Comments about ‘Rare Mormon document collection for sale on eBay’

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Published: Friday, Jan. 21 2011 1:21 a.m. MST

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Calling All Cahoons
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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.

Gentile
brookings, SD

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

John Pack Lambert of Michigan
Ypsilanti, MI

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.

idablu
Idaho Falls, ID

@ 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 Hoffman.

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