40 years ago today - Dec 21, 1981-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
Dear President [Gordon B.] Hinckley:

At the time of my call as Church Historian in 1972, President [N. Eldon] Tanner told me that he would always be open to any request for help. ...

I have two concerns.

First, there is a question about my status. At the time of my "call," as Church Historian, President Tanner advised me that it was partly a Church call (and for the first two or three years my name was presented for a sustaining vote by the general conference), and partly a position in the Church group of headquarters employees, thus accompanied by a salary. I now feel that I should ask for a clarification. Have I been released from my Church call as Church Historian? If so, when? The letters I have received from the First Presidency regarding organizational changes at the Historical Department have not contained any specific mention of my release-just a change in my organizational title. ...

There is an additional item which probably should be drawn to your attention. Elder [Boyd K.] Packer's recent BYU address concerning Church history7 has produced some results that perhaps were not intended. The effect has been to isolate intellectually some of our fine LDS people from their Church leaders. The possibilities of creating a negative and difficult-to-manage image for the Church are rather serious. Some of these consequences can be minimized or avoided, and if I can assist in this I would be pleased to do so.a ...

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

No comments:

Post a Comment