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Apostasy Rages in the LDS Church

A Response to History Revisionists:

 Published July 22, 2002

   The history of the Mormon Church is one that continues and forever will be scrutinized by its critics. Throughout history there has been an enormous amount of critical and inflammatory statements from many circles portraying alleged roles of Mormon leaders in various historical events. Of late, strong attempts have been renewed  to link Brigham Young to the Mountain Meadows Massacre.

    Mark Hofmann was the most notorious revisionist of Mormon History, almost single handedly pulling off what scores of Mormon Church critics had had attempted and failed to do for numerous decades before him, that is, discredit the entire Mormon Faith by revising several key points in church history. Convincing critics of the Mormon Religion was an understandably fairly easy task, as Hofmann was merely supplying information that supported their allegations and suspicions. The "Salamander Letter", if proven true, would completely discredit and destroy the Mormon religion by establishing that the church had been founded on the practices of witchcraft and the occult, not to mention discard the credibility of its leader, the Prophet Joseph Smith.

    The only opposition to the authenticating of the Hofmann papers came from a smattering of Mormon Church castoffs and an almost equally small number of distinguished handwriting experts who dared to differ from a significant number of their colleagues. The few Mormons that were moved to question the transplanted version of Mormon history were for a time universally scorned and branded as extremist religious fanatics.  Had not Hofmann made the mistake of nearly killing himself in his murderous cover-up, historians today would be unanimous in dutifully recording the role of a green salamander instructing Joseph Smith in the restoration of the Mormon religion as the official version.

    Although Mark Hofmann failed in his scheme, he did prove it was possible for an LDS church apostate (a personal secret at the time that he kept only to himself) to have a highly respected position in the church and attain a high position of influence on the church leadership, even to the extent of influencing members of the first presidency to act in a highly significant way. Practically speaking,  he successfully convinced not only the adversaries outside of the Mormon church but also the entire membership of the church to discard the authentic version of the divine origins of the church and accept the occult version as authentic.

    In hindsight, it has become quite clear that Hofmann's documents contained numerous flaws that could have and should have been uncovered before the documents became accepted. Yet curiously, his revisions to history were embraced almost enthusiastically as factual both in and outside of the LDS Church. These events also signified a departure from previous church policies of denouncing such documents as frauds to be classified in the same vein as numerous other forgeries and fraudulent information put out by enemies to the church; therefore allowing such to disintegrate under the weight of their own claims and the tests of time when held up to scrutiny. This raises some interesting questions in regards the nearly unanimous agreement among modern day "experts" who wholeheartedly endorsed the Hofmann forgeries:

How does an amateur like Hofmann so easily fool the experts? Would this not tarnish and weaken the credibility of the "experts" who were so easily fooled? If the "experts" were so easily and embarrassingly fooled in the recent past, what is to prevent them from being fooled again, or did this experience cause any of them to disavow their previous ways and pledge to conduct research on a credible level? Was there ever a public recanting of the errors of those who willingly placed themselves in public leadership positions as Hofmann's accomplices in revising history? Would the "experts" had been as easily fooled had the documents not served the purpose of discrediting the Mormon religion? Where were the revisionists when Hofmann's forgeries were accepted as fact? Did any of them at the time make a stand to thoroughly search out the truth, and if not, at what point did they reform their ways to become credible researchers? Is it possible or even likely, that information that favors the agendas of the revisionists is not thoroughly critiqued and researched as well as that which does not serve their purposes?

    History has undoubtedly answered the last question: the Hofmann forgeries proved that information that fits proscribed agendas of paid "experts"  may not be scrutinized and critiqued on a factual basis the same way information would be if it refutes those agendas. The same can be said of the latest information attempting to impugn the character of Brigham Young. Attempts to slander Brigham Young will not stand up to factual examination the same way mud-slinging efforts against early church leaders have consistently failed in well over 150 years of church history. When properly examined in an objective scenario, efforts to discredit and revise the Mormon religion fail under the weight of their own agendas

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