September 4, 2008

Initial response to FAIR’s review of this research

Filed under: Is FAIR being 'fair'? Share your thoughts on the FAIR article(s). — The FIRM Foundation Blog @ 12:20 am

 

Is FAIR being fair?

Please add your comments and look for my complete responses to these several articles on my website at http://www.bookofmormonevidence.org/ for a more ‘balanced’ understanding of the FAIR reviews in the next few days as they are completed.   

The apologists at FAIR (Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research) officially launched their  reviews of my research presented in the DNA Evidence for Book of Mormon Geography DVD, overall their reviews have been ‘cleaned up’ considerably from the initial personal attacks that were made, to their credit. 

From the FAIR website (quoted below) we gain a proper perspective of the significance of the FAIR review of my research. 

“FAIR is not owned, controlled by or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All research and opinions provided on this site are the sole responsibility of FAIR, and should not be interpreted as official statements of LDS doctrine, belief or practice.”

As such, their collective opinions are no more, nor less, valid than any general member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

All members of the church are given the power of discernment through the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism. It is encouraged that members use this God-given power to determine for themselves whether something is true or in error. Members need not assume that all truth must be first filtered through scholars before being able to find and know it for themselves.

“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” (Book of Mormon | Moroni 10:5)

To be clear exactly where I stand, I make the following statements. 

I have not, and do not claim to receive revelation for the church or any of its leaders or members.  

I support and sustain current and past prophets of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, as Prophets, Seers and Revelators.  

I do not represent the church in any way in this research, and so state in my DVD, my presentations, and on my website (www.bookofmormonevidence.org) .

I do ask daily for personal guidance from the Lord in all aspects of my life through prayer, including my research, and will not deny that I have on occasion felt his guiding influence in my life. This is not contrary to the teachings of the gospel. Please see the following scriptures. I believe the scriptures are true. Following are quotes from the standard works pertaining to this subject. 

“Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.

 For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.” (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 14:7-8) 

“And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.” (Book of Mormon | 3 Nephi 18:20) 

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (New Testament | James 1:5) 

I am doing my utmost to be a servant of God and his son, Jesus Christ, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  

I know that I am not perfect, and neither is my research. I state this up front in the DVD. As mistakes are found, I will correct them. Please note that the presentation under review was a 4-hour long, non-scripted presentation before a live audience from memory. I could not include much of the total research as the content was limited to a four hour DVD. 

I am simply presenting ideas and information. It is fully referenced to enable those who would like to study further to do so. The information is available for those who seek further knowledge on this subject.  

I invite anyone who wants to know what I have actually said to review the information I present and then make their own decision. It is every member’s right and responsibility to study it out for them self, then pray and ask the Lord to determine what is truth and what is not. The scriptures are clear how to judge for yourself whether something is of God or not. 

“For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also. 

I testify that the Book of Mormon is first and foremost a spiritual witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. I also testify that it is a literal historical record of real people and events that did actually occur.  

I testify to the Prophetic calling of Joseph Smith Jr. as the leader of this dispensation. I give my solemn witness that he did indeed translate the ancient records of Lehi’s posterity to bring forth the Book of Mormon. I also believe his prophetic statements, claimed by him to have been received by revelation.

I testify that the church today is headed by a prophet of God, currently President Thomas S. Monson, who guides and directs the affairs of the church on the earth today, and who is solely authorized to receive divine revelation appertaining to the body of the church.

Truth stands on its own. 

 

There is much more to contribute to this conversation, but I will refrain from making each post a dissertation.

I have several times requested to have these issues resolved in private, rather than a public forum, but FAIR believes that they are protecting the church and the testimonies of its general membership by attacking a fellow brother in the gospel in good standing in the church because he espouses ideas not held by the dominantly Mesoamerican leaning leadership of FAIR. 

It is hoped that those who take the time to read the reviews will do so with an eye toward what would motivate FAIR to consume so much of its resources to squelch an opposing view on geography?  Could it be that they have a commercial interest in doing so?  I didn’t know until a few weeks ago that FAIR has a distinct interest in attempting to discredit this research, you see, they just released a few months ago a new DNA DVD title ‘The Book of Mormon and New World DNA’ which is currently available on their website as well as Deseret Book.  See  http://store.fairlds.org/prod/p1893036073.html to see their commercial offering.  

Could this be a motivating factor in their choosing to put so much effort into review of my research, to protect their monetary interests?  

What are they so afraid of about this research getting out that they would go to such great lengths to destroy it? As far as I know their extensive review is unprecedented for any other previous review matter, including anti-Mormon works.  Usually opposing theories are relegated to a page or two of review, while these reviews (of which they have posted for a couple of sections so far) are currently more than 66 pages in length!  FAIR has certainly out-done itself against a fellow member, when they never (to my knowledge) launched such a full-scale attack on anti-Mormon critics of the church.  

It makes you wonder, doesn’t it? 

Rod  

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