FAIR Conference 2008 Live Blog – August 8

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FAIR Conference 2008 – Friday (08/08/2008) Powered by: CoveritLive
9:05
And we’re live.
9:06
It’s a slighty rainy day today, but we’re feeling great.
9:06
Ron Esplin is the first speaker.
9:06
His presentation is on The Joseph Smith Papers project.
9:07
putting together documentary processes like this take a long time… at least 7 years usually
9:08
eventually they will produce 2-3 volumes per year.
9:08 [Image] outside.jpg 
9:08
These materials will be able to be used for “defending” the gospel.
9:09
it will be better history about Joseph Smith and early Church beginnings.
9:09
everything about their work must be geared to the scholarly audience, if we don’t meet that audience, we’ve failed.
9:10
this is a documentary editing project to provide materials to others to write about Joseph Smith.
9:10
What are the papers?
Why is it important?
How does it work?
What do we learn about Joseph Smith from it?
9:10
Elder Marlin K. Jensen – “The single most significant historical project of our generation.”
9:11
the beginnings of our Church are crucial to understand
9:12 [Image] Ron Esplin 
9:12
therefore the documents of our beginning are crucial to have available
9:13
President Hinckley – “We must know our history.”
9:13
This is a very intense project with a number of scholars involved.
9:14
This will be a “comprehensive edition of all known Joseph Smith documents.”
9:14
not everything “about” Joseph Smith… we are gathering materials from his office, the letters he wrote and received, the minutes of meetings and High Council, etc…
9:15
Why important? Make available sources of Joseph Smith life and work. Provide access to scholars of this material. Preserve the content of aging manuscripts.
9:15
[Comment From austin s]
I’m looking forward to hearing him at education week.
9:15
when scholars have the right access to documents, they use them…
9:16
will use digital images to preserve the documents also
9:16
provide more accurate texts, easier access, brings it all together in one place, puts documents into historical context, facilitates more and better scholarship
9:17
will eventually provide context in which the documents fit into the larger picture.
9:17
projects which paved the way for this project… The Papers of Thomas Jefferson… The Papers of George Washington… The Papers of Benjamin Franklin
9:18
The Papers of Benjamin Franklin was particularly valuable to Esplin in his own scholarly work.
9:20
we want to meet the documentary standard that has been laid by our predecessors on these kinds of projects… it will be of the utmost quality possible
9:20
papers projects allow us to write good history, accurate history – David McCullough
9:21
The footnotes are pure gold – much of them are masterpieces – McCullough
9:21
we want to help readers understand the documents without getting too much in the way
9:21
1. We gather the documents… 97% of it has been in possession of the Church.
9:22
other documents have been in many other places.
9:22
2. Collection, transcription, annotation.
3. Publish a volume. It is a reference work. It’s not a narrative
9:23
It won’t be bedtime reading… it is a reference
9:23
then others will write the narrative and the history books from these references
9:23
example – 1776
9:24
http://www.rootsrain.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/10/1776.jpg
9:25
Bushman’s book Rough Stone Rolling could have been even better with these Joseph Smith Papers… he had many of the documents as he is on the committee of the Papers Project, but one day someone will produce an even better biography with the use of these documents.
9:25
will offer texts and images of original documents, invites acquaintance with documents, provides resources of lessons, talks, FHE, etc.
9:25
the main effort is focused for scholars
9:26
we believe these papers will allow us to better understand our beginnings
9:26
“the scholarly audience has to drive everything”
9:27
2000+ documents, including those created by Joseph or by others at his request, those received by Joseph or kept in his office, legal matters involving Joseph
9:27
transcriptions, annotations, reference material will also be included

30 volumes expected, about 500-700 pages each.

