Book Of Abraham Mormon Apologetics Board

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

Many people are not familiar with "apologetics," and raise a variety of questions. These include:.

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The word "apologetic" is not commonly used in the LDS community and may be unfamiliar to many people. The word literally means "in defense of the faith. The word comes from the Greek "apologia" and is used four times in the Greek New Testament, including 1 Peter Lewis pointed out that since enemies have invoked 'science' or 'reason' to attack faith, it may now be necessary that someone respond in the same vein:.

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

To be ignorant and simple now—not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground—would be to throw down our weapons, and to betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen. Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered. Indeed, the great risk which apologetics seeks to counter is that those unfamiliar with anti-Mormon arguments will assume that there are no good answers to the critics.

Elder Neal A.

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Maxwell warned of the consequences of such a situation:. Let us be articulate for while our defense of the kingdom may not stir all hearers, the absence of thoughtful response may cause fledglings among the faithful to falter.

What we assert may not be accepted, but unasserted convictions soon become deserted convictions. The lack of decisive scientific proofs of scriptural truths does not preclude gospel defenders from counterarguments of that nature. When opponents attack the Church or its doctrines with so-called proofs, loyal defenders will counter with material of a comparable nature to defend. There will be a convergence of discoveries never enough, mind you, to remove the need for faith to make plain and plausible what the modern prophets have been saying all along…[I] do not expect incontrovertible proof to come in this way…, but neither will the Church be outdone by hostile or pseudo-scholars.

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Though argument does not create conviction, lack of it destroys belief. What seems to be proved may not be embraced; but what no one shows the ability to defend is quickly abandoned. Rational argument does not create belief, but it maintains a climate in which belief may flourish. Apologetics does not aim to "create belief"—it aims only to dispense with the poor reasons given by critics for disbelief. As Elder Maxwell put it, the critics ought not to be permitted "uncontested slam-dunks.

It can be frustrating to see a new crop of anti-Mormon books, films, pamphlets, and websites trot out the same tired claims, without even attempting to address the LDS responses. Apologists must remain patient, and not become short or irritable with those who have sincere questions just because they have 'heard it all before.

The ability to create a climate around us in which people, as in the case of the man who approached Jesus, feel free enough to say the equivalent of "Lord, help Thou my unbelief," is a critical skill. If we can deal with doubt effectively in its nascent stages, we can assist people by a warmth and love which frees them to share the worries that they may have, and increase the probability of dissolving their doubt.

But, if we over-react to dissent or to doubt, we are apt, rather than inculcating confidence in those we serve, to exhibit what, in the eyes of the rebel, may seem to be a flaw in our inner confidence in what we say.

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

We need to relax to be effective in the process of helping people who are building testimonies. Over-reacting and pressing the panic button when doubt first makes its appearance can render us ineffective. This is one of the reasons why parents are often in a temporarily poorer tactical position to deal effectively with a rebellious son or daughter—the anxiety is too real to relax. In these circumstances, bishops, teachers, and friends can be helpful—not because they are clinically detached, for their love and concern should be honestly communicated—but rather because third parties sometimes can listen a little longer without reacting, can prescribe with a clear-headed assessment, and most of all, can be a fresh voice which conveys care and concern, a voice which has risen above similar challenges.

An apologist can decide wrongly that the issues which excite and concern him must excite everyone. There are many people for whom apologetic issues are of no importance. This implies no defect in them or in those who are concerned about a given issue. The intellectual life is not the only road to God, nor the safest, but we find it to be a road, and it may be the appointed road for us.

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Of course, it will be so only so long as we keep the impulse pure and disinterested. That is the great difficulty. As the author of the Theologia Germanica says, we may come to love knowledge-our knowing-more than the thing known: to delight not in the exercise of our talents but in the fact that they are ours, or even in the reputation they bring us. Every success in a scholar's life increases this danger. If it becomes irresistible, he must give up his scholarly work. The time for plucking out the right eye has arrived.

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And, any field in which one becomes something of an expert is ripe for pride. As Alma cautioned his missionary sons, "See that ye are not lifted up unto pride; yea, see that ye do not boast in your own wisdom, nor of your much strength.

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Apologetics does not substitute for faith, prayer, scripture study, Christ-like service, and spiritual renewal. Apologists must remember that their main task is to encourage others to seek a personal witness for themselves; the 'rational' part of apologetics is really a prelude to the important work of conversion. At best, apologetics 'gets someone's attention,' and may help them give a novel or strange idea 'the benefit of the doubt' sufficient to plant the seed of faith Alma LDS apologists should never fall into the trap of assuming that logical argument can create belief, or that the 'case' for the gospel of Christ can be made rationally irresistible.

