Articles/Essays – Volume 26, No. 1

The LDS Intellectual Community and Church Leadership: A Contemporary Chronology

The clash between obedience to ecclesiastical authority and the integrity of individual conscience is certainly not one upon which Mormonism has a monopoly. But the past two decades have seen accelerating tensions in the relationship between the institutional church and the two overlapping subcommunities I claim—intellectuals and feminists. As I have struggled to understand that conflict, I return again and again to the idea of control. Both intellectuals and the institution claim aspects of the same territory and relate to it differently. Both claim supremacy—the supremacy of institutional authority in one case and the supremacy of the individual conscience in the other—and try to influence or control historical interpretations, theological understandings, and the nature of the Mormon community.

The resulting conflicts are not those of intellectual property alone, relevant only to academics. They affect people’s jobs, church service, personal feelings of esteem and worthiness, social relations with ward and stake members, worship in congregations and in temples, feelings of acceptability to God, and even personal spirituality. The conflict has brought with it feelings of betrayal, mistrust, and deep personal pain for many. Many, even though they remain active and accept callings, are stigmatized and marginalized by successive generations of bishops, sometimes perpetuating a tradition on their own and sometimes acting on information received from their own ecclesiastical leaders. No conflict is a simple heroes-versus-villains scenario. Even people who differ sharply can deal with each other respectfully and lovingly. That we so fail to do so is a sign of our humanness, but it is also a marker of the power differential that exists between members and leaders in an organization as hierarchical as the LDS church. 

I present the material that follows as a chronology, partly because the basic facts of “what happened” need to be determined before a responsible analysis can be made and partly because I believe it shows patterns over time that are both hopeful and ominous. In the past twenty years, I feel, the motives, means, and determination of members to affirm autonomy and integrity in matters of intellectual interests and personal spirituality have increased. But the pattern of ecclesiastical intervention, directiveness, and oppression has also intensified. To some extent these tensions are signs of a healthy community in dialogue with itself. But at some point such conflicts cannot avoid rending the unity of our community, violating the covenants of Christian behavior made by leaders and members alike, and blaspheming the Savior’s atonement by our unrighteous exercise of power, control, and dominion. 

There are many constituencies left unrepresented by this approach. Other essays could deal with the conflicts experienced by scientists, social scientists, artists, seminary and Institute teachers, or social activists in applying their professional tools to Mormonism. I limit this chronology to historians and, to a lesser extent, feminists because of my personal identification with those groups. And of the many themes that could be explored, I focus on instances that demonstrate attempts to assert ecclesiastical control over members regarding intellectual and feminist issues. 

Furthermore, I approach this topic as a woman interested in relationships. I am less interested in the various positions defended and attacked about, say, the New Mormon History than I am about how such attacks and defenses are conducted, what they do to our community, and the human costs in pain, mistrust, and violations of agency. The relationship between Mormon intellectuals and feminists and their church is a troubled and painful relationship. I pray and work for reconciliation. Yet I am deliberately disclosing information that is negative, potentially disruptive, and embarrassing. Why? 

I am doing it because I feel I must. After the joint statement of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve issued in August 1991,1 wanted to understand and accept. I spent the fall and the winter carefully rereading the Book of Mormon, paying particular attention to passages about pride, rebelliousness, and disobedience. I prayed, fasted, went to the temple, performed my callings with new exactness, and was newly attentive in meetings. From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to avoid self-deception or intellectual pride. I had prayed to know my responsibility in the Vietnam War, about priesthood for blacks, about the IWY conference and the Equal Rights Amendment. In each case, I received a clear answer: “This is not your cause.”

But on this issue, I received a different answer. I received the calling of a witness in the household of faith. I am not an accuser. I am not a judge. I know that the record is incomplete. I know that there are parts I do not understand. I know that many of the victims of ecclesiastical harassment have not been totally innocent of provocative actions. Furthermore, I know that this chronology is lopsided. Since I have gathered these reports from members, not from ecclesiastical leaders, they inevitably reflect the perspectives of the members. Nor am I free from personal sympathy in reporting them. There is no way, at this stage, to make allowances for the fact that a bishop or a general authority would probably tell his version of the story differently, that the member’s shock and hurt inevitably overlay memories of the experience, or that the member may minimize in retelling, or may be genuinely unaware of, the extent to which his or her behavior may have been interpreted or misinterpreted as provocative, defiant, and deviant. I do not speculate on the motives of members involved in the cases reported here. Some of these motives may have been unworthy. But I do not speculate on the motives of their ecclesiastical leaders either, and some of those motives may also have been unworthy. 

Despite the lopsidedness I insist that such a record is worth creating and maintaining. It is driven by the search for knowledge. We must not deny that such things exist nor that they are wrong. Once we know what happened, then we can begin to understand it. With understanding comes forgiveness. And with forgiveness, love can increase in our community. I want a more loving community, a more inclusive community, a more forgiving community. 

For example, the disclosure that Elder Paul H. Dunn had fabricated some of his military and baseball stories and his explanation that they were just “parables” was excruciating. I felt personally betrayed and exploited. But when I read Elder Dunn’s apology in the Church News soon after the full, helpful, and balanced discussion of the issue in Sunstone, I forgave him, willingly and fully. Thanks to both Sunstone and Elder Dunn, I feel that a breach in the community has been healed. Certainly the one in my heart has been. I offer this chronology as a loving voice to the on-going dialogue within our community, with the hope of forgiveness, with the offer of forgiveness. 


14 January 1972. Leonard J. Arlington becomes director of the Church History division and the first professional historian to serve as Church Historian. He is sustained in that position by vote on 6 April at general conference. 

20 April 1974. Reed Durham, president of the Mormon History Association and a teacher at the LDS Institute, University of Utah, delivers his presidential address at the annual meeting in Nauvoo, Illinois, on the significance of Masonic jewelry and emblems to Joseph Smith. “When some participants ‘questioned his testimony/ he sent a letter of apology and affirmation to all participants and has not attended an MHA annual meeting since.”[1]

1976. The Story of the Latter-day Saints, by James B. Allen and Glen Leonard, is published. It sells out within a few months but is not reprinted because some general authorities are offended at its approach. A second printing eventually appears in 1986, and a new edition is published in 1993. 

Spring-fall 1976. In separate addresses Elder Ezra Taft Benson defines “historical realism” as “slander and defamation,” denounces those who “inordinately humanize the prophets of God,” and instructs CES personnel: “If you feel you must write for the scholarly journals, you always defend the faith. Avoid expressions and terminology which offend the Brethren and Church members.” He also warns them not to buy the books or subscribe to the periodicals of “known apostates, or other liberal sources” or have such works on office or personal bookshelves.[2]

Fall 1976. Paul Toscano learns that he is blacklisted from publication in the Ensign. Pursuing inquiries through his bishop and stake president, he is informed by Mission Representative Hershel Pederson, a personal acquaintance, that Elder Mark E. Petersen thinks Toscano is part of a secret organization to restore the “Council of Fifty” and the First Quorum of Seventy. Eventually the stake president tells him the matter is resolved.[3]

2 April 1977. Elder G. Homer Durham is assigned to be managing director of the Historical Department. 

June 1977. At the Utah state meeting of the International Women’s year, almost 14,000 women cram the Salt Palace, many of them responding to a public invitation from the Relief Society to send ten women per ward and many of them in response to private “assignments” from ecclesiastical leaders. Defensive and threatened, they see the prepared IWY agenda as an attack on the family and vigorously vote down such resolutions as equal pay for equal work. In state meetings elsewhere and in the national convention in Houston, Texas, in November, the IWY organizers, in an official statement, link the church to the Ku Klux Klan and the John Birch Society.[4]

24 February 1978. Elder Durham’s title is changed from “managing director of the Historical Department” to “director of the History Division of the Historical Department,” the title formerly borne by Leonard Arrington. Sometime between this date and 1 June 1978 portraits of Church Historians from John Whitmer to Elder Durham are hung in the second floor hallway leading to the administrative offices. They include photo graphs of Elders Alvin R. Dyer and Joseph Anderson, managing directors of the Historical Department during Arlington’s tenure but never referred to as Church Historians. Leonard Arrington is conspicuously omitted.[5] In the summer of 1990, a separate grouping of division heads’ portraits is hung, including those of Donald Schmidt, Earl Olsen, Florence Jacobsen, and Leonard Arrington. Portraits of succeeding Church Historians Dean L. Larsen and Loren C. Dunn are also hung, but that of intervening Church Historian John Carmack (1989-92) is not, at his own request. 