9:27
The volume coming out this Fall is the 1830s diaries or journals
9:28
1587 total journal pages, 31 pages in Joseph’s own hand, 250 page dictated by him.
9:29
3 volumes on journals will be published
9:30
The next will be the documents series – correspondence, revelations, reports of discourses, and other documents, notices, minutes, notes, editorials
9:30
Revelations and Translations Series – 1830 Book of Mormon, for example.
9:30
Book of Commandments…
9:30
manuscript revelations will be published… behind the Book of Commandments, and D&C
9:31
History Series – approx. 7 volumes… vol 1., early efforts of Joseph Smith and others under his direction to prepare histories…
9:32
Legal & Business Series – records from 200+ judicial proceedings
9:32
example of Joseph Smith writing:
9:32 [Image] joseph smith journal.jpg 
9:33
Administrative Series – records in his office, minute books, letterbooks
9:33
How does the project work?
Collect documents… identify provenance, create transcriptions
9:33
we are being very careful to detect forgeries
9:34
[Comment From austin s]
I’m excited to hear more details about this project, but I’m hoping he’ll talk about some of the things they’ve learned or found. Or is he just planning on giving an overview of how the project is set up?
9:34
text verification – conduct three levels of text verification, using the highest technology including multi-spectral imaging and ultraviolet light
9:35
at the very end of the presentation he will explain some thing we’ve learned
9:35
things
9:36
we are being very careful to correct former mistakes in transcribing the texts.
9:37
someone once said – “I will never forgive Joseph for having a doctor as his scribe”, referring to Willard Richards… the text is sometimes hard to detect.
9:37
[Comment From austin s]
Awesome. As a non-scholar, I probably won’t ever read any of this stuff directly, but I’ll look forward to a better JS biography than RSR.
9:37
in the meantime, RSR is awesome. definitely the best biography currently available, and probably for many years to come.
9:38
source checking, copy editing (production editing), reviews both internal and external
9:38
[Comment From austin s]
Definitely, I meant to put “even better” in there :)
9:39
eventually everything will be available online
9:39
will get a NHPRC endorsement on this project.
9:40
dozens of people are involve din this… many have donated such as Larry Miller… student researchers, volunteers, contractors, scholars, editorial boards, etc.
9:41
Outside reviewers – Harry S. Stout, Stephen J. Stein, Mary-Jo Kline, Terryl L. Givens
9:41
will be published by The Church Historian’s Press, a new imprint for publishing authoritative works
9:42
The Joseph Smith Papers will be the first project of this press
9:42
press is important because it will earn the prestige of scholarly material
9:43
the website www.josephsmithpapers.org is a teaser site only… in a year, it will begin to offer full text and transcriptions and eventually annotations.
9:43
many reference materials will be available on the web
9:44
Bushman – “The closer you get to Joseph Smith in the sources, the stronger he will appear, rather than the reverse, as is so often assumed by critics.”
9:45
This is what we will learn about Joseph through this project…
9:45
we don’t need to defend him necessarily… we need to present him and his documents, and he will do ok
9:45
Joseph Smith was a careful, capable, and sophisticated businessman and citizen – Jeffrey N. Walker
9:46
Joseph worked better in the law than his critics. He had to live through 200 law proceedings.
9:46
Larry H. Miller has given immense funding for this project, an endowment given by them.
9:47
“Millions shall know Brother Joseph again” – Praise to the Man
9:47
[Comment From austin s]
That Bushman quote sounds great. Does he mention how much access they have to church archives and other sources? Are there some things they won’t be able to publish, or will it literally be everything that is known to exist?
9:48
They have full access to all documents… and it will all be published which fits the definition of a Joseph Smith document
9:48
Elder Jensen has emphasized over and over again that this is going to be designed for the scholars first and foremost.
9:49
we must build the scholarly core
9:49
Q&A
how do we limit bias?
9:50
we can’t expect to stand outside of ourselves… it’s probably not possible… but we can be fair-minded, and try to understand.. we can work with scholars of every persuasion as long as we can honestly look at the documents without attacking or defending one another
9:51
even things we might not like is going to be there…
9:51
we will meet scholarly standards
9:52
role of Community of Christ in this project? It is very important. They have 4-5% of the documents… around 6% is scattered across the country, and the LDS has around 90%
9:53
“I’m 64, and I intend to see all the volumes published” – Esplin
9:53
will it have an impact on curriculum materials in the Church? Yes! It already has.
9:54
the Joseph Smith manual already has reflected this, and it will be cited in the curriculum material
9:55
even future editions of the scriptures will reflect the best scholarship and manuscripts.
9:55
any major surprises? Yes, we learned many things… biggest surprise is that we thought we had 3 dozen legal cases, and we have 200+
9:56
any current Church history that will be corrected? There is so many… one detail is about D&C 107.. we don’t understand much about it
9:57
28 March 1835 has been the date… but that doesn’t work… the setting doesn’t work
9:57
if the date works, the setting doesn’t… there must be an error
9:58
28 April may be the date, but it must be before 4 May for that revelation.. but we will understand it better
9:58
will the index be cross-referenced, searchable, databased… yes, yes, yes!!
9:59
we will not have subscriptions, and it will be all there…
9:59
a documentary book is only as good as its index… three people are currently working full-time just indexing volume one.
10:00
we will learn much more about the scribes through this work
10:03
it is clear from Esplin’s presentation that this will be a landmark project in Church history… it will be unparalleled in its significance
10:04
will it include the Kirtland Egyptian papers and Book of Abraham manuscript? Yes.
10:04
the end
10:05
the next presentation will be by Matthew Brown – “The Israelite Temple and the Early Christians”
10:05
they are going to take a 10 minute break before he starts…
10:17
[Comment From KC]
Great! This one should be of particular interest to templestudy.com visitors
10:17
[Comment From Raven]
I bet you’re looking forward to Matthew Brown’s presentation, huh, Bryce?
10:17
Yes, this is going to be good. Brown is beginning now.
10:18
he is giving a brief intro of temple history throughout Israelite history
10:19
critics claim that the Israelite temple became obsolete among Christianity, but the scriptures state otherwise.
10:19
Christ taught in the temple on a daily basis, as well as his apostles.
10:19
they did not leave the temple behind… they were forcefully removed.
10:20
Paul offered prayer in the temple and received a vision of the Lord and received instruction there… the first century Christians attended the temple often.. prayed there, taught there, and worshipped there, even after the tearing of the veil during the crucifixion.
10:22
critics also believe that the kingly priests of the Mosaic system became obsolete after Christ… but this kingly priest system existed prior to the law of Moses, so there was no reason why it did not continue after Christ’s fulfillment of that law.
