60 years ago today - 60 years ago - Aug 22, 1959

[J. Reuben Clark]
Pres. Wilkinson came in to see me on two or three matters:

1. First, the pamphlet which is being circulated in California, signed by a Committee of Ricks College Graduates, but giving no names. This has relation to an attack sometime last Fall or Spring regarding the interest or alleged interest of the Brigham Young University in some food distributing company. ...

2. He talked with me about several other reports that were being circulated up in the Ricks College area, that were malicious and false ...

3. He also told me he and a committee had had a long discussion this morning about the archaeological excavations in Mexico and particularly those by [Thomas Stewart] Ferguson. He said they had made an inquiry of archaeologists and found that we had no archaeologist in Utah or in the Church who commanded respect, that therefore they were met with a proposal from Ferguson which was growing into hundreds of thousands of dollars to be expended by himself or under his direction, though his findings would not be accepted by archeologists all over the country. They did not feel that the Brigham Young University under the circumstances, ought to form any great Department of Archaeology at this time.

I told him I agreed with him on this and that some other plan should have immediate investigation and something worked out, though, of course, we would have ultimately to secure somebody who could go forward as we desire them.

He said that Ferguson was having in mind the appropriation and expenditure of hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

I told him I had always felt we were slack in knowing the archaeological facts about the Book of Mormon and that personally I did not anticipate that we should ever find anything archaeological that we could absolutely depend upon as justifying our saying, "This proves that he Boom of Mormon is true," but that we ought to know the facts and that we ought to do active work of this sort ...

He said Brother Hunter was disappointed with the finding that there was nobody in the State or connected with the Church who was really an expert archaeologist.

[The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

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