Religion, Feminism, and Freedom of Conscience
Edited by George D. Smith
Religion and Academics at Brigham Young University
A Recent Historical Perspective
Gary James Bergera
[p.93]Throughout its nearly 120-year history, Brigham Young University has tried to integrate religion and academics. Ranking church leaders who double as the school’s board of trustees stress the importance of combining modern thought with religion, while at the same time pointing out obstacles. This balancing act, which weighs critical secularism with the non-rational world view of conservative religion, has fluctuated from shotgun marriage to uneasy truce and today serves as a microcosm of the LDS intellectual enterprise.
BYU’s most consistent emphasis has been on demonstrating the rationality of Mormon beliefs. Two of the school’s earliest research institutes were the Institute of Church Studies (1957) and the Institute of Mormon Studies (1964). The former was established to assist church authorities “in research and other problems”—which often meant compiling material for speeches; the latter was to provide the church with doctrinal studies. In 1965 a Book of Mormon Institute was founded, which produced motion pictures for use in the church’s missionary program.1 In 1976 BYU’s religious institutes were [p.94]consolidated into a single Center for Religious Studies. The center soon became known for its symposia and publications, which BYU philosopher Truman Madsen termed “real potboiler[s]” because of their ease in production and sales.2
Other campus research groups reflect similar interests. A Moral Studies group was organized in the 1970s under university president Dallin Oaks but was later dismantled when it became apparent that group members did not intend to publish their views for outside peer review. Similarly, the BYU Translation Sciences Institute had as its original goal development of simultaneous foreign translations of talks by church authorities. After ten years of discouraging results, the institute was relocated off campus as a more traditional and independent translation company. Other less-ambitious institutes with Mormon emphases have continued on campus, including the Center for Christian Values in Literature.3
[p.95]In the classroom faculty and students have been encouraged, sometimes required, to modify curricula to reflect Mormon teachings. Apostle Harold B. Lee cautioned students in the late 1960s, “If you find in your school texts claims that contradict the word of the Lord, … you may be certain such teachings are but the theories of men.”4 “In all fields of secular learning,” Apostle Delbert Stapley told BYU faculty, “if the text does not conform or agree with the teaching of the gospel then the scriptures and the teachings of God’s oracles must supersede the speculations and opinions of men.”5 Founding law school dean Rex Lee added in 1973, “In those few instances in which the rational and the extrarational processes yield inconsistent results, it is the latter which must prevail.”6 In 1960 BYU trustees agreed to authorize a major in anthropology only on condition “that a member of the executive committee [counsel] with the teachers … before the program be put into effect.”7
Two years earlier similar concern in another discipline had led to discontinuation of a philosophy class in existentialism.8 One philosophy professor remembered, “There rarely was a semester that I did not have to defend myself and what I was teaching.”9 When in the mid-1960s philosophy faculty tried to inaugurate an open lecture series, the dean of the College of Religion noted that “Some of the [church] authorities have had some concern about [p.96][even] offering philosophy [at BYU].”10 The president agreed to the lectures on an “experimental basis, provided,” he wrote, “[the faculty] can assure you that their sincere desire is to build testimonies of the truthfulness of the gospel rather than to raise questions and doubts in the minds of students or others who may attend.”11 A trustee stressed four years later that BYU’s philosophy curriculum should be presented “in such a manner as to avoid the tendency of many academicians to measure their areas of discipline against the philosophy of the church.”12
Such censorship has been evident in the management of the school’s “voice for the community of LDS scholars,” Brigham Young University Studies, where the consequences of displeasing trustees has been a recurring fear. Reviewing a submission entitled “LDS Scholar’s Responsibility” in the late 1960s, one reader admitted that while he agreed with the author, he wondered what would happen if “one of the brethren disagreed with his position or with his procedure,” thus “open[ing] up a series of controversies.” Screening another essay, “The Growth and Development of the LDS Concept of God,” a religion instructor thought “there would be some ‘official’ objection to the article as it now stands, even in the title, and both Studies and [the author] should be spared that experience.” An essay on the church’s health code would not “solve anything but just raise more issues and rationalizations,” its two reviewers wrote, “stir[ring] up too much controversy in the minds of Latter-day Saint readers.” A fourth article detailing church rituals would “draw heavy criticism from the brethren, and speaks of things that would be better left unpublished.” Finally, an essay on an early Mormon apostate exhibited the wrong “tone”:
It seems to take an “objective” approach (i.e., I don’t get the feeling the author is attacking Joseph Smith but at the same time he doesn’t give us the impression that he does believe Joseph Smith was a prophet). It is not the purpose of BYU Studies to adopt [p.97]such an attitude. We should take it as a given that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Therefore the paper cannot be published in BYU Studies.13
In 1973 the managing director of LDS public communications complained to BYU president Oaks that the findings of two BYU sociologists reflected negatively on the church.14 The researchers had found that among practicing Mormons nearly 80 percent shop on Sunday, while only 8 percent would refuse an invitation to attend a movie on Sunday.15 Oaks replied that “the distribution of scientific findings about how much active members of a church [deviate in behavior from church expectations] and yet maintain their self-concepts as active church members seems eminently proper.” “Wherever possible,” he explained, “our scholarly work should be made available for the benefit of the public, including our own members.”16 But three years later Oaks quashed release of a survey on stresses facing contemporary Mormon families. Reportedly, he was not convinced of several of the report’s conclusions, notably that more LDS than non-LDS women in Utah work outside the home; that a mother’s working outside the home does not have a negative effect on her family; and that the church may contribute to an increasing divorce rate among members by not providing adequate sex education for its youth.17
The academic treatment of sex has been one of the areas of greatest controversy at BYU. Since the early 1900s the school has [p.98]offered an introductory course in sex education.18 In 1953, President Ernest Wilkinson, alarmed at Alfred Kinsey’s reports on sexual behavior, appointed a faculty committee to determine if the school’s sex education provided a strong defense of chastity.19 When members of the sociology department learned that the committee had decided “who shall teach [sex education] and where,” they registered “strenuous objection to administrative prurience in this regard.”20 Wilkinson, however, knowing of “no more important need on our campus,” pushed for a BYU-authored health textbook.21 One of the school’s faculty assigned to the project became skeptical that his treatment of sex could pass the scrutiny of both trustees and colleagues.22 Some university administrators agreed, and the project was abandoned.23Instead, BYU officials arranged to have a national publisher remove objectionable material from a health text. When the publisher overlooked one offending page in 1967, BYU bookstore employees excised the page before placing the text on store shelves. Student reaction ranged from amusement to outrage.24 Studies undertaken since have found that many freshmen enter BYU misinformed about sex, and that student attitudes towards sex education  become more disapproving following enrollment in the university’s required health classes.25
Administrators and faculty have also tried to referee Mormon teachings and secular theories on human personality development and psychotherapy. President Wilkinson felt that “any teacher who has to go to a psychiatrist … is not worthy of being on the BYU faculty,”26 and the church’s Priesthood Bulletin carried official caution against “studies or systems dealing with the complexities of the human personality.”27 Apostle Mark Petersen, in what he would term the “general attitude” of church authorities,28 proclaimed that “our identity was fixed in the pre-existence even as it is preserved in the hereafter. It never has changed and never will change.”29 “The basic cause of mental and emotional illness,” an assistant BYU professor of organizational behavior added two years later, “is disobedience to gospel law. … The Lord’s approach to the world’s sicknesses is to teach … faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, [and] service.”30 A BYU psychologist promised, “There will be a Mormon [p.100]applied behavioral science” that will “infuse scholarly work with values, revelations, and inspired methods of inquiry that derive from the gospel.”31
Practical implementation of Mormon-based psychology proved difficult. Referring to the “blanket condemnation of certain kinds of therapy and group techniques [coming] from church leaders,” BYU psychologist Mark Allen found that “these statements have been disturbing because they have not discriminated as to the legitimate and illegitimate uses” of such techniques.32 In late 1969 BYU administrators announced they were curtailing the on-campus use of “electrical aversive therapy” except in treating homosexuality.33 A Board of Review for Psychotherapeutic Techniques later identified eight therapies that conflicted with church teachings, including hypnosis, sensitivity training, and self-disclosure.34