10:22
[Comment From lehislibrary.wordpress]
The scriptures cited are Mark 14:48–49; Acts 2:44,46; Acts 5:19–20,42
10:22
John described the heavenly temple, which has direct parallels with the Tabernacle.
10:23
Brown talks fast too…
10:24
Christians clearly continued to believe in the temple after the crucifixion.
10:24
Were the early Christians tied to the Israelite initiation system?
10:24
Christ made us kings and priests unto God… in John’s book of Revelations.
10:26
the offices of king and priest were physically bestowed upon Christians… based on the book of Revelations
10:26
1. eat of the tree of life in paradise (Rev. 2:7)
10:27
those who have access to the holy of holies city will become like Adam and Eve and act like they did in the Garden of Eden.
10:28
2. Not hurt by the Second Death (Rev. 2:11)
10:28
kings and priests will not be affected by the second death.. they will serve in the presence of God.
10:29
Rev. 21:12 – angels stand to guard the gates of the temple
10:30
bells attached to the robe of the high priest announced the presence of the priest… he struck some sound producing object… he asked to enter into the sanctuary of God
10:30
kings and priests took part in purification rites
10:30
3. Eat of the hidden manna (Rev. 2:17).. which was hidden inside of the ark of the covenant inside the holy of holies.
10:31
Christ is the bread of life… manna as a symbol of the Savior.
10:32
4. receive a new name (Rev. 2:17)… royal accession
10:34
Jacob’s wrestling with an angel:
10:34 [Image] Jacob’s wrestling.jpg 
10:34
[Comment From BHodges]
ill bet you love this one
10:34
it was actually more of an embrace.
10:34
5. Given power over the nations.
10:34
6. Receive the Morning Star (Rev. 2:28)
10:35
this is incredible stuff!
10:35
7. Received white raiment (Rev. 3:5)
10:36
the high priest was dressed in holy linen coat, and linen breeches, a linen girdle, and a linen mitre. Lev. 16:4
10:36
8. Name not blotted from the Book of Life (Rev. 3:5)
10:37
9. Made a pillar in the temple, never leave (Rev. 3:12)
10:37
the person becomes a permanent part of the temple
10:37
the king will be a priest “forever”
10:38
10. Name of God and New Jerusalem (Rev. 3:12)… the name of God was written on the forehead of the high priest.
10:39
11. Seated upon Christ’s throne (Rev. 3:21)
10:39
deification for the Saint who is allowed to sit in this chair.
10:40
Solomon sat upon the throne of the Lord as king.
10:40
12. Adoption and Inheritance (Rev. 21:7)
10:40
all-incompassing inheritance… the king was adopted by deity.. the sonship of the king was a divine guarantee of his power and authority
10:41
did the early Christians view this connection with ancient temple rites in allegorical or liturgical form?
10:42
we can look at the liturgical practices of the early Christians to see
10:42
Margaret Barker – The Great High Priest: The tTemple Roots of Christian Liturgy
10:42
Margaret Barker – Temple Themes in Christian Worship
10:43
Christian terms used in the documents which parallel temple terms.
10:43
the liturgy took place in a building that was referred to as a temple and contained a holy of holies.
10:43
they were compared with Adam in paradise
10:43
priesthood and kingship were taught to the early Christian initiates
10:44
Anointing ceremony in early Christian liturgy.
10:44
[Comment From Federico]
Ciao
10:45
Investiture in early Christian liturgy… the initiate received a white garment after baptism.
10:45
called the “glorious robe that Adam lost.”
10:46
“garments of glory” or “garments for glory”
10:46
Ephod – identified as a sort of apron tied around the waist, embroidered with colored threads.
10:47
early Christian cemetery in Egypt has many many corpses being discovered wearing aprons
10:48
BYU Studies article by Griggs on the dig.
10:48
Gammadia marks found on the garments of early Christians in textiles, and artwork.
10:49
meaning of the marks is not understood by scholars, but one has recently postulated that it might be related to the kingship of Jesus Christ… Christ also has gammadia marks on his robe.
10:49
gammadia marks on the tunics of Coptic Christians
10:49
Same mark depicted on the veil..
10:49
cosmological markings were also on the veil of the temple in Jerusalem at the time of Jesus Christ.
10:50
Byzantine Veil in Greece with gammadia marks
10:51
compass and square depicted with temple priests… the right angle tool is a symbol of righteousness.
10:51
artwork showing Christ enthrone holding a compass over the elements of Creation.
10:52
Prov. 8:27 – God using a compass or inscribing a circle upon the face of the depth
10:54
the right-handed clasp is found among ancient artwork… being admitted through the gate of paradise.
10:55
right-handed clasp between God and the king is part of the Israelite practice
10:55
Modern Eastern Orthodox Christians continue temple architecture and liturgy
10:56
Eastern Orthodox churches are very similar to the structure of Solomon’s temple or the Tabernacle
10:57
including anointing oil, holy of holies “choir”, curtain “iconostasis”, garden of eden “vestibule”, earth “nave”, open-air forecourt
10:57
nave – vestibule – holy of holies
10:57
three ascending degrees.
10:58
Brown is giving the description of modern Orthodox ceremony I believe.
10:59
including new names, investiture, question and answers, headress, embracing, apron with symbols of Adam and paradise, renouncing the world.
11:00
conclusion – the evidence shows that the temple symbols, liturgy, vestments, etc., were clealry part of the early Christians
11:00
Q&A session
11:01
November 7th is the symposium at BYU about the temple… many different temple themes are going to be presented.
11:02
What is the symbolism behind the horn-shaped oil container? symbol of kingly power… like the horns of a bull… Ephraim’s blessing of the horns pushing the people together
11:02
why leather for the aprons? prophets vestments were made out of sheep skins and goat skins.
11:03
when is your book coming out?
11:04
Dan Brown is coming out with a book on Solomon’s temple, and Matthew has been asked to deal with some of those issues..
11:04
support the BYU symposium on the temple in November
11:04
we should understand these things… learn about the temple throughout the scriptures, it will help you as a Latter-day Saint.
11:04
the end
11:05
that was absolutely incredible!
11:05
way to go Br. Brown!
11:06
[Comment From Guest]
they has his ppt notes on the stream
11:06
it would be nice if they made all these PowerPoints available on the FAIR website.
11:07
or if someone who is on the stream would make them available to others.
11:07
by the way, this is what Matthew Brown looks like:
11:07 [Image] Matthew Brown 
11:07
[Comment From Hans]
hold on, I am getting fair to email them to me
11:08
[Comment From austin s]
do you have to register for that temple symposium at byu in november? or where can I get more information?
11:08
if they are making them available on the live stream, then they should also post them online
11:09
I don’t think you have to register for the symposium… let me find the link for more information… hold just one second
11:11
[Comment From Hans]
they just uploaded the ppt for the next lecture
11:12
[Comment From austin s]
Hans, did they upload that ppt on the live stream or to their website?
11:14
the BYU symposium is by the organization Students of the Ancient Near East (SANE). It will be held on November 7th. For more information see the user “maklelan” on the MADB website.