April 1979. Paul Toscano and the BYU bishopric of which he is a member are summarily released by Curtis Van Alfen, the stake president, with no reason given. Later former ward members tell him that, according to the new bishop, Van Alfen called the release “dishonorable.”[6]

August 1979. N. Eldon Tanner, first counselor in the First Presidency, states in the First Presidency message in that month’s Ensign, “When the prophet speaks the debate is over.”[7]

19 August 1979. Ann Kenney, a student at the University of Utah, is set apart as president of the University of Utah Second Stake Sunday School. Gilbert Sharffs, counselor in the stake presidency, assures her that he has been “strongly impressed” to issue the calling and also had a general authority approve the calling. On 24 September she is released. Sharffs explains that “in the past there has been no policy set. The quorum [of the Twelve] was divided on the issue, and the decision was left to the president.” The president was Ezra Taft Benson.[8]

Fall 1979. Paul and Margaret Toscano are asked to speak in sacrament meeting on reverence. Before the meeting begins, Bishop Sheldon Talbot tells them their former stake president, Curtis Van Alfen, telephoned Talbot and warned him they had “apostate” leanings. “If you say one word I disagree with,” Talbot states, “I will close the meeting.” Shaken, the Toscanos deliver their talks without incident.[9]

Fall 1979. Neal and Rebecca Chandler of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, respond to a request from the National Organization of Women to host a discussion group of Mormons with Sonia Johnson, known nationally as a Mormon equal rights activist. A few weeks later at stake conference, Elder James E. Faust outlines the church’s stand against the Equal Rights Amendment. After the meeting he and two members of the stake presidency overhear Neal expressing distress about the church’s “dissembling about organized lobbying campaigns in Virginia and Florida and Missouri.” For the next several years, Chandler later discovered, each time his bishop, Peter Gail, proposed him for executive positions, he “was told that this was not a possibility and was admonished to stop raising it as though it were.”[10]

1 December 1979. Sonia Johnson is tried and excommunicated in a bishop’s court. During the previous year, the Church Public Affairs Committee, while claiming that Mormons against the ERA were acting independently as concerned citizens, had organized covert activities including the following: Some wards in Virginia distributed brochures and petitions in their lobbies “linking Phyllis Schlafly’s Eagle Forum with the LDS Virginia Citizens Coalition.” “The newsletter of the McLean Virginia Stake” announced “that President Spencer W. Kimball had enlisted the membership to fight the ERA.” “Funds raised by Virginia bishops were laundered by a pseudo-account called FACT (Families Are Concerned Today).” “Wardhouses and church meetings were used in Florida to lobby legislators…. Church Boy Scout troops passed out anti-ERA literature to ward members in Arizona Anti-ERA leaders were set apart in Missouri where Relief Society sisters were bused (wearing dresses and carrying sack lunches, as instructed) from stake centers to the state legislature.” President Hinckley at a press conference the day after the church’s sesquicentennial celebration on 6 April 1980 “appeared on NBC’s “The Today Show,’ denying that the Church had bused Relief Society sisters to legislatures in Missouri and Illinois.” The aftermath includes “excommunications, disfellowshipments, releases from Church jobs, revoked temple recommends, voiced fears, hurt, and despair of scores if not hundreds of women, one of whom took her own life.” At several subsequent general conferences, Mormons for the ERA pay for airplanes to tow banners over Temple Square announcing “Patriarchy is Malarky” and “Mother in Heaven Loves Mormons for ERA.”[11] As another consequence a group of Mormon women with historical and feminist interests who have been regularly meeting for lunch at the Lion House or in a dining room off the church cafeteria since 1974 plan a book of historical and theological essays on Mormon women.[12]

Winter 1979-80. A survey of Exponent II readers shows that 66 percent rate themselves “very active” with an additional 18 percent reporting themselves as “above average” in activity; 43 percent are employed; 95 percent have attended college; 95 percent subscribe to the Ensign; 35 percent subscribe to Dialogue; and 22 percent subscribe to Sunstone. They average 3.5 children.[13]

26 February 1980. Ezra Taft Benson as president of the Quorum of the Twelve gives a controversial speech at Brigham Young University titled, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophets,” including: “1 . The prophet is the only man who speaks for the Lord in everything. 2. The living prophet is more vital to us than the standard works. 3. The living prophet is more important to us than a dead prophet. 4. The prophet will never lead the church astray. 5. The prophet is not required to have any particular earthly training or credentials to speak on any subject or act on any matter at any time. 6. The prophet does not have to say ‘Thus Saith the Lord’ to give us scripture 11. The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.” 

J. D. Williams, a professor in the University of Utah political science department, calls “Benson’s speech ‘a plea in anticipation’ of his becoming church president.” Don LeFevre, public communications spokesman, responding to press inquiries, agrees that “Benson’s speech accurately portrayed the church’s position that a prophet can receive revelations from God on any matter—temporal or spiritual” and that “the prophet’s word is scripture, as far as the church is concerned, and the living prophet’s words take precedence in interpreting the written scripture as it applies to the present.” However, he denies as “simply not true” a newspaper report which says the president of the church “is God’s prophet and his word is law on all issues—including politics.”[14]

8 March 1980. Paul Toscano is asked to be a witness at the temple wedding of Ron and Kathy Ray in Mesa, Arizona. At the door his and Margaret Toscano’s recommends are confiscated and they are refused entrance. The temple president informs them that their bishop, Sheldon Talbot, called the temple president requesting that action. The Toscanos immediately call him. He gives them no information except that they are “unworthy” to enter the temple, even though they accompanied Kathy for her endowments the day before. Distressed and humiliated the Toscanos participate in the brunch and reception and then return to Orem, Utah, where they discover that several friends have received summonses to church courts, essentially as “accomplices” of the Toscanos. Finally, they learn that Talbot is acting on rumors that the Toscanos have been conducting the temple endowment in their home, are performing plural marriages, have been teaching false doctrine, and have been leading others out of the church. Elder Mark E. Petersen refuses to meet with Paul. A former BYU bishop intervenes with Elder Petersen. The scheduled courts are canceled. Over the next six months, the Toscanos meet with their stake president and bishop three times in lengthy sessions of five to six hours each. The stake presidency’s investigation concludes that there is no substance to the rumors. Their temple recommends are returned to them.[15]

1 June 1980. Speaking at a fourteen-stake fireside at Brigham Young University, Elder Bruce R. McConkie identifies “Seven Deadly Heresies,” including: “God is progressing in knowledge and is learning new truths,” “Revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized,” and “There is progression from one kingdom to another in the eternal worlds or, if not that, lower kingdoms eventually progress to where higher kingdoms once were.”[16]

1 July 1980. It is announced that the History Division, renamed the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History, will move to Brigham Young University.[17] By February 1981 a sixteen-volume history of the church is canceled and the authors are paid for the proportion of work they have done. 

19 February 1981. Elder Bruce R. McConkie writes to Eugene England, rebuking him for his views on “The Perfection and Progression of God/’ ordering him to stop speaking or publishing on the topic, and announcing: “It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent.”[18] England dutifully ceases speaking on that topic for several years. 

March 1981. Mark Hofmann offers his forged Joseph Smith III blessing, first to the LDS church, then to the RLDS church, and then sells it to the LDS church. The RLDS church trades other objects for the forgery, which seems to support its tradition of lineal inheritance. 

25 June 1981. (I regret taking so much space with the following incident, but I believe it may be useful in illuminating the issue of attempted control by drawing sharper boundaries between “official” and “unauthorized” publications.) 

