Talk:Gordon B. Hinckley

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Former featured article candidateGordon B. Hinckley is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
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February 11, 2007Featured article candidateNot promoted


BOLD Edit: For example, the Stowell forgery—which appeared to implicateJoseph Smith in gold digging—was purchased by the church from Hofmann for $15,000 under Hinckley's direction; the sale was accompanied by a promise of confidentiality.

REVERT To Original: For example, the Stowell forgery implicating Joseph Smith in gold digging was purchased for $15,000 by Hinckley on behalf of the church from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality.


HISTORICAL BACKGROUND: Joseph Smith WAS long rumored to have been a principal organizer of a gold digging schemes using magical means/deception. It was further rumor he was even formally accused of such disorderly behavior in the civil courts. Many supposed transcripts with similar, but slightly varyingly words were produced with no historical agreement to their veracity. However, the LDS canon (Mormon Scripture) the Pearl of Great Price denies these charges with Joseph Smith himself suggesting that he was merely a day laborer for someone involved in gold digging. All involved in the Mormonism movement vehemently denied the charges, the most famous denial being from probably the most famous Mormon Apologist Hugh Nibley in 1961 “if this court record is authentic it is the most damning evidence in existence against Joseph Smith.” However, in 1971 the court’s billing for the trail were discovered and authenticated, the examination of Joseph Smith on the charges Glass Looking in fact occurred suggesting know copies of the transcript were not invented as previously argued. At the time Hinckley bought the Stowell forgery, though know to academics, these facts regarding Joseph Smith were not widely known by those involved in the LDS movement. Today even the Wikipedia Joseph Smith Article itself makes reference to the trial: “The Book of Mormon brought Smith regional notoriety and opposition from those who remembered his money-digging and the 1826 Chenango County trial.”

ARTICLE EDIT DISCUSSION: No one has argued or made edits to “turned a "forged document" into "proof of misconduct” of Joseph Smith. The Stowell forgery in and of itself provided no information to historians other than further validation of current understanding. However there is now POV attempt to hide the now undisputed historical consensus that Joseph Smith used the same magical stone to lead a gold digging expedition that he used to produce the Book of Mormon. Though an article is meant to be written for a ninth grade level reader who should understand what it means to be a forgery, it appears the power of suggestion will now require the phrase ‘appear to’ to precede any verb follow the Stowell forgery. This is interesting given that the current protester had previous suggested that accused is OK without the qualifier ‘appear to’. Nonetheless, ‘appear to’ is no matter and the sentence can be broken up into two and have the POV removed. Suggestions follow.

For example, the Stowell forgery appearing to describing "an occult means of finding buried treasure" and portraying Joseph "Smith as a treasure digger"[13] was purchased for $15,000 by Hinckley on behalf of the church from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality.

For example, the Stowell forgery appeared to bring further attention to Joseph Smith’s gold digging activities. Hinckley purchased it from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality using $15,000 of church funds.

Mormography (talk) 23:40, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Firstly, you have cited no sources for the above. And secondly, it is simply gobbledygook to assert that a forgery 'implicated' Smith. It didn't, because as a forgery, it couldn't. Forgeries, once they are known to be forgeries, are clearly not trustworthy sources on anything. This is elementary common sense, and your apparent inability to comprehend this simple fact is evidently your problem. It is not however Wikipedia's since we aren't here to provide lessons in elementary logic. I suggest you stop wasting people's time with this nonsense before o?ur patience is exhausted. AndyTheGrump (talk) 23:56, 13 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think we have moved beyond the 'implicated' question. I noted no objections to the suggestions which address your concerns with 'implicated'. Correct/incorrect?
Sources for what? If you are referring to the historical background, then I think we have identified the root of the disconnect and this indeed all about POV nothing to due with the word 'implicated'.Mormography (talk) 00:25, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
O.k. if you aren't proposing to use the confusing 'implicated' phraseology, WP:BRD is an irrelevance, and the wording needn't have been raised here again. As for any specific new proposed wording, you need to actually propose specific text. Not give us your personal unsourced historical analysis. And try to write more clearly - I can't figure out whether the 'examples' above are proposals, or what they are supposed to be. The first is ungrammatical, and the second is simply confusing. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:47, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