http://kennedy.byu.edu/academic/anes/sane.php

11:14
[Comment From Hans]
on the live stream
11:14
the next presentation is by Newell Bringhurst and Craig Foster – “The White Horse Prophecy: Myth vs. Reality”
11:15 [Image] Newell Bringhurst 
11:15 [Image] Craig Foster 
11:15
Bringhurst is at the mic.
11:16
booklength study – “Mormon Quest for the Presidency”
11:17
the white horse prophecy is a mystery
11:17
[Comment From gary]
what does MADB stand for?
11:17
Mormon Apologetics and Discussion Board (MADB)
11:18
the white horse prophecy always comes up in the runs for presidency of Mormon candidates.
11:19
lol… Scott Gordon brought them kicking and screaming into the 21st century with the PowerPoint presentation
11:20
one of the most controversial revelations is the white horse prophecy
11:20
and elderly member of the Church is the one who gave a copy of the prophecy
11:20
Rushton
11:21
Edwin Rushton
11:22
manifest strong millinarianism
11:22
primary message great confusion, wickedness, revolution in the end times before the Second Coming
11:22
4 horses of Revelations
11:24
4 major groups of people – 1. White horse-Latter-day Saints. Will establish Zion. Become rich and powerful. 2. Pale – non-Mormon European decent. Honest in heart will be gathered to Zion in safety. 3. Red – possibly American Indians.. powerful group. 4. Black – people of African ancestry.
11:25
constitution and government of U.S. will be in jeopardy – hanging by a thread as fine as silk fiber.. if it were to break then it would be the end of the government… but it will be saved by the combined actions of the White horse and the Red horse.
11:26
the occasion of the prophecy? following an event in which Joseph Smith reviewed the Nauvoo Legion. He gave a toast in which he rebuked the enemies of the Church… then he goes into the prophecy
11:26
LDS response through the years has been mixed – the constitution would hang by a thread
11:27
many General Authorities have used the metaphor
11:27
Brigham Young – will the constitution be destroyed? No! It will be held inviolate by this people. As JS has said ‘the time will come when the destiny of the nation will hang by a thread, at that time this people will save it from destruction”
11:28
when it hangs by a thread, the elders will have to be called to save it
11:28
Joseph F. Smith – JS was inspired to ratify this truth, predicted the time when the constitution would hang by a thread, and the LDS would come to deliver us
11:29
GA’s continue to affirm the veracity of JS’s prophecy
11:30
Harold B. Lee- time would come when the constitution would hang by a thread, and the elders would come forward and save it from destruction… why us? we know by revelation how the constitution came into being, and we know the destiny of this nation by revelation
11:31
Ezra Taft Benson – repeatedly referred to the dangers proposed to the constitution… this people will come forward and save the constitution..
11:31
LDS leaders have strongly denounced most other elements of the white horse prophecy
11:32
it is “ridiculous, and a lot of trash” as reported by some prophets
11:33
“it was never spoken by the prophet in the manner they have put forth”
11:33
Elder McConkie – “a false and deceptive document that has cropped up again and again for over a century”
11:34
the white horse prophecy has never been accepted as binding prophecy by the Latter-day Saints
11:39
talk about Mitt Romney fulfilling 160 year old premonition of the white horse prophecy
11:40
Mitt – it is not official Church doctrine.. there is lot of speculation that is not Church doctrine
11:42
the white horse prophecy has been rejected by every Church leader who has talked about it.
11:42
Q&A Session
11:44
why would you classify yourself as a “renegade” Mormon?
11:44
the odd-couple of Mormon studies… Craig is a very conservative, card-carrying, active, serving member… Bringhurst is a liberal, Democrat, cultural Mormon
11:45
Bringhurst proud of his Mormon ancestry
11:45
he not an orthodox, regular attending, Latter-day Saint
11:46
what are the findings you’ve found particularly? it is so pervasive.. there are 30 different versions
11:46
the provenance of the document seems to be a product of the late nineteenth century, and does not reflect the worldview of Joseph Smith in 1843
11:47
it received even wider acknowledgement even after prophets denounced it.
11:48
Foster – this stuff seems to be passed on by missionaries..
11:48
Mormon-missionary culture… fun sounding prophecies and stories
11:50
[Comment From Hans]
like elder nelson and the guy who translated the BoM into Arabic
11:50
yup
11:52
the thread statement was a separate element from the rest of the prophecy
11:52
first quoted by Brigham Young
11:52
the idea of the constitution being in peril already had some establishment before the date of this prophecy
11:53
it was probably incorporated into the white horse prophecy to give it legitimacy – Foster
11:54
may not the constitution be waving in the wind by a thread? we are facing many problems today… depends on your worldview
11:54
things always look worse than they really are
11:56
Bringhurst – I’m optimistic
11:56
why do you think this white horse prophecy refuses to die?
11:57
Foster – 1. we look at what’s going on and we like to dig up things
11:57
it is human nature to try to explain things and put our circumstances in a framework
11:58
prophecy has incorporated legitimate comments of what could happen to the constitution… so it has an air of legitimacy
11:58
Mormon folklore… rumors…
11:59
[Comment From BHodges]
www.mormontwinkies.blogspot.com
11:59
nice!
12:08
lunchtime
1:13
ok… we’re coming back now
1:13
John Lynch is going to do FAIR Business.. not sure what that means
1:15
talking about the mission of FAIR
1:15
FAIR is not a mouthpiece for the Church
1:17
FAIR does not speak for the Brethren… if they say that what FAIR is doing is wrong, then they would shut down
1:17
FAIR doesn’t define the Church’s doctrine
1:17
FAIR doesn’t debate
1:18
FAIR’s audience is members of the Church who come on some information that they have a question about
1:18
FAIR helps defend the Church by making information available to members
1:19
FAIR is not a replacement for personal study
1:19 [Image] conference room.jpg 
1:19
FAIR is not involved in anything political
1:20
FAIR aspires to be a resource to the membership of the Church
1:27
ok… we were offline for a minute… but we’re back
1:27
FAIR wants to protect your heart for the right to have faith

