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

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  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    July 13, 2013 10:24 p.m.

    I'd like to say something more about religious ritual. In the regular LDS church service, there is almost NONE of the ritual common in other Christian faiths -- other than the administration of the sacrament (communion). Even the saying of prayers is largely different from what I've seen in other denominations.

    In the services of non-Mormon Christian denominations, it is not uncommon to see priests with holy vestments who perform ritual prayers which are often repeated by those in the congregation. Other recitations with congregation response or repetition are common. Often, objects are considered holy, something which does not correspond to anything in the LDS Church. In the recent wave of evangelicism, churches are getting more away from those rituals except for communion, perhaps, in my experience.

    My point is that when you grow up in the LDS Church, your not so familiar with religious ritual unless you make your way to the temple. For some, this can seem strange, but by looking to other churches and institutions, we can see it is not so uncommon as we might have supposed.

  • Central Texan Buda, TX
    July 13, 2013 9:54 p.m.

    I'm not a Mason, but I don't think the Masons have oaths regarding chastity or dedication to God. They're not a religious organization. When Onlythecross referred to Masonic oaths he was probably referring to the use of signs or tokens in relation to the covenants made. Such things are not uncommon in society in general, such as when someone take an oath of office and places one hand on the Bible and raises the other hand to the square and repeats the words of the oath as given to him by the one administering the oath. Baptism is a well-known religious ordinance that is accompanied by a physical ritual of some sort.

    Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Masons, as were most of the men of Nauvoo, I believe. There is a difference between the revelatory aspects of the temple ceremony versus the rites associated with carrying out the covenants. If the rites were given to Joseph Smith or whether he was tasked with coming up with those himself, in either case, it doesn't matter to be if he fashioned something similar to what people were familiar with -- and extended them to women.

  • josegomez Spain, 00
    July 13, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    I was formerly a critic to Mormonism, before gaining a testimony and studying for many years books and interviews with critics and anti-Mormon people, I could see that there is a direct manipulation against Restored Church history , for example here I read a comment that after 20 years it was important to the First Vision, when the facts are accurate, this is the way that other people want to find flaws in the Church, they manipulate the facts, if that same other believers of other faiths use the same rigor that the Bible could be a serious problem. Excuse my bad English, greetings from Spain

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 13, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    RE; Coltakashi, I loved the opportunity to ask questions if the speakers, both during the sessions and during the breaks. So do I.

    Did Paul write Hebrews? Louis Midgley “I don't speak for the other FAIR volunteers or for the Brethren. But the answer to your question is no. “

    YET, Joseph Smith did not question Paul’s authorship yet made many revisions to Hebrews (JST). i.e., Hebrews 5:7-8, “JST *footnote ,The 7th and 8Th verses allude to Melchizedek, and not to Christ.-- I.V. MS.

    “The Epistle of Paul The Apostle to the*HEBREWS”, JST (Inspired Version) p. 1156. Same as KJV published by the LDS ChurchJS missed Hebrews 2:3 …; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him. The eyewitnesses chiefly the Apostles (see 2Peter 1:16; 1Jn 1:1) had vouched by the message first announced by Christ. The author was neither an Apostle nor an eyewitness.
    Paul, the apostle to the*Gentiles. Romans 11:13.

    Who do you believe wrote Hebrews?

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    July 13, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    There is really very little that is "fair" about the apologetic one-sidedness of FAIR.

    And everybody knows it.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 12, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    Brahmabull,

    "If you think the church is the most forthright, honest, and truthful regarding its history I really don't believe that you have looked into it much."
    ______________________________

    I think he meant that in contrast to the opposition and there are some poisonous maligning materials written about the Church.

    Let's not fair to single out the LDS Church too much. Every religion tries to control its own message, especially its history. The Catholic Church which created the Inquisition was also later blessed with the great Jesuit scholastic tradition. Apologetics does have its valid place. It also has its limitations in measuring up against rigorous academic criteria. That’s my main point.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    July 12, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    V. H. Cassler and Valerie Hudson are one and the same person.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 12, 2013 2:14 p.m.

    @kvnsmsn
    "Ernest, how does one take a scientific approach to that?"

    Produce evidence for the claims that are made to the extent that is possible (obviously evidence for whether or not Joseph had a particular vision isn't exactly producable), something like having evidence of the language allegedly used on the plates appearing anywhere else in North or South America might be the most useful thing.