In response to the increasing ‘personal problems of church members … in number and seriousness,” together with the absence of “revealed truth about human behavior” among professionals “to combat these problems,” President Oaks proposed to trustees in 1976 that “an Institute for Studies in Values and Human Behavior be established at BYU to sponsor and conduct research that would assist in preventing and changing behaviors which lead people away from eternal life.” Trustees backed the appointment of BYU psychologist Allen Bergin as director.35 Noting that “too many LDS behavioral scientists do not harmonize their professional concepts with their religious stands,” Bergin explained that his “first project [would] be to state as dearly as possible to the behavioral [p.101]scientists … that Jesus Christ teaches in principles of behavior.”36 He later added, “What we can do is receive inspiration in our research and then seek reviews by the authorities [of the church] for their interpretations, disapproval, or whatever, if doctrinal questions are raised by it.”37 “Our basic theme,” institute member Victor Brown, Jr., wrote, “is that truth lies with the scriptures and prophets, not with secular data or debate.”38
The institute’s primary assignment was to prepare a manuscript on homosexuality. “The church would fund the project,” Oaks reported, “and the resulting book [would] be published by a press having nothing to do with the church in order to magnify its acceptability in the scholarly community and among non-church members.”39 Researchers were particularly proud of a 1978 doctoral dissertation, commissioned by the church’s social services division, on the “Treatment of Homosexuality: A Reanalysis and Synthesis of Outcome Studies.”40 The study’s conclusion that two-thirds of homosexuals seeking therapy reported some improvement was greeted by institute members as secular vindication of the church’s position. Yet three years after the establishment of the institute, one member [p.102]admitted, “Sexuality is a risky business. Articles on the more general subject of mental health and values are much better investments.”41 By 1980 costs for the proposed defense of church teachings had reached close to $150,000, and some church authorities had become “squeamish” over the issue, while Bergin had concluded “that for him to complete [the] book under the conditions outlined (including direct church funding and the necessary review by persons representing the church) would seriously erode his professional standing … and significantly reduce the desired impact of the book.”42 Bergin eventually bowed out of the project, and the completed work, a more general treatment of Human Intimacy: Illusion and Reality, published in 1981, listed Brown as its only author.43
When the Department of Archaeology was founded in 1946, “the scope of the new department’s interest … was particularly directed towards research bearing on [Mormon] scriptures.” Department chair Ross Christensen felt that “if our search nowhere turns up materials that can be fitted into the Book of Mormon picture of extensive civilizations of Near Eastern origin, then that record stands disproved.”44 Early expeditions into Central America “discovered important evidence bearing on the location of the Book of Mormon [p.103]cit[ies].”45 Other trips followed, and with the inauguration in 1951 of an Annual Symposium on the Archaeology of the Scriptures sponsored by the University Archaeological Society (later Society for Early Historic Archaeology [SEHA]), Book of Mormon geography became an important topic on campus.46 At one point, President Wilkinson bragged, “Our archaeology is taught clearly from a Book of Mormon standpoint.”47
As naivete and overzealousness became apparent,48 however, a 1959 proposal for “a large excavation program in Central America to verify the Book of Mormon” failed to receive administrative approval. Officials were convinced that some research had been “so biased that they will not stand the test of objective archaeological conclusions.” Thus “if we are to do further excavating,” administrators decided, “it should be done largely by non-Mormons who will merely give a description of what they find, leaving the world to make conclusions.”49 As a result, the New World Archaeological Foundation (NWAF), creation of a California attorney in 1952 and church-funded since 1955, was instructed to “concern itself only with the culture history interpretations normally within the scope of archaeology, and any attempt at correlation or interpretation involving the Book of Mormon should be eschewed.50 “I welcomed the instruction as [p.104]refreshing after my earlier days at BYU,” wrote a former NWAF archaeologist in 1969, “when everything the archaeology department did had to be ‘scripturally’ related.”51 NWAF-sponsored expeditions have since excavated at the Cinco Pisos pyramid in the Edzna valley, Campeche, Mexico, and the ruins of El Mirador, Guatemala.52 In addition, New World explorations in Chiapas, Mexico, “have put that state on the archaeological map and have established one of the longest and best archaeological sequences for any part of the” Americas.53 Following persistent insinuations that NWAF’s ties to the LDS church prevented its employees from reaching “scientific” conclusions, it was reorganized in mid-1976 as a “separately identified but subsidiary entity” of BYU.54