we feel that our participation in FAIR is in a small part a fulfillment of our covenant we make in the temple to defend the Church and kingdom

1:27
[Comment From austin s]
And I think they do a great job at achieving that goal.
1:28
FAIR works on a budget of about $35,000/year… almost everything that is done in the organization is by volunteer work.
1:30
John Taylor Defender of the Faith Award
1:30
YouTube to sow seeds of faith
1:31
one individual has been crucial in entering that medium of videos
1:31
Tyler Livingston
1:32
[Comment From Hans]
I didn’t know Lance was an immigration attorney. Small world!
1:33
Scott Gordon – “Online Apologetics” – is the next presentation
1:34
President of FAIR
1:35
Elder Ballard has called on members of the Church to be more active online talking about the Church, and in telling others about their faith.
1:36
history of FAIR, his experiences with the organization
1:37
Elder Ballard – we are living in a world saturated with all kinds of voice… far too many people have a poor understanding of the Church… media reports often driven by controversies… may I ask you to join the conversation by participating on the Internet… and explain in simple, clear terms the message of the Restoration
1:37
start a blog – download videos and share them, write to media sites and voice your views on the accuracy of the reports
1:37
requires you to understand the basic, fundamental principles of the gospel
1:38
Gordon often finds LDS members making statements that just aren’t true
1:38
statements on evolution or the 7000 year earth history are not Church doctrine
1:39
critics and dissidents believed that the Church has hidden its history
1:39
the Church has hidden these things… in the Ensign
1:40
Internet definitions
1:40
website, chatroom, message board, blog, e-list, wiki, social networking, YouTube, trolling, lurker
1:41
we’ve got some syncrhonous communication going right here, right now!!
1:41
this is a blending of chatroom and blog… fun isn’t it?
1:42
the growth of blogs is exploding online
1:45
trolling – someone who posts controversial comments to bate others into an emotional response… its not to engage in conversation or discussion
1:45
lurker – someone who reads things, lurking in the shadows, rarely post comments
1:45
history of FAIR
1996-1997 AOL Message Boards
1:46
decided to pool efforts and make a website to post answers to issues
1:47
FAIR was created to create a repository of answers, share information, discuss Mormonism online, not let anti-Mormonism to take control online, sell books on the subject
1:47
[Comment From Hans]
controversy attracts people?
1:48
they have tried not to debate… FAIR provides information
1:48
divested themselves of the Message Board
1:48
so now the message board is a separate thing from FAIR – www.mormonapologetics.org
1:49
Topical Guide – www.fairlds.org/apol/
1:49
Bookstore – http://store.fairlds.org/
1:51
FAIR Journal – http://www.fairlds.org/pubs/
1:51
Blacklds.org is a FAIR website
1:52
there is some great and faithful black Americans and black members of the LDS Church… from today’s standards, there was racism within the Church, just as in all denominations, Black Americans have been treated dishonorably
1:53
FAIR wiki – www.fairmormon.org
1:53
some of FAIR’s best work… contains LOTS of information
1:54
Joseph Smith DVD – point by point response
1:54
FAIR blog – www.fairblog.org
1:55
FAIR on YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/fairldsorg
1:55
Ask the Apologist on the website – goes out to the FAIR list…
1:55
many hundreds of questions are answered here
1:56
what have I learned in FAIR?
1:56
2 different types of anti-Mormonism:
1. Evangelical Anti-Mormonism
1:56
Boundary Maintenance
1:57
issues they bring up, becoming Gods, Trinity, Different Jesus, Jesus Satan’s brother, Prophets, Bible Inerrancy, Faith/Grace, Polytheism, etc…..
1:57
far more effective on members is Secular Anti-Mormonism by ex-Mormons
1:58
issues they bring up on polygamy, DNA, looking into hat, Masonry, Kinderhook plates, Book of Abraham, Blacks and Priesthood, Treatment of women/gays, etc…
1:58
“Joseph Smith was a False Prophet because….” is the most popular attack on the Church
1:59
Loss of faith because – if we have the “plan of happiness,” then why am I not happy,
the church is true unless I get a boyfriend/girlfriend
I just want to fit in
I am feeling Depression
I am shocked by what I just read
No success can compensate, and I failed
Word of Wisdom/other problems
2:00
If they say they have one question, they usually have several
by the time they talk to you, they have already decided but want to prepare people for their decision
some just want to know there is an answer; others want details of that answer
2:02
some have the gift of believing, others have the gift of having speculation and of needing more information
2:03
to be cautious online NOTE:
There are “exit counselors” who are there to lead you out… many of these are LDS… they are members… they want you to embrace their view of the Church.. that it isn’t true, but just a nice club to belong to [reminds me of a recent post I wrote]
2:03
Beware of these… beware of Anti-Mormon narratives and from passing them on
2:05
These are FALSE:
* No peer review at Maxwell Institute
* BYU scholars are not recognized
* People leave the Church if they become more educated
* It is bad to be an Apologist – they aren’t “objective”
* FAIR is “mean” and engage in Ad-Hominem attacks
* I left the church because of FARMS/FAIR
2:06
here is Bryce’s recent post on the “exit counselors” that I have encountered – http://www.templestudy.com/2008/08/06/the-grossest-form-of-church-criticism/
2:09
here is a fuzzy photo of Scott Gordon speaking:
2:09 [Image] scott gordon.jpg 
2:10
[Comment From Alberto Barrios]
I’m following the conference since yesterday great job, I’m in Bucaramanga- satander – colombia and I’m in charge of a branch of the foundation here in my country, I hopr some day we can have a conference like this one in spanish for our latin community. god bless you
2:13
Thank you Alberto for participating. The Conference is always growing, and FAIR is always expanding, and being published in many different languages. I’m sure it will continue to grow in the years ahead.
2:14
has apologetics helped? Gordon is giving examples.
2:15
for one, who is not a Mormon, apologetics gave her the faith to believe in God… particularly through the work of C.S. Lewis
2:16
she prayed and received an answer that God was there…. apologetics got her on that road to even begin to pray
2:17
Mormon apologetics got her to read the Book of Mormon, and she knows it has God’s fingerprints on it.
2:18
another person was baptized in 2001, previously agnostic, many things about God seemed really incredible…
2:19
she found FAIR, and some FAIR volunteers helped answer her questions
2:19
apologetics created that environment for the seed (Alma 32) to take a place
2:19
“dare to hope that it is true”
2:20
intelligent apologetics gave plausible explanations for difficulties, and gave room for the seed of faith to grow
2:20
Gordon – we need you!!
2:21
take a part in the Church online.. we need people to link to FAIR www.fairlds.org, and leave positive comments and rate the videos on YouTube
2:21
if you really want to help, stop commenting and linking to bad blogs and YouTube videos… that drives up their ratings
2:21
we need people to help translate into other languages
2:22
we also need to have people donate to help with funding
2:22
Elder Ballard said – “remember who you are”
2:23
Q&A session
2:23
how widespread is leaving the Church? it is more public, they post about it, don’t know percentages
2:24
what is the relationship between FAIR and the Maxwell Institute? We support each other.. encouragement, information, etc… mostly just friends
2:24
[Comment From David Larsen]
I wonder which blogs he considers to be bad ones? I might have to review my links!
2:24
good question!
2:25
10 minute break before the next speaker
2:25
next Brian Hauglid will be speaking on “The Book of Abraham”
2:25
[Comment From Hans]
hopefully not mine
2:25
lol… you do good Hans :)
2:27
what about mine?
2:27
Do you like TempleStudy.com
Yes
 ( 60% )