It sounds that we are in agreement that removing 'implicated' altogether is the obvious best solution to the current BRD situation. Can you elaborate on ungrammatical and confusing?Mormography (talk) 04:47, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you can't see what the problems are, I will have to suggest that you are unsuited to editing an encyclopaedia. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:37, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
And incidentally, if the NPOV tag you have just added relates to this issue, you will need to give a clear explanation of why the existing section violates WP:NPOV policy. Simply asserting that you'd prefer wording to be different isn't sufficient. AndyTheGrump (talk) 02:51, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I did. "However there is now POV attempt to hide the now undisputed historical consensus that Joseph Smith used the same magical stone to lead a gold digging expedition that he used to produce the Book of Mormon." The editors are trying to hide the fact that JS was in fact involved in gold digging by inserting POV language that imply the charges were all false against the actual historical consensus. ARTEST4ECHO discussion history indicates this as well. It is not my personal historical analysis, it is the actual historical background. What source material do you have to challenge it? Either way, the mere fact that you are challenging it is indication that the historical background and is pertinent and necessary to achieve NPOV.

Furthermore The statement "on behalf of the church" is very POV. The whole senario was embroil in controversy of suspression. The church denied possession of the Stowell forgery, because the church in fact did not have it. The church had no record of it because no one in the church was aware of it aside from Hinckley himself. It was not until after Hofmann broke his promise of secrecy that Hinckley released it to the church. So what ever it is that someone was trying to clarify, the most NPOV way to state it would be "using $15,000 of church funds". Mormography (talk) 04:47, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

So no actual sourced explanation of how the section violates WP:NPOV policy, just an illiterate assertion that you think that other contributors are trying to hide something? At this point, since you apparently lack the required skills in the English language to contribute usefully to this article, and clearly fail to understand even the basics of Wikipedia policy, I see no reason whatsoever why I should engage with you any further. You have no consensus whatsoever for any change to the article as it stands, and quite obviously aren't going to get any. I suggest you direct your attentions elsewhere. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:37, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Cop-out. I provided sources in abundance above and the citation that the church did not have the document is right in the article itself. I even provide two secondary sources regarding the Stowell forgery as you originally requested. I will provide the entire text of the Stowell forgery later. Anyways, you could not elaborate how breaking into two sentences is worst grammar and more confusing than using hyphens and semicolons. Though users using rampant incivility (paragraph above) to accuse others of not understanding Wikipedia policy is interesting.Mormography (talk) 23:36, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
No skin off my back. I find the hilarity of users complaining the word 'implicate' cause NPOV problems, then when a user suggests ways to remove the word those same editors insist on using the word. Hummmm, wouldn't have anything to do with bad faith or personalizing would it? Editors complain that the word 'implicate' cause NPOV issues, I put the tag on and suddenly 'implicate' doesn't cause NPOV issues. Very interesting. Anyways, with regards to the understanding Wikipedia policy, secondary sources are always preferred this type of situation, as you used to understand.Mormography (talk) 23:55, 14 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ok, I'll try one last time. If you wish to propose a change to the article, please provide the following, in plain, unambiguous and grammatical English:

(a) The exact words (if any) you propose to remove from the article.
(b) The exact words you propose to be added to the article, together with an indication of where exactly you propose to add them.
(c) The sources you are citing to support the proposed new text. Sources which directly support the proposed material, in unambiguous terms not needing reference to other sources or prior knowledge of the topic.

This is all that is required. We don't need your historical analysis. We don't need rambling discussions about what other contributors have already said. And we don't need lectures in 'civility' from someone who assumes bad faith on principle. AndyTheGrump (talk)

No problem. I have done the requested many times here and can do them again.

REMOVE: For example, the Stowell forgery implicating Joseph Smith in gold digging was purchased for $15,000 by Hinckley on behalf of the church from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality.

ADD IN PLACE OF REMOVED: For example, the Stowell letter is a historical forgery "reportedly written by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith describing money-digging pursuits and treasure guarded by a clever spirit". Using $15,000 of church funds, Hinckley purchased the Stowell forgery from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality.

