The strong reasoning in the Book of Abraham lies in it's text.The God's formed and organized the earth out of matter that existed
eternally.The text does not say that the earth was created out of
The fundamental test for any idea is, "Does it work?"The
gospel teaches honesty, responsibility, compassion, chastity and fidelity.What would the world be like if we all practiced those precepts?I believe that would work.
FAIR does little more than offer a fig leaf to the dwindling number still
clinging to hope that rational vindication of the irrational will come in time.
LDS academics who keep that ill-fated vision on life support are unwittingly
stunting the growth of those who have yet to learn that it’s time to move
Sharrona,Yes, father is a great metaphor. Of course it would have
been nice for Christ to tell us it was just a metaphor. He didn’t.I understand that Only Begotten also sets Christ off as unique. But
again, he referred to himself as a son. In the OT, he is also referred to as a
son.From this and your other posts I take it that you only believe
the bible to be true so far as it is translated correctly. As you are always
explaining why the common understanding of even the most modern translations is
incorrect in your view.Do you believe what he said or not?Of course if we look to the primacy of Platonist doctrines, then we would have
to include God as immaterial.
Just curious... what other institutions (other than Christian religions) have
an equivalent to FAIR, what are those equivalent organizations, and how are they
viewed by the world?
@JMFAIR are pretty awful at defending the faith really. Nothing has
driven me further from the church than some of the strange and often bizarre
explanations they try to give.
RE: “…Contend for the faith that was (hapax,@ G 530)=Once for all
entrusted to God’s holy people.(Jude 1:3 NIV). Greek, "Once"one
time. No heretical revelations to follow. i.e..,D&C
93:33.”The elements are eternal”. Platonists alsol believed in a
pre-existent and (JS) Freemasons. Not Biblical though @ Twin
Lights. The father Metaphor points to God as the Creator. Father captures in
one word two contrasting characteristics: God's love for his creatures and
his lordship over all creation.The "Right Hand" (Hebrew
idiom)is only figurative/symbolic and not literal for power and authority.John 3:16, “only begotten (mongenes G),”misleading, in
English it appears to express a metaphysical relationship, But it was also used
of Jesus (only one of its kind, unique) “… true
doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is *one
God, without end..”(2 Nephi 31:21)JS teaches the trinity.3Nephi 31:22, note b. (1John 5:6-9 KJV & JST) v.7 one= (*heis, the #1).
But “… we are one(en).( John 17-22). One in unity (Preposition)
different Greek words.
and the rest of the 99% of the world that KNOWS it isn't true are all wrong
@Lets' roll: I never saw a pleading under a Skadden signature that
resorted to snark. I can't say the same about some of the less effective
defenders of our faith. One cannot have faith that the sky is
orange. Faith is the evidence of things not seen -- the way we choose how to
act, when our other means of knowledge are insufficient.
FAIR is a great resource. When critics go out of their way to mock something
it's usually because they have no other response. :)
I have heard the "whole of scripture" thing before. But I don't
buy it. I look to Christ's words - over and over again. If it really was
that way he would have explained it. He would not have referred to himself as a
son and to his counterpart as a father. He would not have referred to him as
abba. He would not have turned to him in his times of trial.We have
already discussed Lewis. However and whatever is the composition of an
infinitely powerful being - he (it) could be anywhere he (it) pleased. As to
how a sexual being can be our father - how were you conceived? I assume by a
father who is an inherently sexual being.Sex is not bad. Not evil.
It is a gift from God. "Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed
undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge."
RE: Twin Lights. The doctrine of the Trinity is arrived at by looking at the
“whole of scripture”. One God exists in three persons.
i.e…,3Nephi 11:27,36 reproduces 1John 5:7 KJV). See,"The Trinity in
the O.T.,Jews for Jesus".God said unto Moses,” I am
“(the BEING) )HE Who Is= (ho on): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto
the children of Israel, He Who Is= (ho on) hath sent me unto you. (LXX Exodus
3:14).*Who Is=( Grk o wv ,The one Being) occurs in Rev 1:4, 8; 4:8, 11:17; and
16:5 . “In the beginning’ was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word(Jesus) was God.”(John 1:1)V 14, God becomes man not
man become God.@The nature of God.. C.S. Lewis. “Our Father
which art in Heaven with, The supreme being transcends space and time. The first
goes to pieces if you begin to apply the literal meaning to it. How can a sexual
animal really be our father? How can it be in the sky? The second falls into no
such traps”. (John 4:24)
logic will never be the tool to conversion or conviction; however, doubt is the
best way to lose faith. Faith will always require some belief without proof,
unless you accept the spiritual proof God provides but most refuse or dismiss.
the Holy Ghost. I feel my wife's love in ways I can't prove otherwise.