At about 9:30 a.m. the managing editor of the Ensign, Jay M. Todd, ushers me upstairs to the office of Verl Scott, where I am informed I am being “summarily terminated for distributing confidential material to un authorized personnel.” 

Background: Elder Hartman Rector had delivered a conference talk in April containing a list of sins of the last days (abortion, homosexuality, birth control, and sterilization, among other things) that was “toned down” for publication.[19] Peggy Fletcher, publisher of Sunstone, had said the magazine would run parallel before-and-after versions transcribed from the videotape. I offered to supply her with a copy of the old text, then sitting in its pigeonhole waiting to be thrown away, since the conference Ensign had been published in May. I photocopied the lowest (earliest) version and put it the interoffice mail, addressed to a Sunstone volunteer who was a church employee in another department. Jay later told me that he saw the envelope in the out-going mail and felt inspired to open it. 

While I understood that conference talks were confidential before they are delivered, I asked for clarification about how a conference talk could be confidential after it is delivered. Verl Scott assured me that a manuscript of what the Ensign actually printed would still be considered confidential. Jay and a representative from the Personnel Department escorted me to my office, supervised the packing of my personal effects, and took me to my car. The whole process was over before noon. Jay also informed me that the earliest version of the Rector talk, which I had not read, actually contained additional material that did not appear in the delivered version. 

I expected to feel traumatized by being fired. To my surprise I didn’t. I felt cheerful. I received dozens of calls from friends who were angry, sympathetic, grieved, and hurt. I appreciated their concern, but we usually ended up laughing together. Judy Dushku offered to organize a legal aid fund so I could sue. I told her I didn’t want my job back. Marybeth Raynes said, “You’ll probably crash in a couple of days. Call me, day or night, if you need to talk.” I never did. Linda Sillitoe sent me a poem that instead captured my feelings precisely: 

One by one 
they throw us from the tower. 
And we spread our wings 
and fly. 

I have never experienced a moment of regret for the almost eight years I spent at the Ensign nor one moment of regret that I am not still there; but I interpret these feelings purely and wholly as a blessing bestowed upon me. As a result, although I sometimes disagreed with Jay’s management style and felt considerable frustration periodically at the correlation review system, I have only the best of memories about my work there. The next day I went in, shook hands with Jay, assured him that I held “no hard feelings,” and asked him to communicate my farewells and best wishes to the staff. 

Jay probably had reasons for feeling that my value as an employee was marginal. Although Christian was born three months earlier, I had no plans to stop working. Jay strongly disapproved of working mothers. I not only attended but persistently participated in academic and scholarly conferences and argued, I’m sure at wearisome length, for bolder editorial treatments of “sensitive” issues. In January 1980 Elder Boyd K. Packer had warned church employees that “keeping confidences” is “a condition of our service,” adding, “an incident… traced to you, or to someone you are responsible to supervise… could be of most serious concern.”[20] Jay would certainly have felt that responsibility heavily. Furthermore I “offended” Elder M. Russell Ballard, the magazine’s managing director, and Amelia Smith McConkie, wife of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, by giving a paper at a BYU Women’s History Archives conference which suggested that their grandfather (Joseph F. Smith) characterized Mary Fielding Smith’s wagon master with inaccurate harshness. Jay had accompanied me to the interview with Elder Ballard and was almost certainly embarrassed by the situation.[21]

22 August 1981. Elder Boyd K. Packer, speaking to Church Education System personnel, warns that church history, “if not properly written or properly taught, may be a faith destroyer” and may in fact give “equal time” to the “adversary.” He states, “There is no such thing as an accurate, objective history of the church without consideration of the spiritual powers that attend this work” and urged taking a selective approach to history.[22]

30 September 1981. Louis C. Midgley of BYU’s political science department attacks the New Mormon History and historians for a lack of faith. Joined periodically by David Earle Bohn and Gary Novak, he continues his vigorous critique of “objective” history to the present.[23]

18 November 1981. The Seventh East Press publishes D. Michael Quinn’s 4 November address to Phi Alpha Theta, the BYU student history association. He responds point by point to Elder Packer’s address, warning that “a history which makes LDS leaders ‘flawless and benignly angelic’ . . . borders on idolatry.”[24]

25 January 1982. The First Presidency writes Leonard J. Arrington a letter extending him an “honorable release” both as Church Historian and as director of the History Division. Elder Durham is set apart as Church Historian privately on 8 February 1982. Neither Leonard’s release nor Elder Durham’s appointment is announced at April conference, although President Hinckley says, “Elder G. Homer Durham, a member of the Presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy and the Church Historian who, if I remember correctly, was born in Parowan, has now addressed us.”[25]

15 February 1982. A story by Kenneth L. Woodward, religion editor of Newsweek, reports the Packer/Quinn conflict, pointing out that Quinn “violated the Mormon taboo that proscribes the faithful from publicly criticizing ‘the Lord’s Anointed’ by name.” Elder Packer’s address, originally scheduled to appear in the February issue of the Ensign, is withdrawn[26] but is later published in Brigham Young University Studies. 

23 February 1982. Don Schmidt announces to the Archives Search Room staff that nobody will see any papers of former apostles until further notice.[27] Although this policy is later modified, rules governing access continue to bob and weave over the next ten years. 

25 February 1982. Jack and Linda Newell accept the editorship of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, effective that summer. I agree to be associate editor. 

28 February 1982. At a meeting of the B. H. Roberts Society, James L. Clayton of the University of Utah denounces the archival restrictions and challenges Elder Packer’s position: “Selecting only those topics and historians that are comfortable in order to lead the membership more easily into the promised land is, to put it bluntly, intellectually and morally irresponsible from the historians’ point of view.”[28]

2 March 1982. Elder Bruce R. McConkie, speaking at a BYU devotional, denounces the “spiritually immature” who “devote themselves to gaining a special, personal relationship with Christ,” singling out for special censure “a current and unwise book which advocates gaining a special relationship with Jesus.” The book’s author, George Pace, writes a public letter of apology.[29]

May 1982. Michael Quinn’s stake presidency informs him that five former bishops have recommended him as the new bishop for his ward but that “Apostle Mark E. Petersen has blocked the appointment.” Elder Petersen asks the stake presidency, “Why is Michael Quinn in league with anti-Mormons?” apparently referring to the unauthorized publication of his address to Phi Alpha Theta by Jerald and Sandra Tanner.[30]

Fall 1982. Neal Chandler is called to teach his elders’ quorum. The bishop, acting on complaints from “a squad of recently returned missionaries,” swiftly calls Chandler, an elder, to teach the high priests’ group.[31]

11 February 1983. Paul Richards, BYU Public Communications director, informs Dean Huffaker, editor of Seventh East Press, that the paper cannot be “sold at the campus bookstore or on campus newsstands after Feb. 16. [Richards] declined to say whether the ban was ordered by church officials in Salt Lake City.”[32] An unofficial student newspaper at Brigham Young University that had drawn some criticism for its articles on Mormon history and doctrine, it had published an interview with Sterling McMurrin, Mormon philosopher, on 11 January in which he expressed disbelief about the First Vision and ancient origins for the Book of Mormon. The newspaper ceases publication on 12 April and is followed very briefly by the University Post, which also folds. The McMurrin interview is reprinted in Dialogue, Spring 1984. 

April 1983. Brent Metcalfe is first fired, then at his stake president’s insistence allowed to resign, as a security guard at the church office building. He “said he never was ‘given a black and white reason’ for his firing, but had been questioned repeatedly about his writings for the now-defunct Seventh East Press, an independent student newspaper at Brigham Young University.”[33] Metcalfe researched the New York period of church history extensively. 

