Brigham Young University
Gary James Bergera and Ronald Priddis

Chapter 9
Academics & Intellectual Pursuits

Independent Evaluations Of BYU’s Academic Standing

[p. 341]”The ‘Y’ has definitely taken its place among the large, influential universities of the country,” BYU President Ernest L. Wilkinson announced in 1957. Two years later, a BYU publication for prospective undergraduates assured its readers that if they chose to attend the Mormon school, they would rest “secure in the realization that they [had] been offered at Brigham Young University solid academic training comparable only with that attainable at the best universities in the United States.” In 1981, President Jeffrey Holland predicted that if the school continued to advance in academic and spiritual areas, the day would come when BYU would no longer feel compelled to compare itself to Harvard or Yale. Instead, these and other schools would “add one more ingredient to their rivalry–the fight to see who can be the BYU of the east.”1

Despite such enthusiasm, impartial evaluations of Brigham Young University’s academic standing have not been as uniformly positive. In studies conducted by independent researchers and professional organizations, BYU has consistently been ranked as competitive with, but not superior to, the average American university. The same year Wilkinson announced that BYU had arrived among the nation’s top schools, a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania identified the top twenty graduate programs in the arts and sciences across the country without citing the Mormon school. Seven years later, the American Council on Education published a report of the top graduate programs in the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, physical sciences, and engineering. Again, BYU was not noted. In 1970, this same council mentioned BYU’s geology department, placing it among the lower half of the top fifty programs in the United States. In conjunction with the [p. 342] American Council of Learned Societies, the National Research Council, and the Social Science Research Council, the American Council on Education released the results of a third study in 1982 identifying some 100 top graduate programs in the humanities, social or behavioral sciences, biological sciences, math and physical sciences, and engineering. BYU was cited for six programs: family sciences, psychology, botany, microbiology, chemistry, and chemical engineering. However, all were rated as being “minimally effective” in training research scholars and scientists on a scale that included “extremely effective,” “reasonably effective,” “minimally effective,” and “not effective.” Finally, three years later, in 1985, the prestigious national honor society Phi Beta Kappa rejected BYU’s application for an on-campus chapter on grounds that the university was not academically mature enough.2

Perhaps as a result of such evaluations, school officials have asserted that Brigham Young University is “predominantly” an undergraduate institution. President Dallin Oaks stated in 1977 that “the principal justification for most of our graduate programs is the added strength they bring to our undergraduate programs.” Philosophy professor Truman Madsen bluntly explained in a 1979 lecture to students, “Whatever distinction we have accomplished as an institution, it remains in the area of teaching, [as] a kind of undergraduate mill, rather than a productive, creative, research-oriented institution.” But studies of the quality of BYU’s undergraduate programs have produced results similar to those of the school’s graduate programs. One study conducted in 1965, published in the Journal of the American Statistical Association, ranked the best undergraduate programs in the United States. The study failed to mention BYU. Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges observed four years later that at BYU, “[academic] pressure is not too great,” and that “good, hard study will enable most students to do quite well in the[ir] classes.” The Comparative Guide to American Colleges agreed in 1982, “Pressures for academic achievement appear moderate; [the] atmosphere, however, is oriented toward scholarly pursuits as well as toward development of immediately marketable skills.” The New York Times‘s 1982 Selective Guide to Colleges rated BYU as average in academics. Two years earlier, The Gourman Report: A Rating of Undergraduate Programs in American and International Universities ranked BYU among the top fifty schools in the country in four undergraduate areas: art, home economics, nursing, and physical therapy.3

The official reaction to most outside evaluations of BYU’s academic standing was noted in a 1975 address by religion professor Hugh Nibley. “Some years ago,” Nibley wryly observed, “when it was pointed out that BYU graduates were the lowest in the nation in all categories of the Graduate Record Examination, this institution [p. 343] characteristically met the challenge by abolishing the examination. It was done on the grounds that the test did not sufficiently measure our unique ‘spirituality.'” For their part, administrators have tended to emphasize the number of degrees granted by BYU and the number of BYU students who have been accepted to graduate schools as evidence of the quality of BYU’s scholastic program. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, one study, often cited by school officials, found that BYU was a major source of graduate degrees in the physical and biological sciences–a significant achievement (Improvement Era, Oct. 1940). However, BYU was not able to maintain its momentum in producing physicists, geologists, chemists, biologists, and botanists. A related study by the same researchers noted the university’s meager contribution to the humanities, but this study has been generally ignored (see Buchanan). As a baccalaureate source of students who go on to earn doctorate degrees, BYU has placed as high as thirty-fifth in the nation. In 1981, BYU was among the top 100 producers of medical school entrants. In terms of the number of doctoral degrees awarded, BYU has remained among the top 125 American universities (Harmon, Cass, and Birnbaum, Doctorate Recipients). The quality of BYU’s professional schools has recently been recognized. The J. Reuben Clark Law School, for example, received attention as one of the fifteen most selective law schools with tuition under $3,000 per year, and as one of the thirty-six most selective law schools over-all (Lauter; Van Alstyne). The law school produced four U.S. Supreme Court interns during its first ten years (DU, 5 Oct. 1984). In the Graduate School of Management, polls of business school deans and department chairs have placed the Institute of Professional Accountancy and the Department of Organizational Behavior among the top ten in the country (Public Accounting Report; Brooker and Shinoda). In addition, the Master of Business Administration program has been ranked first in the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains region (MBA, Dec. 1977).4

Furthermore, when pressed for examples of the university’s academic successes, BYU administrators have pointed to the two Marshall scholars and eight Rhodes scholars the school has produced. These scholarships, funded by the British government and a foundation established by African diamond entrepreneur Cecil Rhodes, provide recipients with tuition, books, room and board, and spending money for completion of undergraduate study at the University of Oxford in Cambridge, England. Although the number of Marshall and Rhodes scholars coming from BYU has not been competitive with the number chosen each year from such universities as Harvard or Yale, where approximately four Rhodes scholars are named annually per school, BYU’s success has been impressive nonetheless. BYU has also produced approximately fourteen Woodrow Wilson scholars and fifteen Danforth fellows, all of whom have been allowed to pursue [p. 344] graduate work at the university of their choice, without cost. As a measure of the teaching ability of the university’s faculty, approximately twenty-five professors have been chosen as Fulbright fellows, with one-year appointments on the faculties of foreign universities. These fellowships have been awarded to teachers in nine BYU colleges and professional schools, but predominantly to professors in the colleges of mathematics and physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.5

Recipients of such awards have sometimes demonstrated an independence of thought not usually associated with the BYU community. For example, Rhodes scholar Steve Nelson was one of the publishers of the underground Centennial Free Press and served on the staff of the independent Seventh East Press (see Chapter 7). Before leaving for Cambridge, Marshall scholar Mitchell Edwards credited his commitment to Mormonism largely to his reading of Dialogue and Sunstone magazines, two independent, scholarly journals of Mormon history and theology which emphasize other interests than those of official church publications (SEP, 20 Feb. 1982). Gerrit Gong, a second Rhodes scholar, remarked after his year at Cambridge that Oxford students seemed to be “happier than students in Provo–more alive, more aware, more in touch with the good things of life, less worried about things that don’t really matter” (BYU Today, June 1979). Rhodes scholar Kenneth Beesley asserted upon returning from Oxford that “the atmosphere on the BYU campus . . . is [by comparison] hostile to . . . informal discussion.” Elaborating, he wrote, “In our clearly defined religious hierarchy, where truth comes down from the top, the questioning give-and-take of traditional academic discussion is sometimes seen as rebellious” (DU, Nov. 1979). Beesley later recommended that “the ties be loosened between the LDS Church and BYU” (DU, 8 Dec. 1983).6

Indicative of the intellectual climate that has often prevailed at BYU, the inauguration in 1959 of an accelerated general education “Honors Program” was accompanied by official apologies to the general student body. President Wilkinson explained that “this program is not designed to create bookish drudges. On the contrary, experience at other universities which have the program shows that honors [students can be] truly versatile and exceptional persons.” That many BYU students were uncomfortable with the scholarly mindset of those interested in the honors program was indicated in a 1968 Daily Universe survey which revealed that 24 percent of the student body believed that “since [they] essentially possess the truth, a university education is only practical insofar as it aids in planning [the] future.” One-fifth of all students also believed that “skepticism as a tool for learning is essentially unhealthy since it may create unnecessary doubt.” In 1977, an administrative survey revealed that student [p. 345] attitudes about academics had not changed. For example, 85 percent of incoming freshmen reported that the “chief reason for coming to BYU” was “the spiritual environment and to associate with LDS people.” Compared to freshmen, sophomores were found to attach even “less importance to . . . keeping up to date on political affairs, and living and working in the world of ideas.” Sophomores “more often view[ed] education as a means of increasing earning power” and were less enthusiastic than freshmen about learning to think independently.7

The attitudes of BYU students may reflect frequent warnings of church authorities, and others, about the dangers of intellectualism. During a 1959 devotional address, Apostle Mark E. Petersen explained, “We may think that free-thinkers are the progressive ones in the world, but the great accomplishments have not been made by free thinkers. They have been made by cooperative effort on the part of unified groups.” In a 1961 open letter, one undergraduate discussed the effects of cooperative thinking on scholarship, observing that BYU students tend to be authoritarian and dogmatic. They “presuppose the nature of the universe, accepting favorable scientific data, rejecting unfavorable data without investigation, . . . [the result of which is] not much more than a cliche-quoter with a bachelor’s degree.” English professor Douglas Thayer commented twenty years later that most BYU students are “less able to think” than students at other universities. “In fact,” Thayer admitted, “they haven’t been encouraged to think.” BYU botanist Paul Cox in 1983 similarly observed that one of the greatest frustrations for BYU professors is dealing with students’ unquestioning acceptance of everything professors say in class. “At other schools students question more” (DU, 12 Nov. 1983). Academic vice-president Robert K. Thomas suggested in 1971 that undergradutes do not challenge their teachers because faculty are fellow brothers in the gospel who would not intentionally mislead them. “There is a tendency for teachers to indulge students and for students to indulge teachers,” he explained. Religion professor Hugh Nibley once wrote, “What one most misses in our Utah institutions is that air of intellectual candor, that free and searching discussion of the schoolmen, . . . which is the principal delight and, in the end, the main justification of institutions of higher learning.” Yet others, such as BYU psychologist Allen Bergin, would counter that “academic gamesmanship is not our bag. Let [visiting lecturers] be clear that we do not accept standard academic premises. We will not play by their rules. We have better ones” (BYU Today, May 1977). Church president Spencer W. Kimball stressed in 1980, “BYU must be a bastion against the invading ideologies that seek control of curriculum as well as classroom;” while BYU president Jeffrey Holland echoed two years later: “We will do things superbly well, but we will do them our way. [p. 346] Our models are not ‘of the world’–not in science, not in art, not in journalism, not in dress or grooming or behavior. At BYU we will do things a better way.”8

The University’s View Of Intellectualism

In many ways, BYU is indebted to the religious revivals beginning in the mid-1820s for the suspicion regarding intellectual activity which occasionally surfaces at the school. Historians have shown that the Second Great Awakening, from which Mormonism emerged, was in essence a protest against the professionalism of the Congregational and Presbyterian churches, as well as against the scholarship of divinity schools, especially Harvard (see Hofstadter). As a product of his time, the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith, manifested a similar predilection. “An unlearned boy must give you a little Hebrew,” the prophet remarked after studying Hebrew under a private tutor in Kirtland, Ohio. “I want to show a little learning as well as other fools” (Teachings). Some have asserted that Smith was essentially an intellectual because of his social, political, and economic experiments. But non-Mormon historian Lawrence Foster has aptly shown that the fundamental organization of the early Mormon community was authoritarian, and that it sprang from a “conservative religious impulse” rather than from a liberal scholarly curiosity.9

While the best-known example of early Mormon schools was the nineteenth-century School of the Prophets, at which the church’s male priesthood received instructions directly from Joseph Smith and other ranking leaders, an ambitious attempt was made in the early Mormon city of Nauvoo, Illinois, to establish a university. At the time, most Mormons were uneducated “even by the modest standards of mid-nineteenth century America,” according to western historian Charles S. Peterson. To serve as president of the university, a non-Mormon graduate of Trinity College in Dublin, James Kelly, was hired. A graduate of Union College and Baptist Theological Seminary in New York, Orson Spencer–perhaps the only Mormon with a college degree at the time–joined Apostle Orson Pratt, John C. Bennett, and a handful of others to comprise the faculty of this university (BYU 1:8-12). Expressing a common ambivalence about higher education, Spencer announced several years later that “the boy that drives an ox team from Council Bluffs [Nebraska] to Salt Lake City acquire[s] more amplitude of intellect than by two years of drilling dead Latin” (in Buchanan). Rudimentary classes were offered in such subjects as English literature, mathematics, and music, while classes were announced in chemistry, astronomy, and philosophy, although it is not certain if these were ever actually conducted. Notably absent from the schedule of classes were [p. 347] courses in theology. Nor was the university able to boast either a campus or a library (French).10

