Religion: Challenging Mormonism's Roots

Newly found letters raise questions about the church's origins

'It's an incredible crisis of faith for me," says Mormon Klaus Hansen, who teaches at Queen's University in Ontario. "It means our historical foundation becomes a nice story that has no connection to reality." To Denise Olsen, a law student and mother of three in Bountiful, Utah, "it's another evidence to me that things have gone awry in the church." A devout Mormon couple in Whittier, Calif., in a letter to friends explaining why they have left the church, say new revelations about the Mormons' founding prophet have destroyed their belief.

These reactions stem from the discovery and authentication of a...

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