45 years ago today - Mar 1, 1974-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]
Last week Brother Joseph Anderson showed up with his mustache shaved off. He has worn that mustache for something like fifty years. ...

We asked him why he shaved it off. He said that he had done it as the result of the insistence of the brethren on those standards for students at BYU. Since he was the only General Authority with a mustache, he thought he wouldn't give them any cause for embarrassment by keeping it. He said some weeks ago he was talking with a couple of the General Authorities about it. He timidly and half-humorously raised the question, "Do you think I ought to shave it off?" Brother [Delbert L.] Stapley said, "Yes, Joseph, I think you should," and said it strongly. Brother LeGrand Richards said, "Joseph, why should you shave it off? You have worn it a long, long time. That would be silly." Well, apparently with President Kimball becoming president and with Brother Stapley his friend becoming more influential, and with persons like Brother Stapley and Brother Packer feeling strongly about setting a proper example before the youth, he had decided to shave it off. Such are the perils of being a General Authority.

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

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