on the cover:
The term “New Mormon History” describes the work of contemporary historians who are less concerned with earthshaking events than with experiences of rank-and-file church members. New Mormon Historians are particularly interested in women’s issues, family dynamics, decision-making, business, worship, and details about food, dress, and pastime. They reinterpret traditional history by examining events in the context of popular movements. In this compilation, editor D. Michael Quinn has selected fifteen essays which best demonstrate the achievements of this new history. They include:
Dream and Nightmare: Nauvoo Revisited
by Robert Bruce Flanders
A Gift Given, a Gift Taken: Washing Anointing, and
Blessing the Sick among Mormon Women
by Linda King Newell
Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story
by William G. Hartley
The “Leading Sisters”: A Female Hierarchy in Ninteenth-
Century Mormon Society
by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher
Divorce among Mormon Polygamists: Extent and Explanations
by Eugene E. Campbell and Bruce L. Campbell
The Metamorphosis of the Kingdom of God: Toward a Reinterpretation of Mormon History
by Klaus J. Hansen
“No historical work is the last word in understanding the past,” explains Quinn. “History is the imprecise effort to give finite understanding to an infinity of events and pieces of evidence. At most, history is simply a quest to understand the past. The New Mormon History is part of that quest.”
about the editor: D. Michael Quinn holds a Ph.D. in history from Yale University. He has been employed by the Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and by Brigham Young University where he was professor of history. He is author of J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years and Early Mormonism and the Magic World View. He is recipient of several best book awards from the Mormon History Association, the John Whitmer Historical Association, and Dialogue Foundation.
The New Mormon History:
Revisionist Essays on the Past
Edited by D. Michael Quinn
Salt Lake City
dedication: In Memory of Juanita Brooks
Cover Illustration: Red Symmetry, by Gary Collins
Cover Design: Julie Easton
Printed on acid free paper
(c) 1992 by Signature Books, Inc. All rights reserved.
Signature Books is a registered trademark of Signature Books, Inc.
Composed and printed in the United States of America.
96 95 94 93 92 6 5 4 3 2 1
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The New Mormon History: revisionist essays on the past/edited by D.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Mormon Church—History. 2. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-
day Saints—History 3. Mormon Church—Historiography. 4. Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—Historiography. 5. Mormons—
United States—Social life and customs. I. Quinn, D. Michael.
Editor’s Introduction [see below]
01 – The Search for Truth and Meaning in Mormon History Leonard J. Arrington
02 – The Quest for Religious Authority and the Rise of Mormonism Mario S. De Pillis
03 – The Significance of Joseph Smith’s “First Vision” in Mormon Thought James B. Allen
04 – The Prophet Puzzle: Suggestions Leading toward a More Comprehensive Interpretation of Joseph Smith Jan Shipps
05 – Dream and Nightmare: Nauvoo Revisited Robert Bruce Flanders
06 – A Gift Given, a Gift Taken: Washing, Anointing, and Blessing of Sick among Mormon Women Linda King Newell
07 – A Demographic Portrait of the Mormons, 1830-1980 Dean May
08 – Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story William G. Hartley
09 – The “Leading Sisters”: A Female Hierarchy in Nineteenth-Century Mormon Society Maureen Ursenbach Beecher
10 – Notes on Mormon Polygamy Stanley S. Ivins
11 – Divorce among Mormon Polygamists: Extent and Explanations Eugene E. Campbell and Bruce L. Campbell
12 – After the Manifesto: Mormon Polygamy, 1890-1906 Kenneth L. Cannon II
13 – The Metamorphosis of the Kingdom of God: Toward a Reinterpretation of Mormon History Klaus J. Hansen
14 – “To Maintain Harmony”: Adjusting to External and Internal Stress, 1890-1930 Thomas G. Alexander
15 – Sheaves, Bucklers, and the State: Mormon Leaders Respond to the Dilemmas of War Ronald W. Walker
16 – Epilogue: “Justice Will Follow Truth” B. H. Roberts
17 – Contributors
[p. vii] “The New Mormon History,” for want of a better term, began with the publication of Juanita Brooks’s The Mountain Meadows Massacre in 1950 by Stanford University Press, but there were certainly antecedents. From the 1900s to the 1930s, assistant church historian Brigham Henry Roberts, despite his shortcomings as a historian, exemplified much of the philosophy later identified with the New Mormon History. The first generation of university-trained Latter-day Saint scholars also made important contributions from the 1930s to the 1950s.1 Still the flowering of New Mormon History has occurred since the 1950s. In 1961 this outpouring caused Brigham Young University Studies to start publishing an annual “Mormon Bibliography.”