15 May 1983. Elder Packer, speaking at an Aaronic priesthood commemorative fireside, states: “Some, out of curiosity, claiming their interest is only academic or intellectual… push open the doors of the temple and stride into those hallowed precincts to discuss sacred ordinances. In doing so they assume an authority that is not theirs.”[34] He may be alluding to David John Buerger’s article, “‘The Fulness of the Priesthood’: The Second Anointing in Latter-day Saint Theology and Practice,” an early draft of which circulated through the Church Administration Building. The finished article appears that week in Dialogue.[35]

Sunday, 22 May 1983. Dawn Tracy publishes an article in the Provo Daily Herald reporting that she talked to fourteen[36] Mormon writers in four states who “had been questioned” by local ecclesiastical leaders. All had contributed to Dialogue, Sunstone, or the Seventh East Press. Roy Doxey, former BYU dean of religious education, says that Apostle Mark E. Petersen “ordered the investigations.” Elder Petersen, whose assignment has long been the investigation and suppression of fundamentalist Mormons, has apparently expanded his mandate to include other individuals whom he defines as enemies of the church. In 1962 he told a conference of seminary and Institute faculty, “In teaching the gospel there is no academic freedom…. There is only fundamental orthodox doctrine and truth.”[37]

Three of the writers who were investigated are faculty members at BYU. Jack Newell, co-editor of Dialogue, comments, “We are gravely concerned that the faith of any Latter-day Saint would be questioned including the basis of his or her commitment to legitimate scholarship and the free exchange of ideas.” 

Scott Faulring’s stake president chastised him for his writings but admitted he had never read the offending articles. This stake president also “warned him to be cautious in his writing” and refused to tell him “who asked him to talk to me,” said Faulring. Gary James Bergera of Provo, also interviewed, commented: “My stake president told me that if the prophet told me to do something wrong, I would be blessed if I obeyed He said what I had written was anti-Mormon because it wasn’t uplifting.” The stake president, Penrod Glazier, singled out an article about Jerald and Sandra Tanner published in Seventh East Press and a news story Gary had co-authored on an anti-Mormon conference in Alta published in Sunstone Review. According to Bergera, the stake president “said it was clear in the article that I didn’t support the Tanners But because I interviewed them I came close to supporting them.” Bergera’s stake president denies that he is acting on orders from anyone else but several years later confirms to another stake president that he was asked to “watch over” Bergera by Elder Mark E. Petersen. Other writers questioned are Armand Mauss, Thomas G. Alexander, David John Buerger, Lester Bush, Edward A. Ashment, Jeff Keller, and Richard Sherlock. Carlos Whiting, a Mormon writer from Silver Spring, Maryland, is quoted as saying the writers who were interviewed are upset and adds, “Anti-intellectualism being manifest in the church is contrary to basic doctrine More serious, however, seems to be the inept approach of the various leaders involved in the inquiries.” 

J. D. Williams denounces the proceedings as “an inquisition” and adds, “Passing ecclesiastical judgment on writers who have conducted serious, historical research is a denial of everything the church stands for.” When Peggy Fletcher learns that her bishop also received a call, she goes to a “high church official to complain. It was later learned on good authority, she said, that the Council of Twelve Apostles was asked to lay off and, indeed, the calls abruptly ended.”[38]

During this same period, Maxine Hanks, a returned missionary who is working at the Seventh East Press and teaching Sunday classes at the Mission Training Center, is released with no reason being given. When she insists on meeting with her supervisor, he denies that her release has anything to do with the Seventh East Press. “It wasn’t that you weren’t good enough or smart enough—and it wasn’t that you weren’t pretty enough,” she remembers him saying. “If I had to give a reason, I would say that you are perhaps a little too intelligent for the elders. You are perhaps a little too intellectual.” He will not discuss the possibility of a revised approach or reengaging her to teach.[39]

These episodes are not without their comic side. Linda King Newell is under ecclesiastical investigation both for her prize-winning and controversial biography of Emma Hale Smith, co-authored with Valeen Tippetts Avery (New York: Doubleday, 1984) and for her coeditorship of Dialogue. 

She is at the time serving in her ward’s Relief Society presidency while Jack is serving in the bishopric. An unnamed man, identifying himself as “the director of correlation,” calls the other counselor in the bishopric, asks whether Linda has a temple recommend, and, upon being informed that she does, asks someone in the background to “hand me the file on Linda Newell.” After a few more questions about Linda’s worthiness, the caller terminates the conversation. The following Sunday the counselor takes Linda aside and asks, “Now, which general board have you been called to?” Peggy Fletcher’s bishop reportedly assumes that the call to him is also for clearance for a general board calling and recommends her in enthusiastic terms. 

Ron Priddis learns from a relative as early as 1976 that Elder Petersen “has a file” on him. But these episodes, known collectively as the Petersen Inquisition or the Petersen Witch Hunt, are important for establishing (1) that files are being kept systematically on writers for independent LDS publications and (2) that others besides Petersen are involved in creating and maintaining these files. 

13 June 1983. President Gordon B. Hinckley, speaking at graduation exercises at BYU-Hawaii, comments: “We have those critics who appear to wish to cull out of a vast panorama of information those items that demean and belittle some of the men and women of the past who worked so hard in laying the foundation of this great cause. … They are savoring a pickle, rather than eating a delicious and satisfying dinner of several courses.”[40]

Fall 1983. Paul Toscano is called to be gospel doctrine teacher in his Orem, Utah, ward. The three high priest group leaders complain about the calling to the stake president, who blocks the appointment. When the bishop protests, the stake president permits the calling. But the group leaders continue to monitor Paul weekly until a move to Salt Lake City takes the Toscanos out of the ward.[41]

Spring 1984. A survey of Dialogue subscribers shows that 94 percent are LDS, 88 percent attend church “every” or “most” Sundays (although no attendance figures are publicly available, the churchwide average is generally considered to be no more than 50 percent), two-thirds accept the Book of Mormon as “an actual historical record of ancient inhabitants,” and less than half feel they should “go along with” a policy with which they disagree—10 percent accepting it “on faith” and another 37 percent expressing disagreement and then complying.[42]

October 1984. Elder Ronald E. Poelman, speaking in conference on “The Gospel and the Church,” observes: “As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we become less dependent on Church programs.” This statement, along with many others, is recast in the Ensign version to read: “As individually and collectively we increase our knowledge, acceptance, and application of gospel principles, we can more effectively utilize the Church to make our lives increasingly gospel centered.” 

Elder Poelman, though not the first general authority to have his talks edited, becomes the first to retape his talk to make it consistent with the video version that is sent to the foreign missions and for the historical archives. His retaping is complete with a cough track to make it sound as if an audience is present. He does not speak in general conference again for four and a half years.[43]

Fall 1984. Paul Toscano is called to teach elders’ quorum and then released. When he asks why, the elders’ quorum president tells him the reason is a secret but, believing such a procedure to be unfair, tells him that Paul Taft Fordham, the stake president, ordered the release. Fordham received a call from Elder Hugh Pinnock who read a newspaper report of a Sunsfone-sponsored debate between Paul and Margaret Toscano and two Episcopal ministers on the question, “Is God Married?” Neither Fordham nor Pinnock has ever met the Toscanos. 

From a general authority contact, the Toscanos learn that their membership records have been “tagged” with a computer code instructing any bishop or stake president calling for their records to contact the previous bishop or stake president about their activities and standing in the church. The Toscanos are never officially informed of this “tagging.”[44]

April 1985. D. Michael Quinn’s hundred-page article, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 1890-1904,” appears in Dialogue. It definitively identifies a significant number of general authorities as marrying, performing marriages, and authorizing the marriages of others in polygamy after the Manifesto of September 1890. 

Even though Michael had informed general authorities as early as 1979 of his research and received authorization from Elder G. Homer Durham as late as January 1985 to examine First Presidency materials, Elder James M. Paramore, acting on instructions from three unnamed apostles, orders Michael’s stake president to confiscate his temple recommend. He further instructs the stake president to tell Michael that this action is “a local decision.” The stake president agrees to hold the interview, refuses to lie about the source of the instructions, and warns Michael that the instructions to confiscate his temple recommend might constitute a “back-door effort” to have him fired from BYU, since temple-worthiness is a prerequisite for church employment. He tells Michael “to tell BYU officials that I had a temple recommend and not to volunteer that it was in his desk drawer.”[45]

12 April 1985. Steven F. Christensen, who purchased the Salamander letter in January 1984 from Mark Hofmann, donates it to the church. Only after Hofmann leaks copies and a session of MHA is devoted to it is the text published in the Church News. 

