@ Truth:I think that is a very legitimate question that I was thinking
about myself. I would definitely want to know who has possessed these documents
in the past, especially if any of the previous owners had any ties to Mark
Brian, I have actually donated stuff to BYU library. True, the books I
donated were in total worth less than $100 and not anything exceptional, but I
do not just recomend others donate.
To the 5th Element, Actually it appears that Reynolds Cahoon's diary from
the temple might be quite insightful on some matters. I would speak
for them being donated to the Church History Library. However a donation to the
Utah Historical Society, University of Utah, Utah State University, BYU Special
Collections, the Bancroft Library at Berkeley, the Huntingdon Library, or any of
several other libraries that have collections of historical records, possible
say the Western Illinois University Library or the Case Western Reserve
University Library since many of these papers deal with Cahoon's life while in
those vicinities (CWRU is close to Kirtland and WIU is close to Nauvoo) would
work as well. However few if any of these places have significant
aquisitions budgets. Their best chance is for owners of documents to donate
them so they can be used for a better understanding of history.
There is also the fact realized by the people in the Church History Department
in the late 1980s, rare documents are susceptible to supply and demand. If
institutions pay for them they become more expensive. As the price grows so
does the likelyhood of forgery.
Tom Smith, You misunderstnad the relationship between the Deseret News
and the Church. While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does own
the Deseret News articles in the DN do not constitute official statements of the
Church and the process of creating articles is an interaciton between reporters
and editors. The Deseret News exists as a money-making operation.
It does hold itself to stricter standards on what type of advertising it will
allow and some related issues, but the main reason to print an article is built
around the twin goals of serving as a useful disseminator of information and
having articles that readers will like.In general any reporter at
least seeks to present a story in a fair and balanced way. It is often hard to
do so and complete balance is probably impossible, but just because you can not
fully have clear food does not mean you eat stuff pulled from the gutter.On the other hand the LDS Church hisotry department has since the late
1980s had a policy against purchasing historical documents in most cases. This
was a direct reaction to Hoffman and made to create less incentive for forgery.
Why the slander of Mark Hofmann in the article? The news was the collection up
for sale. Not Mark. Unless, of course, Mark hit a nerve with his actions.
It would have been nice if the Cahoon's that sold this collection would have
consider keeping it in the family. Lets pool our money together and make John
and offer.:^)Reynolds Cahoon, and his family, seemed to have been involved
in the crucial developments surrounding the early years of the Mormon Church. He
was a builder and was on the committees for the Kirtland and Nauvoo Temples. He
was a counselor to the Bishop of Kirtland and later served in the presidencies
of the Kirtland, Adam ondi Ahman and Zarahemla Stakes. He was a member of the
High Council and was a charter member of the ill fated Kirtland Safety Society,
a captain of the Missouri Danite band, a polygamist, a member of The Council of
Fifty, on the standing Committee of Investigation for the Nauvoo Masonic lodge,
was an assistant aide de camp with the Nauvoo Legion, was one of Joseph Smiths
and later Brigham Youngs bodyguards, and he also belonged to Joseph Smiths elite
Quorum of the Anointed. He was notably involved in the events of the final
crossing of Joseph Smith that, many believed, lead to Smiths untimely death.
I don't agree that these documents belong to the Church. If someone has the
money to buy them, then more power to them.
I wonder if these are more Mark Hoffman Originals!
What is the 'worth' of anything?Joseph Smith was cautioned about
thinking about the dollar value of the 'gold plates'. He was reminded that the
'value' of those plates was found in their contents, not in their minerals.The 'owner' of the documents reported in this article has every right to
dispose of them in any way that he wishes. He may see the dollar value while
others see other value.The greater question is within each of us.
What do we 'value'? Are we willing to 'sell' ourselves on EBay to the highest
bidder or do we hold to eternal values regardless of offers to buy our soul?
Something not somthing...bad typing not bad spelling!