Joseph Smith’s pragmatic successor as president, Brigham Young, reported on one occasion that he “never went to school but eleven days in [his] life.” Reflecting his background as a carpenter and glazier, Young encouraged vocational education and warned against superfluous learning. “We should seek substantial information, and trust little to that so-called learning that is based upon theory,” he affirmed (JD 9:369). He was especially antagonistic toward “the theories of [Thomas] Huxley, [Charles] Darwin, [and John Stuart] Mill,” but also preached against literary fiction, specifically citing the works of Charles Dickens as examples of what faithful Mormons should avoid (Jessee, p. 314; JD 9:173). Young encouraged instead the study of languages, history, Mormon theology, art, music, achitecture, agriculture, business, chemistry, and astronomy, and even recommended “science,” although only in the sense of scientific technology, or “mechanics,” rather than theoretical science (in Clark; Bitton). Only reluctantly did Young endorse the study of medicine, which, he said, was “just as easy to learn as . . . to plant potatoes,” and the study of law, if it prevented young men from “wasting their time” (in Clark; JD 12:31-32). He also sometimes mentioned the study of philosophy, but always in the context of developing a home-grown Mormon philosophy that would outshine gentile sophistry (Bitton; JD 12:122-23).11

Because of the demands of pioneer life, Utah education from the mid-1840s to the 1870s was largely “a hit or miss affair” that “took second place in most Latter-day Saint settlements” (Peterson; Arrington). When secondary schools were established in the late 1860s, communities had to rely on non-Mormons to instruct their children because too few capable Mormon teachers could be found (“A New Community”). Although the University of Deseret was founded in 1850, three years after the pioneers arrived, it closed its doors the next year and existed only on paper for nearly two decades (Buchanan). When Brigham Young began a concerted campaign of endowing Mormon academies in the mid-1870s, of which the Provo academy emerged pre-eminent, it was because of the plethora of Catholic and Protestant academies already in existence in Utah. Despite an overwhelmingly Mormon populace, non-Mormon groups throughout the territory were operating nearly 200 denominational schools by 1888, including eighteen academies–compared to only ten Mormon academies–and enrolling some 7,000 students, more than half of whom came from Mormon homes (Annual Report; Quinn). Through the efforts of Mormons and non-Mormons alike, Utah emerged as an example of frontier literacy. However, the anti-intellectual undercurrent persisted. Brigham Young’s successor, John Taylor, once [p. 348] observed that all scientists could do was “leap in the dark,” and that philosophers were “ignorant, learned fools,” whose “foolish, dreamy” speculations were mere “fried froth” (JD 20:119). During Taylor’s presidency, students who matriculated at Utah academies began expressing an interest in pursuing graduate work at eastern colleges, but were often advised against it because the experience might “corrupt” their faith (“Limits of Learning;” BYU 1:394-95).12

Not until 1951 did a college graduate stand at the head of the Mormon church. President David O. McKay held a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Utah. Twenty years earlier, when Joseph F. Merrill was appointed to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, some critics complained that “another college man has been added to the council” (in Talmage to Harris). This lingering suspicion of scholarship undermined the effects of an otherwise pro-education position in Utah and affected most institutions of higher learning in the state. At the turn of the century, debate was banned at all church schools, then re-allowed in 1900 for older students who would agree not to debate “any truth of revealed religion.” Ten years later, BYU’s favorite orator, the “silvery tongued” Charles Schwencke, was denied permission to compete in a state forensics contest because school officials found his topic too probing (WB, 20 April 1910). One BYU student later observed in 1935 that “all this coddling and pampering, this powdering of students with talcum and then wrapping in cotton, produces in the student body two classes. The majority are yes-men, and the others quiet cynics. . . . The bright ones,” he lamented, “have become the quiet cynics.”13

One of the first signs that BYU students were beginning to flex their intellectual muscles was probably the organization in 1941 of an independent discussion group known as “Associated Intellects.” This progressive, albeit self-congratulatory group was followed in later years by intellectual “cells,” independent “breakfast groups,” “bull-session” clubs, private “fireside” groups, and clandestine “study groups.” Sensing the need for this kind of organization, the Honors Program provided its students in the 1960s with a program called “Coffee House,” where loosely organized “reading groups” could meet for informal, mental jousting. Since the mid-1980s, university officials have provided honors students with comfortably furnished discussion rooms to further spontaneous interaction on current issues. In the late 1950s, before the creation of the Honors Program, the intellectual environment on campus was greatly enhanced by BYU’s participation with the University of Utah and Utah State University in a “Religion Series” speakers program, including, for example, University of Utah philosopher Waldemer Read’s 1958 address on “Conceptions of God.” Unfortunately, the Religion Series did not continue into the 1960s. But in 1959, BYU dean of students Wesley P. Lloyd, [p. 349] an alumnus of the University of Chicago Divinity School, organized a committee of faculty and students known as the Academic Emphasis Committee to sponsor similar lectures. Over a period of six years, Lloyd’s committee featured addresses by at least four nationally acclaimed philosophers and authors, debates between liberal and conservative Mormons, and other presentations involving viewpoints otherwise not heard on campus. In 1963, the Academic Emphasis Committee’s featured lecturer was Harvard University’s David Riesman, author of The Lonely Crowd. The following year, the committee brought to campus longshoreman and philosopher Eric Hoffer, author of The True Believer and Ordeal of Change, among others. “There is a sign on the door of my mind,” Hoffer told students, “that says, ‘Any idea that wants to can come in and perform.'” The Daily Universe reported that students “crammed the aisles, stacked the walls, and climbed over television cameras to literally sit at Eric Hoffer’s feet.” Other guest lecturers sponsored by the committee included New York University professor of anthropology Ashley Montagu, and Protestant theologian Nels Ferre, who reminded students, “You have forgotten God when not smoking and drinking becomes your religion.”14

Among the debates sponsored by the Academic Emphasis Committee was a thoughtful exchange between University of Utah dean of students Lowell Bennion and BYU philosopher Chauncey Riddle regarding “The Liberal and Conservative View of Mormonism.” The two participants concluded that liberal Mormons tend to stress the spirit of ecclesiastical law rather than the letter of the law, submitting everything to “the test of reason.” Conservatives, on the other hand, were said to submit to priesthood authority, whether right or wrong, and to emphasize faith over intellect. Another lively debate sponsored by Academic Emphasis pitted University of Utah philosopher Sterling McMurrin against BYU professor of ancient scripture Hugh Nibley, discussing “The Nature of Man.” The two professors, well known in Utah for their disparate views, drew an overflow audience in the George Albert Smith Fieldhouse. “How,” Nibley quoted Brigham Young, “can you know if what I’m telling you is the truth? You can’t unless you’ve received revelation.” McMurrin responded, “Even revelation must be judged at the bar of reason, and a failure to understand this is a failure to understand Mormonism.” McMurrin said he doubted that Brigham Young University had been founded “for the purpose of encouraging revelation” over reason.15

One explanation for the popularity of the Academic Emphasis Committee’s lectures and debates was a prevailing dissatisfaction with BYU’s regular Forum speaker offering. Because of the potential of introducing students to new ideas, Forum speakers could have contributed heavily to the intellectual life of campus. Instead, the [p. 350] narrow selection of speakers may have created, in some students, even less tolerance for new ideas (see, for example, the consideration of political persuasion in speaker clearance discussed in Chapter 5). Speakers rejected for reasons other than political viewpoints, beginning in the 1960s, included Al Capp, Dick Van Dyke, and Bob Hope–all of whom school officials feared would broach sensitive topics in their addresses, ranging from birth control to pre-marital sex (see Speakers Committee Minutes). Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, a Mormon, was not allowed to speak on campus in the 1960s because of his stand on the church’s exclusion of blacks from priesthood ordination. Whitney Young and William Stringfellow were rejected for fear they would address racial issues. Erskin Caldwell was not approved, apparently because of the content of his novels. In 1966, professors in the College of Social Sciences complained to the administration that there had never been a reputable social scientist featured in a Forum address (Bernhard to Wilkinson). Actually, there had been several respected social scientists at Forum assemblies over the years, including Will Durant, Theodore H. White, Henry Kissinger, and Margaret Mead. But these speakers were not indicative of the general caliber of guest lecturers. Officials agreed to make a more concerted effort to increase the number of well-known anthropologists, historians, and economists addressing Forum assemblies. Those since brought to campus have included L. S. B. Leaky, David Halberstam, Daniel Boorstin, Milton Friedman, and Sidney Ahlstrom. Nevertheless, appearances by such figures still remained the exception rather than the rule, and attendance at Forum addresses fell to below 15 percent in the 1970s. President Oaks appointed a Forum Subcommittee in 1973 to consider methods of increasing student interest. But instead of inviting speakers representing a wider range of viewpoints, the committee recommended that more BYU faculty be invited to address Forum audiences, thinking that local professors could speak on topics that were more relevant to the student body. An increasing number of Forum addresses were thereafter delivered by BYU professors, but attendance at Forums continued to sag. Oaks accused the student body of giving “evidence of a lack of intellectual curiosity” by their absence. A Daily Universe editorialist replied, “If the Forum assemblies are to provide an insight into world events and make us more aware of life, they fail…. ‘History, Satan, and the Search for Happiness’ can hardly be said to be reflective of modern life in the United States or any other country. . . . Whatever became of the energy crisis, consumer protection, inflation, and the Middle East?”16

Until the mid-1960s, students had been periodically treated to Forum and Devotional addresses by clergymen and scholars representing other religious beliefs, including ministers from the Episcopal, Baptist, and United Church of Christ denominations, Jewish rabbis, [p. 351] and Buddhist priests. Since 1965, BYU has evidently allowed only one other religious viewpoint expression in a Forum or devotional address when a professor from Brown University argued for ecumenical understanding in 1977. Typically, the most prominent Forum speakers have been government officials, including two U.S. presidents, four U.S. vice-presidents, and two Supreme Court justices. The school has hosted a handful of well-known poets and authors over a 100-year span, including William Butler Yeats, Carl Sandburg, Ogden Nash, Theodore Dreiser, Robert Frost, Pearl Buck, and Jorges Luis Borges. Three Nobel laureates in physics and medicine have spoken at Forum assemblies. Some of the most popular speakers have included conservative columnist and editor William F. Buckley; Malcolm Muggeridge, editor of the British humor magazine, Punch; Olympic star Jesse Owens; and leader of the Ra and Kon Tiki expeditions, Thor Heyerdahl.17

Although speakers have been usually notified before visiting campus about appropriate topics and the use of expletives, several have unintentionally offended the sensitivities of their audience, such as when Robert Townsend, author of Up the Organization, used profanity in a Forum address and was interrupted by President Oaks, who warned, “That’s one.” On other occasions, when profanity has been used or the topic of sex has been mentioned, students have either “reacted with horror” or attempted to suppress their laughter by coughing (DU, 17 Oct. 1962). When ASBYU officials sponsored a lecture by Catholic sociologist Thomas O’Dea, author of The Mormons, many students were surprised to hear him mention “discrepancies” in Mormon theology. In a question-and-answer session afterwards, one student demanded to know if O’Dea had “ever gotten down on [his] knees and asked God if the Book of Mormon is true [or] if Joseph Smith was a prophet?” Similarly, when Pearl Buck discussed her respect for oriental religions, she was afterwards drilled by students on her beliefs in Christianity and Mormonism (DU, 24 Oct. 1967). The Mormon founder of Dialogue magazine, Eugene England, was asked following his 1967 address, “What right do you have to doubt or question what you are told by authority?” England was also asked if he “use[d] prayer as a guide in planning each publication.”18

Because one apparent criterion for approving Forum guests was their predictability in avoiding controversy, the Honors Program began sponsoring addresses from about 1974 by speakers less hesitant to discuss current issues. Klaus Baer, professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, was featured as an Honors Program speaker at a time when Joseph Smith’s translation of Egyptian papyri was coming under renewed scrutiny. In the 1970s, the philosophy department initiated a Marketplace Lecture series with visitors and BYU professors addressing topics ranging from zionism to organic evolution. The most [p. 352] significant development affecting the intellectual climate on campus in the 1970s was the founding in 1976 of the Flea Market lecture series by BYU’s General Education Committee. Flea Market symposia, which have continued to the present, have drawn exclusively from the faculty of BYU for speakers, but have focused on scholarly, contemporary issues without an attempt to avoid controversy. Lectures have included “Bioethics: Morality and Control of Life,” “Artist Hitler, Poet Mao,” “The Theater as an Instrument for Revolutionary Thought,” “New Strategies of Reproduction,” “Guilty but Mentally Ill,” “Male-Female Differences: It’s All in Your Head,” and “The Modern American Food Supply: Is it Hazardous to Your Health?”19

Research and Creativity

An important indicator of the intellectual life of any university is the quantity and quality of research conducted by its faculty. BYU’s output has been handicapped because of official administrative restraints on the amount of federal funds permitted. Furthermore, priority has frequently been accorded research which seeks to validate Mormon religious teachings. Still, some faculty have made significant contributions to both scholarship and science. The first concerns over the amount of federal money received occurred after Congress passed the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and after subsequent Executive Orders disallowed research contracts for organizations which discriminated in hiring. Although BYU’s Board of Trustees had opposed federal loan money for students as early as 1959, trustees had instructed President Wilkinson in 1961 to apply for a federal grant to cover the construction of a life sciences building. In addition, the school had become a certifying agent for federal Basic Education Opportunity Grants, overseeing the disbursement of federal loans to some 20 per cent of the student body. As federal agencies became increasingly adamant about requiring affirmative action in hiring in the early 1970s, the Board of Trustees placed a ceiling of approximately $l.5 million per year on the amount of federal research aid BYU would allow its faculty. This assured that the school could withstand a sudden withdrawal of federal funds should its hiring practices be successfully challenged. In 1977, President Oaks reported to members of the Board of Trustees that BYU ranked 429th among universities and colleges receiving federal funds that year, although the school had accepted slightly more than $l.5 million. For the same year, Utah State University had received $11 million in federal funds, the University of Utah $36 million, and Harvard $77 million. BYU’s total in federal funds and private donations combined had amounted to only $3.5 million. Most of this was applied to projects in the colleges of engineering and technology, biological and agricultural sciences, and physical and [p. 353] mathematical sciences. In 1981, BYU replaced its ceiling on federal funds with a limit on the amount of time a faculty member could spend on federally funded research projects. Additional relaxing of the university’s policies may be realized over time.20

