Twin Peaks Usenet Archive

Subject: Re: the Owl Cave glyphs (SPOILERS)
From: rcharman@phoenix.Princeton.EDU (Robert Craig Harman)
Date: 1991-04-08, 05:47

In article  jms@vanth.UUCP (Jim Shaffer) writes:
> >Lastly (for now), wasn't there a controversy a few years ago about some
> >fake historical documents pertaining to the founding of the Mormon church?
> >And didn't one of the documents say that the devil appeared in the form of
> >a white salamander to try to stop Smith from picking up the Book Of Mormon?
> >Sort of like the owl trying to scare off Coop and company.  And after all,
> >Smith was in a cave, and salamanders are associated in legend with fire...

If I remember correctly, the "white salamander" scandal involved the attempt of
the LDS Church to purchase purportedly historical documents regarding the foun-
ding of the Church.  The scandal was two-fold in that the documents were in
some way damaging to the Church's credibility and that the attempt of the
Church to purchase the documents looked suspiciously like an attempt to cover
up the content of the papers--in the eyes of various rumormongers.

The Church has a policy of attempting to purchase all records pertaining to the
founding of the Church for historical reasons.  (This doesn't differ signifi-
cantly from the policies of other churches, cf. Catholics and relics.)  The
documents themselves proved to be a hoax, and apparently a rather poor one at
that (bad forgery, etc.).

For purposes of accuracy in the story, Smith was _not_, according to the LDS
account, in a cave when he went to retrieve the Book of Mormon.  The LDS be-
lieve that Smith was visited by an angel sent of God, who instructed him to re-
turn to a hillside site where the tablets containing the Book of Mormon for
four years--both as a test of his faith and to wait until he had reached adult-
hood.  (The first visions occurred when he was 14 or 15)  The tablets were
buried in a stone box in the hillside, not in a cave.

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