, ideology, church attendance, and religion. The poll also asked people “what comes to mind first when they think about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day [sic] Saints (LDS), also known as the Mormon church.”
Read the poll results and commentary:
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 Web site as a FAIR paper or brochure. If you have a question, you may submit it through the FAIR web site.
Questions sent to FAIR will be shared with members of FAIR, so it is not uncommon to receive several responses that approach the issue from different angles.
FAIR TOPICAL GUIDE
The Topical Guide is one of the most important LDS apologetic resources available. If you aren’t familiar with this part of FAIR’s Web site, check it out at
The following are the Topical Guide updates for the month.
John L. Sorenson and Brian D. Stubbs, “Was There Hebrew Language in Ancient America?,” JBMS (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2000), 54-63
John Sorenson interviews linguist Brian Stubbs regarding the possiblity that traces of Hebrew can be found in some Native American languages.
Jeffrey R. Chadwick, “The Names Lehi and Sariah–Language and Meaning,” JBMS (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2000), 32-34
Jeffrey Chadwick explores the possible ancient meaning to the names Lehi and Sariah.
David Bokovoy, “From Distance to Proximity: A Poetic Function of Enallage in the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Mormon,” JBMS (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2000), 60-63
This essay analyzes examples of poetry in the Hebrew Bible and the Book of Mormon that do not conform to the same standards to which prose is typically confined.
John W. Welch, “Weighing and Measuring in the Worlds of the Book of Mormon,” JBMS (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999), 36-46
John Welch examines the Book of Mormon’s system of weights and measure and how they correspond to what we know from the ancient Old World.
John L. Sorenson, “Did the ancient peoples of mesoamerica use a system of weights and scales in measuring goods and their values?,” JBMS(Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999), 36-46
How does the Book of Mormon system of weights and measure compare to what we know from Ancient America?
Davis Bitton, “B.H. Roberts and Book of Mormon Scholarship,” JBMS (Provo, UT: FARMS, 1999), 60-69
Professional historian, Davis Bitton, looks at B.H. Roberts approach to studying the Book of Momron as well as what questions he asked, and what questions he should have asked.
FAIR LDS BOOKSTORE
The FAIR Bookstore is undergoing a move and some reorganization. Our specials will be reinstated next month, so keep your eye on our storefront for new items and new discounts. In the meantime, check out our huge selection of books, DVDs, CDs, and other items that represent the most complete LDS apologetics source on the Internet!
We’re looking forward to offering some of our best deals ever in April!
– 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).
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