One aspect of this trend is simply a reflection of a larger process of change in the writing of history generally. Since the 1950s American historians have adopted new techniques and emphases in reexamining familiar topics. This “new history” examines the experiences of “common people” and reverses the lack of emphasis on women, children, families, and ethnic minorities. The focus on large populations and common people has stressed the use of statistics and computer analysis. In addition, historians have gained new insights through cross-cultural comparisons and some of the methods and theories of the social sciences. At the same time, sociologists, political scientists, economists, anthropologists, and psychologists have used their skills for historical inquiry.2 “New history” already applied to the 1960s historical profession when a Jewish historian coined the term “New Mormon History” in 1969.3
[p. viii] The New Mormon History includes all of the ingredients of “new history” in America at large but has one crucial addition: the effort to avoid using history as a religious battering ram. That is why I date the New Mormon History from the publication of Brooks’s Mountain Meadows Massacre. No topic was more traditionally inviting for sensational exploitation, secular condescension, or smug defensiveness. Yet this devoted Mormon writer did the best a human being can do to be dispassionate in helping readers better understand the context and details of a horrifying act committed by her equally devoted co-religionists of an earlier era.4
In her landmark study Brooks avoided seven deadly sins of traditional Mormon history. She did not shrink from analyzing a controversial topic. She did not conceal sensitive or contradictory evidence.5 She did not hesitate to follow the evidence to “revisionist” interpretations that ran counter to “traditional” assumptions.6 She did not use her evidence to insult the religious beliefs of Mormons. She did not disappoint the scholarly expectations of academics. She did not cater to public relations preferences. Finally she did not use an “academic” work to proselytize for religious conversion or defection.7 As a result, Brooks’s approach produced seven virtues for writing about the Mormon past. Since 1950 both LDS and non-LDS historians have approached their task from the perspective of functional objectivity.8 Brooks demonstrated that functional objectivity is attainable even in controversial religious history.9
By contrast ultimate “historical objectivity” is an impossible ideal because the observer historian brings his or her own limitations to the study of the past.10 Only a person of infinite capacity can understand the past with “ultimate objectivity.” This is why impassioned arguments against “historical objectivity” sound strange compared to the imprecise aspiration of writers to be “fair and objective.”
Any history—new or old, devotional or secular—has fundamental limitations. No historical work is the last word in understanding the seamless past. History is the imprecise effort to give finite understanding to an infinity of separate events and pieces of evidence. No human can completely understand the past “as it was” or the present “as it is.” The historian cannot discover all the circumstances surrounding even the simplest event. Therefore history is not the past. History is a quest to understand the past. The New Mormon [p.ix] History is part of that quest.
The changing emphasis in Mormon history has influenced the work of traditional Mormon historians, even as “traditional” approaches continue.11 This mirrors the situation in the history profession generally. Traditional history persists at the same time new history influences American universities and professional publications.12
Not everyone has applauded the functional objectivity toward which the New Mormon Historians strive.13 One of the most recent critics, a Mormon political scientist, defined the New Mormon History as “a wholesale abandonment of categories of self-understanding internal to the community … retrograde debunking when faced with faithful accounts not based on the secular historian’s objectivist assumptions.” New Mormon Historians, he wrote, are “ill equipped to write meaningfully about those most fundamental aspects of the Mormon past” and instead produce “a wholesale revision … which denies a priori the claims of the Restoration.”14
Readers of this volume must judge for themselves whether the above criticisms accurately describe the revisionist articles in this collection. Narrow definitions certainly ignore the diversity of publications the New Mormon History has produced—on demography, frontier teenagers, female auxiliary leaders, Mormon relations with native Americans, social origins of British converts, textual reconstruction of the King Follet sermon, and the biography of church president Spencer W. Kimball, for example. Instead critics use “New Mormon History” as a polemical term within narrow definitions rather than as a descriptive term for this massive and diverse new literature.15
In preparing this collection my first list included more than two hundred selections. This, of course, excluded an even larger body of unpublished papers, theses, and dissertations. Even so my list was conservative, since one historian found a thousand significant works since 1950.16 Next I narrowed that list to seventy-seven articles or excerpts from books. That reduced list seemed so essential that I suggested this collection of essays be multi-volumed. Practical considerations dictated a far smaller compilation.