No

 ( 20% )

Some

 ( 0% )

Hate it!!

 ( 20% )

2:28
[Comment From SteveS]
Gordon seemed to have a broad view of what constitutes attacks on faith-promoting materials.
2:34
[Comment From David Larsen]
You guys are both great
2:36
[Comment From David Larsen]
I really love the interviews with Margaret Barker that you’ve posted.
2:36
Thanks David! I’ve got three more parts that I will post later tonight.
2:37
ok, we are on to Brian Hauglid on the Book of Abraham.
2:37
by the way, Scott Gordon looks like this:

2:37 [Image] Scott Gordon 
2:38
Here is Brian Hauglid:
2:38 [Image] Brian Hauglid 
2:38
[Comment From David Larsen]
Hauglid is awesome.
2:38
“Helping those with questions about the Book of Abraham”
2:39
Book of Abraham is a club that is often used on our heads
2:39
how to deal with these questions…
2:40
Hauglid really likes the material that FAIR produces… they do a great job of producing good things
2:40
[Comment From BHodges]
I voted democrat
2:40
lol
2:40
critics say that Joseph made up the Book of Abraham
2:41
[Comment From David Larsen]
Wish I could make up something that good for my blog
2:41
Book of Abraham manuscripts are not the originals
2:42
we don’t work in a vacuum
2:42
a few observations on how we can conduct conversations on the Book of Abraham
2:42
likes to sit down eye-to-eye and discuss the book
2:43
Bushman Seminar 2008… 10 people who gathered to research Joseph Smith and his critics… we weren’t trying to recreate the wheel on apologetics
2:44
all agreed that we are trying to work with our neighbors, friends, family members, those who have tough questions… a more “pastoral approach” focused on the members not on the critics
2:44
especially those who were not already almost out the door
2:44
some people tried to get help from FAIR/FARMS, but didn’t for some reason… tried to research that
2:45
when people get buried in anti-Mormon literature they start losing trust in their feelings..
2:45
can I believe what I’ve felt in the past…
2:46
those who work through it, with help from apologists, who talk to the right kinds of people, DO work through it, and are stronger for it…
2:46
autobiographical experience
2:48
when he was young he received a spiritual impression, before he was a member of the Church, that God loved him… so he opened the NT and began to read
2:49
read Lund’s book “The Coming of the Lord”
2:49
liked what he read… wanted more – Elder McConkie’s Doctrinal New Testament
2:50
met with the missionaries, and was eventually baptized
2:50
his parents were upset with him..
2:51
got a home teacher.. on his first and only visit he gave a great discussion of 2 Kings..
2:52
liked him… later saw him reading a PlayBoy.. that was hard to see
2:52
[Comment From Hans]
stepped away for a few minutes. bryce, your blog is great!
2:52
Thanks Hans! I really appreciate it.
2:52
the Lord was testing him…
2:53
Bishop Anderson met with Hauglid and said “you might as well know now that the Church is not a haven for saints but a hospital for sinners”