Some BYU faculty have continued the task of proving Book of Mormon claims. John L. Sorenson, archaeology chair, assembled an elaborate map of Book of Mormon cities tied to mesoamerican ruins.55 And more recently the Foundation for Ancient Research and [p.105]Mormon Studies (FARMS), an offshoot of SEHA and NWAF, has produced a growing collection of inter-disciplinary defenses of Book of Mormon historicity based on Sorenson’s speculations. Guided tours of ruins, conducted by Sorenson, began in early 1984, and were followed by classes in Book of Mormon archaeology in the anthropology department.56 But archaeological proofs remain elusive. Sorenson’s own manuscript was rejected for publication by BYU’s Religious Studies Center because Apostle Mark Petersen found the topic ‘too touchy.”57 Only after Petersen’s death in 1984 did FARMS and church-owned Deseret Book jointly publish Sorenson’s and other related works.58
Equally problematic in accommodating a curriculum of religion and academics has been the writing of Mormon history. “Until the past twenty-five years,” observed non-LDS historian Lawrence Foster in 1982, “the very idea of Mormon history [was] viewed as a joke by most professional historians.”59 In the 1930s BYU professor [p.106]Wilford Poulson pursued his studies of early church history in secret, fearing repercussions if school or church leaders learned of his activities.60 By the 1950s an increasing number of professionally trained Mormon historians had begun meeting informally to share research findings and “stratagems by which [they] could overcome the reluctance of [church administrators] to allow [them] access to the rich materials housed [in church archives].”61 Budding historians were “taken aback” when an article on Mormon health practices by Leonard J. Arrington, published in the inaugural issue of BYU Studies, aroused “such an opposition on the part of one zealous [church] authority that the journal was suspended for a year.”62 The director of BYU libraries later admitted to President Wilkinson, “The idea that anything controversial involving the church will not be given fair treatment or will not be made available for publication at Brigham Young University … is a problem we are continually faced with.”63
Despite such obstacles,64 interest in LDS history snowballed. In 1965 the Mormon History Association was organized. Seven years [p.107]later Leonard Arrington was officially appointed Church Historian in 1972, a position formerly reserved for church authorities. “Now [the Church Historian’s office] is going to be a dispenser of information, and I thoroughly approve of the new policy,” commented retired BYU president Wilkinson.65 “It was,” an assistant to Arrington later wrote, “a golden decade—that someone has likened to Camelot.”66 Arrington and his staff inaugurated a sixteen-volume sesqui-centennial history of the church and a Mormon Heritage series of edited documents, discovered and cataloged more than fifty boxes of previously unknown historical materials, assisted church archivists in the preparation of registers and guides to archival collections, initiated an oral history program, established a summer fellowship for graduate students, and produced an impressive array of task papers, articles, monographs, and books.67
Arrington’s philosophy of history helped spawn what has been called the New Mormon History. As defined by BYU historian Thomas Alexander, it “derived from a belief that secular and spiritual motivation coexist in human affairs and that a sympathetic but critical evaluation of the Mormon past, using techniques derived from historical, humanistic, social-scientific, and religious perspectives, could help in understanding what was at base a religious movement.”68 Under Arrington’s and others’ direction, “a sense of excitement and exhilaration was generated as increasing numbers of Latter-day Saints began to develop a direct, personal sense of their own history, [and] a deeper appreciation of the richness and complexity of the Mormon past.”69
[p.108]Support for New Mormon History proved short-lived. Church authorities expressed concern in 1974 when a director of the LDS Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah publicly detailed connections between Mormonism and Freemasonry.70 Less than two years later Ezra Taft Benson, president of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles, denounced “revisionist” historians whose “purpose has been and is to create a ‘new history.'” “The emphasis,” he declared, “is to underplay revelation and God’s intervention in significant events, and to inordinately humanize the prophets of God so that their human frailties become more apparent than their spiritual qualities. … No writer can accurately portray a prophet of God if he or she does not believe in prophecy.”71 Benson later specifically warned teachers about interpreting church history. To say, he explained,
that the Word of Wisdom [the Mormon health code] was an outgrowth of the temperance movement in America and that Joseph Smith selected certain prohibitions and dietary features from that movement and presented them to the Lord for confirmation is also to pronounce an explanation contradictory to the one given by Brigham Young. To suggest that Joseph Smith received the vision on the three degrees of glory … as he grappled for answers that contemporary philosophers were grappling for, is to infer an interpretation contrary to the prophet’s own.