I feel God's love and trust those feelings more than man's attempt to
satirize or dispute. My belief has been a sweet fruit. If it is not sweet to
you, that doesn't disprove the sweetness to me. Perhaps the bitterness lies
not in the fruit, but in the mouth of the taster.
TheProudDuck:I have heard of a story where someone took
Moroni's promise quite literally -- i.e. pray to know that the Book of
Mormon was "not" true (review the wording in Moroni's promise to
see what I am talking about).The person studied the Book of Mormon
out in their mind and concluded the Book of Mormon was false. This person also
had faith in Christ and a sincere desire to receive a spiritual answer, or
confirmation, the Book of Mormon was not true. He presented his thinking to the
Lord in prayer and received a surprising answer. To his shock, he received a
witness that the Book of Mormon was actually true instead. Since he was
convinced by the power of the Holy Ghost the Book of Mormon was true, he did a
complete 180 and ended up getting baptized in the church.In short,
the Lord answers the prayers of sincere in heart with sincere desires and leads
them the right path after they have exercised sufficient faith.
Sharrona,I was not talking about apologetics. Rather I was
addressing your prior post on the nature of God.As to Lewis’
view of God. I know he was a Trinitarian. As to Tertullian, why not. The
fight began shortly after the last of the Apostles.But my point is
the simple word of the New Testament. The words of Christ himself - over and
over again punch to the issue that they are Father and Son. He explained so
many other things. But this KEY issue he left for a council to decide (back and
forth) after the church was taken over by political forces, centuries later?
No.I answered the Jude 1:6 thing on another comment blog (twice
because I thought my comment did not go through). Let’s just stick to
this one point here.
Dennis: Then I've looked at logic and there is nothing illogical about the
Book of Abraham, The Book of Mormon or even the Doctrine in Covenants. All they
do is prove over and over again that not only was Joseph Smith a Prophet of God,
but also that he stands alone as one of the most important since Isaiah to come
to mankind. You say facts but facts about much of Joseph Smith has been stated
and restated by the Church of Jesus Christ over any of the critics. In fact
most critics like yourself have become more deceived and pawns of the evil one
than anyone who has established faith. I stand with what I say and my testimony
stands as a witness against those who refuse to listen and understand it. That
witness is greater than anything you are anyone can state. The spiritual things
I have had in Bishopric Meetings, meetings with Stake Presidencies and the
Lord's special witnesses leads me to conclude that Satan is at work at
those that have experienced the truth and fallen because he knows those failures
are his forever.
@bj-hp...I've also held virtually every calling a man can have
including 3 bishoprics and the High Council. I've yet to see or hear
anything that would make me believe a thing that you seem to be so true. Truth
belongs in religion, facts belong to reality.
@TheProudDuckYour experience with California jurists has apparently
left you with a higher regard for them than did mine as a litigator with
Skadden, Arps years ago. Or perhaps you're just a superior advocate. I found your question re Alma 32 interesting. My personal discipleship
has led me to conclude that I find the most joy and peace in exercising faith in
the Christ with an understanding that His promise is that "life eternal"
is to come to know the Father and His Son.Having lived only a few
year in Utah, I'm no expert on how the culture impacts views on the Church.
I've always seen the Church as a means to an end--to know the Father and
the Son--after all my understanding is that the family and not the Church is the
eternal vehicle used to organize God's children and that there will be no
Church in the eternities.There may well be folks whose focus on
investigating the Church--with good or bad intentions--supplants any determined
focus on coming to know God.
There is no better example for the value of FAIR than the posts to this article.
While many like to feign erudition on topics of LDS history and doctrine, when
examined closely their arguments inevitably are the same tired
misrepresentations and distortions that seem to gain some semblance of
respectability simply because they have been repeated by so many for so long.
FAIR relies on true scholars and solid, honest scholarship to unveil the
fallacies in the theories of the critics of the Lord's true church.
