Firesides/28 November 2010 - Sweden/6

Table of Contents

Response to questions about Mark Hofmann and forged documents

1: BoM translation2: Polygamy and Polyandry3: Polygamy forced?4: Book of Abraham5: "Lying for Lord"6: Mark Hofmann7: Blood atonement8: First Vision9: Sanitized history10: "Not all truth is useful"11: Angelic affidavits12: Blacks and priesthood13: Temple concerns14: Evidence of Vikings15: Adam-God16: Kinderhook

The attendees of The "Swedish Rescue" fireside ask the following question:

I came across something, and it was the first time I really stopped and pondered.
  • Somebody smart enough to write documents that were false, the church buying them from this man....Mark Hofmann.

  • Question: Why did the Church buy forged documents from Mark Hofmann?
    Answer: The Church thought that they had great historical value.

    If these documents had been true historical documents, as the Church Historical Department thought they were, then they would have been an important addition to the historical archives of the church.
  • Mark Hofmann. I’ll just recommend a book, and not because I wrote it, but I did write a book on this. It’s called Victims. It was published by the University of Illinois Press in 1992. Go to that book for answers on that one.

    —Brother Turley's response to this question at the Sweden fireside
    • Question: Did the Church try to suppress their existence before they discovered that they were forgeries?
      Answer: No. After the documents were obtained, the most important ones were published, not suppressed. The Church initially declined to purchase one of the most damaging documents because they felt the price was too high.

    Hofmann succeeded in deceiving many: experienced Church historians, sophisticated collectors, businessmen-investors, national experts who administered a lie detector test to Hofmann, and professional document examiners, including the expert credited with breaking the Hitler diary forgery…Ministers of the gospel function best in an atmosphere of trust and love. In that kind of atmosphere, they fail to detect a few deceivers, but that is the price they pay to increase their effectiveness in counseling, comforting, and blessing the hundreds of honest and sincere people they see. It is better for a Church leader to be occasionally disappointed than to be constantly suspicious.

    —Dallin H. Oaks, "Recent Events Involving Church History and Forged Documents," Ensign, October 1987; "Document Dealer Confesses," Ensign, April 1987

    |extlink=http://books.google.com/books/about/Victims.html?id=IqrDDrWR_X4C |extpublication=Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case |extauthor=Richard E. Turley, Jr. |extsummary=(From Google Books) Three pipe bombs exploded in Salt Lake County in 1985, killing two people. Behind the murders lay a vast forgery scheme aimed at dozens of other victims, most prominently the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mark Hofmann, a master forger, went to prison for the murders. He had bilked the church, document dealers, and collectors of hundreds of thousands of dollars over several years while attempting to alter Mormon history. Other false documents of Americana still circulate. The crimes garnered intense media interest, spawning books, TV and radio programs, and myriad newspaper and magazine articles. Victims is a thoughtful corrective to the more sensationalized accounts.