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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 23Jan01

By Rosemary Pollock

LDS Internet Apologist Websites Agree to Merge

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research, known as FAIR, has joined Internet forces with the Scholarly &Historical Information Exchange for Latter-Day Saints (SHIELDS) by merging their operations into one central clearinghouse in order to answer anti-Mormon claims. The merger was approved by the boards of both organizations and will consolidate the two groups into one.

The new FAIR chairman, John Lynch, explained the merger as "some ambitious aspirations in terms of our future direction and growth." "We also see ourselves as a clearinghouse of reliable information, a place where members and others can turn for well-researched information. In this way, we hope to make the average member capable of responding to criticisms and questions of those critical of our beliefs, and if possible, improve the church's standing in the eyes of the world."

With an active membership of more than 1,000, FAIR has been the host to an annual conference for the past two years. Neither FAIR nor SHIELDS is affiliated or endorsed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Even so, FAIR's mission statement is to "address charges leveled at the doctrines, practices and leaders" of the LDS Church.

FAIR is based in Felton, Calif. and boasts ties with several BYU scholars. The tone of arguments among critics and defenders of the LDS faith are often respectful, but both sides have accused each other of resorting to personal attacks, sarcasm, belittling and innuendo in the written e-mail salvos they exchange.

Scott Gordon is the new president of FAIR and states that the organization isn't backing away from critics but claims the tone of its approach to them will change. "We believe our audience is church members who have been affected by anti-Mormonism. We want to provide a place where people can go to try to find answers....We're not out to stir the pot. We're more of a collection point to answer particular criticisms, more a repository of information and less direct confrontation."

FAIR chairman John Lynch and president Scott Gordon will be in Utah this week recruiting speakers for their annual conference to be held in Utah County next summer. For more information, see the web site at


Apologist Web sites merge, will answer anti-LDS claims
Deseret News 20Jan01 I4
By Carrie A. Moore: Deseret News religion editor


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