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.)


 * 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

 * 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

 * 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

 * 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.



Our 2008 FAIR Conference will be held on August 7 & 8 at the
Southtowne Exposition Center in Sandy, Utah. We only have a few seats
still available, so sign up now at


If you know you won't be able to attend, you may still have access to
the live conference sessions! We are going to set up audio streaming
(and possibly some video streaming) over the Internet. The system is a
closed system, so it will require you to sign up for the feed. Sign up
by sending an email to

   streaming (AT) fairlds (DOT) org

If the streaming works to your satisfaction, we would hope that you
will make an after-the-fact $25 donation to FAIR to help cover our
costs. We aren't going to charge up-front for this as the streaming
this year will be a test and we may run into bugs. Subscribers may not
receive all sessions of the conference, however. A few presenters may
have copyrighted or restricted materials that cannot be broadcast.

The FAIR Conference has been announced in a number of media, including
the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News:



An important development for Mormon Studies has been the creation of
The Joseph Smith Papers Project. Dr. Ronald Esplin, head of The Joseph
Smith Papers Project, will be speaking at this year's conference and
he will be discussing the Project. You can read more about this
exciting development at:


This year's FAIR Conference features a great lineup of speakers who
will be addressing a wide range of topics: the Book of Mormon,
temples, black Mormons, the Joseph Smith Translation, philosophy and
Mormonism, and many more.

We are looking forward to seeing you next week!

--Scott Gordon


FAIR is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, so if you are in the United
States, your donation is tax deductible. Without your donations, FAIR
would cease to exist. Thank you for your support.


You can also contact FAIR via the U.S. Postal Service using the
following address.

   P.O. Box 491677
   Redding, CA 96049-1677

NEW ON THE WEBSITE: Horses in the Book of Mormon
by Michael R. Ash

One of the most common arguments made by critics against the Book of
Mormon is that it contains anachronisms that argue against its ancient
and Western Hemispheric claims. Of the various anachronisms claimed by
the critics, probably the most common is the reference to horses in
the Book of Mormon. Latter-day Saints have responded to this many
times, and the FAIR Topical Guide has a number of articles that
address this specific criticism. In his recent paper, Ash lays out the
two primary responses to this attack and gives some impressive
supporting evidence.

The first response is that the word "horse" in the English Book of
Mormon may not refer to the animal, Equus Caballus. A universal
practice of explorers and settlers has been to give familiar names to
unfamiliar animals and plants. This was likely to have been done by
the Nephites and could explain how the word made its way into our
modern Book of Mormon. Similarly, Joseph Smith could have translated a
Nephite word as "horse" when he encountered in the text an animal
having a similar form or function to the horse.

A second response is that there may indeed have been horses in the
Western Hemisphere during the Book of Mormon time frame. We know from
excavations that horses existed in the Americas long before the
arrival of the Nephites, and it could very well be that some survived
among the pre-Columbian civilizations. Some evidence exists that
supports this contention.

Read the article:


John A. Tvedtnes is an internationally recognized LDS scholar with
many decades of experience in the fields of Near East studies, Book of
Mormon, anthropology, and other related disciplines. During
approximately four decades of working with both LDS and non-LDS
scholars in areas related to the Book of Mormon, Tvedtnes has seen how
some non-LDS scholars have used and referenced the Book of Mormon in
their classes and papers.

Tvedtnes notes that within the text of the Book of Mormon there are
compelling evidences of ancient Semitic influence. Such evidences
include grammatical structures, word usage, and proper nouns. The
non-LDS use of the Book of Mormon, however, does not mean that the
scholars accept, or even have seriously considered, the LDS claims for
the transmission and translation of the Book of Mormon. But Tvedtnes
observes that the range of views expressed by non-LDS scholars "ranges
from those who reject the book as scripture yet find it a worthwhile
topic of scholarly discussion to those who acknowledge the Nephite
record as an authentic ancient text."

Read the article:


The Church of Jesus Christ has a strong reputation for blessing the
lives of its members, not only spiritually but also temporally.
Latter-day Saints are frequently reported to be healthier, to live
longer, to have stronger families, and to be happier than the
population as a whole. Latter-day Saints attribute these blessings to
the restored Gospel and the principles taught by living prophets and
apostles. To respond to this, anti-Mormons look for statistics that
they feel show that the Church of Jesus Christ has a negative effect
on its members. Once such statistic that is often reported is that the
suicide rate in Utah is significantly higher than the national average
and that this is best explained by the pressures exerted by the Church
on its members.

This Meridian article is a compilation and summary of some of the FAIR
resources relating to this issue.

Read the article:


The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has created a web site
to respond to the issue of polygamy. The web site includes a series of
bullet points that respond to common misconceptions and questions. It
also has a video clip of President Hinckley speaking on the subject.
Links are provided to other areas of the Church web site that deal
with related issues.



Steven Peck, a biology professor at BYU, has a blog entry entitled
"Why the Lamanite-DNA Question is Irrelevant (and why this means you
should believe in evolution)." Peck discusses why "missing Lamanite
DNA" is exactly what we would expect to find no matter how large the
population sample. In response to Simon Southerton's position, Peck
says that "losing a lost tribe just isn't that hard."



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.