Perhaps the earliest scholarly work undertaken by a Brigham Young University professor was The Scientific Aspects of Mormonism, written at the turn of the century by Nels L. Nelson of the English department. In 1921, BYU established a Research Division and financed the publication of Fruits of Mormonism by President Franklin Harris and Newburn Butt of the library staff (Thomas). BYU also undertook a study of the health effects of smoking (YN, 9 April 1924). Lowry Nelson, director of the university’s Extension Division, received support from the Research Division to make a sociological study of Escalante, Utah, which was favorably reviewed in the New York Times. The incidental exposure to the university resulting from the review prompted President Harris to remark that “it shows what a little research work can mean” to the school. The following year, BYU zoologist Vasco Tanner released a technical pamphlet entitled, “A Preliminary Study of the Genitalia of Female Coleoptera [Beetles].” Tanner’s monograph seems to have marked the beginning of scholarly research involving topics unrelated to Mormon theology and culture.21

Much has been made at BYU of the accomplishments of Philo Farnsworth, Carl Eyring, Harvey Fletcher, and Tracy Hall–perhaps the most renowned research scientists to have been affiliated with the school. However, the research for which these four men are best known was conducted either before or after their stays at BYU. Philo Farnsworth, for example, was an undergraduate at Brigham Young University in the early 1920s. Unable to find financial support for his studies or research, Farnsworth dropped out of school and moved to San Francisco, where he was sponsored by a regent of the University of California. At the age of twenty-three, Farnsworth transmitted the world’s first television image. During his life, he was awarded approximately 100 patents for inventions related to television reception. Carl Eyring’s principal research was performed in the 1930s at Bell Telephone Laboratories, where he helped perfect motion picture sound tracks. While at BYU, Eyring’s time was largely consumed by administrative duties as chair of the physics department and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Harvey Fletcher’s work was also realized at Bell Laboratories in the field of accoustics. During his thirteen years with Bell, Fletcher secured twenty patents. After coming to BYU in the early 1950s, and becoming chair of the engineering department, Fletcher’s interest turned to synthesized music. However, it was in recognition for his work at Bell Laboratories that Fletcher received the Founders’ Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and election to the National Academy of Science. Fletcher remains [p. 354] one of only two BYU professors ever to have been named to this prestigious academy. Recently, Dell K. Allen, professor of technology, whose research has been in the area of computer-aided design and manufacturing, was named to the Academy of Engineering, a branch of the National Academy of Science. While employed by General Electric Research Laboratories, Tracy Hall invented a device known as “The Belt,” which created temperatures and pressures necessary to convert graphite into diamonds. When hired by BYU in 1955, Hall circumvented patents on his former machine held by General Electric by inventing a similar device, the Tetrahedral Anvil Press, which also produced industrial diamonds. For his inventions, Hall received the Modern Pioneers in Creative Industry award from the National Association of Manufacturers and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention. At BYU, Hall has collaborated with other professors in continuing experiments with high temperatures and pressures. Clearly, however, his most important work dates from his years at the G. E. Laboratory.22

Research in the physical sciences emerged slowly at Brigham Young University because of lack of laboratory space and the prohibitive cost of state-of-the-art equipment. When Rex Goates, later dean of the College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, was appointed to the faculty in the late 1940s, he converted an available restroom into a primitive thermodynamics laboratory. BYU has since improved its laboratory facilities to the point that many campus buildings now contain as much research space as teaching space, and departments have been provided with such sophisticated equipment as an electron microscope, a magnetic resonance spectrometer, an anechoic sound chamber, a high-velocity wind tunnel, a small nuclear accelerator, and a laboratory-size nuclear reactor. The increase in facilities over the past thirty years has been accompanied by a similar increase in faculty accomplishments, especially since the mid-1970s when the university announced that faculty could substitute research time for professional development (sabbatical) leave. A review of the successes of various faculty research projects illustrates BYU’s increasing competence in this area.23

One of the most productive departments on campus for its size has been the Department of Geology. Willis Brimhall, for example, is credited with inventing an inexpensive radiometric dating method which reportedly “remove[s] much of the mistrust of dating ancient rocks in the earth’s crust.” The paleontological work of James (“Dinosaur Jim”) Jensen has received international recognition (see Chapter 4). Faculty in the Department of Chemistry have made contributions to the study of cancer, among other significant projects. In the physics department, calculations have been made regarding the brightness, color, and distance from the earth of pulsating stars, with [p. 355] information gained from the department’s West Mountain Observatory. Considerable sums have been expended by the physics department, along with a $300,000 church grant, to test a theoretical means of containing compressed gasses during fusion. Thus far, however, the department has succeeded in containing the gaseous “plasma” resulting from fusion for only a fraction of a second.24

In the engineering sciences, where BYU has realized the most accelerated progress in research, James Christensen (chemical engineering) has invented a high pressure calorimeter used in laboratories throughout the world. Hank Christensen (electrical engineering) is author of a sophisticated computer graphics program used across the United States. A major research project in the College of Engineering Sciences and Technology, directed by professors Geoffrey J. Germane and L. Douglas Smoot, has involved a search for alternative fuel sources in coal, oil shale, and tar sands. In the biological sciences, microbiology professor Richard Sagers is responsible for the invention of an inexpensive cell homogenizing press used in studying bacterial enzyme systems. Agronomy professor Raymond Farnsworth first discovered that sage brush and cactus produce nitrogen-fixing nodules on their roots, similar to alfalfa and soybeans. In addition, the College of Biological Sciences sponsors the Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute, which has aided some Latin and South American farmers in raising rabbits and guinea pigs, and has experimented with small acreage farming. Professors in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, working through the BYU American Indian Services and Research Institute, have succeeded in helping American Indians modernize and expand many of their farming practices. With equipment donated by the Ford Motor Company and the W. K. Kellog Foundation, approximately ten thousand Indians have been aided in bringing as many acres under cultivation. One of the most unusual experiments conducted by the College of Biological Sciences was a 1958 study of the biological effects of an hallucinogenic mushroom. In isolating the psychotropic chemicals contained in the fungus, scientists had to ingest the chemicals–although the professor supervising the study insisted that he left this part of the experiment to colleagues at other schools. Twenty-five years later, a BYU professor undertook a similar study of the effects of marijuana on the endocrine system, using rats as subjects.25

In the social sciences, DeLamar Jensen (history) received professional applause when he deciphered the Spanish diplomatic code used in correspondence between King Philip II and his sixteenth-century ambassador to France. Richard Bushman (history) authored From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765, which was awarded the prestigious Bancroft honorarium, issued annually by Columbia University for major contributions to [p. 356] American history. William Wilson (history) received a national award for his publication, Folklore and Nationalism in Modern Finland. Terrance D. Olson, professor of family sciences, was awarded a $185,000 grant from Congress in 1982 to help implement an educational program in public schools designed to curb teenage pregnancy. Faculty in the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology have been responsible for a number of significant finds in Mesoamerica (see Chapter 2), and have helped excavate the remains of an early Mormon city, Nauvoo, Illinois. In the field of religion, Kent Brown, professor of ancient scripture, received funding from the American Research Center in Egypt to translate Coptic inscriptions on pottery shards and was awarded a major grant to microfilm ancient Egyptian monastic manuscripts. Wilfred Griggs, a colleague in the same department, aided a research team that uncovered Coptic textiles, pottery, and several mummies along Egypt’s “pyramid row.” Additionally, Brown and Griggs were responsible for the first English translation of the Apocalypse of Peter, part of the Nag Hammadi collection.26

In other areas, music professor Thomas Mathiesen has transcribed early fragments of Greek music, thereby preserving part of Euripides’s Iphigenia in Aulis; a team of professors in the Graduate School of Management has perfected auditing techniques to monitor business fraud; professors in education have developed a reading placement test used throughout the world; and BYU linguists have produced a grammar of the Quechua Indian language. Increasingly, research at BYU has been coordinated through some nineteen research centers and institutes, and five endowed research chairs. There is also an expanding number of visiting professor chairs on campus, including the J. Fish Smith Chair of Economics and the Camilla Eyring Kimball Chair of Family Sciences.27

In the arts, BYU faculty have also made noteworthy contributions. In the 1920s, musician Robert Sauer composed the popular “Springtime in the Rockies.” For his song, Sauer earned sufficient royalties to purchase a house and a new automobile. In the early 1930s, art professor Bent F. Larsen was honored by being allowed to exhibit a painting at the exclusive Spring Salon in Paris. In 1947, music professor Leroy J. Robertson received the $25,000 first-place prize in the international Reichhold competition for his symphony, “Trilogy.” Crawford Gates later placed first in the national Max Wald Memorial competition for his “Symphony Number One.” Original compositions by Ralph Laycock, Merrill Bradshaw, and post-avantgardist David Sargent have been performed by national symphonies and other nationally known performing groups since the mid-1950s. At the 1955 Cannes International Film Festival, art professor Glen Turner was awarded a special amateur filmmaker citation for his short subject, “One Summer Day.” BYU artist Dallas J. Anderson received a [p. 357] commission from the Danish Royal Academy in 1967 to create a sculpture for the churchyard of the Strandmark Kirche near Copenhagen. BYU’s poet-in-residence, Clinton F. Larson, has authored several plays and poetry which have been performed and published internationally. Jean R. Jenkins, of the theater department, was named Poet of the Year in 1974 by South and West, an international poetry organization. Two years later, John S. Harris’s collection of short stories, Barbed Wire, was selected by the United States Information Agency as part of its international display commemorating the bicentennial of the United States. Max Golightly’s poetic “Heritage” won the Grand Prize from the National Federation of State Poetry Societies in 1978. English professor Don Marshall’s short story, “Christmas Snows, Christmas Winds,” was adapted for national television that same year. French professor Jon D. Green’s translations of the dramatic works of French playwright Moliere have been widely performed at college campuses. Emmy award-winning director and professor of theater Tad Z. Danielewski, who, as a non-Mormon, joined the faculty in 1975, was named a voting member of the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1977.28

In 1975, Dallin Oaks advised the faculty that “where the textbooks available for teaching in a particular area do not measure up to the standards we desire, whether because of inadequate professional content, values inferior to our own, or because of failure to treat matters of value that we believe to be relevant for that subject matter, . . . colleges and departments [should] manage their resources so that this significant omission [may] be repaired as soon as possible by our own scholars.” Because of the sometimes parochial nature of the textbooks authored by BYU faculty, few have found acceptance beyond Provo. There have been notable exceptions, however. Professor of Mechanical Engineering Blaine Andersen’s The Analysis and Design of Pneumatic Systems has been adopted internationally. BYU psychologist Paul Robinson’s Fundamentals of Experimental Psychology has been used at over 300 universities across the United States. Professor of Educational Administration Percy Burrup’s The Teacher and the Public School System has become popular nationally, as has Gary Smith’s business education text Display and Promotion, which has been translated into Spanish for use in South America.29

One of the most consistent areas of research emphasis at BYU has been demonstrating the academic rationality of Mormon beliefs. Two of the university’s earliest research institutes were the Institute of Church Studies (1957) and the Institute of Mormon Studies (1964). The former was established “for the purpose, in part, of assisting the General Authorities in research and other problems”–which often meant the compilation of material for speeches; the latter was to provide the church with doctrinal studies, generally intended for exclusive [p. 358] use by church leaders, although the institute did publish one collection of essays, To the Glory of God: Mormon Essays on Great Issues (1972). In 1965, a Book of Mormon Institute was founded, which produced three motion pictures for use in the church’s missionary program: “Ancient America Speaks,” “The First Vision,” and the “Coming Forth of the Book of Mormon.” The institute’s first director, religion professor Paul Cheesman, also arranged to bring to campus the 2,000-pound Costa Rican, “pre-Columbian stone ball” which currently adorns the entrance to the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. When the ball was brought to campus in 1974, Cheesman was quoted saying that he thought the artifact was “around one thousand years old, but we have no way of telling because there is nothing to carbon date. . . . As far as I know,” he then added, “we are the only ones who have this sort of pre-Columbian rock available for display.”30

In 1976, the university’s various religious institutes were consolidated into a single Center for Religious Studies, with dean of Religious Studies Jeffrey R. Holland as director. The center soon became known for its symposia featuring guest lecturers describing the beliefs of Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and early Christianity, with comparisons to Mormonism. Proceedings of the symposia have been published in a Religious Studies Center Monograph Series, which BYU philosopher Truman G. Madsen has termed “a real potboiler” because of its ease in production and sustained sales (BYU Today, Dec. 1981). Madsen is affiliated with the Religious Studies Center as the first occupant of the Richard L. Evans Chair of Christian Understanding, providing colleges and universities across the country with access to an informed lecturer on Mormonism. As such, Madsen has served as a kind of public relations intermediary and spokesperson for both the church and university. During his first year as Evans Professor, he lectured on Mormonism at sixty college campuses and taught a class on Mormonism at the Graduate Theological Union at the University of California at Berkeley.31