“Avoid expressions and terminology which offend the brethren and church members,” Benson continued, insisting that “A revelation of God is not an experiment.”72
The impact at BYU was apparent. The next year religion administrators ruled that an instructor “should choose another topic instead of talking on polygamy [for a spring faculty lecture] for the problems [p.109]it could cause.”73 In 1978, at the request of Apostle Petersen, an investigation was conducted of a BYU undergraduate and his teacher when the student wrote a paper analyzing the church’s 1890 Manifesto banning polygamy.74
By 1980 LDS authorities had decided to “scuttle the sixteen-volume [sesquicentennial] history,” to “circumscribe [other] projects that [had been] approved,” to “reject any suggestions, however meritorious, for worthy long-range projects,” to “allow the [Church Historical Department] to shrink by attrition,” and to limit access to important collections in church archives.75 Plans for a BYU-sponsored church history symposium were modified. Trustees ruled that “no extensive advertising should be made … and any publication should not be announced in advance but should be determined following the outcome of a careful review after the symposium.”76 Arrington and the majority of his colleagues were transferred to BYU as the newly formed Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History, away from church archives and contact with church officials.77
[p.110]”The Lord made it very dear that some things are to be taught selectively, and some things are to be given only to those who are worthy,” Elder Boyd Packer warned in August 1981. “One who chooses to follow the tenets of his profession, regardless of how they may injure the church or destroy the faith of those not ready for ‘advanced history’ is himself in spiritual jeopardy.”78 Soon afterwards Arrington was formally notified that he was no longer Church Historian.
Among the first to hazard a public response to criticisms of their profession was D. Michael Quinn, BYU associate professor of history. Speaking to BYU history majors in November 1981, Quinn commented that the kind of church history required by Benson and Packer bordered on “idolatry.” He explained:
If a Latter-day Saint historian discussed the revelation to Joseph Smith about abstinence from tobacco, strong drinks, and hot drinks, and then failed to note that during the 1830s religious reformers and social reformers were involved nationally in urging abstinence from the identical things, any reader would have cause to criticize the historian and doubt his motives as well as his affirmation of the revelation’s truth … Mormon historians would be false to their understanding of LDS doctrine, Sacred History of the scriptures, the realities of human conduct, and documentary evidence if they sought to defend the proposition that LDS prophets were infallible in their decisions and statements.79
[p.111]Quinn was quietly reprimanded for his comments, and his research was curtailed. He would later resign from BYU citing university-imposed restrictions on writing as his primary reason.
While some BYU faculty found this anti-intellectual posturing distressing, others sided with the critics of Mormon historians. A professor of political science wrote,
It is depressing to see some historians now struggling to get on the stage to act out the role of the mature, honest historian committed to something called “objective history,” and, at the same time, the role of the faithful Saint. The discordance between those roles has produced more than a little bad faith (that is, self-deception) and even, perhaps, some blatant hypocrisy; it has also produced some pretentious, bad history.80
Apostle Bruce McConkie voiced disdain for “wise and learned” scholars, whose writings “twist and pervert the scriptures to conform to their traditions, and if they get anything right it is an accident.”81 “No Latter-day Saint who is true and faithful in all things,” he later added, “will ever pursue a course, or espouse a cause, or publish an article or book that weakens or destroys faith.”82
Eventually belief alone would prove reason enough to dismiss a teacher when BYU decided in 1988 to terminate the employ of David Wright, assistant professor of Asian and Near Eastern languages. Wright was told that his personal views on the Book of Mormon, biblical prophecy, and scriptural historicity—which administrators admitted he had not taught on campus—”differ so significantly from those generally accepted” by the LDS church that “we cannot [p.112]continue your employment.”83 Feminist scholars have likewise been criticized for their professional and extracurricular activities. “My biggest concern about the radical feminist critique,” BYU’s provost Bruce Hafen announced in 1993, “is its potential to undermine religious faith when it rejects hierarchical and patriarchal institutions to the point of rejecting scripture, priesthood authority, and prophets. My biggest problem … is not that it favors women, but that it can disfavor divine revelation.”84
As BYU’s checkered history indicates, secular education and religious instruction are rarely compatible. As BYU alumnus and former University of Oregon president Meredith Wilson wrote, “The tensions between a vigorous church and a vigorous university are greater than many may suppose.”85 The “BYU problem,” noted Bruce Hafen, consists of “educational excellence juxtaposed with, and often colliding against, our concern for spiritual excellence.”86 President Oaks remarked at his 1980 farewell that when scholarship and religion 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,” he confessed, “is infinitely … difficult.”87
[p.113]Recurring conflicts at BYU point to a problem that has no apparent solution. Research has consistently indicated that “religion and scholarship tend to be incompatible.”88 While LDS church and BYU officials would no doubt like to believe that their school is immune,89 they will eventually have to chose one or the other.90
Gary James Bergera is coauthor (with Ron Priddis) of Brigham Young University: A House of Faith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1985). His essay is adapted from a panel discussion on academic freedom at Brigham Young University, sponsored by the B. H. Roberts Society, held at the University of Utah on 16 September 1993.