RE: Twin Lights. Fair Mormon, What is "apologetics"? They quote, C.S.
Lewis To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on
their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our
uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the
intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other
reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. C.S
Lewis,” If Christianity was something we were making up, of course we
would make it easier. But it is not. We cannot compete, in simplicity, with
people(JS) who are inventing religions. How could we? We are dealing with fact.
Of course anyone can be simple if he has no facts to bother about." The
three personal God.“ Mere Christianity. On the Tri(3) Unity.Tertullian (c. 160 – 225 AD),used the term Trinity. Trinitarian
theology, "three Persons, one Substance=(G.5287,hypostasis).@(Jude 1:6) “positions of authority.” Fallen angels. ”.. God
did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in
chains of darkness to be held for judgment”(2Peter 2:4 NIV)
@Verdad 1:37 July 10:I have in mind my own one and only exchange
with one particular apologist (a former BYU professor) on the old FAIR blog. I
posted a short question: According to Alma 32, faith starts with a desire to
believe. What is it about the LDS Church that a person would or should desire
to believe it is the one true Church? Why is that a virtuous desire, as opposed
to a desire to believe that, say, the Catholic Church is the one true Church?In short order I was declared guilty of "infidelity to Jesus
Christ," of "putting God on trial," being a functional atheist, an
agnostic, and more. The tone throughout was the kind of sneer that, when I used
to read it from left-wing columnists at the LA Times, made me a conservative.
If the man had tried that style of argument -- sneering and changing
the argument I made to one easier to argue against -- before some of the judges
in Orange County, he would have gotten his ears chewed off. That style
doesn't work before serious people. Not all apologists are like that, but
those that are, do harm.
The only thing that will make me leave the LDS Church is it's close-minded,
intolerant, stiff-necked, MEMBERS.The Doctrine remains true.Maybe I'll attend the FAIR conference this year....
Dennis: I am sixth generation plus of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day
Saints. I have served in almost every capacity of a Ward or Branch that I could
serve in. I have seen the work of the Lord in all that he has revealed, what
will be revealed and what today is being revealed. I'm seeing today
prophesies of old fully and completely being fulfilled in all the ways that they
were said to be revealed. Yes, I have researched much of the history of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and have full faith and testimony of
its truths and the power that stands with it. It is the ONLY true and LIVING
Church of Jesus Christ upon the Earth today bar none other. No one else has the
truth or the priesthood authority to do what it says it does. There are 15 men
upon the earth today who are living prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ and are
HIS APOSTLES. Nothing you or anyone on the Board can or will be able to change
that. I KNOW IT IS TRUE. Nothing else matters.
@AerilusMaximusWhat gives me hope for the future is that the young
are listening to the rest of the world. What you call "sniping" I call
hard truths. It is tragic watching people right here on DN go on one of their
anti-gay rants, but try to end it with a quick "I'm not a bigot!".
Yes they are.Children are not born to hate. They are taught to.
Children don't see color, gender, sexual orientation, political parties
etc. They don't care. People are people. This is how it should ALWAYS
be, but unfortunately so many groups out there preach intolerance of anything
that doesn't fit their very narrow world view. It begins to chip away at
that innocence and they do start to care.If the media is getting
them to look at the people around them and go "Wait... this isn't
right" then I'd call that a wonderful victory. Children should
question what they are told they have to believe. If they don't want to
discriminate against people then they should follow their hearts, and not
@ Dan Maloy....."Ranch, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
truly is God's restored church, and the only church that has His authority,
correct doctrine and organization."Throughout the eons of time
mankind has learned a lot of things such as the world WAS FLAT. I think we can
now view that differently. Along with the myriad of facts that have
been show to be true, your above statement is pretty bold. I'm a 5th
generation Mormon and don't believe a single word of what you just wrote.
Do you know this because you're studied what the Church told you to study
or have you investigated the history of the Church as it really happened and
willing to take a stance on the things that do not make sense. Just
This bears repeating:Austin Farrer warned, "Though argument does
not create conviction, the lack of destroys belief. What seems to be proved may
not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly
abandoned." (Light on C. S. Lewis, Harcourt and Brace: New York, 1965, p.
