45 years ago today - Jul 28, 1978-Friday

[Leonard Arrington]

I chatted with Lowell Durham for a while yesterday morning. He said that he is going to propose at the next board meeting of Deseret Book a new series called the Missionary Preparation Series. They will place in it paperbacks of Jesus the Christ, Articles of Faith, A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, and perhaps others that I do not recall. They very much need a history of the Church. Essentials in Church History has now been removed from the list of books which missionaries are required or encouraged to buy since it is no longer in print. Lowell is going to propose that they put in the series Story of the Latter-day Saints-presumably with some revisions. Those making the decision and especially Elder Ashton will be faced with the question of whether to omit any book on history-something the missionaries definitely need-or to accept a revised form of Story of the Latter-day Saints. Lowell also said that the missionary committee is not objecting to Deseret Book furnishing copies of Story of the Latter-day Saints to missionaries who write to request a Church history. Within the last two or three weeks they have supplied about fifty such copies to missionaries who were encouraged to buy them by mission presidents who have just gone out. According to Lowell, some 17 mission presidents who like Story of the Latter-day Saints have petitioned the missionary committee to place Story of the Latter-day Saints on the list of recommended books. ...

I want to add also that Elder Durham stopped me on the way back from Rotary Club Tuesday and said he learned that the unpublished sermons of Brigham Young had been published by the "Mormon Underground Press," which means Fred Collier. He was fearful that that "bad" sermon of Brigham Young was included. We feel sure it was. That is the one that has the Adam-God business in it. I told Brother Durham as far as I was concerned this made even more important publishing a properly edited selection from the sermons edited by Davis. He seemed to agree.

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

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