45 years ago today - Dec 1, 1978-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
I meant to record earlier that Senator Orrin Hatch told me on one occasion in general conference that he had studied under Kent Fielding at BYU and that as a part of the "enlightening" process under Dr. Fielding, he had read quite a number of anti-Mormon books. The end result of doing this was to realize the superficiality of most of these and to increase his testimony of the gospel. [[Hatch graduated from BYU in history in 1959 when R. Kent Fielding had been on the faculty already for seven years but had completed his PhD from the University of Indiana only two years earlier. His emphasis was LDS history.]]

Also wanted to record what Earl Olson had told me earlier, that there are two seerstones in the Joseph Fielding Smith safe which is in the vault of the First Presidency. Earl is not certain about these seerstones; he thinks one of them belonged to Hiram Page, and one of them may very well have belonged to the Prophet Joseph [Smith]. He says one is kind of a clear geode, and the other is a chocolate color with specks. I have a vague memory that he said that they were about the size of a hen's egg.

Somebody told me the other day that they had been reading some correspondence and that they found evidence of a disagreement between David O. McKay and Joseph Fielding Smith on an important matter of Church doctrine. This is the question of whether a person in the hereafter can advance from one kingdom to another. According to this source, David O. McKay said yes, a person may advance from one kingdom to another in the next world; Joseph Fielding Smith said no, he or she will be restricted to whatever kingdom they are assigned to.

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

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