However, some new evidence comes to light showing links. In an email sent by Steve Densley, VP at FAIR, in July to advertise their upcoming FAIRMormon conference (Held the first week in Aug), he explained:
"The Church will also be creating a webpage for seminary and institute teachers that includes a link to the FairMormon website. Furthermore, the Church has notified all seminary and institute teachers of the FairMormon conference, the Church is giving them a vacation day in order to attend and FairMormon is waiving the fee for seminary and institute teachers."This appears a fairly substantial backing by the LDS church of the FAIR organization and their apologetic conference. While they didn't directly fund FAIR, they support FAIR to waive conference fees for their employees. And even more, the LDS Church is paying the educators on church salary for a day's time to attend.
To wit, here is the email FAIR sent out.
From: Steve Densley <sdensley@g***.com>
Sent: Sunday, Jul 6, 2014, at 9:02 AM
Subject: FairMormon Conference
As most of you all know, I am the vice president of FairMormon, a group that exists in order to respond to criticisms of the Church and to help people to resolve their doubts. As I have been involved in FairMormon, one of the most frustrating things is to find people who have left the Church due to questions or concerns they had about Church history or doctrine, when there are good answers to those questions. However, once they have committed themselves to leaving, they are not as open to considering the answer we offer. It seems that we would be much more effective if people were aware of us earlier.
The Church has started to address some of the big issues that cause concern for many people by posting articles on LDS.orgin the Gospel Topics section. The Church will also be creating a webpage for seminary and institute teachers that includes a link to the FairMormon website. Furthermore, the Church has notified all seminary and institute teachers of the FairMormon conference, the Church is giving them a vacation day in order to attend and FairMormon is waiving the fee for seminary and institute teachers.
Bishops, stake presidents and relief society presidents also sometimes find themselves in circumstances where they are counseling with members who have questions, concerns and doubts. Therefore, we at FairMormon also want to extend an invitation to stake presidents, bishops and relief society presidents to attend the FairMormon Conference for free.
The conference is on August 7 & 8 at the Utah Valley Convention Center in Provo. If you are unable to attend in person, you can also listen to a live steam of the conference over the internet, and the stream will be available for a few weeks afterward, so you can still listen even if you were not able to on August 7 & 8.
We have a special link for Church leaders to use to sign up: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12HsX8kZfDuW1dF1bSvjKfDQYHocw32f_QeSvnE9QoaQ/viewform
For more information about the conference, you can contact me, or visit this page: http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2014-fairmormon-conference
For more information about FairMormon in general, you can review the following article in the Church News and the subsequent links to the FairMormon website:
I hope you can join us in Provo on August 7 & 8, and if not, I hope you will find time to listen to the conference on line and explore the resources FairMormon has to offer.
Unfortunately, I received this email after the conference and was unable to directly access the google doc to acquire the form the LDS church leaders used to pay for their attendance fees at FAIR. I would ask Steve Densley to confirm or deny this is accurate.
What does this mean? FAIR seems to get more direct support from the LDS Church than either the church or the apologists would like to admit.
The connection may not be black and white, but it's still quite clear.