For the second part of our Mark Hofmann coverage, we take a closer look at one aspect of Hofmann’s strange story: his dealings with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
When Hofmann “found” what became known as the Salamander Letter in 1984, it sent shockwaves through the LDS church. The letter, which was supposedly written by early church figure Martin Harris, talked of church founder Joseph Smith, Jr. getting the golden plates from a white, talking salamander. As researcher and critic of Mormon history Sandra Tanner said in the Netflix docuseries Murder Among the Mormons, “Instead of God and angels, it was now it’s salamanders and magic.” We’ll look at how this letter and Hofmann’s many other forged Mormon documents affected the LDS church and community this Friday at noon.
- Michael Rawson, former TV journalist for KUTV and KTVX. He now practices law in St. George.
- Benjamin E. Park, assistant professor of History at Sam Houston State University. He is the author of Kingdom of Nauvoo: The Rise and Fall of a Religious Empire on the American Frontier. [IndieBound|Amazon|Audible| Bookshop].
You can find links to Benjamin Park's recaps of Murder Among the Mormons on Religion Dispatches here: