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Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 12:37
by opentofreedom
OK, so I need some advice. Our stake is having a fair presentation to answer issues with difficult history questions. My husband would really like me to go and thinks it will help me ... see clearly?? .. again. I told him that I am not a fan of the apologetic explanations. I also feel that I am having a hard time trusting the church again. If they lied and hid everything to such a great degree before, how do I know this new more open church history hasn't been doctored and calculated? I have a hard time knowing what to believe regarding church history period. Part of me doesn't even care because I don't believe in the core doctrine anyway, so I don't care to know. But on the other hand I have a deep desire to understand what the heck was going on with everything; not only church history but Christianity in general.
Anyway, I am scared that I will get so annoyed at the explanations and excuses, but I can't say that I KNOW what they are going to say because I don't. I have never been to anything of this sort before. Has anyone had any experiences with their stake doing something like this?

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 14:53
by Ann
Hi, open - I haven't, but would love to hear about your experience if you decide to go. If one were being offered here, I would go. I don't know how or if I would participate, but I'd want to be counted as a warm body at the event.

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 15:22
by Roy
opentofreedom wrote:Our stake is having a fair presentation to answer issues with difficult history questions.
I would be conflicted. On one hand, I'd love to go and see presentations and have discussions on Mormon history outside of the context of SS. (SS does not seem like a good time to have a spirited discussion - no matter if the history presented is completely off)

OTOH, I'm not sure these FAIR presentations would be a good time to do this either. I work pretty hard to keep my specific views vague and hopeful. I would be afraid that any less than believing points I might bring up might get the all seeing eye of suspicion turned my way.

I suppose the best of both worlds for me would be to frame my questions in a way that I was not personally tied to them - as in how do you feel about Richard Bushman's treatment of X or Todd Compton's position for Y or I have a "friend" that believes XYZ - how might you respond to that.

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 15:47
by DarkJedi
I haven't had the experience with FAIR doing a presentation, but there is a guy in my ward who has probably read everything theyhave ever written, and before discovering this site I did read FAIR stuff because they were the closest I could come to anything rational. My problem with FAIR is that they are so focused on history and it's not the history I have a problem with, it's the doctrine. Were it me, I'd probably go - but you're not me and you have a whole different set of questions/doubts and whole different point of view.

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 16:00
by GodisLove
The fact that our area would think there is a problem that needed a FAIR explanation would be enlightening. I would have to go- my inquiring mind would need to know.

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 16:03
by convert1992
Hi open,

I am somewhat familiar with intellectual LDS apologetics, which is what Fair is, because in my area we used to have a very unconventional member of the Church who was a university academic and apologist. I don't know whether you should go. It depends on the intellectual quality of the people who will be presenting. Fair not being officially associated with the Church, my understanding is that they do engage the help of people who are intellectually sophisticated (at least by LDS standards) so at least they are unlikely to be insultingly simplistic. They will not just be spouting the lds.org talking points. Since it's held as a church meeting though, it's probably somewhere between the extremes of a free-for-all discussion and the highly sanitized atmosphere of a missionary fireside. You can bet the presenters, as intellectually honest as they may turn out to be, will be vastly outnumbered by an audience with traditional apologist answers (including all the ones you've heard 1,000 times) and missionaries. It would remind me of those missionary events where the visitors are outnumbered 50-to-one by the members. I personally would go, but just to observe the dynamics and throw in a few provocative queries. If you do decide to go, let us know how it went!

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 17:58
by Curt Sunshine
I personally would go, but I would have absolutely no expectations of hearing anything profound or that I could accept as the best answers. If I heard anything like that, I would be pleasantly surprised; if not, I wouldn't be disappointed.

On the other hand, if hearing stupid or partial answers gave me severe heartburn, I wouldn't go.

On the third hand :P , if my wife really wanted me to attend, I'd go - but I would be committed to lamaze breathing and letting things roll off my back.

Re: Fair presentation for my Stake

Posted: 24 Feb 2014, 19:32
by opentofreedom
Thanks for the great advice y'all. I guess I could go with no expectations at all as to not be disappointed. I just worry that I will get "heartburn" ... I guess I could always leave. It might be good for my husband to go as well.

DJ. I am more like you, it is the doctrine more than the history, that bothers me. So, no matter what they say, I can't imagine it being 'helpful". But who knows, maybe I will learn something new.

GIL, yep, the curiosity alone will likely be my greatest motivation. If I don't go I will just be wondering all day.
The fact that our area would think there is a problem that needed a FAIR explanation would be enlightening
Yes, I am quite surprised that there is such a great need. I do know of some people in my neighborhood who have left the church or have similar concerns. This will just be...... interesting.