Other campus research groups have reflected similar interests in defending and articulating Mormon tenets. The Institute for Studies in Values and Human Behavior was established, according to its director, Allen Bergin, to “involve theory construction beginning with the scriptures as a basic frame of reference” and specifically identifying “what effect the teaching that man is the offspring of God has on behavior.” (See Chapter 2 for the demise of this institute.) A Moral Studies group, consisting of English professor Arthur Henry King and philosophy professor C. Terry Warner, was organized in the 1970s under Dallin Oaks but dismantled under Oaks’s successor when it became apparent that the professors did not intend to publish their views on morality for peer review but were restricting their presentations of Mormon-based ethics to relatively uncritical campus and [p. 359] church audiences. Similarly, the BYU Translation Sciences Institute had as its goal the development of simultaneous foreign translations of talks by church authorities. One member of the research team told the Daily Universe, “As with some of the others on the project, it’s been almost a spiritual call [for me]. . . . It’s been a very spiritual year.” After ten years of discouraging results, however, the institute was relocated off campus as a more traditional and independent translation company. Other institutes with Mormon or Christian emphases have continued on campus, including a Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature, which sponsors writing contests with Christian themes, and, to some degree, the David O. McKay Institute of Education, which was founded to research ways of teaching moral values. The Center for International and Area Studies (1978) announced as its first symposium: “The Literature of Belief: The Expression of the Religious Experience in Sacred Texts.”32

Religious emphasis has also been apparent in many of the thesis and dissertation topics addressed by graduate students in academic departments. The titles of two dissertations accepted by the Department of Educational Psychology were “Member Missionary Involvement in the LDS Church” (1978) and “The Book of Mormon and the Conversion Process to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Study of Recent Converts” (1977). A dissertation in a second department was “The Communicational Functions of Wearing Apparel for Lady Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (1982). As noted in Chapter 2, students in some departments have been dissuaded from researching topics that could be considered problematic for the church. As one professor confessed in a 1981 student guide to BYU, “I have experienced an extreme anxiety on the part of the BYU administration that certain types of research might provide results embarrassing to the brethren, some of the brethren, or the church, and that certain categories of research should be avoided. ‘Don’t threaten the hand that feeds you,’ [we are told].”33


Some faculty have felt their role to be that of an apologist rather than a critical, impartial scholar. (See Chapter 2 for additional discussion.) As an example, in 1980, two BYU statisticians, Wayne A. Larsen and Alvin C. Rencher, announced that they had conducted a computerized wordprint analysis of the Book of Mormon and had discovered that the odds against Joseph Smith having written the sacred work himself were one billion to one. The results of their study were published in BYU Studies, reported in the Church News and the Daily Universe, and recounted in a university Forum assembly. Later, Larsen’s and Rencher’s theoretical approach was shown to have [p. 360] contained major flaws, but the criticisms did not receive wide publicity. Instead, Larsen’s and Rencher’s study was repeated by BYU statistics graduate student Brian Roberts, with Larsen and Rencher as advisors. The second investigation addressed some, but not all of the problems relating to the original study. For example, the student resolved the problems of Larsen’s and Rencher’s use in their analysis of the current edition of the Book of Mormon, instead of the original version, containing some 4,000 differences in wording; the use of such archaic words as “behold” and “yea” in determining word-use patterns; and the use of heavily edited and partially ghost-written prose erroneously ascribed to Joseph Smith. But the student did not consider the problem of Joseph Smith’s apparent imitation of the style of the King James Bible in dictating the Book of Mormon, or of selecting such “Book of Mormon authors” as Isaiah and Jesus, whose writings in the Book of Mormon are frequently quoted verbatim from the King James Bible. A more useful comparision, perhaps, would have matched Book of Mormon wordprints against Doctrine and Covenants wordprints, the Doctrine and Covenants having been penned in a similar style as the Book of Mormon, but representing God’s word to Joseph Smith rather than to ancient prophets. Yet, despite the problems in the student’s analysis, his thesis claimed to have produced “significant” evidence that “no one individual could have authored the text” of the Book of Mormon.34

A second example of the zeal exhibited by some faculty in defending Mormonism was the diversion created by religion professor Hugh Nibley when the Book of Abraham papyri were discovered in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1967. Nibley, a son of Presiding Bishop Charles W. Nibley, had joined BYU’s faculty in 1946, quickly earning a reputation as a brilliant, eccentric academic with a wry, sometimes stinging wit. In the minds of many of his devotees, Nibley epitomized learning for its own sake. Yet the absence of critical peer review on campus, together with a penchant for making extravagant claims, made the temptation for Nibley to simply dismiss outside scholars as secular crusaders almost irresistible. His approach to the Book of Abraham is a case in point.

Joseph Smith purchased the papyri, from which he reportedly translated the Book of Abraham scripture, from a private collector in 1835. When the papyri were rediscovered in the mid-1960s, Nibley admitted, “LDS scholars [were] caught flatfooted by this discovery,” and expressed his fear that if the papyri were analyzed by impartial Egyptologists, such scholars would “bury the church in criticism.” Having had three classes in Egyptology, Nibley was assigned by church leaders to study the papyri when they were presented to the church by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Not yet confident in Egyptian,” Nibley later explained, “I frankly skirmished [p. 361] and sparred for time, making the most of those sources which support the Book of Abraham from another side, the recent and growing writing, ancient and modern, about the forgotten legends and traditions of Abraham.” Nibley began a series of articles for the church’s Improvement Era magazine, ostensibly explaining the significance of the discovered papyri, but focusing on other apocryphal works. He did not address the text of the discovered fragments until his twenty-seventh installment, over two years later, and then only superficially.35

Nibley’s series began with a blistering tirade on pseudo-academics, who Nibley characterized as those who claim exclusive knowledge in any subject based on scholarly credentials. Nibley informed his readers that biologists had been able to propagate the theory of evolution only by precluding the opinions of those who did not hold degrees in the hard sciences (Improvement Era, Jan. 1968). In his second installment, Nibley admitted that a knowledge of Egyptian would be helpful in determining the accuracy of Joseph Smith’s translation of the Book of Abraham but insisted that more was necessary. “Degrees and credentials are largely irrelevant where a problem calls for more information than any one department can supply or than can be packaged into any one or a dozen degrees,” he wrote. (All of Nibley’s articles were by-lined “Dr. Hugh Nibley.”) Meanwhile, Nibley allowed his former teacher, Klaus Baer, associate professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, to examine and translate the apparent source of the Book of Abraham for the independent Mormon journal, Dialogue. Baer identified the text as the ancient Egyptian “Breathing Permit of Hor.” It read, “Here begins the Breathing Permit, which Isis made for her brother Osiris in order to . . . revive his corpse, and to make his body young again.” Simultaneously, Nibley wrote in his series, “This writer [Nibley] is anything but an Egyptologist, yet he has stood on the sidelines long enough to know that there is no case to be made against the Book of Abraham on linguistic grounds.” Nibley explained that Joseph Smith’s translation of the papyri could have been based solely on the accompanying facsimilies, or illustrations, and not on the hieratic text. “We cannot pretend to understand how the Book of Abraham was translated,” Nibley asserted (Improvement Era, Aug, 1968). Indeed, many Mormons believe that the Book of Abraham was given to Joseph Smith by direct revelation, and that he did not translate it from any available text.36

In Nibley’s final installment, he wrote, “You scholars have spoken; why don’t you do the honest thing and admit that you don’t know a blessed thing about the facsimiles, that you haven’t made even a superficial study of them either to examine the categories to which they belong or the peculiarities of the individual documents?” Egyptologists who studied the Book of Abraham facsimiles, including [p. 362] John A. Wilson, Andrew MacLeish Distinguished Service Professor of Egyptology at the University of Chicago, and Richard A. Parker, chair of the Department of Egyptology at Brown University, agreed that the Book of Abraham facsimilies dealt with common themes, such as the jackal-headed god Anubis ministering to the deceased Osiris, lying on a bier in the act of copulation with his sister Isis, hovering nearby in the form of a bird. The head of Anubis and the Osiris phallus were evidently missing from the facsimile when the papyri were acquired by Joseph Smith. The details which appeared in the Book of Abraham illustrations were clearly added by Joseph Smith (Parker; Ashment). Nibley claimed that the facsimiles did not necessarily portray standard scenes, although he admitted that most of the deviations from the norm were indeed provided by Joseph Smith (“A Response”). He argued, however, that the lost fragments were probably available to the prophet, and that no one can know what occupied the missing portions. Challenged on this topic several years later, Nibley cheerfully back-paddled, “I refuse to be held responsible for anything I wrote more than three years ago.” He added, “You can never say, and I will keep repeating everlastingly, that the final reports are in and we have heard from all the precincts. The thing is full of surprises.”37

Nibley repeatedly declined to address the hieratic text which accompanied the Book of Abraham facsimilies, insisting instead that because the text did not translate into the Book of Abraham, it could therefore not be its source. If Joseph Smith did translate the Book of Abraham from the Breathing Permit of Hor, Nibley wrote in Dialogue, “it was by a process which quite escapes the understanding of the specialists and lies in the realm of the imponderable.” Shortly after his Improvement Era series, Nibley published The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment in an attempt to demonstrate that, although the papyri did not seem to have any relationship to the Book of Abraham, they could relate somehow to the Mormon temple endowment. More recently, Edward Ashment, a University of Chicago-trained Egyptologist, has argued that based on available historical evidence, Joseph Smith clearly used the Breathing Permit of Hor in producing the Book of Abraham, a conclusion Nibley undoubtedly realized was inevitable if left for other scholars. While there may have been some value in postponing the conclusion that the papyri did not translate into the Book of Abraham, Nibley’s position was indefensible from an academic standpoint. As former BYU history professor Richard Poll observed in 1984, “[Nibley] has been a security blanket for Latter-day Saints to whom dissonance is intolerable. . . . His contribution to dissonance management is not so much what he has written, but that he has written.” Poll candidly reported, “After knowing Hugh Nibley for forty years, I am of the opinion that he has been playing games with his readers all along. . . . Relatively [p. 363] few Latter-day Saints read the Nibley books that they give to one another, or the copiously annotated articles that he has contributed to church publications. It is enough for most of us that they are there.” Nibley’s defensive position in this instance did not detract from his invaluable role as a local social critic. But as Mario DePillis, Mormon observer and historian at the University of Massachussetts, quipped in early 1984, “I have been on campus only a few hours and can already tell that Brigham Young University is a hotbed of apologetics.”38


No account of the academic life of a university would be complete without mentioning the scholarly publications produced by the school and its faculty. The earliest scholarly magazine on campus, the Academic Review, appeared in October 1884. The primary purpose of the journal was to publish lectures delivered to members of the school’s Polysophical Society–a kind of extracurricular honors seminar where interested students heard and debated presentations on controversial topics. Unfortunately, the journal lasted less than one year. The next attempt at establishing an academic journal came in 1925, when the university’s Research Division began publishing Brigham Young University Studies. The journal included BYU sociologist Lowry Nelson’s “Social Survey of Escalante, Utah,” four other articles by Nelson and one article by geologist George H. Hansen; during eight years of publication only four issues, containing six articles, were printed. The journal was revived in 1959. The first issue contained an insightful “Economic Interpretation of the Word of Wisdom,” by Utah State University economist Leonard J. Arrington. Arrington candidly concluded that Brigham Young’s opposition to “the expenditure of money by the Saints on imported tea, coffee, and tobacco [was] consistent with the economics of the time,” and did not reflect abstinence on the part of either the hierarchy or the general membership. Arrington’s approach evidently did not set well with some of the school’s trustees (see Chapter 2). An entire year lapsed before the next number of Brigham Young University Studies appeared.39

When the next issue surfaced, its staff box revealed that the editor, English professor Clinton F. Larson, had been reassigned as managing editor under a new administrative editor. In addition, the editorial board was composed of all new personnel. The purpose of the organizational changes seemed clear: to assure that the publication reflected more conventional Mormon beliefs. The journal managed to retain some scholarly distance from its conservative critics, however, the second issue containing zoologist Vasco Tanner’s tribute [p. 364] to Charles Darwin, for instance. Successive issues carried such articles as “The Political Kingdom of God as a Cause for Mormon-Gentile Conflict,” by Klaus Hansen, a BYU alumnus and graduate student at Wayne State University, as well as historian D. Michael Quinn’s seminal essays on Mormon succession, prayer circles, and the Council of Fifty. But Brigham Young University Studies gradually evolved into a journal dealing almost exclusively with a supportive spectrum of Mormon theology and history, including such unabashed apologetics as BYU economist Ronald Heiner’s exercise in creative logic, “The Necessity of a Sinless Messiah,” accompanied by nine pages of equations proving his thesis.40

In 1939, BYU’s Department of Zoology began publishing The Great Basin Naturalist, edited by Vasco Tanner and containing professional research papers treating the “physiology, morphology, ecology and taxonomy of the animal and plant life of the region.” The publication has continued to the present and has developed a nation-wide readership. A second professional journal that has done well since its founding (1954) is the geology department’s Brigham Young University Geology Studies, which publishes research papers by BYU geology faculty and graduate students. More recently, the university sponsored BYU Law Review, BYU Journal of Legal Studies, and Literature and Belief from the Center for the Study of Christian Values in Literature. (It should also be noted that Spanish professor Thomas Lyon founded the critical journal, Chasqui.) For a little more than a decade, the College of Family Living published Family Perspective, a public relations-oriented magazine with a mild scholarly bent. The School of Management currently distributes the popular, flashy magazine, Exchange. Examples of articles appearing in Exchange have included Stephen Nadauld’s “The High Level of Interest Rates or Pay Me Back in Twinkies–Please” and Paul McKinnon’s “Understanding the Organization, or How I Spent My Summer Vacation.”41