Spring 1985. Neal Chandler’s elders’ quorum president calls him as instructor. Chandler “suggests that for complicated historical reasons this was probably not a good idea.” The president insists. The entire bishopric, two high councilors, and a counselor from the stake presidency attend the meeting. One vigorously challenges virtually every point, despite the elders’ quorum president’s characterization of the lesson as “completely un-controversial.” The quorum president affirms that he wants Chandler to continue and will “get back to him,” but Chandler is never asked to teach the class again.[46]

9 June 1985. Bishoprics in Idaho, Utah, and Arizona receive telephoned instructions from church headquarters early Sunday morning not to invite Linda King Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, co-authors of a biography on Emma Smith, to speak on historical topics in church meetings. Neither Linda nor Val is officially informed of this decision. 

At their own request Linda and Jack meet with Elders Neal A. Maxwell and Dallin H. Oaks, who tell her that “some aspects of the portrayal of Joseph Smith” are the problem. The month before, the book has won the best book award from the Mormon History Association and the John Whitmer Historical Association. It later co-wins the prestigious $10,000 Evans Biography Award, sharing the honor with Richard L. Bushman. BYU president and future general authority Jeffrey R. Holland presents the award. 

Linda feels particularly hurt by this decision because of what appear to be misrepresentations of cause. (Because the instructions are transmitted verbally, reports that reach her of what is said in various bishopric meetings vary widely.) One of the frequently repeated charges is that she “is going around peddling the book at sacrament meetings.” In fact Linda has spoken at only one sacrament meeting (in the first week the book came out) and then decided it was crucial to speak only in settings where people could ask questions. As a matter of policy, she does not have copies of her book available for sale at the firesides she gives and asks those who introduce her not to refer to her as the book’s coauthor. These instructions are not always followed. 

The ban, which lasts for ten months, promptly triples sales.[47] The book is reprinted seven times by Doubleday. In 1992 the University of Illinois Press buys the copyright for $5,000, reportedly the highest price Illinois ever paid for reprint rights. 

23 June 1985. President Gordon B. Hinckley, second counselor in the First Presidency, speaks at a young adult fireside broadcast from Temple Square that is published as the First Presidency message in September 1985. He reviews some of the Hofmann documents, prefacing his remarks with the statement: “They are interesting documents of whose authenticity we are not certain and may never be,” then continues, “I plead with you, do not let yourselves be numbered among the critics, among the dissidents, among the apostates. That does not mean that you cannot read widely. As a Church, we encourage gospel scholarship and the search to understand all truth. Fundamental to our theology is belief in individual freedom of inquiry, thought, and expression. Constructive discussion is a privilege of every Latter-day Saint.”[48]

10 August 1985. Speaking at the regional priesthood leadership conference in Winder Stake on 10 August 1985, Elder Packer says: “We are in a time when ‘magazines’ are available which defame and belittle the brethren. Authors are ‘scratching out’ articles which seek these goals—and some young people are following These people argue, ‘i[f] it’s true, then say it.’… There are those who are crying sin and falsehood about the brethren and the prophets—especially regarding the Manifesto and polygamy. They are ‘offending little ones,”[49] Michael Quinn interprets the statement as referring to him.[50]

16 August 1985. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, speaking at BYU’s Sperry Symposium on the Doctrine and Covenants, warns members of the church not to “criticize or depreciate a person for the performance of an office to which he or she has been called of God. It does not matter that the criticism is true.”[51]

27 August 1985. Elder Russell M. Nelson, speaking at Brigham Young University, comments, “Some truths are best left unsaid. . .. Extortion by threat of disclosing truth is labelled ‘blackmail’ Is sordid disclosure for personal attention or financial gain not closely related?”[52]

18 September 1985. Stan Larson, a scripture-translation researcher in the LDS Translation Division, is suspended after his supervisor receives a copy of his paper, “The Sermon on the Mount: What Its Textual Transformation Discloses Concerning the Historicity of the Book of Mormon,” from another ward member. Larson had compared the Sermon on the Mount in the Book of Mormon to the oldest known manuscripts, monastic documents, and papyri versions and found that Joseph Smith’s translation contains errors which do not appear before the 1769 edition of the King James Version. Larson concluded that “Joseph Smith plagiarized from the KJV when dictating the biblical quotations in the Book of Mormon.” He is given the choice of being fired or resigning with one month’s severance pay. He resigns.[53]

28 September 1985. Keith Perkins, chair of the BYU Department of Church History and Doctrine, says that “officials have established their own symposiums because MHA wasn’t allowing orthodox views to be presented. . .. Employees may attend MHA meetings but BYU no longer pays travel costs.” Jerry Cahill attributes the policy change to “budget cuts.” Two CES employees say “supervisors have questioned them about papers they’ve published.” Stan Peterson, CES associate commissioner, says he knows of no supervisor questioning employees about published works. Bill Russell, for fifteen years a member of MHA and its 1982-83 president, counters with a letter to the editor that “I know of no proposal that has ever been rejected for being too orthodox” while, in contrast, “the program committee for the 1984 meeting, held at BYU, opted not to accept program proposals from four Mormons because of their liberal views.”[54] Several BYU history department faculty members later attend the Mormon History Association annual meeting of May 1987 in Oxford, England, with department funding. 

October 1985. President Gordon B. Hinckley, second counselor in the First Presidency, warns at general conference: “We are not under obligation to spend tithing funds to provide facilities and resources to those who have demonstrated that it is their objective to attack the Church and undermine the mission.”[55]

15 October 1985. Steven Christensen and Kathy Sheets are killed by homemade bombs. Mark Hofmann, the killer, is injured the next day by a third bomb but lives to avoid trial through a successful plea-bargain after an agonizing investigation exposes misrepresentations on the part of general authorities and their representatives and leaves Mormon historians charged with gullibility.[56]

2 April 1986. BYU’s accreditation self-study document notes that “BYU administrators ‘are advised not to publish in Dialogue, a Journal of Mormon Thought, nor to participate in Sunstone symposia/” According to BYU’s public relations director, Paul Richards, “The BYU decision came about because administrators ‘may be viewed as attacking the general authorities of the University’s sustaining church or the foundations of its faith,’ according to the self-study.” He adds that “the naming of the independent LDS journal and forum ‘is one person’s interpretation of a generic university policy.'” Richards does not identify who the one person is nor why a single opinion is allowed to represent university policy. 

Eugene England criticizes this policy in the context of restrictions on the distribution of the Student Review, successor to Seventh East Press, on 12 April 1989. “Though other universities also restrict what their people say, I cannot find any that restrict where [they may publish] or prevent distribution of responsible publications. In addition, such policies offer a gratuitous insult to the many faculty and students who have written for Dialogue and Sunstone and Student Review, served on their editorial boards, or participated in the symposium . . . and they intimidate and silence faculty and students who might want to participate in the unusual opportunities to unite faith and creativity these forums provide.”[57]

27 April 1986. The ten-month speaking ban on Linda Newell and Val Avery is lifted. The story is carried by UPI and AP, and published in the Tribune and other major newspapers in the state with the exception of the Deseret News. Linda summarizes the experience: “If you’re excommunicated or disfellowshipped, you know what the repentance process is and you get on with your life. But what do you do when you’ve been punished by people who are handing down decisions they didn’t make? I thought a lot about the damage the whole incident had done to me, to the church, my friends, to my family, untold people who were distraught by it, and those who sat in judgement. I went back to my stake president and asked him to talk to Elders Oaks and Maxwell again about reconsidering the ban. I would be participating in a KSL’s ‘Talkabout’ program discussing the upcoming Mormon History Association in England, and I knew, with audience participation, that someone would ask me about the ban. I hadn’t been in a public setting for the whole ten months when people hadn’t discussed it. I pointed out to my stake president the advantages to every one of being able to say that the situation had been resolved. He said he’d see what he could do. The night before I was to tape the program, he called and said that I was no longer under any restrictions.” 

