45 years ago today - Dec 31, 1974-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]

Boyd Packer repeated very strongly his concerns to Earl [Olsen] and said that we must find some way of preventing the printing of these things from occurring in the future and said that unless we can come to some agreement on it we would have to change the management. I asked Earl what that meantwhether it meant getting a new Church Historian or getting a new Assistant Managing Director or just what. Earl said he was not sure, but he thought he meant that he would seek to have another advisor rather than Brother Hunter or perhaps another Acting Managing Director rather than Brother Anderson. I said to Earl, "Does that mean that Brother Packer himself wants to be our advisor?" Earl said he thought that was the case.

Earl said something about clearing things through correlation. I said that would be the worst thing that could happen. How can they possibly judge us on what is good history and what is bad history. Earl said that we may be forced to it. I said I thought the Twelve [Apostles] would outvote Brother Packer if he made such a suggestion.

At any rate, it seems clear that Brother Packer is making some kind of crusade out of it and will not be satisfied to leave it in the hands of Elder Hunter and Elder McConkie. Earl said as a minimum we ought to bring it up with our advisors at our next meeting and get their counsel of what if anything we should do. Earl says Brother Packer expects some kind of an answer and we need to raise this with the advisors.

Maureen [Beecher] brought Gene England in yesterday and he wanted to talk with me at considerable length about the reasons for withdrawing Maureen's piece from Dialogue. I told him that in my judgment it would not be wise to make an appeal on this. That I wanted to leave it on an ad hoc basis and not force a situation which would establish some kind of a rule that I would have to follow in the future. Gene is looking for a job here. The University of Utah will not hire any committed Mormon in English. BYU would be willing to create a special slot to employ him but Neal Maxwell does not want to go to the board with a special slot bearing his name on account of his former Dialogue association. ...

Jim Allen and Doug Alder returned late in the afternoon yesterday from the American History Association convention in Chicago. They reported a very successful meeting of [session sponsored by] the Mormon History Association. ... There were some all-night meetings of LDS, RLDS, and non-LDS which included Jim and Doug and also Jan Shipps, Paul Edwards, Bob Flanders, Larry Foster, Larry Hunt and some others I don't recall. These were productive, interesting, and inspiring, according to Jim and Doug. ...

I expect to start on a biography of Brigham Young before the end of the year. ...

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

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