40 years ago today - Jun 27, 1983-Monday

[Leonard Arrington]
When we came to SLC in 1972, I operated under the assumption that Church leaders talked things through, then agreed, and then supported the programs and policies thus decided upon. I found out that this was not necessarily or always the case. I discovered a number of instances in which church leaders agreed upon a policy and then one or more of the Twelve immediately began to sabotage it. ... within a year [after approval of the Church History department], Elders [Boyd K.] Packer and [Mark E.] Petersen immediately began to fight against us and the program. Examples: We were instructed by President [Harold B.] Lee not to submit anything to Correlation-that we were the Correlation Committee for our work. But when we published Brigham Young's Letters to His Sons, edited by Dean Jessee, Elder Packer wrote to the First Presidency with criticisms of it, and has been criticizing it ever since. In particular, the mention of one of BY's sons taking drugs and BY cautioning his son Brigham Junior not to smoke on his mission. Elder Petersen began to undermine us by circulating that scurrilous paper of Steve Marshall ["The New Mormon History"], without even talking to any of us. Elder Packer's letters to the First Presidency about our sesquicentennial history project, leading eventually to its discontinuance. Elder Petersen cancelling the review of The Mormon Experience to appear in the Church News. Elders Benson and Petersen refusing a second printing of Story of the Latter-day Saints. Canceling Friends of Church History.

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

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