493-494; 497-499b: Brent Metcalfe – Early Years, Mark Hofmann, the Salamander Letter, the Bombings, the Book of Abraham, and Life After Mormonism
August 20, 2014
Few people had more of a front-row seat than Brent Metcalfe to the goings-on surrounding Mark Hofmann, the “Salamander Letter,” and the tragic events of October 1985 — what would be dubbed as the “Mormon Murders.”
As a personal friend and research assistant for both Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, Brent Metcalfe watched the whole episode unfold right before his eyes.
In Part 1, Brent talks about his early days in the Church and his time working for Church security. He also talks about his early forays into Mormon studies.
In Part 2, Brent describes working for and with Steve Christensen and Mark Hofmann, the Salamander Letter episode, and the bombings that took the lives of Steve and Kathy Sheets.
In Part 3, Brent discusses the aftermath of the Hofmann murders, including the trial and Hofmann’s eventual plea deal. He also discusses the events leading up to, and including, his excommunication.
In Part 4, Brent examines some of the issues surrounding traditional approaches to the Book of Mormon.
In Part 5, we explore the history surrounding Joseph Smith and the Book of Abraham (one of the primary scriptural texts for the LDS Church). We also talk about the concept of translation, Joseph Smith’s views on his “translations,” the traditional apologetic responses concerning the Book of Abraham (Hugh Nibley, John Gee, and Kerry Muhlestein), as well as the LDS Church’s recent essay on the Book of Abraham.
In Part 6, we talk to Brent about his interactions and run-ins with prominent Mormon apologists like Daniel Peterson, Lou Midgley and others. We’ll also talk about the recent history of BYU’s Maxwell Institute and what he sees in its future and in the future of Mormon apologetics overall. We’ll also talk in depth with Brent about how he has been able to construct a healthy and happy life outside of Mormonism.
A special thanks to Brent for giving up so much of his time to do these episodes, especially some of them as he was feeling very much under the weather. His contributions, reflections, thoughts and insights represent some of the most important contributions in the history of not just Mormon Stories, but Mormonism in general.