Monthly Archives: August 2009

Mormon Think

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FAIR announced its review of MormonThink.com during its annual conference held the first week of August.  A response to that review was recently posted at that site. What follows are some of my observations, which are not necessarily shared by other FAIR volunteers,  about the response

MormonThink does a good job at posing questions to their readers to get them to reconsider the plausibility of LDS truth claims. The authors, a coalition of Mormon and ex-Mormon skeptics [1] (some operating under a cloak of anonymity while accusing the Church of less than complete transparency), find previous faithful attempts by unofficial apologists to answer similar questions “unsatisfactory.” A FAIR review demonstrated that MormonThink’s own predominately negative answers were ill-informed, highly slanted (not objective as advertised), and fail to more than superficially engage faithful answers. MormonThink’s response to FAIR’s rebuttal is a mixed. On one hand, the response shows a commitment to accuracy and correcting some of its more egregious errors. On the other hand, the response justifies its failure to take FAIR more seriously by making an appeal to authority. MormonThink seeks the attention of General Authorities and they believe FAIR is usurping the Brethren’s role. This suggests to me that they are less concerned about answers and more concerned about getting attention for dissent. Continue reading

Gospel Doctrine apologetics: D&C lesson 33

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This week: Lesson 33, “President Brigham Young Leads the Saints.”

Subjects covered: Joseph Smith gave the keys to the Twelve Apostles, who then led the Church until Brigham Youn was sustained as President; the Saints received their temple ordinances before proceeding west.

Potential issues:

If you can think of any other issues from this week’s lesson, please comment below so we can add more links.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is a preparatory resource for gospel doctrine teachers to help them formulate answers to questions that might arise during their class. It is not in any way a substitute for the Gospel Doctrine manual, nor should instructors make these topics the focus of class instruction. This information is provided with the understanding that it is an additional resource only.

FAIR’s Front Page news service

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We’re pleased to announce FAIR’s Front Page, a daily news digest of Mormon-related stories delivered by email to your inbox.

The news stories include anything said about Mormons and the Church — positive, negative, or neutral. It’s designed to be an unbiased source, delivering whatever is being said about us in the online news media.

To sign up for FAIR’s Front Page, go to the home page of the main FAIR web site and enter your email address in the Front Page box on the right:

fair_front_page_signup

Apologetics Book Review

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This is your chance to share those gems you have on your bookshelves, or to see what books others have enjoyed, delighted in, and now cherish.

And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.—D&C 88:118

One idea is to route categories such as Early Christianity, LDS History, Temples, etc.

The format could be as done in grad school:  a precis, a commentary or a full-fledged review.  Or we could simply comment.  It’s up to those who would like to participate.

Any suggestions for the first book?

Thanks!

Carolyn

Gospel Doctrine apologetics: D&C lesson 32

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This week: Lesson 32, “To Seal the Testimony” (D&C 135).

Subjects covered: The martyrdom of Joseph Smith.

Potential issues:

If you can think of any other issues from this week’s lesson, please comment below so we can add more links.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is a preparatory resource for gospel doctrine teachers to help them formulate answers to questions that might arise during their class. It is not in any way a substitute for the Gospel Doctrine manual, nor should instructors make these topics the focus of class instruction. This information is provided with the understanding that it is an additional resource only.

Gospel Doctrine apologetics: D&C lesson 31

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Sorry this is a week late. I wrote it last week, but somehow neglected to click “Publish” and didn’t follow up to see if it had been posted.

This week: Lesson 31, “Sealed…for Time and for All Eternity” (D&C 131:1–4; 132:4–33).

Subjects covered: Eternal marriage; plural marriage.

Potential issues:

If you can think of any other issues from this week’s lesson, please comment below so we can add more links.

PLEASE NOTE: This information is a preparatory resource for gospel doctrine teachers to help them formulate answers to questions that might arise during their class. It is not in any way a substitute for the Gospel Doctrine manual, nor should instructors make these topics the focus of class instruction. This information is provided with the understanding that it is an additional resource only.

Saints were excused from building a temple in Missouri

Ether’s Prophecy

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In the 13th chapter of Ether, Moroni tells us that Ether went to Coriantumr and prophesied that if he did not repent, all his people would be destroyed except Coriantumr. Ether 13:20-22:

20 And in the second year the word of the Lord came to Ether, that he should go and prophesy unto Coriantumr that, if he would repent, and all his household, the Lord would give unto him his kingdom and spare the people—
21 Otherwise they should be destroyed, and all his household save it were himself. And he should only live to see the fulfilling of the prophecies which had been spoken concerning another people receiving the land for their inheritance; and Coriantumr should receive a burial by them; and every soul should be destroyed save it were Coriantumr.
22 And it came to pass that Coriantumr repented not, neither his household, neither the people; and the wars ceased not; and they sought to kill Ether, but he fled from before them and hid again in the cavity of the rock.

That this prophecy was well known is attested by Ether 14:24:

24 Nevertheless, Shiz did anot cease to pursue Coriantumr; for he had sworn to avenge himself upon Coriantumr of the blood of his brother, who had been slain, and the word of the Lord which came to Ether that Coriantumr should not fall by the sword.

Shiz is overly eager to kill Coriantumr to falsify the prophecy. Continue reading

FAIR Conference: Friday open thread

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Sorry I’m a little late getting this up today. Anyone with Internet access in the conference hall is invited to comment here on Friday’s presentations.

If your commenting on your own blog or other site, please feel free to link to it here.

  • John Lynch, “‘Uh oh!’ to ‘Ah ha!’ in Apologetics—20/20 Foresight for a Faithful Future in Defending the Church”
  • Brant Gardner, “Joseph the Seer, or Why Joseph Translated with a Rock in His Hat”
  • Ron Hellings, “Joseph Smith and Modern Cosmology”
  • Matthew Brown, “Brigham Young’s Teachings on Adam”
  • Greg Smith, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Plural Marriage (*But Were Afraid To Ask)
  • Richard Sherlock, “Mormonism in the Public Square”
  • Daniel Peterson, “The Temple as a Place of Ascent to God”

FAIR Conference: Thursday open thread

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Anyone with Internet access in the conference hall is invited to comment here on Thursday’s presentations.

If your commenting on your own blog or other site, please feel free to link to it here.

  • Wade Miller, “Science and the Book of Mormon”
  • Vickey Taylor, “The Sariah Dilemma: Finding Increased Faith When Our Children Misplace Their Own”
  • John Gee, “The Larger Issue”
  • Ugo Perego, “Haplogroup X in Light of Recent Book of Mormon Claims”
  • McKay White, “The Kirtland Safety Society: The Myths, the Facts, and the Prophet’s Good Name”
  • Ron Barney, “The Reliability of Mormon History Produced by the LDS Church”
  • Robert White, “On Being An Apologist: Imperatives, Predicaments, Perils, and Blessings”