1. Ernest L. Wilkinson, ed., Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years, 4 vols. (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1975-76), 4:378 (hereafter BYU); Research Division Report, 1971-72, 69, 79; 1972-73, 78, University Archives, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (hereafter BYUA).
2. “Trustees OK Study Center,” Daily Universe, 27 Feb. 1976; “Foreign Visitors to Lecture,” Daily Universe, 13 Apr. 1977; “Book Review,” BYU Today, Apr. 1979, 7; “Islam: Spiritual Foundations and Modern Manifestations,” Daily Universe, 22 Oct. 1981; “Truman Madsen,” BYU Today, Dec. 1981, 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: A Journal of Mormon Thought 16 [Winter 1983]: 140-44).
3. “Behavior Institute Established at Y,” Daily Universe, 29 Sept. 1976; “Philosophy Department Comes of Age,” Seventh East Press, 10 June 1982); “In His Own Tongue,” Daily Universe, 13 Oct. 1971. Harold B. Lee, first counselor in the LDS 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, 8 (see also “Carapus Chatter,” Seventh East Press, 11 Aug. 1982); “Center for Study of Christian Values,” Daily Universe, 28 Oct. 1980.
15. See Philip R. Kunz and Franklyn W. Dunford, “The Neutralization of Religious Dissonance,” Review of Religious Research, Fall 1973, 2-9, cf. “Members Who Shop Sunday Have Guilt Feelings,” Daily Universe, 4 Apr. 1973.
17. “Notes of an interview with Boyd C. Rollins,” 30 Jan. 1976, copy in private possession. Though the final report is unavailable, its major conclusions can be inferred from Rollins’s “Annotated Bibliography on the Contemporary Mormon Family,” 10 Apr. 1975.
19. Alfred Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1948), and Alfred Kinsey et al., Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (Philadelphia: Saunders, 1953); Ernest L. Wilkinson to Antone K. Romney et al., 1 Oct. 1953, BYUA (cf. Committee on Sex Education minutes, 13 Oct. 1953, BYUA). At least two faculty committees were appointed to address the “Masturbation Problem” (Wilkinson to Romney et al.).
21. See Board of Trustees, Executive Committee minutes, 1 Feb., 1 Mar. 1962; documents in UA 585, BYUA; Earl C. Crockett to Reed H. Bradford et al., 5 Apr. 1962, BYUA; Ernest L. Wilkinson to Milton F. Hartvigsen, 17 Dec. 1962, BYUA.
25. See Thomas L. Stinebaugh, “An Investigation of Health Misconceptions among Students Enrolled in Personal Health Classes at Brigham Young University,” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1974, 25-37 (cf. “Lack of Sex Education Lecturer’s Topic,” Daily Universe, 4 Feb. 1976); Erskine P. Ausbrooks III, “An Evaluation of Change in the Health Related Attitudes of Students Completing Personal Health 130 Instruction at Brigham Young University,” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1975.
28. Inferred from Petersen to Gary J. Bergera, 13 May 1981 (see also Jack Jarrard, interview with Paul T Roberts, 8 June 1983, in Roberts, “A History of the Development and Objectives of the LDS Church News Section of the Deseret News,” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1983, 61).
30. Stephen R. Covey, in “Behavioral Science: Old Nemesis Looks for a New Roost,” BYU Today, Mar. 1976, 1 (see also the response of Merritt H. Egan, a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s National Task Force on Religion and Psychiatry).
31. “Dr. Allen E. Bergin,” Century II, Dec. 1976, 3; Allen E. Bergin, “Bringing the Restoration to the Academic World: Clinical Psychology as a Test Case,” Brigham Young University Studies, Summer 1979, 449-73.
39. Related goals included “creation of a clinically oriented document in which sacred and secular data are gathered for guidance of parents, individuals, and curriculum writers”; an “LDS book on human behavior after the manner of Articles of Faith”; and “creation of a political action kit for use of member-citizens in local legislative efforts” (Dallin H. Oaks to Thomas S. Monson, 13 Sept. 1979, copy in private possession).
40. Elizabeth C. James, “Treatment of Homosexuality: A Re-analysis and Synthesis of Outcome Studies,” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1978 (Allen Bergin served as chair of James’s doctoral committee). James reported that out of 101 published studies, 27 percent of subjects had “improved” and 37 percent had “recovered” with regards to their homosexuality.
