2016 FairMormon Conference

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The FairMormon Conference is an annual event that brings together scholars, apologists, and interested individuals from a variety of areas. Each comes with a unique perspective on history, science, or theology, and all come with a desire to help defend the gospel and share evidences of its truth. On this week’s podcast, FairMormon volunteer Mike Parker discusses the 18th annual FairMormon Conference on August 4 and 5, 2016 at the Utah Valley Convention Center at 220 West Center Street #200, Provo, UT 84601.

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Conference sessions begin at 9:00 am each day and end at 5:45 pm. Badge pickup, including same-day registration, is available before the first session each day. Dress is business casual.

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The FairMormon Conference is a great way to get informed. This year’s conference is geared toward providing the information and answers you need to faithfully deal with the criticisms leveled against the Church and gospel.

Click here to register!

Mike Parker is a business and marketing analyst with twenty years’ experience in the financial services industry. He is a returning student currently pursuing a BS in Business Finance from Dixie State University in St. George, Utah. He also has eight years’ experience in corporate training, and currently teaches an adult religion class in the Hurricane, Utah, area. Mike and his wife, Denise, have three children.

The CES Letter 50 to 65 Witnesses Continued

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In Video Five in the FairMormon series: “The CES Letter, A Closer Look” Brian Hales examines claims posted by Jeremy Runnells in his “Letter to a CES Director”.

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The CES Letter 50 to 65 Witnesses Continued

This video continues to examine The CES Letter’s treatment of the Book of Mormon witnesses on pages 50 to 65. Obviously hypnosis could not explain their experiences, but what about religious frenzy and hysteria? Also, alleged parallels to other testimonies regarding James J. Strang, and The Book and the Roll are scrutinized. In the end, the attempts of naturalists’ and The CES Letter to explain away the declarations of the Three Witnesses and the Eight Witnesses seem inadequate.

Brian C. Hales is the author of The CES Letter: A Closer Look, as well as seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.

Faith and Reason 75: Degrees of Glory

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From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith

by Michael Ash

Christ spoke of many mansions (John 14:2) and Paul compared the difference between the glory of the sun, moon, and stars with the different glory of those at the resurrection. Richard Anderson explains, “[Paul] sometimes wrote ‘heaven’ of the place where God dwells, but he used ‘heavens’ twice as much. Paul normally used the plural, even though the King James Version sometimes writes the singular for the Greek plural. For Paul, Christ is exalted ‘far above the heavens’ (Ephesians 4:10). If Christ is literally ‘higher than the heavens’ (Hebrews 7:26), he is in the highest heaven.

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, News Anchor, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.

The CES Letter 50 to 65 Three Witnesses

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In Video Four of the FairMormon series: “The CES Letter, A Closer Look” Brian Hales examines claims published by Jeremy Runnells in his “Letter to a CES Director”. Installments in the series run every Monday and can also be found on the FairMormon youtube channel.

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The CES Letter spends 15 pages discussing the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. The strategy is straightforward: discredit the witnesses and then allege that Joseph Smith hypnotized them. This video examines the witnesses’ reputations showing they were credible and respected men. It demonstrates that The CES Letter misrepresents their declarations to create the appearance of contradiction. It also analyzes the theory that Joseph Smith might have used hypnosis to induce a complex hallucination they later recalled as their encounter with the angel and the plates.

Brian C. Hales is the author of The CES Letter: A Closer Look, as well as seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.

Faith and Reason 74: Salvation for the Dead

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Baptismal font in the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.

Baptismal font in the Copenhagen Denmark Temple.

Jesus Christ taught that baptism is essential to the salvation of all who have lived on earth (see John 3:5). Many people, however, have died without being baptized. Others were baptized without proper authority. Because God is merciful, He has prepared a way for all people to receive the blessings of baptism. By performing proxy baptisms in behalf of those who have died, Church members offer these blessings to deceased ancestors. Individuals can then choose to accept or reject what has been done in their behalf.

From LDS.org: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/salvation-for-the-dead?lang=eng

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, News Anchor, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.

The CES Letter 43 to 44 Kinderhook Plates

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In Video Three in the FairMormon series: “The CES Letter, A Closer Look” Brian Hales examines claims posted by Jeremy Runnells in his “Letter to a CES Director”. Installments in the series run every Monday and can also be found on the FairMormon youtube channel.

