SANDY — Individuals leave the LDS Church for any of a number of stated reasons, "but before you set up a full discussion with them, you might try to understand and empathize with the deeper issues that might be involved," the president of FAIR said Friday at the closing session of the foundation's two-day conference at the South Towne Exposition Center.

Since 2001, Scott Gordon, a dean at Shasta College in Redding, Calif., has been president of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research. Though not affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, FAIR seeks to defend the Mormon faith from attacks by opponents. It does so chiefly by means of an Internet Web site and by sponsoring the annual conference.

In his position, he said, he has found that online anti-Mormonism typically is of two types: Evangelical anti-Mormonism — practiced by some Protestants — and secular anti-Mormonism, coming mainly from ex-members. He said it is the latter type that has the greater impact on LDS members.

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