In 1967, with an endowment from Charles Merrill–of Merrill, Lynch, Pierce, Fenner, and Smith stock brokers–BYU established a monograph series that has since included English professor Karl Young’s The Long Hot Summer of 1912, political scientist LaMond Tullis’s Modernization of Brazil, and historian Frank Fox’s Madison Avenue Goes to War. Five years later, with an endowment from Utah rancher Charles Redd, the College of Social Sciences established the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, which also produces an important monograph series. Redd Center Monographs have included Leonard Arrington’s and Thomas Alexander’s A Dependent Commonwealth: Utah’s Economy from Statehood to the Great Depression and geographer Richard Jackson’s The Mormon Role in the Settlement of the West. In 1984, the first annual $10,000 award for a biography of a Western or Mormon figure–funded by advertising executive David [p. 365] Evans and his wife Beatrice–was presented to BYU historian Leonard Arrington for his biography of Brigham Young, American Moses.42

Although many of the books in BYU’s various monograph series have been printed by BYU Press, officials in charge of the press have not established a reputation for advancing unexpurgated scholarship. In fact, BYU authors have had to turn to other publishers when press officials decided in the late 1970s to eliminate virtually all titles aside from internal university publications. Even earlier, however, press officials scrutinized manuscripts and rejected those they found too technical or too controversial. BYU Press received its most dubious acclaim in the 1970s when Dian Thomas’s do-it-yourself camping book, Roughing It Easy, made the New York Times bestseller list. One of the books rejected by BYU Press–but subsequently published by the Utah State Historical Society–was Dennis Lythgoe’s 1982 biography of J. Bracken Lee, Utah’s conservative governor who gained national attention for his campaign against governmental control of liquor and prostitution. Another important biography, that of the colorful turn-of-the-century church leader J. Golden Kimball, was first published by BYU Press, then recalled because of complaints about its inclusion of some of Kimball’s more unvarnished language. A popular volume in the library of Mormon fiction, Nothing Very Important and Other Stories, was rejected for publication by the press because its treatment of missionary life was “too controversial.” The book went on to receive the 1979 Best Fiction Award from the Association of Mormon Letters. On the other hand, Violence in the Media, Pornography, and Censorship was actively promoted because “it was felt important for the church to speak out on this matter and appropriate for the BYU Press to publish the book” (Board Minutes, 5 Dec. 1973). The assumption that the church endorses books published by BYU Press proved to be a serious restriction to its selection process.43

A significant role in the production of semi-scholarly magazines at BYU has been filled by students. In 1965, the Academic Emphasis Committee’s journal, Emphasis, was primarily produced by students and contained student-authored research papers. Four years later, the Honors Program launched Tangents to give students “a place to publish their undergraduate work.” Tangents produced some of the best satire to appear on campus, including, “Enlightened Despotism: The Fountainhead of Culture,” and “The Merchant of Venison: A Dear Little Tale in Five Acts.” The ASBYU Academic Office’s single issue of Awareness (1970) speculated about why so few of the church’s prominent leaders have come from BYU. “Adversity produces leaders,” the publication suggested. “Take away the opposition to your goals and ideals and there is no longer any challenge for individual leadership. A secular institution like the University of Utah, with a more liberal atmosphere of intellectual exchange, is much more likely to produce [p. 366] leaders and defenders of the faith [than BYU].” An additional publication with an academic slant has been the Blue Key Club’s University Reading List, which communicates to students suggestions of department chairs for extracurricular reading.44

Library Holdings And Continuing Education

An indication of the academic maturity of the student body is perhaps their use of the school library. At one time, BYU’s library, like many other college libraries, was considered primarily a place to complete homework assignments and to socialize. In 1940, when custodians tightened the legs of the library tables, they found an average of 157 pieces of used gum on the underside of each table. Although student enrollment has remained constant since the early 1970s, the number of books checked out each year has greatly increased, as have inter-library loans and the use of non-book library materials. The library itself has also increased its holdings and services. The Harold B. Lee Library now holds in excess of 2.5 million volumes, acquires approximately 100,000 new volumes each year, subscribes to over 5,000 periodicals, and houses 35,000 rare books, 13,000 of which are valued at more than $500 each. Several of the rare books are worth as much as $50,000 each. Among the holdings in Special Collections are copies of Plinius Secundus’s Historia Naturalis, Johan Havelius’s Fixed Star Catelogue, a number of thirteenth- and fourteenth-century manuscript Bibles, and an original edition of the rare Book of Commandments, the first edition of the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants. Special Collections’ archives division holds reporter Jack Anderson’s personal papers, memorabilia from film directors Cecil B. DeMille and Frank Capra, film score composer Max Steiner’s papers, Senator Arthur Watkins’s notes from the McCarthy censure hearings, the diaries and papers of Apostles James E. Talmage and Reed Smoot, sociologist Thomas O’Dea’s papers, Ernest L. Wilkinson’s extensive personal and professional papers, and other valuable collections. Director of Special Collections Chad Flake’s mammoth A Mormon Bibliography, 1830-1930, won awards from both the Mormon History Association and the John Whitmer (RLDS) Historical Association.45

An important stimulus of intellectual activity provided by universities can be the outreach programs which offer special educational opportunities for the surrounding community. BYU’s Continuing Education is best known for its yearly Education Week, which gives interested outsiders, including parents and patrons, an opportunity to spend a week on campus, live in the dormitories, and attend lectures by university professors. Unfortunately, the lectures often center on popular culture and science, with heavy doses of theology–causing one professor to term the program “Entertainment Week” (DU, [p. 367] 10 Sept. 1981). Still, there is some exposure to academia. The Education Week tradition, originally billed as Leadership Week, has been in progress for well over fifty years. The students’ 1938 appellation, Leadersheep Week, indicates that the sessions have always been crowded. Continuing Education also offers evening classes and home study, and sponsors off-campus educational programs in various cities in Utah, Idaho, California, and Samoa, where classes are taught by commuting BYU professors; and associate degrees are offered, as well as higher degrees in library science, public administration, nursing, and educational administration. In addition, Continuing Education sponsors literacy programs in Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru.46

When the Accreditation Committee of the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools visited the campus in 1966 for its scheduled ten-year review of BYU, committee members found, as previously noted, that the school had “tremendous strengths and serious weaknesses.” An admittedly cursory look at the university reconfirms the essential accuracy of the committee’s observation, today as well as then. “One of the strengths” of Brigham Young University, wrote Leonard J. Arrington, an editor of the school’s official centennial history, is “the creativity implicit in the ever-recurring tension between academic excellence and religious training, between indoctrination and inquiry.” BYU runs the ever-present risk, however, of emphasizing “indoctrination” over “inquiry,” or “religious training” over “academic excellence.” “The prophetic vision of the church leaders has to stand outside of that experience and be the critic of it,” social sciences dean Martin B. Hickman reported in 1985, after seventeen years in office. “If you try to meld them together, you rob the prophetic vision of its ability to be the critic of the scholarly world.”47

Secular education and religious instruction are not necessarily incompatible, but, as BYU alumnus and former University of Oregon president O. Meredith Wilson has written, “The tensions between a vigorous church and a vigorous university are greater than many may suppose.” The “BYU problem,” Bruce C. Hafen, presidential advisor under Dallin Oaks, noted in 1974, consists of “educational excellence juxtaposed with, and often colliding against, our concern for spiritual excellence.” President Oaks remarked at his 1980 farewell that when scholarship and spirituality are blended, the university runs the “significant risk that our efforts to end the separation between scientific scholarship and religion will merely produce a substandard level of performance, where religion dilutes scholarship instead of enlightening it, or where scholarship replaces religion instead of extending its impact. . . . A genuine mingling of the insights of reason and revelation is infinitely . . . difficult.”48


1. Wilkinson, Introduction, Latter-day Saint Standards at Brigham Young University (Committee on Standards, 1957), p. 2, BYUA; New Horizons of Knowledge (1959), BYUA; “Y Development Campaign Announced by Holland,” DU, 3 Sept. 1981. Less than three years later, Holland admitted that “it would be hard to say that BYU had very much of anything that was the best” (“Y President Questions Athletes’ Salaries,” Salt Lake Tribune, 19 June 1984; see also “Building a Great University,” YN, 23 Oct. 1947, and “BYU’s Holland Calls for Academic Quality,” Daily Herald, 1 Sept. 1981).

2. H. Keniston, Graduate Study and Research in the Arts and Sciences (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1959); A. M. Carter, An Assessment of Quality in Graduate Education (Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education, 1966); Kenneth D. Roose and Charles J. Andersen, A Rating of Graduate Programs (Washington, D.C.: American Council on Education, 1970), p. 94; Lyle V. Jones, Gardner Lindzey, and Porter E. Coggeshall, eds., An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Biological Sciences (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982), pp. 63, 103; Jones, Lindzey, Coggeshall, An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Social and Behavioral Sciences (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982), pp. 159, 133; Jones, Lindzey, Coggeshall, An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Mathematical and Physical Sciences (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982), p. 36; Jones, Lindzey, Coggeshall, An Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States: Engineering (Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1982), p. 37; Neal Rasband, authors’ interview, 22 March 1985.

3. Oaks, “Obsolescence and Displacement,” 27 Jan. 1977, p. 6, BYUA; Truman Madsen, “The Joy of Learning,” Outstanding Lectures (Provo, Utah: ASBYU Academics Office, 1979), p. 89; A. H. Bowher, “Quality and Quantity in Higher Education,” Journal of the American Statistical Association, March 1965, pp. 1-15; Barron’s Profiles of American Colleges, An In-Depth Study: Brigham Young University (Woodbury, New York: Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., 1969), pp. 1-2; James Cass and Max Birnbaum, Comparative Guide to American Colleges for Students, Parents, and Counselors (New York: Harper and Row, 1981), pp. 95-96; Edward B. Fiske, Selective Guide to Colleges (New York: Times Books, 1982), p. 45; Jack Gourman, The Gourman Report: A Rating of Undergraduate Programs in American and International Universities (Los Angeles: National Education Standards, Inc., 1980).

4. Truman G. Madsen, ed., Nibley on the Timely and the Timeless (Salt Lake City: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978), pp. 268-69; “Utah as a Birthplace of Scientists,” Improvement Era, Oct. 1940, p. 606; Frederick S. Buchanan, “Education Among the Mormons: Brigham Young and the Schools of Utah,” History of Education Quarterly, Winter 1982, pp. 437-38, 456. See also John H. Gardner, “Science and the Mormon Quest for Truth,” in One Hundred and Fifty Years (Harold B. Lee Library and Friends of the Library, 1980), p. 60. Lindsey R. Harmon, A Century of Doctorates: Data Analyses of Growth and Change (Washington, D.C.: National Academy of Sciences, 1978), p. 107; Cass and Birnbaum, Comparative Guide to American Colleges, p. 96; Doctorate Recipients from United States Universities, 1958-66 (Washington D.C., National Academy of Sciences, 1967), pp. 20-21; David Lauter, “Law Schools Pass $10,000 Barrier,” National Law Journal, 11 June 1984, p. 36; Scott Van Alstyne, “Ranking the Law Schools: The Reality of Illusion?” American Bar Foundation Research Journal, Summer 1982, pp. 664-65; “Y Law Graduate Chosen as Clerk,” DU, 5 Oct. 1984. The J. Reuben Clark Law School was accredited in 1977 by the American Bar Association, with some concern regarding the school’s admissions policies. The school was prohibited from joining the Association of American Law Schools for more than two years because of alleged religious discrimination in admissions (see “Law School Group to Vote on Accepting Brigham Young University,” Chronicle of Higher Education, 23 Feb. 1981). Public Accounting Report, Dec. 1983, p. 7; George Brooker and Phillip Shinoda, “Peer Ratings of Graduate Programs for Business,” Feb. 1974, p. 17, unpublished, notes in authors’ possession; “Ranking the Business Schools,” MBA, Dec. 1977, pp. 19-23.

5. “Roads to Rhodes,” BYU Magazine (Office of University Relations, 1979), p. 46; Board of Trustees Minutes, 4 Jan. 1978, and attachment. Marshall scholars have included Sharon Hintze and Mitchell Edwards; Rhodes scholars, Chauncey Harris, David Wilkinson, Roger Porter, Clayton Christensen, Steven Nelson, Gerrit Gong, Ken Beesley, and Ronald Rinaldi. See DU, 6 May 1968, 4 Feb. 1982; 12 Jan. 1934, 3 Jan. 1961, 6 Jan. 1969, 6 Jan. 1975, 7 Jan. 1976, 4 Jan. 1977, 23 Jan. 1978, and 24 Dec. 1984. (Originally, Rhodes scholarships were given to two students from each state. No BYU students were chosen during these first two decades.) For Wilson scholarships, see DU, 7 March 1960, 19 March 1963, 10 March 1966, 17 March 1967, 22 Feb. 1968, 25 Feb. 1970, and 2 March 1971. For Danforth fellowships, see DU, 10 April 1958, 8 Feb. 1961, 4 Feb. 1963, 13 Feb. 1964, 7 Dec. 1964, 15 March 1968, 29 March 1971, 15 March 1974, 25 March 1976, and 13 April 1978. For Fullbright Fellowships, see Alumnus, May 1952, Feb. 1959, Aug. 1970, and Sept. 1980; BYU Today, April 1983, May 1983, and Dec. 1983; DU, 29 Sept. 1958, 11 April 1960, 17 June 1965, 27 June 1966, 14 June 1972, 6 Feb. 1975, 14 May 1975, 14 Aug. 1975, 27 May 1976, 27 May 1976, 5 Aug. 1980, 19 May 1981, and 30 July 1981; 25 July 1984; and University Bulletin, 21 May 1971, passim.