26.) Cited in Neal A. Maxwell, "The Stern but Sweet Seventh
Commandment," New Era, June 1979, 36
I wonder about anyone whose raison d'être seems to be tearing down ,
criticizing, condemning, and denouncing because my question would be "
what are you offering instead?" What do these crabby commenters do with the
rest of their time ? I imagine all of us who read comments---which I keep
saying I will never do again --- applaud the keenness of those who agree with
us, and are never persuaded by those who don't. I appreciate those who
defend the faith and have long since embraced the notion that the things I
can't understand for now I just simply trust. I admire men like President
Eyring's father-- a brilliant man-- who was humble enough to not concern
himself about the faults of church leaders because it gave him hope for
himself, realizing that no matter how learned or wise we might think we are, we
are still "driving wretched machines". ( C.S. Lewis )
@ sharrona - layton, UT - "@The Caravan Moves On, Keep up the good work,
Fair Mormon?" (and then you quote a lot of scriptures which are too long for
me to quote here)So.....what's your point? I mean, you quote a
lot of scriptures (scriptures I cannot include in my reply back to you because I
don't have enough room/words) but what is it exactly you are trying to
say?(If that's not civil I don't know what is.)
Sharrona,John 16:3 "They will do such things because they have
not known the Father or me."If there was anyone who could have
explained the nature of God in a simple way that would be hard to misinterpret
(and easy to understand) it would have been Christ. But, though there are a few
scriptures that work with a Trinitarian view, there are literally hundreds of
citations in which Christ refers to the Father as separate from himself.Why? Why be so confusing if they are not separate? Unless of course,
they are fully separate beings. A Father and a Son (as Christ constantly refers
to). Please, just read through the New Testament and especially Christ's
own words on this. He constantly distinguishes himself from the Father. If
Trinitarianism is true, then either Christ was a poor teacher or a liar. I
don't believe he was either of those things.
@ Sharrona"We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as
it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of
God."As far as I know the LDS church doesn't use the NIV of
the Bible.I am not sure what you are trying to accomplish by making
arguments with a book that isn't accepted as scripture?
I have never been to a FAIR conference but from the article it seems that Fair
Mormon could be a good place to go and understand some of the range of issues
that are going on and how to address such issues in a kind and nice manner.The world / media is sniping at religious persons continually often
calling us intolerant, bigoted, mean, etc.Young persons are being
effected by this media highly. I think conferences like this are a good place
to discuss these issues and to help increase your understanding and in turn the
understanding of your children as well.It isn't always easy to
come up with your own arguments to counter the arguments being tossed often in a
highly aggressive manner.
@The Caravan Moves On, Keep up the good work, Fair Mormon?RE: Dr.
Peterson quotes (1Peter 3:15,NIV)“ But in your hearts revere ‘Christ
as Lord…”But,the JST agrees with (1 Peter3:15
KJV)“ But sanctify the ‘Lord God’ in your hearts..” Verse 15 the best and oldest manuscripts have "Sanctify the Lord
Christ",or "Sanctify the Christ as Lord."But sanctify
the Lord God in your hearts, from Isaiah 8:13. The first seems more in
accordance with the original passage in Isaiah, and the common expression, Lord
ὁ God.Whichever translation is adopted,Peter substitutes the
Savior's Name where the prophet wrote, "the Lord of hosts,Yehovah
Sabaoth" - a change which would be nothing less than impious if the Lord
Jesus Christ were not truly God."Sanctify him as the Lord(not
JS) himself who teaches in the first words of the Lord's Prayers, regard
him as most holy, awful in sanctity; serve him with reverence and godly fear.
i.e..,The LORD(YHWH)is our God(Elohim),the LORD(YHWH)is
One”!(Deut 6:4).Yeshua is Elohim
Have you ever noticed that the majority of anti-LDS posters on various sites
primarily use some form of the argument of "If I do not know something is
true then others "can't" know it's true"?I'm so glad I have been given sufficient wisdom to see through that false
argument. Salt, my friends. It's like salt.(Go read Boyd K.
Packer's sermon called "The Candle of the Lord". Awesome!)Keep up the good work, FairMormon!
@ RanchHand - Huntsville, UT - "It must be really hard "defending the
faith" when the church you're trying to defend keeps publishing essays
that contradict everything that they've taught for previous
generations."Ranch, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints truly is God's restored church, and the only church that has His
authority, correct doctrine and organization.See?, that wasn't
hard at all.When you know, you know.Cheers!