4 May 1986. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, speaking at the LDSSA Fireside in the Salt Lake Tabernacle, repeats his injunction for members of the church to avoid criticizing leaders—”it does not matter that the criticism is true”— then continues: “The counsel against faultfinding and evilspeaking applies with special force to criticisms of Church leaders, but this is not for the benefit of the leaders. It is to safeguard the spiritual well-being of members who are prone to murmur and find fault.”[58]

27 May 1986. LDS Historical Department officials announce that researchers must apply for admittance, be interviewed by an archives official, and sign a statement agreeing to abide by archival rules which include submitting a pre-publication copy of quotations and their context to the Copyrights and Permissions Office. A typical letter granting such permission uses the following language: “After reviewing your request, we have decided to raise no objections to your proposed use of the requested material.” Physical remodeling of the facilities puts patrons using archival materials in a small glass-walled room.[59]

Early 1987. D. Michael Quinn’s exhaustively documented Early Mormonism and the Magic World View is published. It details Joseph Smith’s extensive involvement in folk magic without any reference to the Hofmann forgeries, although it contains a long summary of folk beliefs about “salamanders.” Since the fall of 1986, Quinn, who has tenure (“continuing status”), is a full professor of history, has been voted outstanding professor by graduating history majors, and is director of the history department’s graduate program, has been denied travel and research funds, even to represent BYU at conferences on non-Mormon topics. Some colleagues circulate rumors that he has been excommunicated and make vulgar personal remarks. On 20 January 1988 he sends the administration a letter of resignation, effective at the end of spring semester,[60] moves first to California, then to Louisiana, and returns to Salt Lake City in August 1992.

November 1987. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, when asked in an interview on KUTV about the place in the church of “so-called liberals who question doctrine,” answers: “Whether one’s a bricklayer or an intellectual, the process of coming unto Christ is the same: ultimately it demands complete surrender. It’s not a matter of negotiation.”[61]

March 1988. “The Andrew Jenson Society, a weekly Salt Lake brown bag lunch group named after the early twentieth-century assistant church historian, where historians present works in progress, [is] denied permission after fifteen years to continue meeting in a room off the LDS Church Office Building cafeteria.”[62]

3 May 1988. David P. Wright, BYU assistant professor in Asian and Near Eastern languages, who ranks high in all three areas of tenure review—scholarship, teaching, and citizenship—is informed by a letter from BYU administrators that his contract will not be renewed because of his “unorthodox views” on “biblical scholarship, scriptural prophecy, and the Book of Mormon.” The letter acknowledges that he does not teach these views in the classroom.[63]

9 March 1989. Edwin B. Firmage, a grandson of Hugh B. Brown and a professor of constitutional law at the University of Utah, states in a lecture at the Salt Lake City Cathedral of the Madeleine, “I long for that time when four black people, three of them women, will sit on the stand as general authorities.”[64]

1-3 April 1989. Three general authorities at spring general conference include counsel to the intellectual community. Elder Dallin H. Oaks warns church members against listening to “alternate voices,” noting that some are “the lost leading the lost” while others “are of those whose avowed or secret object is to deceive and devour the flock.” Among responses are sociologist Armand L. Mauss’s call to “endure to the end. The calling of ‘alternate voice’ is too important for us to allow ourselves either to be intimidated by the exercise of unrighteous dominion or to be silenced by our own fatigue.”[65]

Bishop Glenn L. Pace observes: Criticism “from within the Church… is more lethal than that coming from nonmembers and former members. The danger lies not in what may come from a member critic, but that we might become one.”[66] Elder Russell M. Nelson comments, “Certainly no faithful follower of God would promote any cause—even remotely related to religion—if rooted in controversy, because contention is not of the Lord. Surely a stalwart would not lend his or her good name to periodicals, programs, or forums that feature offenders who do sow ‘discord among brethren.'”[67]

June 1989. A woman doing family research in the church archives is linked to a rumor that correctly predicts the banning of another individual from the archives and is called into a meeting with a church security official. The focus of the three-and-a-half hour “interrogation” is pressure to identify the supposed “inside source” who leaked the information. Only after repeatedly denying that she has any such source is she permitted to leave the building.[68]

July 1989. Margaret Toscano, who had taught full time at BYU for four years and six years part time, followed by five years at the BYU Center in Salt Lake City, opens the fall catalogue to discover that her class is not listed. The month before, Margaret had participated in a Mormon Women’s Forum panel on women and the priesthood, which also led to discussion on a television program. The director, when she asks if the cancellation of her class had anything to do with the panel, is “very embarrassed” but denies it and says she has been a good teacher. 

In a follow-up phone call with Paul Toscano, the director says that enrollment is the reason (but since the class does not begin until late September, enrollment cannot be considered firm for any class) and that they are going to drop the class “for a couple of years” and then offer it again. The class is taught again in 1991 with a different teacher. “I think that the feeling of being lied to was even more painful than losing the job,” Margaret comments.[69]

1 September 1989. Elder George P. Lee of the First Quorum of the Seventy is excommunicated “for apostasy” and “conduct unbecoming a member/’ Letters Lee releases to the press include criticisms of the church’s neglect of Lamanites and incidents of personal discrimination against him by other general authorities. Deseret Book had issued Lee’s biography in its ninth printing the week of the excommunication. A representative of the First Presidency orders KSL-TV news personnel to read the announcement with no contextual information, a ruling reversed only when the staff threatens to walk off the set “unless they were allowed to report the story according to their journalistic standards.”[70]

September 1989. Andrea Moore Emmett of Salt Lake City, active in the Mormon Women’s Forum, is called to a two-hour meeting with her husband Mark by the bishopric. Assuming they are going to receive a co-teaching assignment, they are stunned to have the bishop announce, “This is not a court.” 

He explains that he is “concerned” about Andrea’s association with the forum, is visibly taken aback when Mark assures him that he not only supports Andrea’s feelings but is in “total agreement,” and is thrown off balance to learn that Mother in Heaven is not a modern concept but dates to the Nauvoo period. Andrea calls it “a horrible, draining, exhausting experience to be judged so unfit as a person and member of the church just because we are . . . not like them.” Mark is released as gospel doctrine teacher the next month. Andrea, the ward librarian, is released later. Their current callings are “to help with the activities in the ward, ‘fold chairs and that kind of thing/” as the bishop puts it. When Andrea volunteers to give a talk in sacrament meeting after a change of bishoprics, the new bishop says she will have to submit the text in advance. Andrea still cannot speak of the interview after two and a half years without tears. 

Fall 1989. Paul Toscano’s bishop tells him that he has received a telephone call from “someone at headquarters” informing him that he read his Sunstone paper, “A Plea to the Leadership of the Church: Choose Love Not Power,” that the paper is “harsh and judgmental” but that Paul is not to be disciplined. Uncertain about the identity of the caller, the bishop gives Toscano the return phone number and the instructions, “You call back. I don’t want to get into the middle of this.” The caller is Elder John Carmark, area president, who eventually agrees to a lunch meeting with Paul. Paul describes the meeting as “amiable,” even though “we didn’t see eye to eye on a number of issues.”[71]

10 April 1990. Changes in the temple ceremony that eliminated symbolic violence and somewhat broadened the role for women trigger articles by the Associated Press, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Time Magazine, U.S. News and World Report, and many local papers. Mormons who are quoted include Rebecca England, Ross Peterson, then co-editor of Dialogue, Allen Roberts, Ron Priddis, Robert Rees, Keith Norman, various public relations officers, and me, all of whom make comments ranging from favorable to complimentary. Various former Mormons, including Sandra Tanner, make critical comments. 

Acting on instructions, reportedly from President Hinckley, the area presidents of the quoted Mormons are interviewed by their stake presidents. (The single exception seems to be Beverly Campbell, church public relations officer in Washington, D.C., who tells Ron Priddis that she has not been called in.) My stake president says he has been asked “to call you in and see if you had violated any of your covenants of secrecy.” Mine is a cordial meeting with a productive and mutually respectful discussion. 