44. Ross T. Christensen, “Why a Department of ‘Archaeology’?” The University Archaeological Society, Miscellaneous Papers, No. 19 (Provo, UT: n.p, Dec. 1960); BYU Catalog, I May 1946, 302-303; BYU Catalog, I May 1947, 107-10, and subsequent years. Christensen’s recollections are found in the following essays from Miscellaneous Papers, No. 19: “On the Study of Archaeology by Latter-day Saints,” 5, 9, 10; “Let George Do It,” 17; “New Chairman Airs Views,” 19; and “A Historical Sketch of the Department of Archaeology of Brigham Young University,” 4 Mar. 1957, 36, BYUA.
46. See Joseph E. Vincent, “Some Views on Book of Mormon Geography,” and C. Stuart Bagley, “A New Approach to the Geography of the Book of Mormon,” in Forrest R. Hauck, ed., Papers of the Fourteenth Annual Symposium on the Archaeology of the Scriptures (Provo, UT: Department of Extension Publications, 1965), 61-86.
50. Fred W. Nelson, “Thomas Stuart Ferguson, 1915-83,” 22 Oct. 1983, 11, 14, privately circulated; Wilkinson journal, 22 Aug. 1959. For Ferguson’s later reversal on Book of Mormon historicity, see Start Larson, “The Odyssey of Thomas Stuart Ferguson,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Spring 1990, 55-93.
52. See “BYU Group Explores in Yucatan,” Daily Universe, 2 Mar. 1973; “Archaeology Team Begins Excavation of Mayan City,” BYU Today, Mar. 1979, 1; “Y Archaeologists Working in Guatamala,” Daily Universe, 20 Oct. 1980; “Dig Uncovers Mayan Origins,” BYU Today, Mar. 1983, 35; A Quarter of a Century in Mexico (Provo, UT: New World Archaeological Foundation, 1978).
54. Leo P. Vernon to Dallin H. Oaks, 22 Apr. 1976, with attachment, copy in private possession; Board of Trustees Minutes, 2 June 1976; Oaks to Howard W. Hunter, 27 July 1976, and First Presidency to Oaks, 30 July 1976, copies in private possession. See also BYU 3:120-25.
55. “FARMS Tours: Here We Go Again,” Insights: An Ancient Window, Oct. 1984; John L. Sorenson, “Digging Into the Book of Mormon,” 6, 7, 13, copy in private possession, published, with some changes, as “Digging Into the Book of Mormon: Our Changing Understanding of Ancient America and Its Scripture,” Ensign, Sept. 1984, 26-37, and Oct. 1984, 12-23. Sorenson’s theories are most fully stated in An Ancient American Setting for the Book of Mormon (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985).
56. The Society for Early Historic Archaeology announced its own courses in scriptural archaeology. For cautionary statements, see Martin Raish, “All That Glitters: Uncovering Fool’s Gold in Book of Mormon Archaeology,” Sunstone, Jan./Feb. 1980, 10-15, and Raymond T. Matheny, remarks delivered during the Sixth Annual Sunstone Theological Symposium, 25 Aug. 1984. Insights: An Ancient Window, Mar. 1984.
59. Lawrence Foster, “New Perspectives on the Mormon Past,” Sunstone, Jan./Feb. 1982, 41. For useful surveys of Mormon historiography, see Howard C. Searle, “Early Mormon Historiography: Writing the History of the Mormons, 1830-1858,” Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1979; Clara Viator Dobay, “Essays in Mormon Historiography,” Ph.D. diss., University of Houston, 1980; LeAnn Cragun, “Mormons and History: In Control of the Past,” Ph.D. diss., University of Hawaii, 1981; and 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.
64. For examples of some of the criticisms leveled at Mormon historians during the mid- to late-1960s, see Ernest L. Wilkinson to Daniel H. Ludlow, 19 Feb. 1968, BYUA; LaMar Berrett, “A Statement Concerning Leonard J. Arrington,” 1968, BYUA; Dean R. Zimmerman to Whom It May Concern, 1968, BYUA (cf. Daniel H. Ludlow to Ernest L. Wilkinson, 27 Dec. 1968, BYUA).