  • Brahmabull sandy, ut
    July 12, 2013 1:25 p.m.

    maclouie

    If you think the church is the most forthright, honest, and truthful regarding its history I really don't believe that you have looked into it much.

  • coltakashi Richland, WA
    July 12, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    I have attended several of the FAIR conferences and always found them to be both intellectually forthright and presented in a spirit of love for all mankind. Make no mistake, FAIR is designed to tackle the most complex questions raised by critics of the.LDS Church, and it does so effectively by drawing upon the real expertise of scholars in every academic discipline. I loved the opportunity to ask questions if the speakers, both during the sessions and during the breaks. It was a great opportunity to meet many of my favorite authors, such as Terryl Givens. No one should miss the opportunity to watch.via streaming video over the internet. It is worth taking time off from work to watch it. It us also a great opportunity to buy books on LDS doctrine and history at a discount from the bookstore operated at the conference.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 12, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Church member posted:

    =Maybe research and facts can be useful to help investigate a church.

    The only relevant question is, has God chosen the LDS Church to spread His message? How would "research and facts" help in determining whether God has chosen the LDS Church for that purpose?

    =The only problem with your argument is, every religion "knows" that they are
    =the true church. You "know" that God chose your church to spread his message.
    =But billions of people around the world know that their church is God's
    =favorite.
    =
    =So maybe, just maybe, using your emotions and feelings is not the best way to
    =find truth.

    You seem to know a lot about "every religion," Church member. As a Latter-day Saint I was taught that the way to find out if the LDS Church is true is to ask God a question, completely ready for either a yes or no answer, ready to base the whole rest of my life on whatever answer God gave me, and wait for God's response. Is that the way each member of "every religion" discovers whether or not her/his religion is true? Why should I believe that?

  • maclouie Falconer, NY
    July 12, 2013 12:11 p.m.

    OnlytheCross,

    "First Vision is not mentioned anywhere in the first 20 years of the Church's existence" - WRONG
    "Masonic oaths were lifted and incorporated" - WRONG (I just looked it up)
    "why there is no outside, non-LDS scholarly acceptance of anything Book of Mormon" - WRONG
    "false prophecies of JS" - WRONG
    "why BYoung waited 20 years to hand over John D. Lee" - INACCURATE but who cares?
    "why so many textual changes on the BoM" - EXPLAINED

    I've studied all the above.

    Items like those above are promoted by anti-Mormon websites and at best become "he said,she said" issues. Between the two sides I find the LDS Church to be the most forthright , truthful, and honest compared to the anti's which promote many untruth's. Until the other side shapes up there is no need to listen to the anti's. If they lie about one thing, which I have seen them do on many websites, then what else are they lying about?

  • G L W8 SPRINGVILLE, UT
    July 12, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Earnest T. Bass: An honest, scientific approach? Get real. Science has limitations, imposed by the empirical method. Craig Clark talks about bias impacting scientist's work. I would state it more strongly: some scientists are notorious for taking a discovery of a specific empirical study and extrapolating its results into areas where it does not even fit. Then, in a short period of time, theories thus developed become stated facts! Fortunately, there are scientists who recognize that conclusions can be open-ended and do further research. But we as a general public must be wary of those spouting "scientific truth" as if it were their religion.
    Yes, there are those who exercise more faith in science--wonderful as it is--without admitting to its limitations. And here I thought "faith" was a matter of belief in God!

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 12, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    FAIR is one of the world's all time best managed and funded propaganda organizations.

  • Justin Orem, Ut
    July 12, 2013 7:35 a.m.

    "One panel (made up of Kris Frederickson, Valerie Hudson, Neylan McBain and Wendy Ulrich) will be devoted to the topic 'Charity Never Faileth: Healing the Distrust among LDS Women with Different Perspectives on Feminism.'"

    There's actually a fifth member of the panel: V.H. Cassler.

  • Church member North Salt Lake, UT
    July 11, 2013 11:42 p.m.

    To: kvnsmnsn

    The only problem with your argument is, every religion "knows" that they are the true church. You "know" that God chose your church to spread his message. But billions of people around the world know that their church is God's favorite.

    So maybe, just maybe, using your emotions and feelings is not the best way to find truth.