Surveying the authors of selections on my initial list confirmed that something “new” has indeed occurred in the writing of Mormon history in recent decades. They were women and men; [p.x] Mormon, RLDS, Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim, and Hindu; American, Belgian, British, Canadian, French, German, Indian, Israeli, Italian, New Zealander, and Palestinian; anthropologists, architects, archivists, artists, biblical scholars, biologists, business administrators, classicists, computer programmers, demographers, ecologists, economists, engineers, film critics, English teachers, folklorists, genealogists, geographers, health-care specialists, historians, housewives, institute teachers, journalists, lawyers, librarians, linguists, mathematicians, museum curators, philosophers, physicians, physicists, political scientists, psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, statisticians, university administrators, as well as leaders of both the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Such diversity is evidence of the interdisciplinary and cross-cultural character of the new history.
This collection features fifteen representative essays to demonstrate the impact of New Mormon History in recent decades. In some cases the selections here were the first major reassessments of particular topics and have since been revised by new revisionists. The very richness of the New Mormon History guarantees that any selective publication of “important” or “representative” works will be incomplete. Due to practical limits of size, scores of authors and crucial examples are absent. Therefore I can only apologize in advance for the omissions and acknowledge that others might choose differently.17 It is an imperfect world, but I hope that these essays will provide a useful introduction to the New Mormon History.
Appreciation is extended to the following authors and publications for permission to reproduce, sometimes in a different format, the essays appearing here: to Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought for essays by Thomas G. Alexander, James B. Allen, Leonard J. Arrington, Maurine Ursenbach Beecher, Mario S. De Pillis, and Klaus J. Hansen; to Sunstone magazine for essays by Kenneth L. Cannon II, Linda King Newell, and Ronald W. Walker; to the Utah Historical Quarterly for essays by Eugene E. Campbell and Bruce L. Campbell, and William G. Hartley; to the Journal of Mormon History for the essay by Jan Shipps; to the Western Humanities Review for the essay by Stanley S. Ivins; to the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies for the essay by Dean L. May; and to Coronado Press for the essay by Robert B. Flanders.
[p.xi] 1. Leonard J. Arrington, “Scholarly Studies of Mormonism in the Twentieth Century,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (Spring 1966): 15-28; David J. Whittaker, “Historians and the Mormon Experience: A Sesquicentennial Perspective,” in A Sesquicentennial Look at Church History (Provo, UT: Religious Instruction, 1980), 293-327; Davis Bitton and Leonard J. Arrington, Mormons and Their Historians (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988).
2. Allan J. Lichtman and Valerie French, Historians and the Living Past: The Theory and Practice of Historical Study (Arlington Heights, IL: AHM Publishing Co, 1978), 122-52, on “New History”; William O. Aydelotte, Allan G. Bogue, and Robert William Fogel, “Introduction” to their The Dimensions of Quantitative Research in History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972); Theodore K. Rabb and Robert I. Rotberg, eds., The New History, the 1980s and Beyond: Studies in Interdisciplinary History (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1982); Robert William Fogel, “Scientific History and Traditional History,” in Fogel and G. R. Elton, Which Road to the Past?: Two Views of History (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1983).
Examples of the New History’s diversity are Phillipe Aries, Centuries of Childhood: A Social History of Family Life (New York: Knopf, 1962); Erik H. Erikson, Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysis and History (New York: Norton, 1962); Edward H. Spicer, Cycles of Conquest: The Impact of Spain, Mexico, and the United States on the Indians of the Southwest, 1553-1960 (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1962); Lauro Martines, The School World of the Florentine Humanists, 1390-1460 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963); Robert F. Berkhofer, Salvation and the Savage: An Analysis of Protestant Missions and American Indian Response, 1787-1862 (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1965); Peter Laslett, The World We Have Lost (London: Methuen, 1965); Robert R. Dykstra, The Cattle Towns (New York: Knopf, 1968): Kenelm Burridge, New Heaven, New Earth: A Study of Millenarian Activities (New York: Schocken Books, 1969); Paul Kleppner, The Cross of Culture: A Social Analysis of Midwestern Politics, 1850-1900 (New York: Free Press, 1970); Carl N. Degler, Neither Black Nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States (New York: Macmillan, 1971); Tamara K. Hareven, ed., Anonymous Americans: Explorations in Nineteenth-Century Social