SOURCES: Dawn Tracy's 29 April 1985 Salt Lake Tribune article. 1985 SLT articles are not online, but Turley’s Victims is searchable with Goolge Books and page 100 quotes the article. The second sentence is sourced with current citations in the article. The exact phrase of Church funds is from the preliminary hearing which is also not online, but is quoted by other authors. See section below. I do not see a need to add quotes around “Church funds”. Do you? It does appear to be the most NPOV phraseology. Mormography (talk) 01:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Any yet again you have come up with confusing phraseology. How is the reader to understand what "reportedly written by..." is supposed to mean? Who reported this? The sentence doesn't say. It states that the letter was a historical forgery (why 'historical'?) but then leaves the reader in the lurch. We tell them that the letter was forged. We tell them that someone reported that Smith had written it. Are we saying that Smith was reported to have forged the letter? It could certainly be read that way, but frankly it is hopelessly ambiguous. And it leaves the reader wondering whether Hinkley knew it was a forgery when he bought it. Totally confusing. I suggest that you look at your wording again, and rewrite it so it can be understood by someone who doesn't know anything about Stowell, Smith, the content of the letter, and the fact that it was a forgery. AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Most of the concerns above are addressed by the paragraph itself. Some reworking of the paragraph may help.

BEFORE: The Mark Hofmann document forgeries, bombings, and investigation occurred during this time. "The news interest was global" and "the whole episode achieved epic proportions."[11] Several books[12] describe the arrangements for acquiring supposed historical documents for the church by Hinckley and others. For example, the Stowell forgery implicating Joseph Smith in gold digging was purchased for $15,000 by Hinckley on behalf of the church from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality. However, two years later, Hofmann leaked its existence to the "Mormon intellectual underground."[13] Upon press inquiries, church spokesman Jerry Cahill denied that the church possessed the document.[14]Hinckley corrected Cahill and released the letter to scholars for study.[15] The document was later found to be a forgery.

AFTER: The Mark Hofmann document forgeries, bombings, and investigation occurred during this time. "The news interest was global" and "the whole episode achieved epic proportions."[11] Several books[12] describe the arrangements for acquiring supposed historical documents by Hinckley and others. For example, the Stowell forgery was initial assume authentic, but later found to be a fake during the bombing investigation of Hofmann. It was "reportedly written by Mormon Church founder Joseph Smith describing money-digging pursuits and treasure guarded by a clever spirit". Using $15,000 of church funds, Hinckley purchased the Stowell forgery from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality. However, two years later, Hofmann leaked its existence to the "Mormon intellectual underground."[13] Upon press inquiries, church spokesman Jerry Cahill denied that the church possessed the document.[14] Hinckley informed Cahill of the document's existence and released it. Hofmann was later arrested for murder and the ensuing investigation discovered that the Stowell forgery, along with many others, were fraudulent historical documents produced by Hofmann himself.

Mormography (talk) 02:21, 16 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

You lack the necessary skills to usefully contribute to an English-language encyclopaedia. I have nothing further to say. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:07, 16 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ahh ha. You just proved this was never about the edits, just incivility. Your inability to backup your personal attacks says it all. The after is clearly better than the before and addresses most the NPOV. Will be making one adjust to above to remove all the NPOV later.Mormography (talk) 07:39, 20 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I think that comment by ATG was out of line. (I haven't been following this but just saw the comment now.) Good Ol’factory (talk) 09:22, 20 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is too much text on a simple issue. Others purchased the works since the church obviously had a conflict of interest. Whether at the behest of the church or not, it doesn't matter, because those purchasers did the right thing as part of the transaction - asked that they be independently authenticated and research the sourcing and discovery - which was impossible while in the hands of the forgers, but was made possible because they promise of cash for the forged documents forced them to reveal information and details that led to the confirmation that they were forged. And guess what happened when they were subject to independent verification and research... --Trödel 15:04, 20 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

