Mar 10, 1980-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
... One of the NBC [TV] people had asked Elder Hinckley why he wasn't willing to meet with Sonia Johnson. He said, We'd be delighted to meet with her. That word was passed on to Sonia by the NBC person and so when she came she wanted to take Elder Hinckley up on the offer. She worked through Jan Tyler, and Jan was able to get things so that a meeting could be held. ... Sonia had insisted with Jan that they refer to them as Gordon and Neal rather than as Elder Hinckley and Elder Maxwell, and that they be called Jan and Sonia instead of Sister Tyler and Sister Johnson. Sonia had prepared a list of six things to bring up with them, but the confrontation was so intense and so unfriendly that she didn't get more than two covered. ... Jan reported that Elder Hinckley was not in the mood to listen. He took it as his task to "give counsel." Sonia for her part was not seeking counsel but trying to persuade Elder Hinckley and Elder Maxwell to give consideration to various points. ... He was not sympathetic with Sonia's concerns or the problems of women, and for her part Sonia was not in a mood to tearfully express repentance. Jan said it was the most excruciating experience she had ever had in her life. She thought absolutely nothing in terms of policy would come as the result of the meeting. It was excruciating to Jan partly because of the cruel way that Elder Hinckley treated Sonia, and partly because of his complete unwillingness to listen to the expression of problems and concerns and frustrations.

[Confessions of a Mormon historian : the diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971-1997, Gary James Bergera, editor, Signature Books, 2018]

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