History (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1971); Stephan Thernstrom, The Other Bostonians: Poverty and Progress in the American Metropolis, 1880-1970 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1973); Robert William Fogel and Stanley L. Engerman, Time on the Cross: The Economics of American Negro Slavery (Boston: Little, Brown, and Co., 1974); Robert V. Wells, The Population of the British Colonies in America Before 1776: A Study of Census Date [p.xii] (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975); Lawrence Stone, The Family: Sex and Marriage in England, 1500-1800 (New York: Harper & Row, 1977); Thomas Kessner, The Golden Door: Italian and Jewish Immigrant Mobility in New York City, 1880-1915 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977); Jean Louis Flandrin, Families in Former times: Kinship, Household and Sexuality (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1979); Carl N. Degler, At Odds: Women and the Family in America from the Revolution to the Present (New York: Oxford University Press, 1980); Howard R. Lamar and Leonard Thompson, eds., The Frontier in History: North America and Southern Africa Compared (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1981); Tamara K. Hareven and Kathleen J. Adams, Aging and Life Course: An Interdisciplinary Perspective (New York: Guilford Press, 1982); Robert V. Wells, Revolutions in Americans’ Lives: A Demographic Perspective on the History of Americans, Their Families, and Their Society (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982); Arnoldo DeLeon, The Tejano Community, 1836-1900 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982); Susan Grigg, The Dependent Poor of Newburyport: Studies in Social History, 1780-1830 (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1984); Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Women, Family and Ritual in Renaissance Italy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985); Jan Vansina, Oral Tradition as History (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1985); John Demos, Past, Present, and Personal: The Family and the Life Course in American History (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986); Kevin J. Christiano, Religious Diversity and Social Change: American Cities, 1890-1906 (Cambridge, Eng.: Cambridge University Press, 1987); Steven Mintz, Domestic Revolutions: A Social History of American Family Life (New York: Free Press, 1988).
4. For tributes to the achievement of Juanita Brooks, see Pacific Historical Review 20 (May 1951): 180-81; Journal of Religion 31 (Oct. 1951): 285; Pacific Northwest Quarterly 42 (Oct. 1951): 248; Journal of the West 2 (Oct. 1963): 482-83; Charles S. Peterson, “A Utah Moon”: Perceptions of Southern Utah (St. George, UT: Dixie College Department of Printing, 1984), 15-19; Levi S. Peterson, Juanita Brooks: Mormon Woman Historian (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1988), esp. 175-210, 218-20.
5. David B. Honey and Daniel C. Peterson, “Advocacy and Inquiry in Mormon Historiography,” Brigham Young University Studies 31 (Spring 1991): 153, defend Mormon historians of faith-promoting motivation who “leave out less-than-desirable episodes, tell only one side of the story, or are incomplete in their treatment.” In support of this, Honey and Peterson in n76 argue “that ‘suppression of evidence’ is in fact an essential step in the application of a ‘viable tradition’ of interpretation.” They cite Peter Novick, That Noble Dream: The “Objectivity Question” and the American Historical Profes-[p.xiii]sion (New York: Cambridge University Press: 1988), 527, in support of this. Novick himself quotes without comment or evaluation an extended argument in favor of the suppression of evidence which contradicts an accepted scientific theory. In so doing, Novick misuses the concept of “suppression of evidence.” Withholding evidence” or “suppressing evidence” does not refer to omitting evidence that is unimportant or irrelevant to one’s subject, as Honey and Peterson seem to indicate. Worse yet, Novick, Honey, and Peterson seem to actually endorse the view that one can withhold evidence from the reader that contradicts a writer’s theory or contradicts evidence the writer does present. Since views of “withholding evidence” are indebted to legal concepts, it is well to remember that the legal process requires the “suppression” of irrelevant evidence. On the other hand, the legal process prohibits the suppression of “material evidence”—evidence which directly bears on the case at hand.
Contrary to Honey and Peterson, writers are certainly “dishonest or bad historians” if they fail to acknowledge the existence of even one piece of evidence they know challenges or contradicts the rest of their evidence. If this omission of relevant evidence is inadvertent, the author is careless. If the omission is an intentional effort to conceal or avoid presenting the reader with evidence that contradicts the preferred view of the writer, that is fraud whether by a scholar or non-scholar, historian or other specialist. If authors write in scholarly style, they are equally dishonest if they fail to acknowledge any significant work whose interpretations differ from their own.
