An apologist is someone that defends their faith, whatever religion that might be

A Mormon Apologist is a member that is aware of the uncorrelated church material – the discrepancies between the official church narratives and the historical records – and speaks, writes and engages in defending the church.

Another purpose of apologetics is to provide a faithful perspective to the difficult issues and topics so that people can maintain their testimony.

Being an apologist is one of the many “hats” a member may wear and typically not something they solely identify as or do full-time. As a result, it becomes more of an approach that’s taken, by some, once they begin to explore the issues outside of the official church correlated material. This method, of using and relying on “faithful scholarship”, is another option for a member as they study. There is a broad range of opinions among those engaged in Mormon apologetics and at times they disagree with each other’s conclusions.

Some Mormon Apologists form volunteer organizations and hold conferences, symposiums, publish jointly and write books. The more well known apologetic organizations are: Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS) which dissolved in 2010, Maxwell Institute, FairMormon and Brigham Young Religious Studies.

The church does have considerable influence over the types of scholarship published by organizations affiliated with church departments and schools, but distances itself from any official endorsement.  Many members engage in apologetics on an ongoing basis using various private avenues: social media, articles, op-ed pieces, publications and their various church callings.

Some of the more well known past apologists have been: Hugh Nibley, B.H. Roberts, James E.Talmage and W. Cleon Skousen. An advanced degree, a specific church calling or particular education level is not needed, or required, to engage in apologetics. Much of what happens within Mormon Apologetics today happens online which provides the opportunity for broad participation.

Mormon Apologists begin with faith and belief when approaching a subject. As a result, the issues that result from discrepancies are approached from that starting foundation. The assumption is made that since the church is true, there must be logical, valid and reasonable explanations for any inconsistencies, confusion or past mistakes that arise. Trusting the church and believing God has yet to reveal everything, often come into the apologetic defense. Apologists may view the available information, current science and understanding as limited, and subject to error, when interpreting, analyzing and discussing past historical events, truth claims and narratives.

The reliance on a spiritual confirmation is a critical component for a Mormon Apologist. Ultimately, this is the method that determines truth and viewed as the overarching way to sort through whatever information, topic or issue is being studied and discussed.