68. Alexander, “Toward the New Mormon History,” 344. See also David Whittaker’s review essay, “Historians and the Mormon Experience; A Sesquicentennial Perspective,” A Sesquicentennial Look at Church History—The Eighth Annual Sidney B. Sperry Symposium (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Instruction, 1980), 295-327.
74. David John Buerger, “Politics and Inspiration: An Historical Analysis of the Woodruff Manifesto,” 10 Aug. 1978; Mark E. Petersen to Gregory E. Austin, 8 Sept. 1978 (cf. Petersen to Gordon B. Hinckley, 8 Sept. 1978); Buerger to Austin, 17 Sept. 1978; Dallin H. Oaks to Hinckley, 29 Sept. 1978; copies in private possession.
75. Bitton, “Ten Years,” 18-19 (cf. “Campus Chatter,” Seventh East Press, 28 Sept. 1982, and “Church Takes Active Interest in Books,” Seventh East Press, 8 Mar. 1983); “Church Archives Restrict Access to General Authority Documents,” Seventh East Press, 14 Mar. 1982; “Access to Church Archives: Penetrating the Silence,” Sunstone Rev,, Sept./ Oct. 1983, 4-7; “Church Historian: Evolution of a Calling,” Sunstone, Apr. 1985, 46-48.
77. “Church Department Joins Y,” Daily Universe, 3 July 1980 (cf. Cragun, “Mormons and History,” 303-306). Smith Institute employees later posted the following sign on their bulletin board: “History is on our side … as long as we can control the historians” (“Campus Chatter,” Seventh East Press, 7 Nov. 1982).
78. Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect,” 22 Aug. 1981, typescript, 9, 11, 15 (also in Brigham Young University Studies, Summer 1981, 259-79). See also Packer, “Keeping Confidences,” Church Employees Lecture Series, 18 Jan. 1980.
79. Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian,” Nov. 1981, 16, 17, 9, 14, privately circulated (cf. “Historian Responds to Apostle,” Seventh East Press, 18 Nov. 1981). Quinn revised his speech for Sunstone magazine but was dissuaded from publication by a number of supporters. It was published more than a decade later in George D. Smith, ed., Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1982).
80. Louis Midgley, “A Critique of Mormon Historians: The Question of Faith and History,” 30 Sept. 1981, 53-55, copy in private possession. See also Midgley’s “call to arms” in “Some Challenges to the Foundations,” an address delivered to members of the faculty of Religious Instruction, 14 Sept. 1984, copy in private possession.
83. Jae R. Ballif to David P. Wright, 13 June 1988; David P. Wright, “Re: My Termination at Brigham Young University,” 21 July 1988; copies of both in private possession. See also “BYU Professor Terminated for Book of Mormon Beliefs,” Sunstone, May 1988, 43-44.
88. See Stephen Steinberg, “Religious Involvement and Scholarly Productivity Among American Academics,” in Martin Trow, ed., Teachers and Students; Aspects of American Higher Education (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1975), 85-112; and David Caplovitz and Fred Sherrow, The Religious Drop-Outs: Apostasy Among College Graduates (Beverly Hills: Sage Productions, 1977).
89. See Rex E. Lee, “Inaugural Response,” Address Delivered at the Inauguration of President Rex Edwin Lee Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah, October 27, 1989, 9. Several studies have reported a positive correlation between education and religiosity among Mormons. See Correlation Evaluation, “Religious Activity Among Latter-day Saints,” Feb. 1982, copy in private possession; Stott, “Effects of College Education”; and esp. Stan L. Albrecht and Tim Heaton, “Secularization, Higher Education, and Religiosity,” Review of Religious Research, Sept. 1984, 43-58. As Albrecht and Heaton have admitted, however, these studies may be flawed by respondent bias in favor of “active” Mormons and do not test for the following: the secularizing effects of specific college majors, the direction of religiosity while in college, variables after college that may mitigate the secularizing effects of education, and the effects of highly secularized universities on Mormon students. Cf. Marsden, “Campus Religious Group Participation;” Clifton Amundsen and Gary E. Madsen, “A Comparison of Mormons and Non-Mormon Faculty Religiosity,” Measuring Mormonism, Fall 1977, 54-64; and Ray E. Paskett, “The Differential Effects of Bases for Moral Behavior and Major Field of Study Upon Moral Judgment,” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1960.
90. The national honor society Phi Beta Kappa recognizes this and has consistently refused to charter a BYU chapter. See “Phi Beta Kappa Rejects BYU Chapter Again,” Salt Lake Tribune, 20 May 1992, B-1.