It's easy to suggest someone else should give somthing that they own to the
church or to a museum. Everyone is very generous with the other guy's stuff!
Hajicek is not LDS and is not likely to donate it to the church. He has made a
lot of money off old LDS documents and has an amazing collection. He is very
good at what he does. He owns more BofM 1st Ed's than anyone else in the world.
I don't think selling these documents on EBay is wrong or immoral. There are a
number of very wealthy people who have a passion for this kind of stuff where
Ebay is an avenue by which they can obtain these kind of documents.What is immoral is the selling of a B of M 1st Ed page by page on Ebay, which
some people are doing.
I recommend to anybody interested in these documents (not from a buying aspect,
but historical interest) to look at the pdf file Hajicek has on the eBay page.
There are photos and quotes on just about everything.I wrote the
article because this is a fascinating collection. Cahoon knew all the early
leaders and members of the LDS Church right from the beginning. He saw the whole
history -- except to him it wasn't history, it was just his life. My guess is
that very few people knew about this collection and about Cahoon.The
Maudsley drawing of Joseph in the other auction is also fascinating. Hajicek
thinks it is was the drawing made from life upon which Maudsley based all his
other drawings of Joseph. I wish the photo showed the detail better, but it is a
very nice piece.I have to admit that I laughed out loud when I saw
the Maudsley auction selling for $999,000 and eBay added "Free
Naturally if someone buy's something of Mormon historical value, it rightly then
belongs to the Church, right noneck62?The Church just spent an
estimated 2-3 billion on a shopping center, so I'm sure they could buy the
documents if they wanted them.
The sad thing about this whole picture is the sense that the value of documents
like these is monetary.As Indiana Jones said, "This should be
in a museum."Better yet, why not the library at the U or at
Utah State?Put them somewhere they can be studied.Perhaps someone will purchase and then donate them.
@ noneck62. Just because these are rare Mormon-related documents does not mean
that they belong to the LDS Church. These were family documents, handed down
over generations, that relate to a time period in the church. If the church
thought they were significant enough to purchase them, I'm sure they would put
in an offer. While rare, they don't really add or take away anything to church
Donate them and take the tax writeoff.
I'm actually a little surprised John is selling these items. He has competed for
years for documents like this almost to the point of obsession. He's a nice guy
though and has helped me find historical documents for research purposes. I hope
things are going well for him and that this auction isn't because he has had
It is WRONG to sell these Church documents on ebay; these documents belong in
the Church History Library here in Salt Lake City.
Good grief!Look, it's just news. It has nothing to do with driving
the price down or finding buyers. It's just an interesting little news tidbit.
That's all. I personally found it quite interesting.Honestly!
It is obvious that the Church is not interested at this price or they would have
purchased the items and the article would not have been written. It appears
that the article is written to either assist the seller in locating a buyer, OR
to notify all potential buyers that the price is too high in an attempt to drive
the price down. It is interesting that the Church run newspaper would
feel that either of these reasons is an appropriate area of interest in a
My 2cents: This means nothing to you but does to members of the church. If you
go to Rome you will see many things that the Catholic Church has kept through
the centuries. I don't read the Deseret News for national or world
news (The Washington Post is better) but for the LDS news. You can certainly
read the Trib and avoid the LDS news if it offends you.
Donate these things to the Church History library!
Boy.......... someone got up on the wrong side of the bed!!I found
this story interesting. Thank you for printing it.
If you did'nt care about the subject matter of this article, why did you read
it? Articles like this hold a great amount of interest to me and I'm sure to
other members of the Church. Although I could never afford to buy something
like this, it always amazes me how some people and families can see the value of
preserving things such as this down through their families for generations.
With all the things that the early Saints went through it is amazing they were
able to preserve anything.
So is this illegal or something? Is the church laying claim to the documents and
seeking to confiscate them? If its all legal and upfront they what makes this a
story anyone cares about? More nonsense news thats not news.