Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Message From Scott Gordon, President of FAIR LDS

When most members of the Church think of anti-Mormonism, they
immediately flash on sign-carrying protestors outside of Temple
Square, or they visualize a debate on whether faith or works leads
to salvation. The problem with those visualizations is that those
types of protests and discussions aren't the kind of anti-Mormonism
that has any real impact on members of the church. Some are lulled
into a false sense of security believing that their testimonies are
unshakable. It is with that attitude they venture onto the Internet
to read what others have to say about our beliefs. They may soon
discover that the Church and its history is often conveyed in a
fashion that is totally foreign to what they have learned.

Emails to FAIR have included phrases such as, "I recently became
aware of some things from church history I have never heard before,
"or "Joseph Smith doesn't appear to be the person I learned he was
in Primary."

There are things written in books and on the Internet that sound
very damaging to Joseph Smith and others in Church history. Some
members get very upset when they read it and realize they have not
heard it before. They sometimes come to believe that the items have
been hidden from them through some grand conspiracy of deception and
find their testimony shaken.

The truth is that many of the allegations are taken out of context,
are presented with a negative spin, come from less reliable sources,
or are simply false. While some feel they "should' know about it,
there really should be no expectation for the Church to teach things
about Joseph Smith that aren't true, simply so people are familiar
with those claims. False allegations remain false, even if they are
from a long time ago.

For example, perhaps you will read the common claim that there was
no record of the First Vision prior to 1870. The claim is usually
made with absolute certainty and bravado. The average reader doesn't
know that there are over 62 recorded instances of the First Vision
stretching from 1840 to 1870.


Perhaps you may read that Brigham Young said that he lives "above
the law." What the average reader doesn't know is that Brigham was
talking about living better than the law, not escaping from it.


There are numerous other examples that can be cited. But, know that
the arguments and negative treatment put forward by the various
books and anti-Mormon websites have been examined and found to be
unconvincing and often dishonest. FAIR exists to continue to expose
those dishonest claims and to help members of the Church find
answers without having to become research specialists.

I hope that you continue to support us in our efforts by spreading
the word about FAIR and letting people know where they can find the
truth about disturbing claims they may hear.

--Scott Gordon
President of FAIR