Dishonest apologists insist on these standards for everyone but themselves and in every subject but their own. Honest apologists avoid suppressing material evidence, even as they seek to downplay the significance of controversial information. Traditional Mormon history has had (and continues to have) both honest apologists and dishonest apologists. Many “New Mormon Historians” are also honest apologists for what they see as the essential truths of Mormon theology and the basic goodness of the Mormon experience. These New Mormon Historian apologists often seek to downplay the significance, or, “to put into context,” any evidence they find which may discomfort believing Mormons. Traditional Mormon apologists discuss such “sensitive evidence” only when this evidence is so well known that ignoring it is impossible. Personally, I have always tried to write both as a New Mormon Historian and an honest apologist for the Mormon faith and experience.
6. Readers should avoid the mistaken assumption that “revisionist history” is a term invented by New Mormon Historians or that its application to Mormonism necessarily means the rejection of the supernatural, of the reality of angelic ministrations to humanity, or of prophetic calling. This is Louis Midgley’s assertion in “Faith and History,” Student Review, 4 Mar. 1987, 1; and in “Modernity and the Mormon Crisis of Faith: The Challenge of [p.xiv] Historical Consciousness,” in John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks, eds., By Study and Also By Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh Nibley …, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990), 2:530-33. In briefest terms, “revisionist history” simply means the challenging of traditional approachs or interpretations toward any historical topic. The Oxford English Dictionary (2nd ed.) quotes one historian that revisionist history occurs when there is a widely held interpretation “which, because of its unilateral emphasis or perspective, needs to be counter-balanced.”
7. Some readers may question why I do not date the New Mormon History from the 1945 publication of Fawn M. Brodie’s No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith the Mormon Prophet (New York: Alfred Knopf). In my view, Brodie’s erudite and literary biography has more in common with the sins of traditional Mormon history. She discussed fundamental issues of Joseph Smith’s life without taking his religious claims seriously and filtered her evidence and analysis through the perspective that the Mormon prophet was at best a “parapath” and at worst a charlatan. It is silent evidence of the inadequacy of traditional Mormon history that for more than thirty years no scholary rival to Brodie appeared until the publication of Donna Hill’s Joseph Smith: The First Mormon (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977). For claims that Brodie’s biography ushered in a “new era” of Mormon history, see Robert B. Flanders, “Some Reflections on the New Mormon History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 9 (Spring 1974): 35; and Gary Topping, “History of Historians,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 22 (Spring 1989): 157.
8. For publications which give generally positive definitions and evaluations of the New Mormon History, see Leonard J. Arrington, “Preface,” Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830-1900 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1958), esp. viii-ix.; Marvin S. Hill, “The Historiography of Mormonism,” Church History 28 (Dec. 1959): 418-26; Leonard J. Arrington, “Scholarly Studies of Mormonism in the Twentieth Century,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (Spring 1966); 15-32; Klaus J. Hansen, “Reflections on the Writing of Mormon History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (Spring 1966): 156-57; Richard L. Bushman, “Taking Mormonism Seriously,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (Autumn 1966): 23-26; Leonard J. Arrington, “The Search for Truth and Meaning in Mormon History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 3 (Summer 1968): 56-66; Richard L. Bushman, “Faithful History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 4 (Winter 1969): 11-25; Rischin, “The New Mormon History”; Robert A. Rees, “‘Truth is the Daughter of Time,’: Notes Toward an Imaginative Mormon History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 6 (Autumn-Winter [p.xv] 1971: 15-22; Paul M. Edwards, “Why I Am Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?,” Courage: A Journal of History, Thought and Action 1 (June 1971): 241-46; Marvin S. Hill, “Brodie