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Pages 43 and 44 of The CES Letter contain a discussion of the Kinderhook plates, which were an 1843 attempt to deceive Joseph Smith. Charges that he translated the bogus plates as he had translated the Book of Mormon have circulated for decades. However, in 2012, Don Bradley, with the help of Mark Ashurst-McGee, uncovered plain evidence showing that the “translation” of the Kinderhook plates occurred by comparing one symbol on the plates with one symbol in Joseph’s Egyptian Alphabet lexicon. As evidence of Joseph Smith being a fraud, this accusation should be dismissed by even the most hardened unbelievers. Nevertheless, it continues to occupy two pages in The CES Letter.

brian-hales-67Brian C. Hales is the author of The CES Letter: A Closer Look, as well as seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.

 

Faith and Reason 73: Sacred Vestments

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garment

To those outside a particular faith, the rituals and clothing may seem unfamiliar. But for the participants they can stir the deepest feelings of the soul, motivate them to do good, even shape the course of a whole life of service.

The nun’s habit. The priest’s cassock. The Jewish prayer shawl. The Muslim’s skullcap. The saffron robes of the Buddhist monk. All are part of a rich tapestry of human devotion to God.

Not all such religious vestments are on public display. Some are seen only in places of worship. Temple robes of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, known as the robes of the holy priesthood, are worn only inside Mormon temples and reserved for the highest sacraments of the faith. White symbolizes purity. There is no insignia or rank. The most senior apostle and the newest member are indistinguishable when dressed in the same way. Men and women wear similar clothing. The simple vestments combine religious symbolism with echoes of antiquity reflected in ancient writings from the book of Exodus.

From the LDS Newsroom: http://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/temple-garments

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, News Anchor, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.

New DNA Evidence Reveals the Father of Josephine Lyon

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Josephine Lyon is the daughter of Windsor Lyon. This proven relationship diminishes the strength of the theory that Joseph Smith practiced polyandry with Sylvia Sessions.

sylvia

Sylvia Sessions

From the following video at JosephSmithsPolygamy.org. Hosted by Brian and Laura Hales:

JosephSmithsPolygamy.org

The CES Letter 31 to 34 Polyandry

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In Video Two in the FairMormon series: “The CES Letter, A Closer Look” Brian Hales examines claims posted by Jeremy Runnells in his “Letter to a CES Director”. Installments in the series run every Monday and can also be found on the FairMormon youtube channel.

Joseph Smith Painting

The CES Letter 31 to 34 Polyandry

Touting ambiguous evidences and assumptions, The CES Letter alleges multiple times that Joseph Smith practiced polyandry as the second husband of some of this plural wives. This video examines the possibility and explores numerous factual observations that The CES Letter readily ignores. The historical truth is that there is no evidence from any Nauvoo polygamist, including the plural wives themselves, that a woman ever did have or ever could have had two husbands at the same time.

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Brian C. Hales is the author of The CES Letter: A Closer Look, as well as seven books dealing with Mormon polygamy—most notably the three-volume, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: History and Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.Theology (Greg Kofford Books, 2013). His Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto received the “Best Book of 2007 Award” from the John Whitmer Historical Association. He has presented at numerous meetings and symposia and published articles in the Journal of Mormon History, Mormon Historical Studies, Dialogue, as well as contributing chapters to The Persistence of Polygamy series. Much of his research materials are available at  www.MormonPolygamyDocuments.org.

Faith and Reason 72: Secret Teachings Among the Apostles

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Christ with the Twelve Apostles by Jacques Tissot

From the book: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith

by Michael R. Ash

Although Jesus often gave sermons that lasted for hours, all of his words in the New Testament can be read in about a half hour. Both the recently discovered Nag Hammadi Library and the rediscovered writings of the early Church Fathers include many quotes that they attribute to Jesus but are not found in our Bible.

Michael R. Ash is the author of: Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting The Prophet Joseph Smith. He is the owner and operator of MormonFortress.com and is on the management team for FairMormon. He has been published in Sunstone, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, the Maxwell Institute’s FARMS Review, and is the author of Shaken Faith Syndrome: Strengthening One’s Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt. He and his wife live in Ogden, Utah, and have three daughters.

Julianne Dehlin Hatton has worked as a News Director at an NPR affiliate, Television Host, News Anchor, and Airborne Traffic Reporter. She graduated with an MSSc from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2008. Julianne and her husband Thomas are the parents of four children.

Music for Faith and Reason is provided by Arthur Hatton.