2:53
learning the “real” Church history…
2:53
but he stayed in the faith and worked through it… one-on-one discussions with people
2:54
another story…. Group on Islam… guy came up to him asked him about Book of Abraham… “how can you stay a member of the Church with what you know about the book?”
2:55
this guy decided the Church wasn’t true over the book and other things he found online… Hauglid visited with him some, but he could tell that he was already further along than he could help him.
2:55
[Comment From David Larsen]
got to go..keep up good work, Bryce!
2:55
he brought up the “problems” of the Book of Abraham
1. papyri was used to make the book
2. papyri doesn’t say what the book says
how do you reconcile that?
2:56
same ol’ story
2:57
Haudlid told him, you know what, I’m not converted to the method or the history… I’m converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ… I separate the two
2:57
the internet is not accurate most of the time about the Book of Abraham
2:57
it is twisted and turned to try to show Joseph wasn’t a true prophet… this plants seeds of doubt in people
2:58
the more they read it the more Joseph turns into a fraud.. but there is another side to the story that they don’t deliver.. sometimes information is put there to intentionally misguide people
2:58
what do we do about this?
2:59
Suggestions about what to do.. face-to-face
2:59
1. treat the person with respect
2:59
on the web, its really hard to do because you have the whole range of people… but one-on-one it is easier to do
3:00
help them know that the questions they are asking does not place them in the “bad” Mormon category
3:00
we are willing to listen to even tough questions
3:01
sometimes we are so anxious to answer the question that we forget to listen to what the person is saying
3:01
especially when it is a sincere question
3:01
it is usually very personal to them
3:02
lift of the heads that hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees
3:02
“as all have not faith, teach one another”
3:03
treat questions seriously
3:10
WiFi dropped again for a couple minutes
3:10
we need to treat sincere questions seriously, or we can offend
3:11
sometimes we have to admit that critics are sometimes right
3:11
“now let’s talk about what that might mean…”
3:12
for example, for over 100 years, members thought the Kinderhook plates were authentic
3:13
but then they were showed to be frauds… so it is possible for us to not believe in things correctly
3:15
what does it mean if Joseph Smith translated some of the Kinderhook plates?
1. he may have believed that the plates were right, but no inspiration came, so he gave his own interpretation…. but no inspiration came
2. maybe he looked at them more like a scholarly pursuit.
3. maybe its both
3:16
we can take the same approach with Book of Abraham… clearly the papyri we have today, facsimile 1, does not contain the text of the Book of Abraham
3:18
what about the manuscripts and the Egyptian characters?
3:18
the simplest explanation that Joseph was a fraud is the hardest conclusion to come to…
3:19
these are challenges and mysteries, but they don’t affect my testimony
3:20
we should focus IN the Book of Abraham, not necessarily at the Book of Mormon.. what it says is much more a testimony of its truth
3:20
[Comment From SteveS]
huh?
3:21
for example, we have great historical context that works great with the text of the Book of Abraham.. the families, the locations, the context
3:21
the Book of Abraham fits perfectly into an ancient setting
3:22
historically, we are doing very well with the text of the book… doctrinally, we are also doing very well
3:22
the best way to help members is to work with them face-to-face
3:23
treat them with respect and with seriousness
3:23
admit good arguments from critics… there is more to the book than from its origins.. the text has historical and doctrinal treasures
3:23
Q&A session
3:24
next volume – Book of Abraham manuscripts, reference
3:24
all this may one day be in one of the volumes of the Joseph Smith Papers
3:25
missing scroll theory? Abraham 1:12?
3:27
hmmm… I’m not sure what to think of Hauglid’s approach
3:28
not sure I agree with it
3:28
ok, this I agree with… we can know things better by a spiritual conviction than by rational investigation
3:30
he thinks that Abraham 1:12 might be an addition or inclusion by Joseph Smith
3:30
first time I’ve heard that theory
3:30
the end
3:31
looks like we have a snack break now til 3:45
3:31
we’ll be back
3:32 [Standby]  back at 3:45pm
3:56
alrighty. We’re only as good as our WiFi here… apologies.
3:56
Brant Gardner is speaking now. “Mormon’s Editorial Method and Meta-Message”
3:56
Gardner wants to get into the head of Mormon, the great editor
3:57
Mormon’s Outline… he must have outlined a basic structure for his abridgement, given the headnotes given by Mormon
3:58
Repetitive Resumption
3:59
when Mormon includes editorial statement saying one thing, and then later coming back and saying the same thing again
4:00
Mormon followed his outline
4:01
Mormon’s Sources and the Construction of His Text: Book Names
4:01
what came from the source plates and what came from him?
4:01
the book names themselves tell us they were original with the plates and not with Mormon’s editing
4:02
the lost 116 pages from the book of Lehi
4:03
Mormon’s original book included Lehi, Mosiah, Alma, Helaman, 3 Nephi, 4 Nephi, Mormon
4:04
the book we have today is not what Mormon intended us to have…
4:05
the change in book names indicates a shift in ruling lines
4:08
this is deep… Gardner knows just a bit about the Book of Mormon
4:09
how did Joseph Smith figure all of this out, if he put it together as our critics suggest?
4:09
chapter divisions
4:09
Joseph saw divisions, but not numbers… must have been Mormon’s conceptual breaks
