The annual FAIR Conference is coming up next Thursday and Friday, August 1—2, in Provo, Utah. The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research is a non-profit volunteer group that responds to criticisms of Mormon belief and practice. FAIR’s extensive wiki and their “ask the apologist” feature are two of the most helpful tools available to get a grasp of the variety of contemporary criticism and responses circulating on the web. The FAIR wiki frequently links to resources like Dialogue, the Journal of Mormon History, BYU Studies, and various publications of the Maxwell Institute like the FARMS Review and the Journal of the Book of Mormon and Other Restoration Scripture.
The annual conference always takes place on the first weekend of August. In the past, it has featured speakers like Claudia and Richard Bushman, Terryl Givens, Brant Gardner, and Kevin Barney, in addition to Institute representatives like Royal Skousen, John Gee, Matthew Roper, and Brian Hauglid. This year, more women are participating in panels and presentations than ever, covering topics like feminism and faith crises. Perennial topics like Joseph Smith’s first vision, Book of Mormon geography debates, and apologetics in general will also be addressed. A few fresh voices have been invited to speak, like humor/social columnist Robert Kirby, who will discuss the necessity of having a sense of humor about ourselves.
Online registration is available until July 28 (prices at the door are higher). You can register for one or both days ($39.95 and $64.95, respectively). Or, if you’re not in the neighborhood, you can watch the conference online for a small fee.