Secret Mark Hofmann tape surfaces

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  • Truth and Light Chicago, Illinois
    Aug. 2, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    ...his dear mother sees him on her weekly visit to the prison. Enough is enough my dearest, get over it.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    Aug. 1, 2011 3:58 p.m.

    For some of us who knew Mark H. personally, he is still an enigma. He devotion to his children was sincere, I believe. I talked with him when he was in his wheelchair, and he seemed like a caring human at that time. However, I had seen that he also was devoted to material things, such as his red sports car that he parked so carefully. I too would be in favor of him writing a book, from prison, and if there were proceeds to distribute, have them go to his victims' families. I think it would be useful from a behavioral science viewpoint to read what he might write about his motives and his attitudes. I have no compassion for him, but I do for his family, and I'd like to read how he was able to care so much for his family, yet leave them to suffer because of his evil deeds.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:38 a.m.

    @Truth & Light: Amen to the comments made by Wallyb and ST from Layton. Yes, forgiveness is up to his victims and the scriptures never require us to forget evil deeds nor to allow the perpetrator to not fully pay for their crimes. I am not a proponent of the death penalty, but I believe Mark needs to remain in prison for the rest of his life in order to at least make some sort of restitution to the families of the victims he murdered. He obviously has not repented for his crimes and seems not to even feel remorse. Why should he have the opportunity to travel about and speak and write about his life when his victims are dead and their families suffering? Sorry, I don't get it.

  • wallyb Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:27 a.m.

    Re: Truth and Light,
    The problem is that he hasn't done the time. He killed innocent people and ruined thousands of lives. I don't that he can ever do enough time to make up for that. Releasing him would just make his dear mother suffer more each time she sees him.

  • ST Layton, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    to Truth and Light,

    "Forgive and Forget"- really? Forgiving is up to the victims - and if it takes them 10,000 years to forgive. I'm good with that. Forget- please tell me how does someone forget that their mother, their neighbor, their friend was murdered?

    If the victims agreed to it, I would be for letting Mark write a book and all the proceds going to his victims families. But as far as letting Mark be with his mother ... how about letting him out- as soon as he brings back the mother he killed, Kathy Sheets, to be with her children and grand-children.

    'In 1988, before the Utah Board of Pardons, Hofmann confessed that he thought planting the bomb that killed Kathy Sheets was "almost a game at the time I made the bomb, my thoughts were that it didn't matter if it was Mrs. Sheets, a child, a dog whoever" was killed. Within the hour the parole board, impressed by Hofmann's "callous disregard for human life", decided that he would indeed serve his "natural life in prison."'

    He is LUCKY he didn't get the death penalty.

  • Truth and Light Chicago, Illinois
    Aug. 1, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    Mark has done 25 hard years at the point of the mountain. Isn't it about time to let him return to his family, including his dear mother? He could write a book and join the speakers circuit to earn enough to support himself. He did the crime, he did the time, and now we all need to forgive and forget.

  • Maryquilter Farmington, UT
    Aug. 1, 2011 8:38 a.m.

    We are all human, church leaders included, we all make mistakes. Think it always foolish to pin your testimony on things such as these. Who knows, maybe God did not intervene with Gen. Auth. so that members had opportunity to test their faith. It's not like the prophet came out at Conference declaring this fake letter to be revelation for the membership of the church and pertinent to our salvation or anything. Just one more reason why we need to always take advantage of personal study, personal prayer, personal pondering, and personal revelation in all things; that's why we have the Holy Ghost. I don't believe just sitting through church on Sunday and 'going with the flow' of everybody else's opinions is prudent or what God expects of us. That is not what the scriptures advise us to do. There may be times when I feel I need to accept what the prophet says strictly on faith and obedience; but then take the weeks or months or years of study and prayer to gain my personal revelation on the correctness of the principle. God gave us a reasoning brain after all.

  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    July 31, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Huh ?

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    July 31, 2011 1:21 p.m.

    To LeDoc:

    I want to say this as gently as I can. The very fact that the Church leaders were duped looks very bad. And it looks bad no matter how you try to spin it.

    For a careful and lengthy explanation --from the Church's point of view-- you might want to look up some of the things General Authority Dallin Oaks had to say about the whole affair.

  • Idaho Coug Meridian, Idaho
    July 31, 2011 10:33 a.m.

    I think some of the discomfort around this is that top leaders in the Church did not seem to recognize his work as fake. There were even some talks or writings to justify or back the Salamander story which then later turned out to be a fake. Of course leaders do not get revelation on all things. It just can be dissapointing when anti-Mormons (the Tanners) recognized something as forgery supoposedly long before the church leaders appear to.

  • LeDoc SLC, UT
    July 31, 2011 10:23 a.m.

    This has always seemed so odd to me. Did the church ever give an official explantion of how it was duped? I note some of the othercomments here talk about how they "knew" this stuff couldn't have been real...yet it seems to have passed the "smell test" at thhe top levels of the church.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    July 31, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    To no fit: What do you mean by "who is truth"?

  • durwood kirby South Jordan, UT
    July 30, 2011 10:44 p.m.


  • TheHailstorm South Weber, UT
    July 30, 2011 7:01 p.m.

    How do we know that the tape isn't fake ?
    After all of these years, now it surfaces ?
    Sounds a bit odd.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    July 30, 2011 5:46 p.m.

    MapleDon wrote:

    "So many of you claim you "knew" something was wrong when Hoffman was selling his forgeries, but did nothing about it..."

    While many now claim to have had suspicions about Hofmann, I believe Jerald and Sandra Tanner were the first to actually go public at the time. They had serious doubts about the "finds" early on and Jerald Tanner even published a strong critique of the Salamander letter attacking its authenticity.

