Comments about ‘Historian Press will document LDS Church past’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 26 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

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I look forward to this book being available


So, will the Joseph Smith papers actually contain the several different accounts of the 1st vision? Or will it just have the last, best-revised, generally accepted by the LDS Church version?


This is good because as an LDS person I'm interested in history that is not white-washed. I've read "Adventures of a Church Historian" which is an excellent book about the challenges that Leonard Arrington, the church historian of the 1970's, had in writing objective church history.

Patata Brava

Someone once told me "You Mormons, why do you ignore your own history?" I told him "When you stop making stuff up then we will stop ignoring it."

We have to tell our own story because no one else will get it right. I have heard LOTS of misinformation, and I am very happy and excited about the Joseph Smith papers project.

I am very aware of many of the "troublesome history" topics typically not covered in Gospel Doctrine class. The purpose of Sunday School is to teach people to come to Christ though faith, repentance and baptism and provide examples the lives of real people for illustrative and discussion purposes. Not to discuss the name of Joseph's horse when he was with the Nauvoo Legion.

Still it is important for all of us Mormons to know and understand our history because we will both gain a greater respect for what real people lived through and inoculate ourselves against whatever taken out of context charges people against the church make. (That original guy said that Joseph had murdered people and burnt down half of Nauvoo when the Expositor press was broken). We have nothing to fear by knowing the truth.


I look forward to reading this, however for a really good look at this, just look at the current study manual for Relief Society and Priesthood.


Tanners and accuracy in the same sentence? LOL!


I'm sure they think people should come to them, and their "editing" processes are still above anything the church would ever do.


Anything and everything published by the church will have to be and will always be taken with a grain of salt. The proper and right way to make public all the church history and records and reveal the truth of all matters is to contract google to copy and document all records and history and make it available to the world for study and review. The church should be provided the means to provide foot notes and explanations where it feels it is needed for understanding and clarity.


Oh they will, will they?
Will they include the Kirtland Safety Society Bank?
Will they include the Danites?


I look forward to the publishing of these journals. I hope the information is not edited. Only the full truth has any real meaning, not sanitized versions to make anyone or organization look to be something it is not. A half truth is really no different than a full lie.


If the Church makes the claim that this is a complete compilation of Joseph's writings, it will have to be so. If it is not, there are all too many people who will be anxious to jump on it and bring forth other documents that were not included.

For example, let's say that it does not include anything on the Danites or the Kirtland Safety Society Bank. Then Shamrock will bring forth his infallible sources of those materials and will be able to show how the work was sanitized.

Of course, if there is no such material in existence, Shamrock and his ilk don't have to worry. They can still accomplish what they want through innuendo and suggestion.

Though they demand full accountability from the church, I've found they rarely demand the same standard from themselves and their favorite sources. They tend to be satisfied with the accounts of the church's enemies or even rumors without demanding any scholarly scrutiny.

Deal with Immigration First

I'm sorry, but there are a alot of people confused by Marlin Jensen's comments about compassion toward illegal aliens. Instead of trying to deflect this issue by having him present a new topic, so we forget what he just did at the Capitol, it would be better if he would help us members better understand the brethern's current position on obeying the laws of the land. Then maybe at some future time, these old records might be more interesting to hear about. Just my opinion.


I attended a meeting where all the key leaders of the project spoke and answered questions. Everything that the Prophet Joseph wrote or caused to be written will be published. I remember Mr. Esplin saying that it was important that the Church take back its history. From now on whenever anyone wants to publish something about the Prophet Joseph Smith they will have to quote it from a direct source.


Have no fears, the enemies of the Church will continue "selective editing" just as they have been doing for as long as they've been around.

And the Church archives have been open to historians both inside and outside the Church for many years. The primary difference this publication will make is that the material will be more readily available to the general public.


As an avid historian of church history I look forward to this great work. Regards Shamrock, the "good the bad and the ugly" has already been published or otherwise made known concerning the Danites and the Kirtland Safety Society Bank and many other historical phenomenon, both good and not so good. For a great condensed and unvarnished historical work of considerable veracity read Richard Lyman Bushman's "Joseph Smith, Rough Stone Rolling". You will see that gradually we are coming to the point where we are not afraid of our history but are, in spite of coincidental acts of human frailties, inspired by it.

I'm not worried

Never have the enemies of the church told all the truth, and all too often church members "white-wash" the truth. We try to make things look better to our current standards, overlooking the fact that 150 years ago was a different society with different standards.

But I'm not worried. The fight will go on. I know what I know.


I can't wait to buy these volumes. Some critics in the past have taken advantage of the fact that the average person doesn't have access to source documentation to refute their misrepresentations.

I am glad that the church is expending the time and effort to make these documents available to the world.

Patata Brava nailed the issue of critics manipulating our history when he said, "Someone once told me 'You Mormons, why do you ignore your own history?' I told him 'When you stop making stuff up then we will stop ignoring it.'" We will soon have more resources than we ever had. I am looking forward to the product.


If you want true mormon history, read Under the Banner of Heaven.


What a great project. I've always sought to read and learn as much about Joseph and the Church's early history as possible. These volumes will certainly be joining my shelf! I'm so grateful that the general public, member or non-member, will have access to these historical records.

valley guy

the overzealous "pioneers" probably destroyed anything that made the prophet look bad.

It was probably destroyed a long time ago.

there will be nothing controversial, because the church would not want controversy to surround it.

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