Most LDS apologists declare up front that in the end, evidence is not what makes
people believe. That is correct. They are not so much out to prove the things
of the Gospel, as to clear away some of the potentially contrary evidence, so
people are not put in the position of having to choose between reason and faith.
The idea is that if the evidence is in "equipoise" (I think
that's Terryl Givens' word) a person can simply choose to believe, or
not. I'm not sure it quite gets you to "equipoise,"
though, to show that a thing has neither been conclusively proven nor disproven.
That can be true even if the evidence is 90% for and 10% against, or vice
versa. "Evidence in equipoise" means that the evidence is 50-50,
neither case being stronger than the other.And as ingenious as some
of the apologists' arguments are, I don't find they get over that 50%
threshold in many cases. They were in fact one of the main reasons I might be
fairly called, as one FAIR gentleman once called me, a "cultural Mormon
stinking up the place." If theirs was the best case that could be made....
I have benefited so much from the previous Fair conference talks, learning more
about the wonderful gospel of Jesus Christ. Last year I was able to access the
streaming, and. I will again this year. My hope is that next year I will get to
intend in person. I highly recommend the conference--even long-distance it is
The Wraith:In the case of the Book of Abraham, what supposed
contradictions do you think RanchHand was referring to? Can you or RanchHand
clarify?There is still no contradiction with the current essay and
what Joseph Smith and others said pre 1960's. The church still believes and
teaches the book came just like Joseph Smith indicated -- a translation achieved
through revelation from (a) document(s) whose author was Abraham ("by his
own hand").Here are some references:1) The essay
itself - "The book originated with Egyptian papyri that Joseph Smith
translated beginning in 1835."2) 2013 Edition of Scriptures -
Intro to Book of Abraham - "A Translation of some ancient Records that have
fallen into our hands from the catacombs of Egypt. The writings of Abraham while
he was in Egypt, called the Book of Abraham, written by his own hand, upon
papyrus."FAIR also has a lot of good commentary on the subject
of the Book of Abraham. Have you ever checked it out? Apparently, it will also
be part of the upcoming conference. Very nice. P.S. - Read the
section heading for D&C 7. Translation of a parchment by John. Very
As scholarship, apologists are the flip side of debunkers who are out to
disprove. To do a scholarly study honestly, you can't attempt to
predetermine the outcome.
@Craig Clark, Boulder CO -- "What’s unique about the LDS obsession
with “defending the faith” is that it’s less about vindicating
basic Christian precepts than Joseph Smith."You're right --
Mormons pretty much silently and uncritically default to basic Christian
precepts: "We believe the Bible is the word of God...""Higher Criticism" is discouraged in Mormonism while the church and
Mormon intellectuals pretty much leave basic Christian apologetics up to the
Evangelicals. "The Bible is the word of God" (whether or not translated
correctly) is simply an un-examined belief.The more I read and
studied the Bible -- both OT and NT but mostly the NT -- the more it became
clear to me the whole thing was a purely human invention. But, if a person could
come to believe the OT, they could safely reject the NT, and Jesus as messiah
and savior, and all of Christianity.In the end, it's the reason
I left Mormonism and all of Christianity at the same time. Exploring
historical-critical Bible studies it became more clear to me what I had
intuitively sensed then and why. It was and is liberating.
Shelama:Actual data as to how many are convinced by Mormon
apologetics and how many aren't, and for what reasons, would be helpful.
So would solid evidence that Mormon apologists intend their work only for those
who already believe.Do you have access to such data, or are you
merely sharing your personal feelings?
@1.96 Standard DeviationsI believe RanchHand is referring to what
the church taught about the Book of Abraham from the time Joseph Smith bought
the papyri to the mid 1960's. There is no doubt when reading Smith's
own words about what he was translating that he believed it was performing a
literal translation of papyri written by Abraham himself. That was the
church's position until the 60's when some of the papyri (although yes
not all of it) turned up. So of course your articles from 1976 onward won't
be contradicted by the current essay. However, anyone who can't see that
the essay contradicts Joseph Smiths own words is fooling themselves.