4:10
when the chapter changes, we have a picture of Mormon’s mind
4:11
Mormon makes a new chapter at the beginning of a new sermon, or end of sermon
4:11
1830 edition shows the chapters as dictated.
4:12
Orson Pratt fixed in 1879 what he thought were better chapter breaks, but that is not what Mormon originally thought
4:13
the sermons were direct quotations… since they were a shift in source, there was a chapter break for Mormon
4:13
Textual Flow Indicators
4:14
all punctuation was added in our day
4:15
“and it came to pass” and “and now” were two markers which guided textual flow
4:15
the former marks the movement of time… the latter marks the movement in concept
4:16
the chapters which have “and it came to pass” show much historical flow… “now it came to pass” shows both time and concept change
4:17
it’s amazing Joseph Smith used these two textual markers flawlessly
4:18
there are Mesoamerican glyphs which can be translated as “and it came to pass” and “and now” or “and thus”
4:18
Mormon’s Interaction with His Material
4:19
How faithful was he to his sources? How good was he as a historian?
4:19
he reproduced sermons faithfully… when he was creating his own narrative, how good was he? he was very much like the historians of antiquity.. he told a moral story, not necessarily a story of facts.
4:22
this will be a good read when published… Gardner is giving a lot of details within the text of the Book of Mormon
4:22
which point to the editing of Mormon, and his reasons for doing certain things like quoting vs. narrating
4:25
Mormon’s understanding of his task was appropriately ancient… he saw all events as they supported his religious understanding… recasted everything into a moral history… to convince all that Jesus is the Messiah
4:26
Mormon didnt write to convince us that Jesus’s doctrine was true, he wrote to convince us the Jesus is the Messiah
4:26
4 Nephi is Mormon’s intentional book about nothing
4:27
the people were all converted unto the Lord
4:28
“they lived happily ever after”
4:31
Mormon’s Use of Time
4:32
Mormon marks empty years
4:33
intentionally… these were place holders into a pattern… from history into story
4:33
using the space symbolically
4:35
sometimes I think these presentations are more comprehensible on paper than spoken. :)
4:36
it is certainly deep, and detailed, showing the editorializing of Mormon for intentional purposes
4:37
something that Joseph could clearly not have remotely thought about… the details of Mormon’s thought were much too intricate.
4:37
historical pattern – descent into apostasy, gadianton combinations, destruction of Nephite polity, The Messiah comes
4:38 [Image] Brant Gardner 
4:38
this pattern reoccurs… darkness before light
4:39
Mormon’s optimistic message was that the Messiah WILL come!
4:39
Q&A Session
4:39
what was sealed in Ether?
4:41
How were the records arranged physically in the plates?
4:41
regardless of where they were, they were translated precisely where they needed to be.
4:42
how do chapter breaks correlate with chiasmus? not really sure, not the one to ask.
4:42
age of Alma the Younger when the angel visited him? Don’t know.
4:43
Mormon’s use of Captain Moroni? Mormon really liked Captain Moroni
4:46
do you accept the Arnold Friberg translation of the Book of Mormon? (laughter)
4:48
this is an ancient book! Mormon put this together in a very specific way! it was a remarkable work to give us what we have today! imagine the time it took him to put it together. The most important lesson, that Jesus is the Christ.
4:48
the end
4:49
the next presentation is by Dan Peterson – “Humble Apologetics”
4:50 [Image] Daniel Peterson 
4:52
Peterson’s thoughts on the subject…
4:53
these things are not new… they’ve already been said during the Conference.
4:53
“Humble Apologetics” – I’m a model for that… lol
4:54
named after a book called “Humble Apologetics”
6:44
well, I’m sorry we missed Br. Peterson’s remarks
6:45
the WiFi went down at about 4:55pm, and they weren’t able to get it back up to my knowledge..
6:46
so sorry for that…
6:46
basically Dan Peterson’s message was that we don’t know everything, we don’t claim to know everything, and we shouldn’t act like we know everything
6:47
Even Nephi admitted he didn’t know why God did certain things in certain ways
6:47
We should remember why we do apologetics.. it isn’t to argue
6:48
arguing with people who do not care about understanding will get us nowhere
6:49
Peterson had some great comments on all of this, and many stories which were great to hear.
6:49
So, I hope you liked the liveblog. I hope it was beneficial to you. And thanks for participating.
6:50
Goodbye folks.
6:50



2 Comments

  1. Sporgsmal
    Posted August 12, 2008 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for live-blogging the FAIR Conference. This is a valuable tool for those people who were not able to be in attendance. Your notes also make it possible for someone who DID attend the conference — but couldn’t go to some sessions — to benefit nevertheless.

    Thanks for your effort!

  2. Posted August 12, 2008 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    You’re very welcome, Sporgsmal. I’m glad that I could help out. Hopefully my notes will be of use to those who weren’t able to attend as well as those who’d like a reminder.

2 Trackbacks

  1. [...] than listing all of the sessions) Over at TempleStudy they had a live blogging of the sessions. (Day 2 here) The Fair Blog also had up open threads for day 1 and day [...]

  2. [...] 2008 FAIR Conference in Sandy, Utah.  I was actually in attendance at this conference, which I live blogged, when he gave this talk, which is just plain terrific.  He titled it “Humble [...]

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