Other meetings are less cordial. Ross Peterson’s stake president, Bill Rich, acting on instructions from the area presidency, Elders William Brad ford, Malcolm Jeppsen, and Richard P. Lindsay, take away his (expired) temple recommend. In a follow-up meeting the area presidency threatens “further action” and refers to a thick file containing materials dating back to the 1960s on Ross, an active Democrat in Cache Valley for many years. It is only after a flood of letters and phone calls to church headquarters, plus individual lobbying of general authorities by Ross’s friends, that Rich reissues a recommend in June. He does not require a prior bishop’s interview. 

Keith Norman presents a paper at the 1990 Sunstone Symposium in Washington, D.C., coincidentally the weekend that the temples are closed to effect the changes. He discusses the church’s need to disassociate itself from violence, citing blood atonement and the ready public identification of RLDS cult murderer Jeff Lundgren in Kirtland, Ohio, with Mormonism as evidence, and suggesting that temple penalties have “outgrown their usefulness.” In early August Bishop David Marchant “reluctantly told him that he had been instructed to deny Keith a temple recommend for one year, after which he could have a recommend if he had repented. When Keith asked of what he needed to repent, his bishop replied, ‘I don’t know.'”[72] Marchant had read the Sunstone paper prior to delivery and found it unobjectionable. He also failed to identify problems in the quotations from Keith that appear in the Los Angeles Times article. When Marchant brings the matter up with Stake President Zane Lee, Lee responds, “The decision has been made. There is no further discussion.” Keith, who currently has no recommend, conducts Sunday school song practice and instructs the deacons’ quorum (which includes being a counselor in the Young Men’s presidency and assistant scoutmaster). A calling as assistant high priests’ group leader is first issued, then withdrawn. His wife Kerry, the roadshow director, is specifically told not to have Keith, who wrote the previous (winning) script, write this year’s.[73]

October 1990. Utah Holiday publishes an investigative report by Lynn Packer chronicling LDS-connected fraud, beginning with the Kirtland Safety Anti-Banking Society of which Joseph Smith was a founder. It included 1960s’ accounts of burial estate ventures that implicated Elder Bruce R. McConkie (case settled out of court) and a trust company in which Marian D. Hanks was involved, in which the court rebuked all principals as “negligent.”[74]

4 November 1990. Sunstone’s June issue comes out about mid-October, containing a summary of news stories about the temple changes. Elbert Peck’s stake president, Herbert Klopfer, informs him that Sunstone’s coverage is inappropriate and confiscates Elbert’s temple recommend. Daniel Rector, the publisher, has his temple recommend revoked at the same time. His has since been restored at his request. Elbert has not requested a new recommend. 

January 1991. Devery S. Anderson of Longview, Washington, organizes a quarterly study group, the Forum for the Study of Mormon Issues. He later learns that, at the request of Bishop Blaine Nyberg, ward member Bob Daulton attends the first two meetings and sends the bishop a negative report. Anderson meets once with the bishop and twice with Stake President Terry Brandon, who instructs him to stop holding the group. Anderson “welcomed the counsel” but pointed out that there is no churchwide prohibition on study groups, and hence the prohibition seems personal and arbitrary. Insisting that Anderson is “not supporting his priesthood leaders,” Brandon confiscates his temple recommend on 22 July 1992. 

16 February 1991. The Arizona Republic publishes a long article based on Lynn Packer’s research documenting that Elder Paul H. Dunn, who was given emeritus status 30 September 1989 for “age and health” reasons, fabricated some of his most popular and most profitable war and baseball stories. Packer’s teaching contract at BYU is not renewed. Elder Dunn first justifies his fabrications as “parables”; but about two weeks after Sunstone’s thorough coverage, he publishes a letter in the Church News, acknowledging, “I have not always been accurate in my public talks and writings. Furthermore, I have indulged in other activities inconsistent with the high and sacred office which I have held. For all of these I feel a deep sense of remorse, and ask forgiveness of any whom I may have offended.”[75]

5 April 1991. President Hinckley warns Regional Representatives “to be alert” to “small beginnings of apostasy” and cites prayers to Mother in Heaven as an example.[76] Days earlier, a student had prayed to “Our Father and Mother in Heaven” at BYU commencement.[77]

Spring 1991. An administrator in the Church History Department’s archives tells two separate individuals that permission to use archival materials depends to some extent on “who the researcher is,” whether this person is considered to be reliable, what approach the researcher will likely take to the material, and where the researcher plans to publish. If Sunstone, Dialogue, or Signature Books are potential publishers, the request receives “extra scrutiny.”[78]

July 1991. Deseret Book decides to stop carrying Avraham Gileadi’s “briskly selling” The Last Days: Types and Shadows from the Bible and Book of Mormon, which it published in early June with a print order of over 8,649. Ron Millett, president of Deseret Book, says that the company “underestimated the amount of controversy and complaints” the book would garner and decided not to reprint it. He states that “there was no pressure from the general authorities of the LDS Church.” Some “BYU religion” faculty apparently feel that Gileadi’s interpretations of Isaiah contradict those of deceased apostles Bruce R. McConkie and LeGrand Richards. Deseret Book sells Gileadi the remaining copies. He sells them to Seagull Book and Tape which “exhausted the supply within days.” The work is since reprinted by Covenant Communications.[79]

23 August 1991. Two weeks after the Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, “the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles” issues a statement expressing concern about “recent symposia…that result in ridiculing sacred things or injuring The Church… detracting from its mission, or jeopardizing the well-being of its members.” Lowell Bennion, a Sunstone participant, comments, “We are asked to love the Lord with all our hearts and minds. It is a poor religion that can’t stand the test of thinking.” 

Salt Lake City resident Christian Fonnesbeck, who wrote a letter to the First Presidency saying he was “puzzled” by the statement, is called in by his bishop, acting on instructions of his stake president, Herbert Klopfer, and relieved of his church calling as a Blazer-B instructor. He is told the action is taken on instruction of “high church officials.” (He has since been put in charge of scheduling the building.) Kim Clark writes a letter to the editor, published in the Salt Lake Tribune, commenting on the statement. His stake president calls him in and tells him that he is “undertaking an investigation that could result in disfellowshipment or excommunication.”

At October general conference, Elder Boyd K. Packer refers explicitly to the joint statement and comments on “the dangers of participating in symposia which concentrate on doctrine and ordinances and measure them by the intellect alone There is safety in learning doctrines in gatherings which are sponsored by proper authority.” Apostle Marvin J. Ashton says, “Some of us may be inclined to study the word with the idea in mind that we must add much where the Lord has said little! Those who would ‘add upon’ could well be guided by the anchor question of, do my writings, comments, or observations build faith and strengthen testimonies?” Elder Charles Didier of the First Quorum of the Seventy instructs Saints to build testimony “by asking your Heavenly Father in the name of his Son Jesus Christ. Do not turn to public discussions and forums.”[80]

September 1991. The Mormon Women’s Forum features a panel on Mother in Heaven that includes Carol Lynn Pearson, Rodney Turner, and Paul Toscano. President Gordon B. Hinckley repeats the Mother in Heaven section of his address at the women’s general fireside in late September, a meeting transmitted by satellite to Mormon chapels around the world.[81]

14 September 1991. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that David Knowlton, a social anthropologist at BYU, was called in by his stake president “less than a week” after his presentation in Sunstone in Salt Lake City about why leftist terrorists in Latin America target the church. He protests the “intimidation” in writing to his academic officers with copies to President Ezra Taft Benson. Rex Lee, president of BYU, comments, “This is just not a BYU matter.”[82]

Ca. 22 September 1991. The long-awaited Encyclopedia of Mormonism appears. Such periodicals as Dialogue, Sunstone, and Exponent II, though separately indexed, are discussed only in an article entitled “Societies and Organizations” (3:1387-90). 