  • Michael De Groote
    July 30, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    Hofmann did not invent the idea of a blessing from Joseph Smith Jr. to his son Joseph Smith III. There just were no copies of a blessing, no contemporary records of a blessing that named him as a successor, and, of course, no transcript. Hofmann had an amazing ability to "find" exactly what people wanted. He took bits of historical information and weaved them together into a forgery. Ashworth said it was like going to Burger King. Order what you wanted and Hofmann would find one for you.

  • ericNorCal San Jose, CA
    July 30, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Mark Hoffman interested me. I asked questions about him to my seminary teacher. Later on my mission after learning there was more to life than the sports page. I ran into girl on my mission who had been baptized 56 times. Name changes...We were on to her in a matter of weeks. First time I meet her she stuffed her ID in my Face and asked my what the problem was. Her surgery was still bleeding in Texas when my Mom sent me a article in the paper about a girls running out on a 10,000 bill in Cedar City. 3 years latter I used the word manipulative to my sister in CA the bay. When talking about the type of girl is was. Sister sent me a picture same GIRL.. Mark Hoffmans are among us they have just changed their name and makeup....

  • desert dweller SAINT GEORGE, UT
    July 30, 2011 1:05 p.m.

    I liked the Richard Nixon tapes better it was very entertaining

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    July 30, 2011 12:06 p.m.

    Hofmann is not the only worm in the apple.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 30, 2011 10:18 a.m.

    Who's truth?

  • BigRich Orem, UT
    July 30, 2011 9:45 a.m.

    The forgeries would have eventually been discovered. What should not be forgotten is some good people were murdered by this selfish and evil man.

  • 4601 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 30, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    More preaching from No fit in SG. Some advice for you, "First seek to learn my truth."

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    July 30, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    OH what a tangled web we weave..........

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    July 30, 2011 8:14 a.m.

    So many of you claim you "knew" something was wrong when Hoffman was selling his forgeries, but did nothing about it...

    Yeah, right.

  • The Dixie Kid Saint George, UT
    July 30, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    Calm down. She was just explaining what the tour guide said.

  • no fit in SG St.George, Utah
    July 30, 2011 5:46 a.m.

    Mom of Five:

    Life is filled with educational experiences, wonder, and lots of diverse ideas and information.
    Good to have an open mind when traveling outside of Utah, home of one way thinking.
    News flash! Our world is full of many religions, where others may feel that they, too, have found the answers.

  • Mom of Five Teenagers Cottonwood Heights, UT
    July 29, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    I was just in Nauvoo this summer and in the Community of Christ's movie at the beginning of their tour (that you have to take if you want to see the inside of Homestead and the Mansion House), they referenced a blessing that said Joseph's son was supposed to be the next prophet. It must have been this forgery, because I have never heard of any such blessing (not that I've heard of everything, but you know what I mean).

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    July 29, 2011 8:21 p.m.

    I find more truth through praying about what to believe, than any 'supposed actual documents' that have ever been presented to me. I learned a long time ago that there are people who believe what they want, and people who actually believe.

    Prayer is more powerful than any forgery. Ask and ye shall receive. Line upon line.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2011 6:58 p.m.

    The white salamander letter was not the writing of Joseph Smith; it was purported to have been written by Martin Harris. A review of Martin Harris' life from his mortgaging and losing part of his farm to cover the cost of publishing The Book of Mormon right up to his death-bed testimony about The Book of Mormon and what he saw and heard as one of the Three Witnesses to The Book of Mormon, it was obvious to me that he never doubted its authenticity - the salamander notwithstanding. His life spoke louder to me than Hoffman's silly letter.

  • richl Farmington, UT
    July 29, 2011 5:34 p.m.

    I was editing copy for the Salt Lake Tribune when the salamander letter story broke. As an LDS, I was asked to edit the articles dealing with Hoffman. My reaction to church historians who declared the letter authentic? The letter certainly didn't sound like something that Joseph Smith would have written and was so far off base from what I had learned of him that I had no explanation. I decided to exercise faith that the truth would be revealed someday. That day came much sooner than I had expected when the true nature of Hoffman was revealed. I only regret that he was not executed.

  • EnglishAlan Rugeley, Staffs
    July 29, 2011 4:58 p.m.

    Such a shame about Mark Hoffman. We both served in the Swansea Zone of the England Bristol Mission at the same time in 1975. A bright, articulate man, who could have accomplished so much for good. Instead, he sits wasting his time in a prison cell. A salutory lesson to us all to stay close to the leaders of the Church, and more especially to the Author of our Salvation and Saviour of the World.

  • fowersjl Farmington, Utah
    July 29, 2011 4:17 p.m.

    I remember being very skeptical as each new "find" of Hoffman's surfaced. There were too many to be believable. When Mr. Ashworth kept buying documents from H., I wanted to call him up and warn him. So sad for the families who lost loved ones because of Hoffman's greed. Always question "old and rare".

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    July 29, 2011 3:39 p.m.

    On a related note, there are mints in the world, when I read about them it was talking about one located in Lebanan that specialize in making old gold coins. In otherwords if you buy an old Americal $20 gold piece, you may be buying a forgery.

    This is why, I don't like buying old things whose value is based on their being rare or old. If I buy gold I prefer buying it in a form where I pay just for the gold.

    Forgeries are just to easy to make too well, they fool even the experts. Glenn Beck lets everyone know he buys all his gold in the form of old rare gold coins. If I ever had the chance to talk to him I would tell him what I am saying here.

  • johnnylingo62 Gray, TN
    July 29, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    So, how many of these "forgeries" are used by Anti-Mormons as "historic records" to malign the church's history?