Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
JLHPROF

New Church Historian on Aug 1st.

Recommended Posts

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/first-presidency-announces-new-church-historian-commissioner-church-education?fbclid=IwAR0WNNxTB0UtoP0JssudeS8dC3VonDG07wR9wowozxHMyVNkZgwwEx_kBlo

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced, effective August 1, 2019, the call of Elder Legrand Curtis Jr. of the Seventy as Church Historian and Recorder, a role previously filled by Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
14 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

https://www.mormonnewsroom.org/article/first-presidency-announces-new-church-historian-commissioner-church-education?fbclid=IwAR0WNNxTB0UtoP0JssudeS8dC3VonDG07wR9wowozxHMyVNkZgwwEx_kBlo

The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced, effective August 1, 2019, the call of Elder Legrand Curtis Jr. of the Seventy as Church Historian and Recorder, a role previously filled by Elder Steven E. Snow of the Seventy.

Nice article by Elder Snow in this month's Ensign, including personal journals.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Elder Snow, as AP, was one of those who met me at the Hamburg airport in Fall, 1970, on my first day in the North German Mission.  His smile today is just as warm and welcoming now as I remember it being back then.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

Another lawyer called to be the church historian.  It seems to me that if the church was truly interested in presenting and preserving their history, they would call a professional historian to the position. Leonard Arrington was the last (and I think only) real historian that held the position.  He promoted open access to church records, accurate research and honest reporting.  The church wanted correlation, spin and control.  Arrington was released in 1982.

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

The Church historian oversees dozens of professional historians. In parliamentary governments, such as my own, ministers are not expected to have professional qualifications in all their portfolios. That’s specifically what the public servants are for. Your point seems like an attempt to find an opening for criticism that doesn’t hold up upon examination. 

While it is true that many govts place various agencies under the control of managerial experts and lawyers, that does not always serve the people well.  National security, the economy, and maintenance of the overall infrastructure are usually the first to go.  Whole civilizations have fallen due to the incompetence and stupidity of leaders in positions they refused to properly lead.  Why?  Because they had no knowledge of the area of expertise they were leading or administering.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, Robert F. Smith said:

While it is true that many govts place various agencies under the control of managerial experts and lawyers, that does not always serve the people well.  National security, the economy, and maintenance of the overall infrastructure are usually the first to go.  Whole civilizations have fallen due to the incompetence and stupidity of leaders in positions they refused to properly lead.  Why?  Because they had no knowledge of the area of expertise they were leading or administering.

With due respect, that's a fascinating tangent.  It would make an interesting discussion on another thread.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, hearserve said:

Elder Snow, as AP, was one of those who met me at the Hamburg airport in Fall, 1970, on my first day in the North German Mission.  His smile today is just as warm and welcoming now as I remember it being back then.

Reminds me of one of those mission stories I swore I would never tell when I got home.  (The intervening years, have, of course, mellowed me out quite a bit, at least in some ways. :D;))  I had a very slight acquaintance with a particular Elder, a Zone Leader at that time, I believe.  I knew his name, and something of his reputation.  I went to my first transfer, and the whole thing was still new to me, let alone transfers. :shok: :blink: :huh:  Not only was I green, I might even have been green around the gills

I had just barely started to get used to my first area, and now, all of a sudden, it seemed as though the rug was being yanked out from underneath me.  I'm a little better at rolling with the punches these days, but I still don't handle change well.  Aaaaaany-way, all of these thoughts were swirling through my mind when Elder Chabries saw me.  I'm not sure if he, somehow, sensed my plight, and/or if the Holy Spirit told him something he wouldn't have known otherwise, but (and remember, basically, all I really knew about him was his name), when he sees me, he comes up, grabs me by both shoulders, looks me square in the eye, and says, "How are you?!"  As though, even if I didn't know what the heck I was doing there, one of the reasons he was there was so that he could greet me, someone he barely knew, like a long-lost but dear friend ... so that he could buoy up a Brother.