I have found that nothing is more dangerous to one's own faith than the work of an apologist. No doctrine of that Faith seems to me so spectral, so unreal as one that I have just successfully defended in a public debate. For a moment, you see, it has seemed to rest on oneself: as a result, when you go away from that debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar. That is why we apologists take our lives in our hands and can be saved only by falling back continually from the web of our own arguments, as from our intellectual counters, into the Reality—from Christian apologetics into Christ Himself.

That also is why we need one another's continual help— oremus pro invincem [Let us pray for each other].

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

Critics often portray apologists as mindless automatons who are unable to think rationally in their attempt to "defend the faith" at all costs. It is assumed by secular critics that Mormonism and science are mutually exclusive. It is not the job of the apologist to discount what science tells us. These individuals have found that science and belief are compatible rather than being mutually exclusive. It is true, however, that apologetic arguments may evolve as science provides us with new answers about the world that we live in.

Science is continually changing, and we welcome the new knowledge that it brings to us.

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When new discoveries are made, apologists will attempt to determine whether this new information fits in with LDS beliefs. It is possible to be an apologist while still understanding that there are many things that science will continue to teach us. One should exercise caution, however, before immediately incorporating a new discovery into an apologetic argument. An example of this occurred with forged documents such as the "Salamander Letter" produced by Mark Hofmann.

When these documents were obtained by the church and made publicly available, apologists and critics alike immediately began creating material to explain them. When it was discovered that these documents were forgeries, it became necessary to provide disclaimers on some apologetic material that was written during this period of time.

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

Unfortunately, critics do not issue such disclaimers, and works such as D. In this case, negative apologetics based upon faulty information continues to have ongoing detrimental effects. For example, the work of pioneer apologist Hugh Nibley has been repeatedly cited even in general conference.

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

The Church's official website also links to various apologetic individuals and groups. Daniel Peterson, Dr.

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John Butler, and Dr. Jeff Lindsay. The Church and its leaders are rightly cautious about officially endorsing any material that has not been approved by the correlation process of the Church.

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For most secular undertakings—such as those involving science and history—the Church gives no official endorsement nor takes any official position. Apologists prefer it this way.

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For example, FairMormon can and does make mistakes. If they are brought to our attention, we strive to correct them. But, the Church cannot be held responsible for any errors that we, as private members, might make. The Church and its leaders focus on preaching the gospel of Christ and administering the saving ordinances. Interested private members may seek to explain and defend their faith with the best tools at their disposal, but the truth of that faith does not depend on the soundness of their arguments.

LDS apologists do not exist in some special "caste" that sets them apart from the general "non-apologist" church population. This idea has even been characterized as a difference between " Internet Mormons vs. Chapel Mormons ". Many LDS apologists either have been, or currently are elders quorum presidents, high priest group leaders, Primary and Relief Society presidency members, bishops, high councilmen stake presidents, and even general authorities.

Being in positions of leadership such as these hardly isolates the apologist from the general Church membership. If anything, this means that the apologist is in an even better position to assist members when they do seek out answers to difficult questions. The idea that LDS apologists are somehow isolated in their own little self-constructed world of beliefs is an idea that the critics would like to promote, but which is very far from the truth.

Those who wish to achieve a substantial level of income would be well advised to avoid LDS apologetics entirely, as it can consume substantial amounts of a person's "off-time. FairMormon is a c 3 non-profit, and all of its members, with the exception of the part-time Bookstore manager, are unpaid volunteers. All efforts devoted to FairMormon are performed only after its members spend time with their families, perform their "day job," and fulfill church responsibilities.

Book of abraham mormon apologetics board

FairMormon is not, and should not be, the top priority in any of its members' lives. This means that the work sometimes proceeds slowly, but it does proceed forward. Some individuals who practice LDS apologetics happen to be employed by institutions sponsored by the Church: The primary institution being Brigham Young University.

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In this situation, their "day job" involves researching or teaching subjects which may or may not relate to subjects of interest to apologetics Thus, critics attempt to argue that some LDS apologists, particularly BYU professors, are "paid" for their apologetic efforts. Critics congratulate themselves for achieving a firm understanding of the obvious: Individuals who happen to have a "day job" with a Church sponsored institution receive their paycheck from that same institution.

Having a "day job" with a Church sponsored institution does not preclude one from practicing apologetics. Everyone can be an apologist. But not everyone knows exactly how to. The goal of apologetics is to respond to objections so that people can gain a clearer understanding of Latter-day Saint doctrine and purpose. The goal of apologetics is to provide reasons for belief and clarify the assertions of critics.