Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Newell, Linda King ; Newell, L. Jackson
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46 Dialogue : A Journal of Mormon Thought ranging assessment of the impact this sensational document series has had on Mormon history. Many historians had questions about the shrouded demimonde of professional document dealers in which Hofmann operated. What are the "standard" conventions of the profession? Was Hofmann's usual practice of concealing the sources of his documents a normal one for document brokers? How extensive must authentication be before most documents are sold? What methods did Hofmann and his network of investigators employ that brought him such apparently phenomenal success? We asked Allen D. Roberts to address these questions. Roberts is a prominent Salt Lake architect who has been engaged in supporting and contributing to Mormon history for many years. Former president of the Sunstone Foundation, Roberts presently sits on the Dialogue board of editors and recently co-authored a major magazine article on the Salt Lake bombings and their aftermath. He is collaborating with Linda Sillito on a book about the bombings that has required a probing look into the document dealers' world and Hofmann's place within it. The well-publicized profits that Hofmann made from many of his transactions inspired thousands of others to seek their fortunes in back drawers and attic trunks. Mormon document sales became big business with private collectors, religious organizations, and long-established archival collections bidding up the price for the most valuable prizes. The "document wars" of the 1980s have had a radical — and in Jeffery Johnson's view — extremely unfavorable impact on the traditional archival collections. Johnson, currently in charge of the Reference Bureau for the Utah State Archives and former senior archivist for the LDS Church, gives a searing assessment of the problems caused for historians and the damage done to the Mormon documentary heritage by those who see documents primarily as a source of profit. The program committee was especially eager to give members of the association an opportunity to take a longer and wider look at the document discoveries of the 1980s, assessing not only the documents themselves, but the controversies stirred by the discoveries. To take on this difficult task, we sought two senior historians whose work has commanded high respect among their colleagues and whose broad-ranging interests in Mormon history would give them the perspective necessary to comment on the field as a whole. We were most gratified that two scholars who meet these qualifications in every detail accepted this challenging assignment. James B. Allen, currently chairman of the History Department at Brigham Young University is a former Assistant LDS Historian with a long list of distinguished books and articles to his credit. His biography of William Clayton is currently in press, and the highly regarded Story of the Latter-Day Saints, which he wrote with Glen Leonard, has recently been reprinted. He is currently working on a twentieth-century history of the LDS Church. Richard Howard, RLDS Church Historian, has made equally impressive contributions to the field of restoration studies. His monthly articles in the Saints' Herald are models of high-quality, incisive historical writing. Howard is currently at work on a narrative history of the RLDS Church.