Makes me kinda misty eyed, thinking about it now even after all this time.  I hope I get the chance to tell him the backstory one day.  Thanks, Elder Chabries. :D 

P.S.: His son got into West Point (slouch! :angry:;):D) and wanted to join the Special Forces.    https://goarmywestpoint.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=2886

Edited by Kenngo1969
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

I met one of those 4 brethren once, won't say which one. He showed here up for who knows what reason and attended church here, why as I say I have no clue. Anyways, I talked with him for about 5 minutes and it seemed he bathed in cologne😦 I smelled like him  quite awhile...............it was overpowering, like take it easy with that stuff!

Edited by Duncan
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

While it is true that many govts place various agencies under the control of managerial experts and lawyers, that does not always serve the people well.  National security, the economy, and maintenance of the overall infrastructure are usually the first to go.  Whole civilizations have fallen due to the incompetence and stupidity of leaders in positions they refused to properly lead.  Why?  Because they had no knowledge of the area of expertise they were leading or administering.

And if the National History department fails the nation will fall!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
37 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

And if the National History department fails the nation will fall!

History can be a crucial aspect of a nation, and is frequently under the control of govt, with "incorrect" versions of history relegated to the circular file.  Of course that is best and most successfully pursued within a totalitarian regime.  Most people are not sophisticated consumers of news, and are unable to apply critical-thinking skills to claims made by the elites or their opponents.  Current history may thus take nearly any form, and the hoi polloi may accept nearly any version of reality, as interpreted for them by a totalitarian regime.  However, even democratic forms of govt may be populated by voters who willing slit their own throats.  Either way, poor or evil leaders may destroy even otherwise well-organized and cultured nations, the citizens lulled into a false sense of security until it is too late . . .

""Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.""  George Santayana

Share this post


Link to post
13 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Another lawyer called to be the church historian.  It seems to me that if the church was truly interested in presenting and preserving their history, they would call a professional historian to the position. Leonard Arrington was the last (and I think only) real historian that held the position.  He promoted open access to church records, accurate research and honest reporting.  The church wanted correlation, spin and control.  Arrington was released in 1982.

The Church does have professional historians under the official church historian.  They do all the heavy lifting.  The Church Historian's duties, spelled out in the D&C, are more ecclesiastical in nature. 

Share this post


Link to post
15 hours ago, sunstoned said:

Another lawyer called to be the church historian.  It seems to me that if the church was truly interested in presenting and preserving their history, they would call a professional historian to the positio

Currently the Church Historian and Recorder (since Jensen) has primarily acted as a liaison and advocate between the Church History Department at the Q12 and various parties in the Church bureaucracy. They really don't need any historical training, just historical sympathy. Given their actual roles--especially when advocating on behalf on the historians in the CHD, being a lawyer could be beneficial for the role.

10 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Furthermore, the current man to hold the office of Assistant Church Historian, Reid Neilson, <is> a professional historian, with academic degrees in that discipline and having been in academia at the time of his call. 

Reid's done a great job, though he's going to be released soon as he preps to be the Washington, DC, North MP (and then maybe we'll see a GA with a graduate degree in history). My bet is that Matt Grow will be taking his spot.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, the narrator said:

Currently the Church Historian and Recorder (since Jensen) has primarily acted as a liaison and advocate between the Church History Department at the Q12 and various parties in the Church bureaucracy. They really don't need any historical training, just historical sympathy. Given their actual roles--especially when advocating on behalf on the historians in the CHD, being a lawyer could be beneficial for the role.

Reid's done a great job, though he's going to be released soon as he preps to be the Washington, DC, North MP (and then maybe we'll see a GA with a graduate degree in history). My bet is that Matt Grow will be taking his spot.