Revisited: A Reappraisal,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 7 (Winter 1972): 72-74; Richard P. Howard, “The Effect of Time and Changing Conditions on Our Knowledge of History,” Saints Herald 120 (June 1973): 54; William Mulder, “Fatherly Advice,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 9 (Winter 1974): 77-80; Marvin S. Hill, “Secular or Sectarian History?: A Critique of No Man Knows My History,” Church History 43 (March 1974): 78-96; Robert B. Flanders, “Some Reflections on the New Mormon History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 9 (Spring 1974): 34-41; Richard P. Howard, “The Historical Method as the Key to Understanding Our Heritage,” Saints Herald 121 (Nov. 1974): 53; “History Is Then and Now: A Conversation with Leonard J. Arrington, Church Historian,” Ensign (July 1975): 8-13; William Mulder, “The Mormon Angle of Historical Vision: Some Maverick Reflections,” and Marvin S. Hill, “The ‘Prophet Puzzle’ Assembled: or, How to Treat Our Historical Diplopia Toward Joseph Smith,” Journal of Mormon History 3 (1976): 13-22, 101-105; Richard D. Poll, “Nauvoo and the New Mormon History: A Bibliographical Survey,” Journal of Mormon History 5 (1978): 105-123; James B. Allen, “Line Upon Line,” Ensign 9 (July 1970): 32-39; Charles S. Peterson, “Mormon History: Some Problems and Prospects,” Encyclia: Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters 56 (1979): 114-26; Mark P. Leone, “The Uses of History,” in his Roots of Modern Mormonism (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979), pp. 194-209; “Mormon History: A Dialogue with Jan Shipps, Richard Bushman, and Leonard Arrington,” Century 2 [BYU] 4 (Spring-Summer 1980): 27-39; Richard Sherlock, “The Gospel Beyond Time: Thoughts on the Relation of Faith and Historical Knowledge,” Sunstone 5 (July-Aug 1980): 20-23; James L. Clayton, “History and Theology: The Mormon Connection: A Response,” Sunstone 5 (Nov.-Dec. 1980): 51-53; Leonard J. Arrington, “The Writing of Latter-day Saint History: Problems, Accomplishments and Admonitions,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Fall 1981): 119-29; Jan Shipps, “The Mormon Past: Revealed or Revisited?” Sunstone 6 (Nov.-Dec 1981): 55-57; Davis Bitton, “Mormon Biography,” Biography: An Interdisciplinary Quarterly 4 (Winter 1981): 1-16; F. Henry Edwards, “Engagement with Church History,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 1 (1981): 30-33; Roger Elvin Borg, “‘Theological Marionettes’: Historicism in Mormon History,” Thetean: A Student Journal of History (Provo, UT: Beta Iota Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta, Brigham Young University, 1981): 5-20; Mario DePillis, “Bearding Leone and Others in the Heartland of Mormon Historiography,” Journal of Mormon History 8 (1981): 79-97; Lawrence Foster, “New Perspectives on the Mormon Past,” Sunstone 7 (Jan.-Feb. 1982): 41-45; James L. Clayton, “Does History Undermine Faith?” Sunstone 7 (Mar.-Apr. 1982): 33-40; Ronald K. Esplin, [p.xvi] “How Then Should We Write History,” Sunstone 7 (Mar.-Apr. 1982) 41-45; Jay Fox, “Clio and Calliope: Writing Imaginative Histories of the Pacific,” Proceedings of the Mormon Pacific Historical Society, Third Annual Conference, April 10, 1982, 12-19; Ronald W. Walker, “The Nature and Craft of Mormon Biography,” Brigham Young University Studies 22 (Spring 1982): 179-92; Richard P. Howard, “Adjusting Theological Perspectives to Historical Reality,” Saints Herald 129 (Sept. 1982): 28; Davis Bitton, “Like the Tigers of Old Time,” Sunstone 7 (Sept.-Oct. 1982): 44-48; C. Robert Mesle, “History, Faith, and Myth,” Sunstone 7 (Nov.-Dec. 1982): 10-13; Martin E. Marty, “Two Integrities: An Address to the Crisis in Mormon Historiography,” Journal of Mormon History 10 (1983): 3-19; Melvin T. Smith, “Faithful History/Secular Faith,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 16 (Winter 1983): 65-71; Davis Bitton, “Ten Years in Camelot: A Personal Memoir,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 16 (Autumn 1983): 9-20; Thomas G. Alexander, “Toward the New Mormon History: An Examination of the Literature on the Latter-day Saints in the Far West,” in Michael P. Malone, ed., Historians and the American West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1983): 344-68; Marion G. Romney, “Foreword” to D. Michael Quinn, J. Reuben Clark: The Church Years (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1983), ix; Melvin T. Smith, “Faithful History/Secular Religion,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 4 (1984): 51-58; Richard P. Howard, “The Problem of History and Revelation,” Saints Herald 131 (Oct. 1984): 24; Marvin S. Hill, “Richard L. Bushman: Scholar and Apologist,” Journal of Mormon History 11 (1984) : 125-33; Lavina Fielding Anderson, “The Assimilation of Mormon History: Modern Mormon Historical Novels,” Mormon Letters Annual, 1983 (Salt Lake City: Association for Mormon Letters, 1984), 1-9; Jan Shipps, “History as Text,” in her Mormonism: The Story of a New Religious Tradition (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985), 41-65; Paul M. Edwards, “Our Own Story,” Sunstone 10 (Jan.