40 years ago today - Jun 25, 1981-Thursday

[Leonard Arrington]

Received a telephone call this morning from a[n] [LDS] High Priest in the Cottonwood area of Salt Lake City. He said that he was involved in a case years ago in which they had to counsel a couple about abortion. They found a statement of the First Presidency apparently the one dated April 14, 1969, which has not been published. They made their decision on the basis of that statement. Since the statement of the First Presidency in 1973 is slightly different, less permissive, he would like to have a copy of the 1969 statement to defend himself for the action he took. He found his ward library inadequate on 1969 materials and so came to the Historical Department. He was referred to Tom Truitt. Tom furnished him with copies of several statements of the First Presidency but would not furnish him the 1969 statement. Tom explained that they had been "de-indexed" meaning that one can no longer find it indexed in their files. "Why was it de-indexed?" "Well, because we believe in continuous revelation and that statement has been superseded, and anyway that statement did not represent the considered opinion of the First Presidency. It was simply a statement prepared by the L.D.S. Social Services which the First Presidency signed on a pro forma basis." "Well, couldn't you get me a copy of it?" "No, I am sorry, we are no longer supplying that to people."

This person then says he went to John Hardy [of the staff] of the First President's Office and asked him for it. Brother Hardy took essentially the same position: "This no longer represents the opinion of the First Presidency and therefore we can not supply you with a copy of it."

The person then asked me if I could get a copy. Our indexes do not show that it was published in the Church News or the Era. I found it only in Lester Bush's article in Dialogue, Autumn 1976, p. 27.

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

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