6. “BYU Student Receives Marshall Fellowship,” SEP, 20 Feb. 1982; “Just How Far Is It From Provo to Oxford?” BYU Today, June 1979, p. 20; “Discussion Rooms Needed,” DU, 2 Nov. 1979; “Y Graduate Goes to Europe,” DU, 8 Dec. 1983. Comparing BYU to Harvard, Martha Nibley observed that at BYU there was less cynicism but at Harvard there was less “naive self-righteousness.” Students at Harvard saw Mormons as “pushy manipulators who are scared to death of any real learning,” wrote Nibley (“A Tale of Two Universities,” BYU Today, Nov. 1982, pp. 3-4).

7. “BYU Starts Honors Program,” DU, 1 Oct. 1959. In place of general education classes, honors students were offered “colloquium” seminars covering such topics as “Justice and Equality,” “The Agony of Modern Man,” “Freedom and Morality,” “The Indo-Chinese War,” and “Romanticism vs. Classicism,” with approximately 500 pages of required reading per week. See, for instance, “Program Gives General Education Credit,” DU, 17 Nov. 1976; “Shelving Speakers,” DU, 9 Jan. 1968; “Study and Dating Attitudes Feedback from SNV Study,” Richard Johnson to David Sorenson, 29 April 1977, copy in authors’ possession (see also “Oaks Reminisces,” DU, 12 Sept. 1975, and “Student Survey Gives Reasons,” DU, 17 March 1977).

8. Mark E. Petersen, “We Can Have Self-Control,” 22 April 1959, Speeches, 1958-59, p. 2. In response to Petersen’s address, one student wrote, “It is really a shame that Galileo, Columbus, da Vinci, Martin Luther, Albert Einstein, Albert Schweitzer, Boris Pasternak and Joseph Smith could not have heard Wednesday’s assembly speech before they wasted their lives fighting the intellectual [refuse] of their day and refusing to cooperate with the mobs. . . . Think of what a great contribution they could have made to the world if they hadn’t been such nonconforming free thinkers and had rather sat down with a group of peers and talked things over and voted on them before getting people all shook up with their foolish individualistic ideas (Bryce E. LeBaron to Editor, DU, 29 April 1959). But another student accused LeBaron of “throwing mud” at one of the authorities of the church (George Skyles to Editor, DU, 6 May 1959.) Peter J. Cronkovic to Editor, DU, 6 Jan. 1961; “In Search of the Undergraduate Mind,” Sunstone Review, Dec. 1982, p. 12; “Professors Share Pro, Cons of Y,” DU, 12 Nov. 1983; “How Deep Do Thoughts Run at BYU?” DU, 9 March 1971. Vice-President Thomas had earlier prepared a “Report to the Brethren on Scholarly Achievement at BYU.” In a cover memo to Wilkinson, Thomas wrote, “I have been careful not to stress scholarly achievement alone in my report. I’m sure the brethren will be more impressed by the religious commitment of scholars than they would be by citing academic achievement by itself” (Thomas to Wilkinson, 26 Aug. 1966, BYUA). Hugh Nibley to “Brother Bergin,” 3 Aug. 1960, BYUA; Allen E. Bergin to Editor, BYU Today, May 1977 (but cf., Harold Miller’s response to Bergin, BYU Today, Sept. 1977). Ironically, Bergin had earlier told the Associated Press that BYU students were “more goal-oriented,” “better organized,” and “work harder” than students at many other universities. “Their goals are more precise because they want to be part of the establishment,” he continued. “The atmosphere here is more benevolent, there’s less conflict, more warmth. . . . [But] there’s a tendency among faculty and students to prove what they already believe is true. . . . There’s not as much independence of thought as I would like. I sometimes wonder if a Mormon could have made the discoveries of a Sigmund Freud or a B. F. Skinner” (“Wire Series Spotlights BYU,” DU, 8 Oct. 1973). Kimball, “Installation of and Charge to the President,” Inaugural Addresses, 14 Nov. 1980, p. 9, BYUA; Holland, in Unto Whom Much Is Given, BYU Annual University Conference, 1982, BYUA.

The attitude of many church leaders toward higher education was expressed by apostle and BYU trustee Boyd K. Packer in a 1973 address to the graduating class of Utah State University. He warned students of professors who “delight in relieving the student of his basic spiritual values.” According to Packer, “Throughout the world more and more faculty members look forward to the coming of [a] new crop of green freshmen with a compulsive desire to ‘educate’ them. . . . Each year, many fall victim in the colleges and universities where, as captive audiences, their faith, their patriotism, and their morality are lined up against a wall and riddled by words shot from the mouths of irreverent professors” (“What Every Freshman Should Know,” Ensign, Sept. 1973, p. 35).

9. Richard Hofstadter, Anti-Intellectualism in American Life (New York: Vintage Books, 1962), pp. 60-64, 80-83, 92-95; Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1938), pp. 279, 371 (see also Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, The Words of Joseph Smith [Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center, 1980], pp. 277 [n. 15], 379, 409 [n. 16]). The ambivalence of many Mormons toward intellectualism is perhaps a reflection of Mormon canon, which contains such passages as, “O the vainness and the frailties and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 9:28), and “The glory of God is intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:36). Lawrence Foster, Religion and Sexuality (New York: Oxford University Press, 1981), pp. 134-37, 142-44, 227-28.

10. Charles S. Peterson, “The Limits of Learning in Pioneer Utah,” Journal of Mormon History, 1983, p. 69; BYU 1:8-12; Buchanan, “Education Among the Mormons,” p. 446; Calvin V. French, “Organization and Administration of the LDS School System of Free Education, Common School through University at Nauvoo, Illinois, 1840-45,” M.A. thesis, Temple University, 1966, p. 48 (see also Kenneth W. Godfrey, “A Note on the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute,” BYU Studies, Spring 1974, pp. 386-89). Members of this institute ostensibly had access to a library of over 400 books.

11. JD 9:369; 13:149-50; Young to Willard Young, 19 Oct. 1876, in Dean Jesse, ed., Letters of Brigham Young to His Sons (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974), p. 199; JD 9:173; Young to Fera Young, 23 Aug. 1877, in Jesse, Letters of Brigham Young, p. 314; Bruce B. Clark, “Brigham Young on Education,” pp. 4, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, and 17, BYUA; JD 12:31-32, 122-23 (see also Peterson, “Limits of Learning,” p. 295); Davis Bitton, “Anti-Intellectualism in Mormon History,” Dialogue, Autumn 1966, p. 119.

12. Peterson, “Limits of Learning,” pp. 66-67, 69-70; Leonard J. Arrington, “Building Blocks of the Kingdom, 1830-1980,” Sesquicentennial Look at Church History–Sidney B. Sperry Symposium, January 26, 1980 (Provo, Utah: BYU Press, 1980), p. 18; Charles S. Peterson, “A New Community: Mormon Teachers and the Separation of Church and State in Utah’s Territorial Schools,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Summer 1980, p. 295; Buchanan, “Education Among the Mormons,” p. 448; Utah Commission’s Annual Report, 25 Sept. 1888, in BYU 1:553; D. Michael Quinn, “Utah’s Educational Innovation: LDS Religion Classes,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Fall 1975, p. 380; JD 20:119; BYU 1:394-95; Peterson, “Limits of Learning,” pp. 72-73. As another example, when James Moyle, father of Mormon apostle Henry D. Moyle, decided to go east to study law in the 1880s, his stake president promised: “You will go to hell!” (Gene A. Sessions, ed., Mormon Democrat: The Religious and Political Memoirs of James Henry Moyle [Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church, 1975], p. 130).

13. James E. Talmage to Franklin S. Harris, 20 Nov. 1931, Harris Papers. Talmage had been asked to respond to the complaint. Utah’s emphasis on education is indicated by its current ranking as fifth in the nation in years of schooling completed by those twenty-five years and older. (In the 1970s, Utah was considered first in the nation in median years of schooling completed by the general population.) However, in ACT scores, Utah’s students fall slightly below the national average, as they do in Advanced Placement tests (see W. Vance Grant and Thomas D. Snyder, Digest of Education Statistics, 1983-84 [Washington D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, 1983], p. 14, and David E. Nelson, Utah Educational Quality Indicators [Utah State Office of Education, 1979], pp. 24-25, 74-82, 86). BYU 1:286; “Double Victory for New Orator,” WB, 20 April 1910. By the 1960s, BYU’s debate team, which had won a Harvard tournament and other honors, was allowed to stage demonstration debates on campus on such topics as “Resolved: that ASBYU should subsidize burlesque in the new student center” and “Resolved: that it is better to be Red than dead.” The Heber J. Grant Oratory Contest, held annually at BYU until the 1970s, was won in 1963 by a student who addressed the topic, “The Right to Question Wisdom Makers, Policy Makers.” See BYU 3:415-16; “Topic: Humorous Debate,” DU, 14 May 1963; “Davis Wins Oratory,” DU, 20 Nov. 1963. “News and Views,” YN, 31 May 1935. BYU president Harris struggled unsuccessfully to convince faculty and students that “really thinking” was more important than demonstrating “a good memory” (“Balanced Life Is Important,” YN, 23 April 1937).

14. “My Opinion,” YN, 2 Oct. 1941; “Anti-Communist Cell,” DU, 19 April 1955; “Student Groups Gather,” DU, 1 March 1962; “Reading, Discussion Needed,” DU, 15 July 1976 (see also “Ken Beesley, Rhodes Winner,” DU, 23 Jan. 1978); “Religion Series,” DU, 24 Nov. 1958; BYU 3:300-301; “Students Hear Riesman,” DU, 19 Nov. 1963; “Hoffer: Drastic Change Juvenilizes,” DU, 19 March 1964; “Automation Crisis,” DU, 20 March 1964; “Hoffer’s Visit,” DU, 20 March 1964; “Montagu Calls New Image Good,” DU, 3 Dec. 1964; “Montagu Praises Students,” DU, 4 Dec. 1964; “Theologian Lectures on Morality,” DU, 25 Feb. 1966.

15. “Mormon Approach to Faith, Reason Varies,” DU, 29 March 1963. One student criticized Bennion, reminding him that God’s reasoning “is rarely man’s reasoning,” to which a second student responded, “Pray tell what does he reason like?” (Paul Yearout to Editor, DU, 4 April 1963; Mike Rumans to Editor, DU, 17 April 1963). “Revelation vs. Reason,” DU, 14 May 1963.

16. University Speakers Committee Minutes, 16 Jan., 20 Feb. 1967, 10 Dec. 1968, 14 Jan. 1969, UA 584; Board of Trustees Minutes, 6 Jan. 1971; John T. Bernhard to Wilkinson, 11 July 1966, Wilkinson Papers. “Forum Group Meets,” DU, 9 March 1973. Before 1973, BYU professors were rarely featured as Forum speakers. However, in late 1973 and early 1974 alone, seven addressed Forum audiences; two more spoke at devotionals. For speakers mentioned in the text, see Catalog 1928-29, p. 32; 1961-62, p. 40; 1962-63, p.43; 1968-69, p. 46; 1974-75, p.26; 1975-76, p.28. “Forum Group Meets,” DU, 9 March 1973; “Officials Criticize Forum Attendance,” DU, 26 Sept. 1974 (see also BYU 3:338-39); “BYU–The World Is Our Campus?” DU, 7 Aug. 1975 (see also Gregg I. Alvord to Editor, DU, 27 Sept. 1974).

17. For reports of these other religious viewpoints, see “Belief in Miracles Retards Progress Says Famed Writer,” YN, 12 Feb. 1929; “Rabbi [Dubin]’s Powerful Message Applauded by Student Body,” YN, 25 Feb. 1943; “Religion and Democracy Tuesday Panel Subject,” YN, 6 Dec. 1945; “Outstanding Church Leader Addresses Forum Assembly,” DU, 10 Feb. 1953; “Minister Deplores ‘Goods’ Worship,” DU, 5 May 1959; “Rabbi Goldstein Says Life Needs Philosophy,” DU, 7 May 1959; Catalog, 1962-63, p. 43; “Men May Be Buddhas by Comprehending All,” DU, 31 Oct. 1963. “Forum Guest Says Man Seeks Creator,” DU, 9 June 1977. For other prominent speakers, see BYU 2:355 (see also Catalog, 1952-53, p. 88; 1958-59, p. 80; 1966-68, p. 48; 1972-73, p. 39); “Ford Criticizes Abortion,” DU, 6 Dec. 1978; “Appointment to Court High Time,” DU, 2 Feb. 1983; “The Theater of the People,” WB, 17 March 1920; “From the Rostrum,” DU, 1 April 1971. See also Catalog, 1938-39, p. 71; 1939-40, p. 74; 1958-59, p. 80; 1961-62, p. 40. “Dr. Wehrner von Braun Excites Students,” BYU Today, June 1971, p. 6; “Unique Theory Explained,” DU, 11 Feb. 1976; “Radioimmunoassay Works,” DU, 14 Oct. 1981; “English Humor Sober Matter,” DU, 15 Nov. 1960; “Good Side of the Coin,” DU, 7 Jan. 1972; “Heyerdahl Recounts Adventures,” DU, 12 Jan. 1972.

