Episode 4: Magic and Mormonism

Did early Mormons once dabble in the occult? This episode explores Joseph Smith’s fascination with magical practices, including animal sacrifice and seer stones. Join hosts Lindsay Hansen Park and Bryan Buchanan as they discuss early Mormonism and the Magic World View with acclaimed Mormon historians D. Michael Quinn and Christopher C. Smith.

Listen to this episode here.

Additional resources and information about topics discussed in this episode:

documentary on Mark Hofmann https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbnw57x4vjA&list=PL2J4pOVStq7iJEK2OFEeG0MuU3GqiZ6j2&index=21&t=17s

Salamander Letter (Mark Hofmann) https://karriehiggins.files.wordpress.com/2018/08/salamanderletterfrontandback.jpg

Early Mormonism and the Magic World View (D. Michael Quinn)—purchase from Benchmark Books www.benchmarkbooks.com



One comment

  1. Tom Bennett says:

    I really like the flow of this podcast with the music in the background at some parts and the interjection of various guest. I must admit I was a little confused at the start thinking I was listening to the wrong episode. I was fascinated to hear about the “veil” or “the caul” that Joseph was born with. My Grandmother Jean from the North GA mountains talked about girls being born in our family and having the veil. They were said to be able to see the future. I was very interested in hearing more about the rodsmen who apparently had been a prototype of early mormonism. The information on guardian spirits on treasure and how that all worked was fascinating. I was pleased to hear about animal sacrifice as being a jewish and christian tradition. So many christians are scared of satanists, thinking they engage in such behavior, when in actuality it is their own practice. D. Michael Quinn’s book is exceptional. I picked it up last summer at Sunstone and have slowly picked my way through it. His attention to the details of historical fact is astounding. The occult does not imply evil, it simply means “that which is hidden.” Quinn brings it gently into the light.

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