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 FAIR wiki project was started in 2006 to provide a more flexible
and searchable resource for Latter-day Saints and allow others to get
answers to Gospel questions. The wiki is, by design, always a "work in
progress," with many editors at FAIR contributing to articles on a
daily basis. You can access the FAIR wiki at:


This month the FAIR wiki focuses attention on wiki articles that have
been updated. Each month hundreds of changes are made in the wiki as
new information is incorporated, errors are found and corrected, and
new topics are added. The following are only a few of the many wiki
entries that have been modified this month.

"Mormonism and science." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints seldom takes an official position on issues of science. Since
the time of Joseph Smith, Latter-day Saints have believed that both
religious and scientific truth should be sought and studied and that
all true principles can ultimately be reconciled. There are times,
however, when critics of the Church of Jesus Christ try to use
scientific findings and theories to attack the Church, often by
demanding that Latter-day Saints adopt a specific position that the
critic feels confident in attacking. At other times Latter-day Saints
may find that his or her personal beliefs relating to a peripheral
Gospel issue seem to be in conflict with new scientific discoveries or
theories. This wiki article addresses some of the basics related to
religion and science and points to resources that deal with specific


"Joseph Smith's 'treasure hunting' trip to Salem." Critics of Joseph
Smith occasionally bring up Joseph Smith's trip to Salem,
Massachusetts, as an example of a failed prophecy. The evidence,
however, shows that this was not a prophecy but simply an effort on
the part of Joseph and other Church leaders to help alleviate some of
the financial burdens on the Church.


"Will 'endless punishment' last forever?" Anti-Mormons have attacked
the LDS interpretation of "endless punishment" as being in conflict
with the teachings of the Bible. This wiki article has updated
material responding to those charges.


"Blacks and the priesthood/Pre-existence." This wiki article discusses
various anti-Mormon claims about the LDS view of black members and the
priesthood, specifically charges relating to the pre-existence.



Ever since "The God Makers" was published in the early 1980's, critics
of the Church have dominated the multimedia market. They have
continuously produced and promoted anti-Mormon videos from that time
until now. Because of this stronghold, a person looking for
information about the Church of Jesus Christ would quickly come across
well-presented criticisms that were professionally produced. To rebut
these claims, Latter-day Saints have primarily used pen and paper to
write reviews which were published in scholarly venues. This made it
difficult to reach the same vast audience the critics were able to
reach in a short period of time.

Because of this, FAIR saw the necessity of providing videos that state
our position as well as rebut some of the critics' claims. To level
the playing field, FAIR has created a site on YouTube that will
provide videos on scholarly material, rebuttals to criticisms,
evidences of the Church, past FAIR conferences, and much more.


This months featured videos:

Nahom in The Book of Mormon

This is a clip from the video "Journey of Faith," produced by the Neal
A. Maxwell Institute. A documentary of insights and evidences of The
Book of Mormon. Filmed on location in the Middle East, "Journey of
Faith" chronicles the courage and faith of Lehi's family with the eye
of the camera and the insights of scholars from a broad range of
expertise. This clip shows the land of Nahom and where Ishmael was

Temples and The Book of Mormon

This is a short clip from the soon-to-be-released video rebuttal to
the critical video "Bible vs The Book of Mormon." That anti-Mormon
video claims that Israelites considered the Jerusalem temple the sole
legitimate site of worship and so would not have reproduced it as the
Nephites did in the New World. Scholars examine the claim and show it
to be false.

Women in the Church

This is the 2004 FAIR Conference address by Professor Andrea Radke.
She discusses women in the Church in relation to priesthood, polygamy,
depression, and general perception. This is a six part series. To move
onto part two, click on "This is a video response to..." directly
underneath the video itself. This address can be read on the FAIR site


Continuing revelation from God

A touching and educational clip from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's April
2008 General Conference talk on continuing revelation in our day and
the need for The Book of Mormon. "The Old Testament does not lose
value in our eyes when we are introduced to the New Testament, and the
New Testament is only enhanced when we read The Book of Mormon."


The FAIR Bookstore volunteers are getting ready for our upcoming FAIR
Conference, where we will be offering a full line of apologetic and
scholarly books, tapes, and videos.

Thanks for your support of FAIR and the FAIR Bookstore. See you at

--FAIR Bookstore Volunteers


We welcome article submissions for the FAIR Journal and Web site. If
you would like to submit an article, please review the editing
guidelines at:


Submit your article to the FAIR Journal Editor, Paul McNabb, by going


An appropriate article would be one that affirms the truthfulness of
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

While LDS apologetics involves refuting critics of the Church, its
doctrines, and its leaders, articles don't necessarily have to deal
with anti-Mormonism. FAIR will consider articles that deal with new
evidence of the Book of Mormon, scriptural passages that involve a
unique LDS interpretation, a viewpoint or quote from the early
Christian Fathers or other historical figures, an inspiring missionary
story, Church history, a view on a current event related to the
Church, or a piece from an 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


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 "Join &
Support FAIR" link.

If you are interested in apologetics and would like to participate
actively in FAIR you should consider joining our apologetics e-mail
list. Visit www.fairlds.org and click on the "Join & Support FAIR"
link to join this list as well.

If you manage your own e-mail list, and wish to include some of these
thoughts or articles on your list, contact us by going to


We have a fairly liberal policy of using our material as long as you
contact us first to gain permission, clearly identify that your source
was FAIR, and add a link to the FAIR Web site (www.fairlds.org).


For past issues of the FAIR Journal, go to


Copyright (c) 2008 by The Foundation for Apologetic Information and
Research (FAIR). All rights reserved.

Foundation for Apologetic
Information and Research
PO Box 491677
Redding, CA  96049

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