simple issue: If it is a simple issue, then why did Oaks say "The news interest was global" and "the whole episode achieved epic proportions."
Behest or not doesn't matter: I am not following. The Stowell forgery was not independently authenticated, it was hidden. You may be referring to the Salamander letter, which Hofmann sent Lynn Jacobs to sell to Hinckley. Some of the books suggest that with Lynn Jacobs in the mix, a secret purchase was impossible and that Christensen was commanded by Hinckley to buy and donate the Salamander letter to the Church, but to never write a book about it, all at burdensome expense to Christensen. Mormography (talk) 01:22, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
First there is no five day rule, there is a rule of active discussion. There wasn't an active discussion. Second from the way I am reading this talk page, the group, albeit small does not agree with your interpretation of the "dispute". For all the years Hinckley was in the first presidency this issue is already taking up 1/3 of the section. This seems like too much to me. I don't see any reason to change the text as you suggest. Can we now remove the tag o shame because one editor does not agree with the rest? VVikingTalkEdits 01:40, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sighhh, I am unaware of a rule that declares five days an inactive discussion as you assert.
You have not answered a single question. For example, If it is a simple issue, then why did Oaks say "The news interest was global" and "the whole episode achieved epic proportions."? This contradicts your assertion that text of an episode should have a corresponding ratio to length of time in office.
Please elaborate, what is that you believe is my "interpretation of the "dispute"" You and Trodel are the first to disagree regarding the NPOV and neither one have grounded your assessment with any intelligible assertions. Multiple parties here have agreed to the word 'implicate' being troubling, why should it not be removed? Why should the article take sides regarding the "on behalf of the Church" controversies.
This talk page shows repeated concerns regarding the confusion the wording creates regarding what/who/etc of the forgery. Roughly 40 words are being recommended to an article of of nearly 2300 words to clarify. Why does this really bother you?
By declaring "simple issue" and "for all the years" you and Trodel are reinforcing the POV concerns, not addressing them.Mormography (talk) 02:59, 1 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed edit made to resolve issue. --Trödel 17:58, 4 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Blatant edit warring. Reverted to original. Discuss proposal before editing.Mormography (talk) 06:56, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Don't be ridiculous. A single edit cannot constitute 'edit warring'. Please explain what was wrong with the edit. AndyTheGrump (talk) 06:59, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Extremely few admins would back you up on that.Mormography (talk) 07:06, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Either explain what was wrong with Trödel's edit, or I will revert you. Feel free however to find these imaginary admins of yours... AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:11, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I already have explain above. I am not required to repeat myself. Revert and you will be reported.Mormography (talk) 07:15, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You have given no explanation as to what was wrong with the content. Either do so, or I will revert. AndyTheGrump (talk) 07:17, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Edit War Report[edit]

An "Edit War Report" by User:Mormography, and responses
The following discussion has been closed. Please do not modify it.

The below is from the edit war report:


Somewhere around mid November the section 'Member of The First Presidency' had editing concerns raised, particularly regarding the word 'implicating'. An edit war was determined to have occurred and the section was protected. Discussion occurred on the talk page without resolution. Dispute resolution was requested without anyone volunteering. The reported user AndyTheGrump participated in these events. Under BRD on the current talk page the POV concerns have been formalized. Another editor [user:Trödel] joined the discussion further pushing for their own POV, summed up by the editor declaring the matter a "simple issue". Under the BRD on the talk page Trodel was challenged to defend the assessment "simple issue". Trodel did not do this, what rather removed long standing, secondary-source-cited items that contradicted his POV on the talk page. For example, that several books describe the situation and that an Mormon defender had confessed in publication that the "the whole episode achieved epic proportions." Removal of these cited items served only to help Trodel POV of "simple issue".

The section has been heavily debated on the talk page. Editors have been blocked for the simplest of edits to the section and consensus has been deemed necessary. Trodel has obviously acknowledge the existence of the talk page discussion and the current formalization of POV dispute, but made his edits without discussion on the talk page. Most importantly his edits only served to push his POV and did nothing to address the concerns "implicating" or "on behalf of the church". However, after making his edits Trodel sarcastically wrote "Proposed edit made to resolve issue."

Obviously edit warring, I reverted to the original. AndyTheGrump, having had a contentious back forth with me on the talk page, insisted I play dumb with him or else he would continue the edit war. I refused.

