[At HDC] Dean Jessee [a member of Arrington's staff ] observed that the Ensign [the LDS Church's monthly periodical for adults] apparently prefers the "pablum approach" to history. -- As long as the self-assured guardians of the Church's image refuse to present our history as it is, our people will continue to become disenchanted and disappointed to learn that our history has been full of false starts, doctrinal evolution, and human leaders. I wish that we took the Hebraic approach to our history, as can be found in the Old Testament, New Testament, and to a lesser degree in the Book of Mormon. The great prophets and spiritual leaders were shown as being human with human foibles and who made mistakes. The Hebrews could identify with such heroes and thus have hope that they, too, might overcome their weaknesses to become valiant servants of God. It is difficult for us [as Latter-day Saints] to identify with the demi-gods we have made out of [LDS Church founder] Joseph Smith and [LDS President] David O. McKay and most of our other leaders. They, too, were men capable of sin and who did sin[-]as every man does. Thank God for leaders like [LDS Church authorities] Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball and J. Golden Kimball whose rough humanity is hard to ignore or gloss over.
[From the diaries and memoirs of D. Michael Quinn, in 'On Writing Mormon History, 1972-95,' edited by Joseph Geisner, Signature Books, 2020]
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