Elder Milton R. Hunter of the Seventy had a PH.D. from UC Berkeley in History, mind you he's been dead since 1975. Also Elder Levi Edgar Young of the Seventy had a PH.D. in History from Columbia -dead though, since 1963

Edited by Duncan

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
22 minutes ago, the narrator said:

Currently the Church Historian and Recorder (since Jensen) has primarily acted as a liaison and advocate between the Church History Department at the Q12 and various parties in the Church bureaucracy. They really don't need any historical training, just historical sympathy. Given their actual roles--especially when advocating on behalf on the historians in the CHD, being a lawyer could be beneficial for the role.

Reid's done a great job, though he's going to be released soon as he preps to be the Washington, DC, North MP (and then maybe we'll see a GA with a graduate degree in history). My bet is that Matt Grow will be taking his spot.

I would be delighted to see Matt in that role. He would be superb. 

I hadn’t heard of Reid’s new calling. I tend to be out of the loop since my retirement. I’m thrilled for him. 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
8 hours ago, Duncan said:

I met one of those 4 brethren once, won't say which one. He showed here up for who knows what reason and attended church here, why as I say I have no clue. Anyways, I talked with him for about 5 minutes and it seemed he bathed in cologne😦 I smelled like him  quite awhile...............it was overpowering, like take it easy with that stuff!

The bottle broke in his suitcase, yeah, that is what happened.  ;)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/11/2019 at 3:54 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

The immediate prior occupants of the Church Historian position, Marlin Jensen and Steven Snow, have been superb

I'm sorry, Scott. I have to disagree with your opinion here. They botched the "Swedish rescue" by giving non-answers to sincere members' questions, then kept repeating the mantra we don't have time for that (we don't have time to answer that question). We need Church historians who will spend as much time as it takes to answer questions honestly, truthfully, and with the whole story.

Share this post


Link to post
On 4/11/2019 at 3:54 AM, Scott Lloyd said:

 

 

The immediate prior occupants of the Church Historian position, Marlin Jensen and Steven Snow, have been superb, as I’m sure the cadre of professional historians who have worked under their supervision will attest. Consider that the monumental Joseph Smith Papers Project was undertaken and has continued to thrive under their respective watches.

To that point, Brent Metcalfe made the comment in one of his recent interviews that while many people look back to the Arrington days in the 70s as "Camelot" for Church history, recent years have been better than they ever were in the 70s.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

 

On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 12:46 AM, sunstoned said:

Another lawyer called to be the church historian.  It seems to me that if the church was truly interested in presenting and preserving their history, they would call a professional historian to the position. Leonard Arrington was the last (and I think only) real historian that held the position.  He promoted open access to church records, accurate research and honest reporting.  The church wanted correlation, spin and control.  Arrington was released in 1982.

It is interesting that lawyers hold so many prominent positions in the church. I'm curious if anyone knows the actual breakdown GA occupations. I would imagine attorneys are VERY well represented there. If that is the case, it would make me wonder why.

As many others have stated, a Manager of church history and liaison to the brethren  doesn't necessarily need to be a historian but it could sure be helpful. Managers who understand and have significant training in their realm of responsibility seem to have a leg up on those who don't, and therefore must rely on others for understanding and context. IOW it doesn't seem like it would be some kind of crazy stretch to have a historian serve as church historian :) 

On ‎4‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 12:56 AM, Calm said:

Church historians come from the seventies, these days, right?  If so, one of them would need to be a professional historian...not a particularly common occupation.

I don't see the Church Historian as having much time to do actual research, so it comes across to me as more a managing job as well as evaluating qualitity of presentation/arguments (is this a good reconstruction of what we know?)...something lawyers are trained to do.

Also looking at how lawyering is in part dependent on researching precedents (assuming those law shows are anything close to reality), there would be in most lawyers, I would think, a high regard of quality research...something very important in working in history, imo.

So perhaps a professional historian would be better (though not all historians are good at directing a team), but a lawyer seems like a decent option in my view.