Mormography (talk) 08:09, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

This so-called 'edit-warring' report is utter nonsense (and incidentally, intentionally misleading, given that only one of the diffs provided is to an edit I made). Trödel made an edit. Mormography reverted it without providing any explanation as to what was wrong with it, instead describing this single edit as 'edit-warring [64] I repeatedly asked Mormography what was wrong with the edit - no explanation was given. Given that the edit removed a lot of confused quote-farming and general poor writing that Mormography had recently added (without the consensus he seems now to be claiming is necessary to edit the article), I restored Trödel's edit. Sadly, Mormography seems to combine his WP:OWN issues concerning the page with an almost complete inability to actually explain in simple English what he wants the page to say - and he seems intent on inflicting his confused wording on our readers too. He is apparently still insisting that the article should assert that we should refer to a "forgery implicating Joseph Smith in gold digging", despite repeated objections to a phrase which simply defies logic. The forgery was intended to implicate Smith, certainly, by all accounts. It was however a forgery - and once we have told the reader it was a forgery, simple common sense says that we cannot then assert that its contents actually implicated Smith. This has nothing to do with the details of the case, and everything to do with writing articles in comprehensible English, for the benefit of readers who don't already know the story. Evidently Mormography cares more about getting his own confused wording into the article than he does about our readers actually being able to understand it, and it seems he is willing to file entirely bogus complaints about imaginary 'edit-warring' to get his way. I have to suggest that the appropriate response is at minimum to close this discussion with a warning to Mormography not to waste people's time in future - though I would suggest that a more appropriate response might be to block Mormography for a while for misuse of this noticeboard with the intention of edit-warring his own content (added without consensus) back into the article by abuse of process. AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:38, 7 March 2015 (UTC) Correction to the above - the confused quote-farming was already in the article - there was however a clear consensus on the talk page that the phrase about the forgery 'implicating' anything was unacceptable - and it should be noted, Mormography had earlier appeared to accept this. AndyTheGrump (talk) 08:49, 7 March 2015 (UTC)


AndyTheGrump makes two false assertions above. Trodel's edit warring is self evident and it is explained. The other is regarding 'implicating'. I am not insisting that the article should including the word 'implicating' nor it is mine only that is the original until such time as genuine dialogue occurs.Mormography (talk) 09:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

User:Mormography, is your point about the article, or about User:AndyTheGrump? If the former, write up the matter here, keep AndyThe Grump out of it, and keep it concise. If the latter, keep it off here and digest the advice you received in "How Do I appeal Your Ban Of Me At Gordon B. Hinkcley". (And did I mention the desirability of concision?) -- Hoary (talk) 10:24, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It is about the article. The edit war report was regarding edits that deliberately make the POV concerns worse, done rather blantantly with sarcasm. All instruction was that consensus was required in editing this section and now suddenly I am the only that requires consensus with regards to edits. Very, very interesting. So much for wikipedia and it supposed standards.Mormography (talk) 10:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
It should of course be noted that Mormography has omitted what I assume admin Bbb23 intended to be the closing statement for the so-called 'edit-warring' claim - where as a result of a " frivolous report" he was "Warned that if you persist in reverting at the article or you file another bogus report in this forum, you may be blocked without notice". [1] Evidently the message has not sunk in - I shall be reporting this continuation of tendentious behaviour, in the firm expectation that it will now result in a well-deserved block. AndyTheGrump (talk) 10:34, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Supposing the above is not about the article but about [user:Mormography]. If I am correct, then becareful reporting it to Bbb2 because consistency to supposed philosophy would definitely require him to block you.Mormography (talk) 10:42, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I suggest that you run off to Bbb2 to complain about it then - and while you are at it complain that I called you a semi-literate time-wasting incompetent POV-pushing troll. Which I just have. Though I would add for clarity that your illiteracy and incompetency combine in such a manner that I've still not figured out what the %&*@ your POV actually is... AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:07, 7 March 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Actual Stowell Forgery[edit]

                     Lamandaqua [sic]  June 18th 1825

Dear Sir,

My Father has shown me your letter infor-

ming him and me of your Succefs in locating

the mine as you Suffage but we are of the

opinion that Since you cannot ascertain ing

particulars you should not dig more untill

you first discuss if any valluables remain

you know the treasure must be guarded by

Some clever spirit and if such is discovered

So also is the treasure so do this take a

hazel Stick one yard by being new but

cut cleave it Just in the middle and lay it

asunder on the mine so that both inner parts

of the stick may look one right against the

other one inch distant and if there is treasure

after a while you shall see them draw and

form together again of themselves let me know

how it is Since you were here I have almost

decided to accept your offer and if you can

make it convenient to come this way I shall

be ready to accompany you if nothing happened

more than I know of I am very respectfully.

