Conference aims to counter attacks on LDS doctrine, history

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Each year the intention is the same: to arm Mormons with information so they can answer criticisms of their faith, doctrine and practices.

But the ninth annual conference of The Foundation for Apologetic Information & Research (FAIR), which begins Thursday in Sandy, is especially needed given recent high-profile anti-Mormon developments, the nonprofit organization's president, Scott Gordon, said.

Gordon, reached by phone in Redding, Calif., pointed to offensive comments swirling around Mitt Romney's campaign and to the distribution in March of some 350,000 DVDs that likened The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to a cult. He also mentioned concerns about the soon-to-be released film, "September Dawn," which uses the highly controversial Mountain Meadows Massacre as a backdrop and explores various conspiracy theories that put the church in a bad light.

"We are not afraid to take on the tough issues," he said. "We pick controversial topics and talk about them from a believer's perspective."

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