60 years ago today - Thu Jan 28, 1960

[David O. McKay Office Journal]

8:30 to 9 a.m. Bruce R. McConkie's book. Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency. I reported to my counselors that I had talked with President Joseph Fielding Smith about the decision that the book "Mormon Doctrine" should not be republished and about handling the matter to avoid undermining Elder McConkie's influence. President Smith agreed that the book should not be republished, and said that he would talk with Brother McConkie. It was decided that the First Presidency should inform Brother McConkie before he learns of our decision from some other source, so Brother McConkie was asked to come into our meeting this morning. When he arrived I informed him of the desire of the First Presidency with reference to his book not being republished, to which he agreed. The recommendation was also made that he answer inquiries on the subject with care. Brother McConkie said, "I am amenable to whatever you Brethren want. I will do exactly what you want. I will be as discreet and as wise as I can." In answering letters he said that he would express no views contrary to views which the First Presidency has expressed. He said that he would conform in every respect.

10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Was engaged in the meeting of the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve in the Salt Lake Temple. At Council meeting I reported to the Brethren our decision regarding Elder Bruce R. McConkie's book "Mormon Doctrine," statine that it had caused considerable comment throughout the Church, and that it has been a source of concern to the Brethren ever since it was published. I said that this book had not been presented to anyone for consideration or approval until after its publication. I further said that the First Presidency have given it very careful consideration, as undoubtedly have some of the Brethren of the Twelve also, and that the First Presidency now recommend that the book not be republished; that it be not republished even in corrected form, even though Brother McConkie mentions in the book that he takes all responsibility for it; and that it be not recognized as an authoritative book. I said further that the question has arisen as to whether a public correction should be made and an addendum given emphasizing the parts which are unwisely presented or misquoted or incorrect; but it is felt that that would not be wise because Brother McConkie is one of the General Authorities, and it might lessen his influence. The First Presicdency recommend that the situation be left as it is, and whenever a question about it arises, we can answer that it is unauthoritative, that it was issued by Brother McConkie on his own responsibility, and he must answer for it. I reported that the First Presidency had talked with Brother McConkie this morning, and he said he will do whatever the Brethren want him to do. He will not attempt to republish the book, nor to say anything by letter, and if he answers letters or inquiries that he will answer them in accordance with the suggestions made by the Brethren, and not advocate those things concerning which question has been raised as contained in the book. The Brethren unanimously approved of this. I then said that the First Presidency further recommend that when any member of the General Authorities desires to write a book, that the Brethren of the Twelve or the First Presidency be consulted regarding it. While the author need not get the approval of these Brethren, they should know before it is published that a member of the General Authorities wants to publish a book. I said it may seem all right for the writer of the book to say, "_I_ _only_ am responsible for it," but I said "you cannot separate your position from your individuality, and we should like the authors to present their books to the Twelve or a Committee appointed." I asked the Brethren of the Twelve to convey this information to the other General Authorities. On motion this became the consensus of the Council.

[McKay, David O., Office Journal]

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