Joseph Smith Jr. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mormography (talkcontribs) 02:03, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What about it? AndyTheGrump (talk) 03:56, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Improvements to Early Life[edit]

This wikipedia page needs substantial improvement. Various of the sections are sparse, and are choppy. Additional information on his life and church service are needed. I have added details about his younger life, and his tenure as president. Please do not simply undo changes without verifying the references and accuracy of statements. Please revise and comment instead. The references I included are from secular media and legitimate church sources. I have included details about his mission, Greek and Latin skills, and the detail of two books he authored. I provided transitions to these so they don't read so choppily. Please add revisions therein and do not simply undo. Vermilioncliffs (talk) 00:10, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The previous version lacked a number of sources. I have added those. Please specify which you consider 'improper'. Please also specify where the bias is. Hinckley wrote the words to a hymn, the First Presidency and Quorum of 12 (not "Hinckley") announced/made the proclamation. How is this unneutral to report? Also, the sentence about older leader's health was unsourced and repeated two lines later (which I kept). The only things I interjected were attempts to create some coherent to a page with too many little blubs (his home life, his work with the media). Vermilioncliffs (talk) 00:23, 25 April 2015 (UTC)It needs more consistent paragraphs, not sentences. Please revise within, rather than simply undo.Reply[reply]

As to claiming these are non-neutal[sic] edits, often unreliably sourced, please specify which you are referring to. That Hinckley wrote a hymn, that his mother helped pay for his mission, that the First Presidency (not Hinckley individually) made the Proclamation, that he was particularly well-known for his humor, that thousands attended his funeral? Please engage the merits of these contributions rather than merely edit warring. Also, there are numerous instances in the article now lacking any sources. Please be consistent with your standards. You have undone some edits that actually add a reliable reference where none existed before. And for unreliable sources, which are you referring to? Vermilioncliffs (talk) 03:47, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Can you please stop using primary and other poor [2], [3] sources? --NeilN talk to me 05:14, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NeilN, please specify the 'largely primary and poor sources'. I will eliminate the hymn reference in favor of another. By primary, I am assuming you mean speeches, letters, and created at time under study? As Hinckley is a recent person, obviously some sources (and many currently in the article!) were created at the time under study. I have used the following sources: his only biography, major state newspapers (Deseret News), a book published by Harper. Which of these sources is "largely primary and poor"? Vermilioncliffs (talk) 10:47, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

@Vermilioncliffs: The Deseret News needs to be used cautiously as it is owned by the LDS Church. Similarly, his biography's publisher is owned by the LDS Church. These cannot be considered independent sources. --NeilN talk to me 18:02, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NeilN: I take your point, but three problems: First, the current article is full of these: why the uneven criticism? Second, the biography is the only one ever written on Hinckley. What alternative do you propose? Third, I detect a slight prejudice on your part against LDS media. Certainly not all are equal in value, but to intimate that ALL sources with any connection to LDS institutions borders on soft bigotry. Again, I take the point, but you are creating a virtually impossible standard, and one not adhered to in the other entries of the page. Vermilioncliffs (talk) 18:09, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