Maybe that has been the case, but I don't believe it's a requirement. Besides, if it is required that a 70 be church historian, they could always call the historian to be a 70,

Share this post


Link to post

How is this for irony but Prof. Richard Bennett (who used to be my Stake President and has a PH.D. in LDS History from a non LDS University) interviewed Elder Snow some years ago and this is Elder Snow's response, 

"Bennett: Some scholars have wondered why they don’t call an academic as Church historian. Is there any sense that there is a distrust of academic historians and scholars, or is that not on the radar?

Snow: I don’t know if it’s distrust; I think it’s more of tradition. If you go back to Willard Richards, George A. Smith, and Anthon Lund, they were all either members of the Twelve or members of the First Presidency who were historians. They had an office of assistants and clerks, Andrew Jenson being one of the most well-known Assistant Church Historians. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith obviously had a great influence over the office, with the many decades he was involved as Church Historian. It was much more restricted than we find it today. All the collections were in the old Church Administration Building, so it was different. I think when Elder Howard W. Hunter became Church Historian in 1970, he wasn’t really comfortable with the call. That is when it was decided to bring in Dr. Leonard Arrington from Utah State University as Church Historian. He had a remarkable decade. But there was a downside as well. I think that led to a time where there was a lot of scrutiny and questioning about what we should do in the future. Following Dr. Arrington, there were a couple of historians called, but there was a gap of about sixteen years when there was technically not a Church Historian. Elder Marlin K. Jensen had a vision of where it could and should go and gave great leadership in a very difficult time. He was here at a good time, because this facility [the Church History Library] was started and completed. It is a remarkable facility for Church history.

It’s been a good seven to eight years of Church history, and I think Elder Jensen is primarily responsible for that. And don’t underestimate, obviously, President Hinckley’s love of Church history. His fingerprints are all over everything. He and Elder Jensen were very close. Elder Jensen was an excellent historian. It’s the kind of calling where you have to have a steady hand, and you have to make sure you let the Brethren know what’s going on. I’ve always found if you are very up front, very forthright, and very open about what you are doing and what you plan to do and try to follow direction, generally you are fine. When that doesn’t happen, I think that’s when problems occur.

Part of my challenge is to make certain that I understand that if the Brethren have questions, we get to them and answer them quickly. We have an opportunity to defend positions with them and to state our case, but ultimately if we are given specific direction by the Brethren, we take it. My view is that being open about our history solves a whole lot more problems than it creates. We might not have all the answers, but if we are open (and we now have pretty remarkable transparency), then I think in the long run that will serve us well. I think in the past there was a tendency to keep a lot of the records closed or at least not give access to information. But the world has changed in the last generation—with the access to information on the Internet, we can’t continue that pattern; I think we need to continue to be more open."

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/volume-14-number-3-2013/start-faith-conversation-elder-steven-e-snow

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
2 hours ago, cinepro said:

To that point, Brent Metcalfe made the comment in one of his recent interviews that while many people look back to the Arrington days in the 70s as "Camelot" for Church history, recent years have been better than they ever were in the 70s.

I think there’s truth to that. Those who claim conditions today are the same as they were in the post-Arrington day’s are more than 30 years behind the times in their understanding. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

 

It is interesting that lawyers hold so many prominent positions in the church. I'm curious if anyone knows the actual breakdown GA occupations. I would imagine attorneys are VERY well represented there. If that is the case, it would make me wonder why.

As many others have stated, a Manager of church history and liaison to the brethren  doesn't necessarily need to be a historian but it could sure be helpful. Managers who understand and have significant training in their realm of responsibility seem to have a leg up on those who don't, and therefore must rely on others for understanding and context. IOW it doesn't seem like it would be some kind of crazy stretch to have a historian serve as church historian :) 

Maybe that has been the case, but I don't believe it's a requirement. Besides, if it is required that a 70 be church historian, they could always call the historian to be a 70,

Requirement or not, that’s how it’s done these days. That has been the case ever since Elder Marlin K. Jensen served in the position under President Hinckley. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...