-Feb. 1985): 58-59; R. Lawrence Moore, “Prophets in Their Own Country,” New York Times Book Review (21 July 1985): 11; David Brion Davis, “Secrets of the Mormons,” New York Review of Books (14 Aug. 1985): 15-18; Kent E. Robson, “Objectivity and History,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Winter 1986): 87-97; Martin Ridge, “Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and a Religious Tradition,” Reviews in American History 14 (Mar. 1986): 25-33; Grant Underwood, “Re-visioning Mormon History,” Pacific Historical Review 55 (Aug. 1986): 403-26; Paul M. Edwards, “The New Mormon History,” Saints Herald 133 (Nov. 1986): 12-14, 20; Thomas G. Alexander, “Historiography and the New Mormon History: A Historian’s Perspective,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Fall 1986); 25-49; W. Grant McMurray, “‘As Historians and Not as Partisans’: The Writing of Official History in the RLDS Church,” and Roger D. Launius, “A New Historiograph-[p.vxii]ical Frontier: The Reorganization in the Twentieth Century,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 6 (1986): 43-52; Thomas G. Alexander, “No Way to Build Bridges,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 22 (Spring 1988): 5; Marvin S. Hill, “The New Mormon History Reassessed in Light of Recent Books on Joseph Smith and Mormon Origins,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 21 (Autumn 1988): 115-127; Richard D. Poll, History and Faith: Reflections of a Mormon Historian (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989); Klaus J. Hansen, “Arrington’s Historians,” Sunstone 13 (Aug. 1989): 41-43; Henry Warner Bowden, “From the Age of Science to the Age of Uncertainly: History and Mormon Studies in the Twentieth Century,” Journal of Mormon History 15 (1989): 105-20; “Coming to Terms with Mormon History: An Interview with Leonard Arrington,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 39-54; Paul M. Edwards, “A Time and a Season: History as History,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 10 (1990): 39-54; Eric C. Olson, “The ‘Perfect Pattern’: The Book of Mormon as a Model for the Writing of Sacred History,” and Honey and Peterson, “Advocacy and Inquiry in Mormon Historiography,” 7-18, 154-62, 170-72; D. Michael Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian,” in George D. Smith, ed., Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992). For abstracts of most of the above articles, see Louis C. Midgley and David J. Whittaker, Mapping Contemporary Mormon Historiography: An Annotated Bibliography (forthcoming).
9. LDS apostle Dallin H. Oaks believes that official church publications are exempt from the responsibility to be balanced but that secular publications are not: “Balance is telling both sides. This is not the mission of official Church literature or avowedly anti-Mormon literature. Neither has any responsibility to present both sides. But when supposedly objective news media or periodicals run a feature or an article on the Church or its doctrines, it ought to be balanced. So should a book length history or biography. Readers of supposedly objective authors and publishers have a right to expect balance in writing about the Church or its doctrines” (“Reading Church History,” an address delivered at the Church Educational System’s Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, 18 Aug. 1985)
11. This is reflected in previously ignored or denied historical evidence now being at least acknowledged by traditionalists. Examples are Truman G. Madsen (director of Brigham Young University’s Religious Studies Center), Defender of the Faith: The B. H. Roberts Story (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), 379; Francis M. Gibbons (secretary to the First Presidency of the LDS church), Joseph F. Smith: Patriarch and Preacher, Prophet of God (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), 221; and Richard Lloyd Anderson (religion [p.xviii] professor at Brigham Young University), “The Mature Joseph Smith and Treasure Searching,” Brigham Young University Studies 24 (Fall 1984): 489-560.