There's no bigotry. I would say the same thing about any media which is reporting on the president (or any high ranking official) of its owner. The biography should be considered as a WP:SELFPUB and its use limited as such. Just be careful of sourcing any self-serving content to these references. --NeilN talk to me 18:20, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks NeilN: I take your point. Equally, for those not in the know, there's some extensive biased anti-Mormon lit that should be taken with a grain of salt. There's some in this and other LDS pages. Also, n.b., my problem is that there is nothing else concerning Hinckley's younger life. No biographies, and NYTimes et al. didn't care about him until probably 1995. I think devotional material would raise red flags, but my experience with Deseret-related publications are that they wouldn't fabricate something like Hinckley's speaking ancient Greek or writing the words to an LDS hymn. That distinction makes sense to me. To you? Vermilioncliffs (talk) 18:37, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, but they also report on things which mainstream sources wouldn't find notable. I'm not going to revert you, but further reliance on these types of sources may merit a {{third-party}} tag being put on the article. --NeilN talk to me 18:46, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I see what you're saying, but things may be important to millions of Methodists or Baptists, but not even reported by mainstream sources. And again, be even-handed: take a look at the sources already there: fewer than 1/5 are from non-LDS sources. Also, there are tons of sentences there with no references. Is that an improvement: just claim without back-up? Take the example of his writing one of the standard hymns of the Church. Big deal to millions (very few leaders do so, very few in last 100 years, etc.) but I would be shocked if you could find it in any mainstream sources. Better, then, not said? I don't think so. Must be careful with all sources--I agree--but context is important, and particularly for wiki pages on people important to millions but not mainstream per se.Vermilioncliffs (talk) 19:11, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

First Presidency[edit]

Where's the evidence for Hinckley being involved in purchasing the "Stowell Forgery"? The claim lacks a source70.34.2.50 18:28, 25 April 2015 (UTC) and without it, why put it in the Hinckley page if it's already in the forger's (Hofmann's) wiki? Any consensus? (talk) 18:28, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please see virtually every section above this on the page seems to touch on this. ChristensenMJ (talk) 18:34, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Sourcing is poor. A dead link and books with no page numbers. --NeilN talk to me 18:39, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yeah, I agree 100%: sourcing is poor, and until improved (if possible to verify), why not keep it in Hofmann's page? I don't see the Hinckley link. (talk) 18:41, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Shouldn't it stay out until better sourced and consensus reached? Why did you put it back while it is being discussed? (talk) 18:48, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I didn't put it back. And the previous discussions should be addressed. --NeilN talk to me 18:52, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Not you, ChristensenMJ put it back without discussion. Agree: more consensus needed. In mean time, not better out? I don't want to revert again. The sources are bad, and should be improved before re-introducing. I agree with you 100%. (talk) 18:55, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

If you'll look into the archives of this page, let alone what's still on the active page above, this topic has been covered a lot. While it may need improved sourcing/dead link fixes, there has previously been consensus that it belonged. The issue typically hasn't been the inclusion or not, as much as consensus on balanced, appropriate wording. Hinckley was very involved and/or received significant attention and coverage about involvement. That is why I included it again "without discussion" and on this section made reference to other places for your review. Coming in with new IP address being used, the context and history of this is likely missing from your view. Given all of this, I am going to put it back in, invite review of archived discussions, and welcome improvements that may be needed. ChristensenMJ (talk) 19:18, 25 April 2015 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The Mark Hofmann document forgeries, bombings, and investigation occurred during this time. "The news interest was global" and "the whole episode achieved epic proportions."[1] Several books[2] describe the arrangements for acquiring supposed historical documents for the church by Hinckley and others. For example, using $15,000 of Church funds Hinckley purchased the Stowell document referencing Joseph Smith’s gold digging from Hofmann on the promise of confidentiality. However, two years later, Hofmann leaked its existence to the "Mormon intellectual underground."[3] Upon press inquiries, Hinckley acknowledged the purchase and released the document.[4][5] Bombing investigators later proved that Hofmann forged the document.Mormography (talk) 01:32, 12 September 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ Oaks, Dallin H. (October 1987). Ensign {{cite journal}}: |contribution= ignored (help); Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ E.g., The Mormon Murders; Salamander: The Story of the Mormon Forgery Murders; Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case; and Tracking The White Salamander.
  3. ^ The Mormon Murders, p. 146.
  4. ^ The Mormon Murders, pp. 171–72; Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case, pp. 101–02.
  5. ^ Allan D. Roberts, "The Truth is the Most Important Thing: A Look at Mark W. Hofmann, the Mormon Salamander Man".