45 years ago today - Jan 16, 1979-Tuesday

[Leonard Arrington]

In the meeting this morning with Elder [G. Homer] Durham, he reported that he had started reading the "final" form of The Mormon Experience. ... He thought the chapter that might cause problems, if any, was the first chapter. If we could get people over the first chapter, then it would be downhill all the way. He was sure that many members of the Church, including ecclesiastical officials, "do not know enough about the historiography of the Joseph Smith period to appreciate what a contribution you have made in that chapter." The Church is very sensitive right now, he said, about the different accounts of the First Vision. You have handled it very well, but there will still be a few raised eyebrows about it, simply because the ecclesiastical officials are not well enough informed on the subject.

... He suggested that a copy which we might present to Elder [Boyd K.] Packer might be marked with a red pen at various places through the book to indicate that a modification at that point had been made because of his suggestions. He hoped we saved the copy that contains Elder Packer's suggestions and comments, and that we would go through the final volume and indicate changes made as the result of his suggestions. This would help him to realize the extent to which we had complied with his suggestions. Otherwise he might forget and think that he had made suggestions on certain things which we did

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

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