Join us now for Part 4 of our interview with legendary Mormon journalist Lynn Packer (nephew of Boyd K. Packer), wherein he will be sharing with us what it was like to cover the darker side of Mormonism or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a journalist.
Some of the stories we will cover in this episode include those of:
- Mark Hofmann
- Ervil LeBaron,
- The Lafferty brothers, and
- Ted Bundy.
John, Linn, you say that the LDS church is responsible for modern polygamists because Joseph started it and it is in D&C.
You are correct, yet you forget another highly important mechanism through which the LDS church spawns these polygamists – its epistemology.
The church teaches that uplifting feelings that accompany your religious thoughts and practices are communications from God, not your own emotions. Budding polygamists, when at first contemplating polygamy, feel these feelings and take them for God’s confirmation that it is what He wants them to do.
As you have read in “Under The Banner of Heaven”, Dan Lafferty believes that God has guided him through the murder, that God talked him through each step of it, when and how to tie up the victim, when and whose throat to slit, what prayers to say before and after, etc. Reread Dan’s description of it in that book. It is horrifying, until now he believes that God has guided him.
The responsibility for the child abuse of modern polygamists, for Lafferty’s murders, for LeBarrons’ murders, etc. should be laid at the feet of the LDS church. Specifically the idea that warm, lofty emotions are communications from God.
Lynn, perhaps you will remember a poem that Mark Hofmann wrote about the Book of Mormon showing it’s brightness at X number of degrees (ie., when it being burned), or something to that effect. I think it was in an old news story, but while he has been imprisoned. I’ve been looking for it but cannot find it. Thanks.
Hey, Lynn (in the hopes that you’ll get this comment). This is Jeff Breinholt. Excellent interviews. I’d like to talk to you some more. Hit me at email@example.com.