13. For publications with generally negative evaluations of the New Mormon History, see Ezra Taft Benson, The Gospel Teacher and His Message (Salt Lake City: Church Education System, 1976); Ezra Taft Benson, “God’s Hand in Our Nation’s History,” in 1976 Devotional Speeches of the Year, BYU Bicentennial Devotional and Fireside Addresses (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1977), 295-316; Joe J. Christensen, “The Value of Church History and Historians: Some Personal Impressions,” Proceedings of the Church Education System Church History Symposium (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1977), 12-17; Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,” Brigham Young University Studies 21 (Summer 1981): 259-78; Neal W. Kramer, “Looking for God in History,” Sunstone 8 (Jan.-Mar. 1983): 15-17; David Earl Bohn, “No Higher Ground: Objective History Is an Illusive Chimera,” Sunstone 8 (May-June 1983): 26-32; Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stop Looking for Storms and Enjoy the Sunlight,” Deseret News Church Section, 3 July 1983, 10-11; Gordon B. Hinckley, “Be Not Deceived,” Ensign 13 (Nov. 1983): 46; Scott C. Dunn, “So Dangerous it Couldn’t Be Talked About,” Sunstone 8 (Nov.-Dec. 1983): 47-48; Boyd K. Packer, “Dedication of Museum of Church History and Art,” Ensign 14 (May 1984): 104; David Earl Bohn, “The Burden of Proof,” Sunstone 10 (June 1985): 2-3; Gordon B. Hinckley, “Keep the Faith,” Ensign 15 (Sept. 1985): 3-6; Gordon B. Hinckley’s remarks at priesthood session in October 1985 Conference Report, 63-69; Louis Midgely, “Church Espouses Agency, Critics Accuse Authorities of Seeking Blind Obedience,” Brigham Young University Daily Universe, 10 Dec. 1985, 18; Russell M. Nelson, “Truth—and More,” Ensign 16 (Jan. 1986): 69-73; Robert L. Millet, “How Should Our Story Be Told?” and Louis Midgley, “Faith and History,” in Robert Millet, ed., “To Be Learned is Good, If…”: A Response by Mormon Educators to Controversial Religious Questions (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1987), 1-8, 219-26; Keith Perkins, “Why Are We Here in New England?: A Personal View of Church History,” in Donald Q. Cannon, ed., Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1978); M. Gerald Bradford, “The Case for the New Mormon History: Thomas G. Alexander and His Critics,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 21 (Winter 1988): 143-150; Louis Midgley, “Which Middle Ground?” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 22 (Summer 1989): 6-8; Arthur H. King and C. Terry Warner, “Talent and the Individual’s Tradition: History as Art, and Art as Moral Response,” and Louis Midgley, “Modernity and the Mormon Crisis of Faith: The Challenge of Historical Consciousness,” [p.xix] in John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks, eds., By Study and Also by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, 27 March 1990, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1990), 2:484-501, 502-51; David Earl Bohn, “Our Own Agenda: A Critique of the Methodology of the New Mormon History,” Sunstone 14 (June 1990): 45-49; Gary Novak, “Naturalistic Assumptions and the Book of Mormon,” Brigham Young University Studies 30 (Summer 1990): 23-40; Louis C. Midgley, “The Myth of Objectivity: Some Lessons for Latter-day Saints,” Sunstone 14 (Aug. 1990): 54-46. For abstracts of the above articles, see Midgley and Whittaker, Mapping Contemporary Mormon Historiography.
15. Midgley acknowledges this in his “Modernity and the Mormon Crisis Of Faith.” Midgley and associates dismiss the rest of the New Mormon History as basically insignificant unless they find something in it worthy of critical attention.
16. James B. Allen, “Since 1950: Creators and Creations of Mormon History,” in Davis Bitton and Maureen Ursenbach Beecher, eds., New Views of Mormon History: A Collection of Essays in Honor of Leonard J. Arrington (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1987), 432n7.
17. Earlier collections appeared in F. Mark McKiernan, Alma Blair, and Paul M. Edwards, eds., The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History (Lawrence, KS: Coronado Press, 1973); Claudia L. Bushman, ed., Mormon Sisters: Women in Early Utah (Salt Lake City: Olympus Publishing Co., 1976); Richard H. Jackson, ed., The Mormon Role in the Settlement of the West (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1978); Vicky Burgess-Olson, ed., Sister Saints (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1978); Thomas G. Alexander, ed., The Mormon People: Their Character and Traditions (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1980); Maurice L. Draper, et al., eds., Restoration Studies: A Collection of Essays About the History, Beliefs, and Practices of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 4 vols. (Independence, MO: Temple School, 1980-88); Lyndon W. Cook and Donald Q. Cannon, eds., A New Light Breaks Forth: Essays in Mormon History and The Exodus and Beyond: Essays in Mormon History, 2 vols. (Salt Lake City: Hawkes Publishing, 1980); Thomas G. Alexander and Jessie L. Embry, eds., After 150 Years: The Latter-day Saints in Sesquicentennial Perspective (Provo, UT: Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, 1983); Lester Bush and Armand Mauss, eds., Neither White Nor Black: Mormon Scholars Confront the Race Issue in a Universal Church (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1984); Maureen Beecher and Lavina Anderson, eds., Sisters in the Spirit (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987); Bitton and Beecher, New Views of Mormon History; Gary James Bergera, ed., Line Upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989); Richard L. Jensen and [p.xx] Malcolm R. Thorp, eds., Mormonism n Early Victorian Britain (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1989); and Dan Vogel, ed., The Word of God: Essays on Mormon Scripture (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990).