18. “Speakers Screened,” DU, 15 Oct. 1981; photo caption, DU, 24 Oct. 1973; Spencer Cornelison to Editor, DU, 17 Oct. 1962; Kathleen Perona to Editor, DU, 19 Oct. 1962; “O’Dea Faces Church Members,” DU, 20 Oct. 1967; “Authoress Airs Views on Asia,” DU, 20 Oct. 1967; Dennis Quinn to Editor, DU, 24 Oct. 1967; “Managing Editor Lists Aims,” DU, 10 April 1967.

19. “Temples Discussed,” DU, 28 March 1975; “Professor Talks on Hassidism,” DU, 27 June 1974; “Philosopher Discusses Evolution,” DU, 5 April 1974; “Flea Market Will Sell Ideas,” DU, 27 July 1976; “Another Flea Market,” DU, 28 Sept. 1976; “Idea Market Planned,” DU, 26 Oct. 1976; “Flea Market Topics,” DU, 1 Dec. 1977; “Profs to Speak,” DU, 13 Feb. 1980; “Artificial Birth Means Discussed,” DU, 12 Feb. 1982; “Market Covers Catch 22’s,” DU, 10 March 1982; “A Flea Market,” DU, 15 Sept. 1982; “Chemicals in Food,” DU, 18 Oct. 1982. For other Flea Market topics, see DU, 1 Dec. 1976, 30 March 1977, 20 Feb., 18 Oct. 1979, and 9 Jan. 1980. Individual colleges and departments have also brought some exceptional speakers to campus, including William Simon (former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury), Reverend George MacRae (Harvard Divinity School), and John Healey (executive director, Amnesty International). See “Simon Exhorts Student Body,” DU, 17 Nov. 1975; “Ancient God Concept Shown,” DU, 4 April 1975; “Volunteers Advocate Human Rights,” DU, 2 April 1982.

20. A preliminary survey of the number of articles published by BYU science faculty was conducted by a group of BYU professors in the early 1980s. Their findings showed BYU to be far less productive than the University of Arizona, University of Utah, University of Colorado, Colorado State University, University of New Mexico, Arizona State University, and Utah State University, but more productive than the University of Wyoming, University of New Mexico, University of Idaho, or Idaho State University (“Report Claims BYU Low on Research,” SEP, 3 Feb. 1982). Board of Trustees Minutes, 4 Dec. 1968, 2 Feb. 1972; Wilkinson Journal, 3 May 1961, Wilkinson Papers. The board “rescinded [its] former action to accept half the cost of the life sciences building from the federal government” in early June 1966 (Board of Trustees Minutes, 1 June 1966). A BYU loan fund was established in 1959 to discourage students from attending other schools where they could more easily obtain federal loans. In disbursing BYU loans, preference has been given to former missionaries and married students. The university has always participated in the G.I. Grants and Benefits Program, and encouraged National Youth Administration assistance for its students in the 1930s. For more information on the board’s position on federal loans to students, see Chapter 6, BYU 3:221, 552-53, 560, and “NYA Aid Cut Twenty Per Cent,” YN, 10 Sept. 1937. “Financial Aids Available,” DU, 8 Sept. 1980 (cf. BYU 3:559); Dallin H. Oaks, “Business Report Message,” The Annual University Conference of Brigham Young University, 1978 Speeches, BYUA; Board of Trustees Minutes, 5 April 1972, 5 Dec. 1973, 9 Aug. 1977; BYU 4:87; “External Funds Received–Grants and Contracts,” 1970-79, BYUA; National Science Foundation, Federal Support to Universities, Colleges, and Selected Non-Profit Institutions, Fiscal Year 1981 (Washington, D.C.: National Science Foundation, 1981), pp. 49-50; “External Funds Received According to College,” Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: A Descriptive Self Study for the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges (Provo, Utah: BYU, 1976), 2:10-18, BYUA; “Experimenting With Excellence,” BYU Today, April 1981, p. 13.

21. Maud Calista Thomas, “Life History of Nels Lars Nelson,” 1980, pp. 57-60, BYUA. Nelson’s book was funded by the church and published by Putnam Brothers of New York City (see also Chapter 4, and BYU 1:464). BYU 2:103; “Mrs. Henderson Gives $1,500 for Research of Problem,” YN, 9 April 1924; “Nelson’s Publication Attracts Attention,” YN, 10 Feb. 1926; “Dr. Tanner Publishes Technical Pamphlet,” YN, 20 April 1927. Tanner and his protege Stephen Wood have collected and mounted over 900,000 insects from four continents (“BYU Boasts Best Bugs in West,” DU, 7 March 1973; “Y Scientist Hunts World’s Beetles,” DU, 11 Feb. 1976; “Zoologist Saving Trees,” BYU Today, April, 1985, p. 6).

22. “Practical Demonstration of Farnsworth’s Television Outfit Proves Successful,” YN, 21 Jan. 1930; “Inventor of Television Dies at 64,” DU, 15 March 1971; “Eyring Returns with Renown,” YN, 30 Sept. 1931; BYU 2:279; 4:505; T. Earl Pardoe, The Sons of Brigham (Provo, Utah: BYU Alumni Association, 1969), pp. 326-30; “Dr. Harvey Fletcher Accepts Post,” DU, 11 Dec. 1951; “Dr. Fletcher Awarded Accoustics Study Grant,” DU, 24 Sept. 1962; Bulletin, 26 Dec. 1966; BYU 3:106. Fletcher married Lorena Chipman, Carl Eyring’s sister-in-law. When she died, Fletcher married Carl Eyring’s widow (BYU 3:108). Information regarding Allen was provided by Paul C. Richards, director, BYU Public Communications, 28 Sept. 1984; BYU 3:109; “BYU’s King of Diamonds,” Alumnus, Winter 1963, pp. 6-8; “Dr. Tracy Hall Wins ACS Award,” DU, 21 Sept. 1971; Bulletin, 20 Dec. 1965, p. 2. Hall and two other professors (William Pope and Duane Horton) founded Megadiamond in the early 1970s to manufacture their small, opaque diamonds but claim they have not yet made “megabucks” from sales (“Super Squeeze,” BYU Today, April 1972, p. 8; “A Scientist’s Dream,” BYU Today, March 1974, p. 4).

23. “Scientist Outlines Research History,” DU, 7 March 1975; “Microscopes Help Research,” DU, 4 May 1982; “About Campus,” Alumnus, March 1954, p. 15; “Y Acquires High-Speed Wind Tunnel,” Alumnus, March 1971, p. 15; “Four Million Volt Accelerator Installed,” Alumnus, Dec. 1968, p. 15; “Scientists Fire Up New Campus Nuclear Reactor,” Alumnus, Jan. 1968, p. 2; BYU 4:71. See also “Wooden Ships and Iron Men,” BYU Today, April 1985, pp. 24-27.

24. Bulletin, 9 April 1971, p.2. Geology faculty also pioneered the use of X-rays in studying the internal structure of rocks, and have studied volcanic action in the formation of the Grand Canyon (DU, 21 Oct. 1963, 5 Jan. 1970, 26 Feb. 1975). “National Institute Grants $30,000 to Study Cancer,” DU, 10 Dec. 1957; “BYU Fights Cancer,” DU, 23 Jan. 1978. Other faculty in the chemistry department have made contributions to the study of trace minerals in the human body, the metabolism of thiamine, the chemistry of photosynthesis, and the corrosive effects of alkalis in nuclear reactors (Research Division Report, 1971-72, BYUA; BYU Today, Jan. 1972; DU, 5 Jan. 1959, 25 Sept. 1962, 5 Feb. 1964, 23 Sept. 1970, 3 March 1971; Alumnus, Feb. 1959, Spring 1967). “On Campus,” Alumnus, Winter 1966, p. 20; “Y Scientists Announce Topolotron Theory,” BYU Today, Nov. 1973, p. 1; Y News (a faculty newsletter), 1973; Edward W. Choldston, “Experimental Measurements and Analysis of Magnetic Fields in the BYU Topolotron Device,” Ph.D. diss., BYU, 1982, p. 125. Other physics professors have conducted studies regarding the migration of solid particles under extreme pressure, the imagined existence of magnetic fields surrounding Mars (using data collected during the Mariner IV explorations), and the feasibility of laser-assisted fusion (DU, 17 July 1973, 20 Sept. 1976, 18 Sept. 1980; BYU Today, Nov. 1980).

25. “Y Gets Grant,” DU, 19 Jan. 1977 (see also An Open Door Guide to BYU [1981], p. 13, BYUA); “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 17 Nov. 1982; “Y Coal/Gas Research Team Given Grant,” DU, 4 Aug. 1977; “Large Grant Given to Y Professor,” DU, 8 Feb. 1980. For other coal research, see BYU Today, Dec. 1980, Dec. 1983, April 1985, and DU, 5 April 1984. In the Department of Civil Engineering, Allan Firmage was presented a national award for the structural design of the Ruck-a-Chucky Bridge, intended for the American River in California. Other engineering faculty have researched the interference of rocket exhaust in remote control systems, the health hazards of coal-fired generators, and biological reactions to different materials used in the construction of synthetic organs (An Open Door Guide; Alumnus, Dec. 1968; DU, 5 Aug. 1976, 15 July 1980; BYU Today, Sept. 1980). “Scientist’s Theory Published,” DU, 14 Feb. 1962; “Y Professor Verifies New Nitrogen Source,” BYU Today, Nov. 1972, p. 4. Faculty in the biological sciences have also made advances in the control of pink root disease in onions, tapeworm infections in dogs and sheep, and ear infection in humans; and studied pesticide accrual among migratory birds, the effects of atomic testing on animal life, fungal spore lipids as a source of allergies, biological indicators of birth defects, causes of male infertility, and the structure of primeval palms (Alumnus, Dec. 1969, Oct. 1970; DU, 28 March 1960, 5 Jan. 1970, 11 July 1974, 14 Feb. 1975, 21 March 1978, 12 April 1978, Bulletin, Sept. 1970). “Rabbits Multiply at BYU,” DU, 14 April 1975; “Guineas Sought,” DU, 6 July 1979; “Students Live Off Farmland,” DU, 11 May 1982; “Small Scale Agriculture,” BYU Today, April 1985, pp. 28-35. The Benson Institute established two test lots in Ecuador at a cost of $150,000 and also developed a small-scale farming tractor, solar oven, and solar dryer (“Benson Institute Goes to Ecuador,” BYU Today, Oct. 1983, p. 6; “Y Creations to Aid Third World Farms,” Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Aug. 1984). BYU 3:517, 530-31; “Singer Talks on Weird Hallucinogenic Fungus,” DU, 10 Feb. 1958; “Lab Rats Smoke Marijuana,” DU, 25 Jan. 1982.

26. “Y Professor Writes Book,” DU, 24 April 1964 (see also Open Door Guide, p. 28); “Professor Wins National Honor,” DU, 24 April 1968; “Making Moral Choices,” BYU Today, April 1985, pp. 38-44; BYU Faculty Notes, 13 Jan. 1978, p. 1; “Archaeologists Work on Nauvoo Restoration,” BYU Today, March 1972, p. 1. Major funding was obtained by a history professor to study Mongolian refugees in Taiwan and by a team of psychologists to study moral reasoning in children. BYU sociologists have done extensive research into the needs of urban Indians. See DU, 18 June 1970, 15 June 1971, 23 Sept. 1975. “Grant Goes to Savant,” DU, 16 May 1978; “News,” BYU Today, Oct. 1983, p. 8; “Y Teacher Digs Egypt’s Relics,” DU, 4 June 1981; “BYU Archaeologists to Sift Ruins in Egypt,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Feb. 1984; “Y Scholars Translate Document,” DU, 10 Oct. 1974. John Lundquist, of the religion faculty, has also done field work in the Middle East (DU, 4 June 1981).

27. Open Door Guide, pp. 6, 22, 36; “Grant to Faculty Member,” DU, 22 March 1978; “Y Profs Fight Fraud,” DU, 12 Oct. 1979. Other faculty have studied the effects of worker morale on productivity, the educational needs of the physically handicapped, and ways of teaching English to illiterate migrants. The intent of this discussion is not to present a comprehensive report but simply to highlight what have apparently been among BYU’s most significant achievements as evidenced by national recognition. See Y News, 1972; Research Division Report, 1971-72; DU, 20 Jan. 1981. Research centers and institutes currently include the American Indian Services and Research Center, Institute of Ancient Studies, Center for Business and Economic Research, Cancer Research Center, Center for Communications Research, Center for Economic Education, Ezra Taft Benson Agriculture and Food Institute, Family and Demographic Research Institute, High Pressure Data Center, Human Performance Research Center, Humanities Research Center, David O. McKay Institute, New World Archaeological Foundation, Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Religious Studies Center, Skaggs Institute of Retail Management, Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History, Thermochemical Institute, and the Women’s Research Institute. See BYU 3:582, 587; 4:84-86; BYU Today, April 1971, Nov. 1972, Aug. 1973, May 1975, Feb., May 1978, June, Nov. 1982, April, Dec. 1983; DU, 10 Nov. 1969, 4 Jan. 1979; Research Division Report, 1971-72, pp. 70, 75.

