Defending the faith: Annual FAIR conference set for Aug. 1-2

Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research will present its 15th annual conference at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo on Thursday and Friday, Aug. 1-2. The event is open to everyone.

This year, presenters range from scholars and apologists to neither.

Ron Barney, longtime member of the LDS Church History Department, will address “Joseph Smith’s Visions.” Don Bradley will speak to the topic of “The Original Context of the First Vision Narrative: 1820s or 1830s.”

BYU’s Ralph Hancock will address “Mormonism and the New Liberalism: The Inescapability of Political Apologetics.” Morris Thurston and Lynne Wilson will examine Latter-day Saint historical issues, with presentations on, respectively, “Kidnapping at Palestine Grove: Missouri’s Final Attempt to Extradite Joseph Smith,” and “Was Joseph Smith a Product of the Second Great Awakening?”

Humorist Robert Kirby will present on the topic, “Why It’s Important to Laugh at Ourselves.” Seth Payne will discuss “Why Mormonism Matters: Pastoral Apologetics and the LDS Doubter,” Rosalynde Welch on “Disenchanted Mormonism” and Michael Ash on “Shaken Faith Syndrome.”

FAIR was formed in 1997 by a group of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who frequented the America Online Mormonism message boards, where they found themselves defending the church against detractors. FAIR was organized as a way to respond to criticisms and attacks on the LDS faith.

For more information on the 2013 FAIR conference, including discounted hotel rates for attendees coming from far away and conference streaming for those unable to attend, visit www.fairlds.org.

Email: ttoone@desnews.com Twitter: tbtoone

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