August 8, 2008

John Lynch: What is FAIR and what isn't FAIR

FAIR is not a mouthpiece for the Church. 
FAIR has resources that we make available; sometimes we research and try to provide the information ourselves. All of our answers carry the disclaimer that we do not speak on behalf of the Church.

What does the Church think of of FAIR?
The Church recognizes there is a need here, but if we make a mistake we'd like to be able to be severed from the Church. If the Church asked the Pres. of FAIR to stop the enterprise they would do so.

FAIR does not define the Church's doctrine. 
The statements on Church doctrine are on 

FAIR does not debate. 
Critics are not the audience of FAIR. FAIR does not want to harm the reputation of others. In fact, FAIR would hope to bridge relationships even among different opinions.

FAIR is not a replacement for personal study.
FAIR encourages people to get involved and find their own answers. FAIR is apolitical with different views on politics.

FAIR has been successful in being a good resource for members of the Church. 
Personal stories are often shared, such as a young missionary who was shaken on his mission when he encountered critical information. He stumbled upon FAIR and found answers. FAIR is about providing information.

But more than that, FAIR wants to help provide room to help the seeds of faith to grow by chasing out the weeds that may hinder them. There are unanswered questions and we continue to seek, but there is faith enough to keep going forward.

If the Lord wanted to prove the Book of Mormon true he would have left the plates, or would have had them discovered and brought to the world in the open rather than by a young man in New York.

FAIR wants to defend hearts to have the right to faith. In doing that a tremendous community has been formed; some who traveled through a valley of doubt, others who know people who were lost in the mists of darkness, and this community provides strength. Would we be able to withstand all the criticisms alone? Perhaps not; but with such a community of believers who are able to reason and articulate answers can work together to provide the needed support to have faith in Jesus Christ and His Church. There are so many great minds and great hearts associated with this great work. A covenant we make in the Temple is to defend the faith, the Church.

John expressed appreciation for all of those in attendance. There were many new faces at the conference this year. He then discussed the lawsuit that the Tanner's brought onto FAIR because they claimed that FAIR was attempting to steal their business. The website was abandoned immediately, the URLs were given up. The lawsuit was appealed to the 10th circuit court of appeals where it was entirely dismissed. FAIR operates on about $35,000 per year. The contributors are not paid, things run on a shoe-string budget. Jeff Walker and Ron Dunn stood up and defended FAIR pro bono. Lance Starr, a member of FAIR, also volunteered to help. Lawyer costs would be up to the tune of $90,000. A round of applause for all the lawyers.

The John Taylor Defender of the Faith award. 

When The Bible vs. the Book of Mormon film appeared FAIR wanted to counter with film. One person has shouldered much of that task, and also produced the film DNA and the Book of Mormon. Videos have been put on YouTube, etc. See the FAIR YouTube channel. The recipient is Tyler Livingston.


Anonymous said...

What about the fuss that FAIR members raised at Times and Seasons -- the whole point was that FAIR was not the party sued. FAIR and its members love to split hairs when they can turn those hairs into weapons, but you're not all that careful of details when there is no chance to bash!

Mike Parker said...

The person who created the Tanner parody web sites did so using his own money, his own server, and on his own time. He didn't tell other FAIR volunteers about it until several months later.

The Tanners' lawsuit was not unlike suing McDonald's because one of their employees held a private dinner party at which her guests got food poisoning.

But because FAIR was named in the lawsuit, they were forced to defend themselves. And their legal team did a terrific job.

LifeOnaPlate said...

As Mike pointed out, FAIR was named in the lawsuit for something a single FAIRite did. It may look like an issue of splitting hairs; in legal issues that can happen. The parody site in question was not a creation of FAIR. Thanks for stopping by, anonymous, I read poems and stuff by you all the time!

cinepro said...

I love anonymous's poems as well. I've also been concerned about anonymous's close relative whom I've read about in the Ensign: name withheld. If you're reading this, anonymous, please let name withheld know that I hope they pull through ok.

LifeOnaPlate said...

I have to be honest, cinepro, and admit that I stopped following name withheld a while ago. With name withheld, it's like riding a terrible and wild roller coaster. One week nw has resolved the conflicts over the addiction problems of a spouse, the next week nw is struggling with addiction as well. Before you know it, nw is talking about the death of loved ones, and then going on about struggling with inappropriate materials on the internet. It was too emotionally exhausting for me to try and keep up.

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