Of course, "apologetics" are pretty much meant only for the faithful
anyway but it's interesting that virtually the ONLY people who find Mormon
apologetics persuasive are Mormons who already belief and have pyscho-emotional
investment and commitment.Everybody has the exact same body of
evidence.Yet it is only believers who interpret that evidence in the
affirmative. And not even all of them -- certainly the majority of Mormons who
are inactive (70& church-wide according to Martinich & Stewart) and
those who have left altogether in an apostasy not seen since Kirtland (publicly
acknowledged by Marlin K. Jensen) include intelligent, honest people who left
precisely because of that evidence. The common evidence DOES drive
de-conversion -- from Belief to Unbelief.On the other hand,
virtually nobody converts from Unbelief to Belief based on that evidence.If prior belief is REQUIRED before concluding in the affirmative can it
really be argued that there is honest intellectual and critical equivalence in
evaluating the evidence?In the end it seems not the evidence at all
but the commitment to the cultural belief that common varieties of religious
experience are a divine testament of truth.
TheProudDuck:Specific examples of "the FAIR boys'"
"mocking style" would probably be useful to the leadership of FairMormon
-- the actual name of the organization, as Professor Peterson points out in the
article -- which includes "girls" as well as "boys."
I'm very excited for this upcoming conference. I've attended every one
except for the first conference and it's one of the highlights of my
summer. You won't be disappointed; the line of speakers this year is
My experience with the FAIR boys is that they have very sharp elbows indeed, and
a mocking style that would not go over well with the judges I deal with in
litigation.The latter tend to think if you have to play the man,
it's because you can't play the ball.
Those who comment negatively here ought to attend the FairMormon Conference.
Instead of prejudices and misinformation they would be surprised at what they
hear. Thanks for the great article Dan.
RanchHand:We must be reading different essays, or you are seeing
things as pessimistically as possible. For example, the recent essay on the Book
of Abraham in the Gospel Topics section on the church's website is no
contradiction what has been taught in the church in the past. To
confirm, you can read a small sample of Ensign magazine articles regarding the
Book of Abraham the church as published over nearly the last 40 years:1) June 1985 - BYU Professor Tracing Path of Book of Abraham Papyri (News of
the Church section)2) July 1992 - Research and Perspectives: Abraham
in Ancient Egyptian Texts3) March 1976 - I Have a QuestionIn sum, the church's essay on the Book of Abraham in the Gospel Topics
section just happens is bit more visible and accessible. However, the
church's position on how the Book of Abraham came to us hasn't moved a
bit over time. No contradictions.
I grew up in an Evangelical and Catholic background. I am now a convert to the
LDS faith for 20 years. In a time when many young members are leaving my root
institutions, I find great relief in the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints. FAIRMormon is an excellent resource to find both sides of
issues explored intelligently. Whether a believer or nonbeliever in
the LDS faith, knowing for sure what the tendencies are from more than one
perspective will give a person the ability to make an informed choice, and have
credibility when discussing topics of concern. Thanks, FairMormon!
And all involved!
"A revelation given to Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon on Dec. 1, 1831, at
Hiram, Ohio, commands the two men to respond both publicly and privately to
critics and enemies of the still-young Church ..."“Let
them bring forth their strong reasons against the Lord,” counseled the
divine voice. “Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you — there is no
weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and if any man lift his voice
against you he shall be confounded in mine own due time” (see Doctrine and
Covenants 71:7-10)."This is a true and correct inspired
statement of both JS and SR - who became JS's 1st counselor in the church
presidency on March 8, 1833 and his rightful successor after June 27, 1844 (see
D&C 90:6). Both men were speaking prophetically of The Church of Jesus
Christ (WHQ: Monongahela, Pennsylvania), the only true succession of the
restored gospel on the face of the earth today.
What’s unique about the LDS obsession with “defending the
faith” is that it’s less about vindicating basic Christian precepts
than Joseph Smith. That’s a lot for Mormons to explain. Mormonism is
becoming accepted as a valid belief system. But its claims to absolute primacy
come at a time when Christian denominationalism is moving towards embracing
diversity and an ecumenical spirit.
Those of us who live too far from Utah to attend in person can get streaming
internet video of the two days of presentations. I have attended or watched
several years of the conferences, and it is a feast for both mind and spirit. It
is also one of the best sources for really stimulating books on these topcs.
Wish I could attend the conference this year. It has been excellent in years
past. Just wondering why the conference never includes a day on Saturday. I am
sure there is a good reason, however.
It must be really hard "defending the faith" when the church you're
trying to defend keeps publishing essays that contradict everything that
they've taught for previous generations.