28. Pardoe, Sons of Brigham, pp. 471-73; “Honors Shower on B. F. Larsen,” YN, 15 April 1931; “Robertson Brings True Greatness,” YN, 6 Nov. 1947 (see also Pardoe, Sons of Brigham, pp. 460-61, and BYU 3:84); Bulletin, 1 Dec. 1955, 1 April 1965; Notes, 14 Feb., 21 Nov. 1975, 12 Sept. 1977, 31 March 1978; “BYU Composer’s Work Performed,” SEP, 6 Oct. 1981 (see also “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 12 Oct. 1982); BYU 3:396-97; Bulletin, 12 Oct. 1961, 9 Aug. 1962, 26 March 1971; Notes, 30 Jan., 14 May 1976, 25 Oct. 1974, 30 June 1978; “Marshall Short Story Becomes TV Movie,” DU, 13 Dec. 1978; “The Would-Be Gentleman is Marvelous Lampoon,” DU, 21 March 1977; “Tartuffe Adapted,” DU, 27 May 1982; “Motion Picture Academy Invites Y Professor to Join,” DU, 13 Oct. 1977. Other faculty could also be mentioned, including Reid Nibley, BYU’s pianist-in-residence, and baritone Clayne Robison, both of whom have soloed with national or international orchestras (Notes, 12 Sept. 1977; DU, 8 Sept. 1982; Century II, Fall 1979). In addition, since the late 1970s, BYU’s Motion Picture Studio, under the direction of former Walt Disney Studio executive Wetzel O. Whittaker, has garnered top awards at the United States Industrial Film Festival for its productions of “Johnny Baker’s Last Run,” “The Mailbox,” “The Phone Call,” “The Gift,” “The Bridge,” “The Trophy Case,” and “The Drop Card.” The Motion Picture Studio’s principle customers, besides the Mormon church, are the Southern Baptist Church, the Seventh-day Adventists, the American Lutheran Church (which purchased ninety-eight copies of “Cipher in the Snow”), and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (DU, 23 May 1978, 29 May 1979, 19 July 1979, 5 Aug. 1980, 10 Dec. 1981).

29. Oaks, 1975 Fall Faculty Conference address, in BYU 4:421-22; Bulletin, 23 April 1971; “Psychologist Hits Best-Seller List,” BYU Today, March 1977; Bulletin, 19 Feb. 1971, 21 April 1972; Notes, 10 Jan. 1975.

30. BYU 4:378; Research Division Report, 1971-72, pp. 69, 79; 1972-73, p. 78; “Marble Finds Campus Home,” DU, 13 Aug. 1974.

31. “Trustees OK Study Center,” DU, 27 Feb. 1976; “Foreign Visitors to Lecture,” DU, 13 April 1977; “Book Review,” BYU Today, April 1979, p. 7; “Islam: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations,” DU, 22 Oct. 1981; “Truman Madsen,” BYU Today, Dec. 1981, pp. 21-24. One of the books in the Religious Studies Center Monograph Series, Book of Mormon Authorship: New Light on Ancient Origins, edited by Noel B. Reynolds, has been characterized as “responsible apologetics” (“Responsible Apologetics,” Dialogue, Winter 1983, pp. 140-44). BYU 4:197; “BYU Honors Richard L. Evans,” BYU Today, November 1972, p. 1; “Christian Swivel Chair,” DU, 16 Dec. 1974.

32. “Behavior Institute Established at Y,” DU, 29 Sept. 1976; authors’ interview with philosophy department faculty, May 1982 (see also “Philosophy Department Comes of Age,” SEP, 10 June 1982); “In His Own Tongue,” DU, 13 Oct. 1971. That same year, Harold B. Lee, first counselor in the First Presidency, stated, “With our responsibility to teach the people of the world in fifty nations and in seventeen different languages, as we are now doing, think what it would mean to our missionary and teaching efforts if some scholars from this institution were to contribute to this possibility” by creating “some electronic device by which we could speak in English and our hearers could understand, each in his own language” (“Installation and Charge to the President,” Inaugural Addresses, 12 Nov. 1971, BYUA). “University Creates Corporation,” BYU Today, June 1979, p. 8 (see also “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 11 Aug. 1982); “Center for Study of Christian Values,” DU, 28 Oct. 1980; “Institute Accepts Radical Challenge,” BYU Today, Sept. 1976, p. 11; “Major Religious Writings to be Symposium Topic,” DU, 5 March 1979.

33. Gary Jerome Coleman, “Member Involvement in the LDS Church,” Ed.D. diss., BYU, 1978; M. Richard Maxfield, “The Book of Mormon and the Conversion Process to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: A Study of Recent Converts,” Ph.D. diss., BYU, 1977. Maxfield found that the Book of Mormon was “essential to the conversion process, serving as a vehicle for prayer and witness of the Spirit.” Alice W. Buehner, “The Communicational Function of Wearing Apparel for Lady Missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” M.A. thesis, BYU, 1982. “The purpose of this study was to create, develop, and design a booklet entitled Clothing Guidelines for Lady Missionaries for the LDS Church,” reads its abstract. For other examples of similar theses and dissertations, see “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 8 Feb. 1983; “Comments by Professors,” Open Door Guide, p. 50.

34. Wayne A. Larsen, Alvin C. Rencer, Tim Layton, “Who Wrote the Book of Mormon? An Analysis of Wordprints,” BYU Studies, Spring 1980, pp. 225-51; “Scripture Analyzed,” DU, 8 Oct. 1979; James Croft, “Book of Mormon ‘Wordprints’ Re-examined,” Sunstone, March/ April 1981, pp. 15-21; Wayne A. Larsen, Alvin C. Rencher, “Response to Book of Mormon ‘Wordprints’ Re-examined,” Sunstone, March/April 1981, pp. 22-26; Brian C. Roberts, “Stylometry and Wordprints: A Book of Mormon Re-evaluation,” M.S. thesis, BYU, 1983.

35. “Egyptian Manuscripts Presented to Church,” DU, 28 Nov. 1967. The papyri were discovered by University of Utah professor Aziz S. Atiya, former director of the University of Utah Middle East Center. The museum also held an accompanying letter, dated 26 May 1856, and signed by Emma Smith Bidamon, Joseph’s widow, and by Joseph Smith III, attesting that the papyri had been in their possession. See Jay M. Todd, “Egyptian Papyri Rediscovered,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1968, p. 12, and “Not Book of Abraham,” DU, 3 Dec. 1973. “Papyri Do Not Prove Abraham True,” DU, 1 Dec. 1967; “Self-Portrait: An Intellectual Autobiography by Hugh W. Nibley,” BYU Today, Aug. 1978, p. 11.

36. Hugh Nibley, “A New Look at the Pearl of Great Price,” Improvement Era, Jan. 1968, pp. 20-22, May 1968, p. 54; Klaus Baer, “The Breathing Permit of Hor: A Translation of the Apparent Source of the Book of Abraham,” Dialogue, Summer 1968, p. 120; Nibley, “A New Look,” Aug. 1968, p. 56; see, for example, James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), p. 68.

37. Hugh Nibley, “Taking Stock,” Improvement Era, May 1970, pp. 92-94; John A. Wilson, “The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri: Translations and Interpretations,” Dialogue, Summer 1968, p. 71; Richard A. Parker, “The Joseph Smith Papyri: A Preliminary Report,” Dialogue, Summer 1968, p. 119; Nibley, “A New Look,” Sept. 1968, pp. 66, 72; Edward H. Ashment, “The Facsimilies of the Book of Abraham: A Reappraisal,” Sunstone, Dec. 1979, pp. 33-48; Hugh Nibley, “The Facsimilies of the Book of Abraham: A Response,” Sunstone, Dec. 1979, pp. 49-51.

38. Nibley, “A New Look,” Nov. 1968, p. 37; Nibley, “Taking Stock,” p. 83; Nibley, “The Joseph Smith Egyptian Papyri,” Dialogue, Summer 1968, p. 101; Nibley, The Message of the Joseph Smith Papyri: An Egyptian Endowment (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1975), pp. 2, 6, 14, passim; Edward Ashment, “Dealing with Dissonance: The Book of Abraham as a Case Study,” 24 Aug. 1984, Sunstone Theological Symposium, copy in authors’ possession. Ashment concluded his remarks by saying, “Let the LDS community begin to study, ponder, and learn from the Book of Abraham for what it is [“a fresh Christian experience”]–not for what some within that community want it to be.” Richard D. Poll, a response to Edward Ashment, 24 Aug. 1984, Sunstone Theological Symposium, transcript in authors’ possession; Mario DePillis, a response to Gary Novak and Louis Midgley, “Remembrance and the Past: Jewish and Mormon Memory and the New History,” 11 May 1984, Mormon History Association Annual Meeting, authors’ notes.

39. The Academic Review, Oct. 1884-May 1885, BYUA; BYU Studies, 1925-33; Leonard J. Arrington, “An Economic Interpretation of the Word of Wisdom,” BYU Studies, Winter 1959, pp. 37-49; BYU Studies, Winter 1960 (Vol. 2, No. l). See also Chapter 2.

40. BYU Studies, Winter 1960, title page. A later editor, English professor Charles D. Tate, redefined the editorial board’s role as a “big name figure head” group, thereby allowing the journal to become even more restrictive in its choice of articles (Tate to Jae R. Ballif, 26 Jan. 1981, copy in authors’ possession). BYU Studies, Winter 1960, pp. 43-53, Spring 1960, pp. 241-60, Winter 1982, pp. 22-30.

41. “Introductory Note,” The Great Basin Naturalist, July 1939, p. 1; The Great Basin Naturalist, July 1983; Brigham Young University Geology Studies, 1954 to present; “Center Publishes Journal,” DU, 20 Jan. 1982; Open Door Guide, p. 43; Family Perspective, 1966-1981; Stephen D. Nadauld, “The High Level of Interest Rates,” Exchange, Fall/Winter, p. 42; Paul D. McKinnon, “Understanding the Organization,” Exchange, Fall/Winter, p. 32.

42. BYU 3:583-84; Research Division Annual Report, 1972-73, p. 100; Notes, 3 Aug. 1979; “News,” BYU Today, May 1983, p. 31.

43. BYU 4:86; Prepublications Review Committee Minutes, 26 Sept. 1978, UA 553; Dennis L. Lythgoe, Let ‘Em Holler: A Political Biography of J. Bracken Lee (Salt Lake City: Utah State Historical Society, 1982), pp. 5-20, 41-50, 265, 317-322; President’s Weekly Meeting, 9 May 1973; Thomas E. Cheney, The Golden Legacy (Salt Lake City: Peregrine Smith, Inc., 1974); Prepublication Review Committee Minutes, 11 Dec. 1978. President Oaks wrote to Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, “The book [i.e., Nothing Very Important], of which I had no previous knowledge, surely does not strengthen [the author’s] efforts for employment at BYU.” The author, Bela Petsco, was a part-time member of the English faculty (see Oaks to Benson, 16 Oct. 1979, copy in authors’ possession). Board of Trustees Minutes, 5 Dec. 1973.

44. Emphasis, 1965, p. 3; Tangents, 1969, p. 2; 1975, pp. 106-14, 1976, pp. 18-25; Awareness, April 1970, pp. 12-13. The Publications Board forbade the Academics Office to publish a monthly academic magazine (“Student Council Officers Get Grades,” DU, 17 Feb. 1970). “Reference Booklet Made,” DU, 11 April 1980.

45. “Tables Average 157 Used Gum Sticks,” YN, 3 May 1940; BYU 4:178; Chronicle of Higher Education, Feb. 1983, p. 8; “More Periodicals,” DU, 18 Sept. 1981. The library spends approximately $1 million per year in acquisitions and more than $10,000 per year in binding periodicals (BYU 4:130; “Campus Chatter,” SEP, 15 Dec. 1981). “Collections Available to Students,” DU, 24 March 1978; “Rare Materials in Special Library,” DU, 23 Oct. 1975; “Jack Anderson Papers Given,” DU, 28 Sept. 1978; “DeMille’s Camera Stilled,” DU, 18 April 1977; “Max Steiner’s Memorabilia in Y Archives,” DU, 6 Nov. 1981; “Manuscripts Worth Eyeing,” DU, 18 Nov. 1974; Notes, 22 June 1979.

46. “Pre-eminence of Leadership Week Expressed,” YN, 25 Jan. 1922; “Leadersheep Week,” YN, 28 Jan. 1938; Douglas F. Tobler to Editor, DU, 10 Sept. 1981; “Opinions Split on Education Week,” SEP, 11 Aug. 1982; BYU 3:71-72, 710, 716-21, 732; 4:115, 210-12; “Campus Scene,” BYU Today, March 1973, p. 10.

47. The Report of the Visitation Committee to the Committee of Higher Education of the Northwest Association of Secondary and Higher Schools on Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, April 26-29, 1966, pp. 15-16, BYUA; Leonard J. Arrington, “Foreword,” BYU 1:viii; “Of Popcorn, Politics, and the Patriarch of Deans,” BYU Today, June 1985, p. 25.

48. Wilson to the authors, 21 March 1985; Hafen, “Reflections on Being at BYU,” Best Lectures, 1973-74 (ASBYU Academics), p. 41; Oaks, “Challenge to BYU in the Eighties,” BYU Commencement Address, 15 Aug. 1980, pp. 16-17, BYUA.