    Maybe research and facts can be useful to help investigate a church.

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 11, 2013 4:53 p.m.

    Craig Clark posted:

    =Do prejudices and biases impact their work? Of course they do as an honest
    =scholar should readily admit. But their work is submitted to a process of
    =criticism and peer review from a diverse spectrum.

    I know why I believe in God, and I know why I believe God has chosen the LDS
    Church to take God's message to the world. I would love to submit those reasons
    "to a process of criticism and peer review from a diverse spectrum."

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 11, 2013 4:48 p.m.

    OnlytheCross, I put together an article that responded to everything you said, but it ended up with 292 words, 92 over the software-imposed limit. Your topics were:

    fabricated history
    mental gymnastics
    first vision
    masonic oaths
    scholarly acceptance
    false prophecies
    john d lee
    textual changes

    The only way to fit inside the limit is for you to pick two or three of these and I'll post what I've written on them.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    July 11, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    Re: R JOHNSON, Many LDS apologists are very fine scholars, and produce very scholarly information.?
    @Defending the Faith [in JS]. The Greek word “apologia” simply means “defense.”

    True,i.e.., But sanctify the “*Lord God” in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer=(apologia). (1 Peter 3:15 KJV).

    But in your hearts revere “*Christ as Lord”. Always be prepared to give an answer=(apologia). 1Peter 3:15 NIV,ESV,NET,NLT). ). Modern translations are helpful VS KJV only.
    “ *Christ as Lord.” is widely supported by excellent and earlier witnesses .

    If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is LORD=(YHWH)," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9) see Joel 2:32.

    RE: ..”the topic Charity(agape) Never Faileth”(1Cor 13:8 KJV).Charity, Latin. often mis-used in KJV instead of the original Greek,agape= "love".

    An accurate modern translation i.e.. (1 Corinthians 13:8 NET) “Love(agape) never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will be set aside….” See The Love chapter,1Cor 13.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 11, 2013 1:48 p.m.

    R JOHNSON,

    "Apologetics and scholarship aren't mutually exclusive...."
    ______________________________

    I respect your views but must say that by strict definition, they are mutually exclusive.

    Both apologists and antagonists do research to support a predetermined conclusion. Honest scholarship seeks neither to vindicate nor to debunk. It gathers evidence and ventures no more than it can demonstrate with verifiable facts and impeccable logic.

    Do prejudices and biases impact their work? Of course they do as an honest scholar should readily admit. But their work is submitted to a process of criticism and peer review from a diverse spectrum.

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    E.T.B. You mean discussing why believers live longer and more satisfying lives than unbelievers or why religious inspired self control can stop the spread of AIDs and STDs?

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    July 11, 2013 1:18 p.m.

    Ernest Bass said:

    =When are they going to take an honest, scientific approach to the real issues?

    The only real issue, as far as I am concerned, is, has God chosen the LDS Church to take God's
    message to the world? Ernest, how does one take a scientific approach to that?

  • OnlytheCross Bakersfield, CA
    July 11, 2013 1:08 p.m.

    Just toss out the fabricated history, the mental gymnastics and be honest, accurate and forthright. It worked for our pioneer ancestors: Why can't it work now?

    Coming up with convoluted reasons for why the First Vision is not mentioned anywhere in the first 20 years of the Church's existence, why Masonic oaths were lifted and incorporated, and why there is no outside, non-LDS scholarly acceptance of anything Book of Mormon is a good place to start. Then move to the false prophecies of JS, why BYoung waited 20 years to hand over John D. Lee, and why so many textual changes on the BoM.

    That conference would be attended in spades. Period. End of FAIR's financial concerns. Oh, and keep an open Q&A each day...

  • R JOHNSON Saint George, UT
    July 11, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    Apologetics and scholarship aren't mutually exclusive. Many LDS apologists are very fine scholars, and produce very scholarly information.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    July 11, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Ernest T. Bass,

    "When are they going to take an honest, scientific approach to the real issues?"
    ______________________________

    Remember that it's apologetics. As long they're up front about that, I've no quarrel with them. But the moment they try to pass apologetics off as scholarship, they're fair game.

  • Ernest T. Bass Bountiful, UT
    July 11, 2013 8:59 a.m.

    When are they going to take an honest, scientific approach to the real issues?