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Shaken Faith Syndrome. Strengthening One's Testimony in the Face of Criticism and Doubt Paperback – 2008

4.2 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: FAIR; 1st edition (2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1893036081
  • ISBN-13: 978-1893036086
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,548,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael R. Ash is a veteran staff member of the Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR), former weekly columnist for the Mormon Times, and has presented several papers at LDS-related symposiums Ash is the author of Of Faith and Reason: 80 Evidences Supporting the Prophet Joseph Smith and has written more than 100 articles defending the faith which have been published by FAIR, FARMS, Sunstone, Dialogue, and on several LDS websites.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I felt compelled to leave a review after the two 1-star ratings that clearly were not from people who bothered to read the book. It never ceases to amaze me how empty one's life must be to take the time to criticize that which they don't even bother to read.

In any case, if you're a Mormon who's having concerns and questions, this is a perfect starting point for strengthening a weakened testimony. Ash does a great job discussing issues in a frank, but faithful way. Robert Millet's "Holding Fast" is good too, but this is more in-depth and specific.

As a believing Latter-Day Saint who has grappled with these issues and done enough reading and study to assuage my concerns, I would recommend this book to anyone that wants a balanced few of the difficult issues that arise to challenge Mormon faith.
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I only wish someone had written this book years earlier. When I was a teenager (40 years ago)it really would have helped me. It is very well written and documented. The person who left a review calling this book anti-Mormon hasn't read this and whoever thinks this book is written by an apologetic also could not have read the book. If anything, I think this book helps you to asses how fairly you look at everything in life, not just the LDS faith.

Update--I guess my understanding of apologetic was not exactly the dictionary definition. I thought and apologist was someone who found reasons for what they believe that were not based on research. I guess it covers people who do their homework and it just means they defend what they believe to be true. By that definition, I was wrong. This author apparently falls under that definition.
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Format: Paperback
Finally, a book that gives a solid foundation for rational thought regarding faith and then as a bonus Mike Ash answers common critical questions regarding various issues about LDS (Mormon) doctrine and history.

Well done Mike. Every Bishop and Stake President should own and read a copy. Very enthusiastically recommended!

[...]
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Michael R. Ash is a well-known LDS apologist, who is also the author of Of Faith and Reason: Scholarly Evidences Supporting Joseph Smith.

He writes in the Foreword to this 2008 book, "The intent of this book is at least twofold. The first goal is to expose---or inoculate---members to potentially troubling issues in a faithful setting, thereby inoculating them against the damage that might be inflicted by critical attacks... The second goal of this book is to strengthen member testimonies by educating them in new perspectives and ways of understanding history, science, bias, prophets, and even personal revelation. Members who develop mature ideologies ... are less likely to be troubled by potentially sticky issues. Lastly, it should be noted that this book is targeted at the lay member ... it is hoped that the information contained in these pages accurately summarizes the scholarly material that has been produced."

Here are some additional quotations from the book:

"Even some modern-day Church leaders have forsaken the faith despite having had real testimonies." (Pg. 14)
"In order for the critics' DNA arguments to have any substance, they MUST argue that, according to the Book of Mormon, ALL Native Americans are the exclusive descendants of Book of Mormon peoples... If the Book of Mormon relates the history of small groups of Israelites who coexisted and intermarried with Native Americans, DNA science does not negate the authenticity of the Book of Mormon." (Pg. 53)
"Critics considered barley to be one of the things that 'Joseph Smith got wrong.
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Format: Paperback
With current technology, an increasing number of Latter-day Saints are encountering anti-Mormon material on the Internet. Although most anti-Mormon arguments have been around for decades, many members are encountering these accusations for the first time and are not aware of competent Latter-day Saint responses to them.

The Foundation for Apologetic Information and Research (FAIR) is an all-volunteer grassroots Latter-day Saint apologetic organization (here the word apologetic denotes efforts to explain and defend the faith). FAIR has produced a host of Internet articles, a very useful wiki, videos, and even DVDs (see [...]). It has also published Shaken Faith Syndrome. The author, Michael Ash, begins by addressing the reasons for personal apostasy. He focuses on those reasons that, when challenged, seem to result in "intellectual apostasies"--that is, the loss of faith brought on by LDS-critical arguments and accusations. Shaken Faith Syndrome shows how Latter-day Saints can be both critical thinkers and devout believers.

The book is divided into two sections. The first part deals with misconceptions that can make Latter-day Saints vulnerable to challenges to their faith. Ash examines the emotions and cognitive process that believers often engage when they are presented with what appear to be strong arguments that Joseph Smith was a fraud or that the Book of Mormon is merely fiction. Ash demonstrates that naïve and even what can be called "fundamentalist" assumptions, as well as unrealistic expectations of prophets, scripture, science, and scholarship, are often catalysts to testimony damage rather than the actual anti-Mormon arguments. Many members, for example, confuse tradition, rumor, speculation, and opinion with sound teachings.
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