Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fwd: Sunstone - Hoffman

This was a panel by those who had been personally affected by the Mark
Hoffman affair. Speakers included Hoffman's ex wife, Brent Metcalfe
(document dealer), Curt Bench (rare book dealer for the church at the
time), the daughter of one of the murder victims (Kathy Sheets),
Newell G. Bringhurst (Historian) and an investigator.

Hoffman's wife spoke publicly about her experiences for the first time
here. She is presently is a hypnotist and life coach. She has gone
through a lot and appears to have reestablished her life after it was
turned upside down (she lost her home, watched on TV as her
possessions were taken out, etc...) She was completely taken in by
her husband's deception.

In retrospect she should have seen a problem, particularly when he had
her sit down with him to look through an old bible, only to discover a
rare document pasted between two pages. He had never sat down with
her before to look at books, so this was strange. But she didn't
think much of it at the time.

She is planning on writing a book on her experiences. Her children
still go visit Mark Hoffman, as does his mother. He had tried to
commit suicide a couple of times, but was unsuccessful. It may have
been for show more than anything else.

He is well respected in the prison, being a double murder and for
taking on the church. During a search of his cell, a document was
found listing his forgeries. Many items on that list have not been
recovered. It is possible that this list was planted by him to throw
off investigators.

For a short time, amazingly, the forged patriarchal blessing from
Joseph Smith to Joseph Smith III, was canonized by the RLDS church.
Meanwhile, Hoffman had crafted a letter to Brigham Young accusing him
of covering up the blessing. The church purchased the letter and made
sure it did not become public.

The daughter of the Kathy Sheets and Mark Hoffman's ex-wife talked of
how this whole experience strengthened their testimonies, while Brent
Metcalfe said it destroyed his. All three were tearful when
discussing this. He said his innocence was lost at a tender age, and
he could not understand why God would not warn his prophet about the
deception that was causing so much difficulty.

I happened to sit next to Ed Kimball (president Kimball's son) and
was hoping he would volunteer how his father felt about the whole
experience. But he only mentioned about how powerful the
presentations were. Perhaps I should have pried a bit more.

He did mention that he has just finished another book on President
Kimball about his administration. It should be available in a few
weeks, published by Deseret Book.

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