27 September 1991. Elder Neal A. Maxwell, speaking at the FARMS annual banquet, tells his listeners, “Joseph [Smith] will go on being vindicated in the essential things associated with his prophetic mission. Many of you here, both now and in the future, will be part of that on-rolling vindication through your own articulation. There is no place in the Kingdom for unanchored brilliance. Fortunately, those of you I know are both committed and contributive. In any case, ready or not, you serve as mentors and models for the rising generation of Latter-day Saint scholars and students. Let them learn, among other things, submissiveness from the eloquence of your example. God bless you!”[83]

17 October 1991. At a B. H. Roberts Society meeting, David Knowlton discusses his situation, identifies the issues he feels are involved, and concludes, “It is simply a bad habit for authorities to engage in generalized intimidation. . . . We intellectuals should . . . stop looking over our shoulders to see if the Brethren are going to disagree with us, call us to repentance, hassle us, limit our access to information, or challenge us. In many ways that is their job—although it is indeed ours to critique all those actions, .. . to protect ourselves and argue for what we think important. We should act with security of purpose as thoughtful people who have a necessary role to play within the Church as community. . . . Some day people will quote with reverence the ancient texts from Dialogue, Sunstone, the Journal of Mormon History, Exponent II, the Mormon Women’s Forum, the B. H. Roberts Society, BYU Studies, FARMS, and the Ensign, among others.”[84]

Michael Quinn, presenting in the same meeting, explains that general authorities have “typically attacked the messenger” who brings “unauthorized exposure of Mormonism’s checkered past. . . . These attacks have usually been harsher when the messenger was a participant in the uncomfortable truths she or he revealed about Mormonism.” Tactics include “excommunication,” the label of “apostate” and “character assassination.” He cites both nineteenth- and twentieth-century examples.[85]

September/October 1991. Maxine Hanks, a participant in the Salt Lake City August 1991 Sunstone, receives two messages on her telephone recorder from her bishop about her presentation. Her stake president, Paul Hanks, then presses Maxine to talk with him about her Sunstone presentation. In a series of meetings and telephone calls from the end of October to mid-December, he first presents himself as acting on his own initiative but later concedes that he has received “direction” and that a transcript of her presentation exists. The discussion on her presentation seems mutually satisfactory, but he advises her to send a letter to Sunstone retracting certain statements. She declines. In April, May, and June 1992, her stake president makes another series of calls requesting meetings. Maxine declines to meet with him again. He reports receiving an article “from a friend” that quotes her. At her request he sends her a copy. The article, an editorial in the Provo Herald, quotes out of context a single statement from an article in the Mormon Women’s Forum Newsletter over a year earlier. 

November 1991. Brent Metcalfe, who has continued his research into Mormon scriptures and is editing a collection of essays entitled New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology, is asked by his bishop if he has ever considered having his name removed from the records of the church. (Metcalfe was denied access to the Historical Department five years earlier on 8 January 1986.)[86] Metcalfe declines to submit such a request. 

24 November 1991. John Sillito, a Salt Lake City Sunstone participant, receives a telephone call from the stake executive secretary, stating that his stake president, W. Bruce Woodruff, wants to meet with him “to get to know you better.” John responds that he is aware that a number of people are getting calls from their stake presidents and asks that the request be put in writing. On 9 December John receives a letter from Woodruff requesting a meeting “to discuss your feelings with regard to sustaining our church leaders” on Sunday, 15 December. Sillito writes back saying he sees no benefit in a meeting and stating that he has done nothing in his ward or stake to cause any concerns. He adds that he cannot meet on 15 December because it is the 200th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights and, as a teacher of American history, he plans to spend “a portion of that day contemplating [the] guarantees” of “freedom of speech and conscience.” During a follow-up phone call from Woodruff on 29 December, John repeats his preference for continuing future discussions in writing and reiterates his belief that he has not done anything that legitimately falls within the stake president’s area of concern. During the course of the conversation, Woodruff confirms that the issue was Sillito’s Sunstone paper on excommunicated apostle Richard R. Lyman and further confirms that “somebody has brought this to my attention.” When Sillito asks if it is someone in his ward or stake, Woodruff pauses, then says, “It was someone in our region.” Sillito suggests that anyone who has a problem should consult him directly and that his number is in the phone book. On 31 March Woodruff again writes requesting a meeting about John’s “lack of responsiveness” and querying, “Can I assume by your letter that you do not sustain the leaders of the church, since you have declined to meet with me?” On 1 April John writes back stating that he has fully discussed the issues during the telephone conversation. There has been no further ecclesiastical contact.[87]

January-February 1992. Nancy Freestone Turley, of Mesa, Arizona, expresses strongly affirmative feelings about Mother in Heaven in a temple recommend interview with her bishop. Although sympathetic he feels she should not have a recommend until she talks to the stake president. The stake president reads President Gordon B. Hinckley’s statement identifying prayers to Mother in Heaven as a sign of apostasy to Nancy, even though she heard it during the women’s fireside broadcast, and says he will have to discuss her worthiness with the area president. (During the summer of 1991 he expressed concern that she subscribed to Sunstone and warned her that it was dangerous.) The area president refers the matter back to the stake president who, after “a lot of thought and prayer,” grants Nancy a temple recommend. 

In early spring 1992 an article Nancy wrote about Mother in Heaven appears in Exponent II. She had earlier sent a copy to Elder Neal A. Maxwell who, with her permission, passed it on to President Hinckley the week before the women’s fireside in September 1991. In May 1992 the stake president calls Nancy’s husband Kent, a former member of another stake presidency, into a meeting. The stake president has a photocopy of a draft of Nancy’s manuscript, underlined in red, given him by “a concerned woman in the stake whose daughter had a copy of it.” Kent says he is fully aware of Nancy’s ideas and was the first to edit it. He also explains that it is inappropriate for the stake president not to discuss it directly with Nancy. 

In a meeting between the Turleys, the bishop, and the stake president, held at Nancy’s suggestion in the Turley home, the stake president tells Nancy that she is not to pray to Mother in Heaven either in public or in private or to “proselyte.” If she does he will have to consider church action. Nancy points out that she has already given assurances that she will not pray to Mother in Heaven in public but that even President Hinckley does not forbid talking about Mother in Heaven. When she expresses regret for the “confrontational relationship,” adding, “I wish you could come to my house for dinner. I wish we could know each other as fellow Saints,” the stake president replies, “I couldn’t do that. If I ever had to take church action against you, a personal relationship might stand in the way.” Kent offers to resign as stake Sunday school president if the stake president finds his and Nancy’s service unacceptable. Although there is no follow-up or attempt to process the distress of that meeting from either the stake president or the bishop, Nancy is called in September 1992 to serve as secretary of the stake Activities Committee, a position which requires clearance from the stake president.[88]

Spring 1992. An unidentified leader in Neal Chandler’s Kirtland, Ohio, Stake makes photocopies of his article, “Book of Mormon Stories that My Teachers Kept from Me” (Dialogue 24 [Winter 1991]: 13-30) and distributes them to the stake’s officers and bishops with instructions that Chandler is not to teach or speak or be “given a forum for his radical ideas.” Chandler’s bishop, Gary McMurtrey, reads the paper, does not “agree with every thing,” but also “didn’t see anything terribly wrong with it.” After Chandler, at his bishop’s invitation, speaks in sacrament meeting, he learns that the interdiction originated in Salt Lake City. In mid-September 1992 Chandler is called to teach the thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds’ Sunday school class for twelve weeks. On 17 October 1992 Chandler gives a paper, “Lucubrations on Un-American Religion: Being in Part an Unauthorized History of Persecution in the Mayfield Ward,” at the first Sunstone Symposium in Chicago.[89]

7 March 1992. Lynne Kanavel Whitesides, Margaret Merrill Toscano, and Martha Dickey Esplin present “A Three-Part Invention: Finding Our Bodies, Hearts, and Voices: A Response to Gordon B. Hinckley,” at Sun stone West in Burbank, California, and at the Mormon Women’s Forum meeting on 4 April 1992 in Salt Lake City. “In last fall’s General Women’s Meeting,” they say, “President Hinckley warned women against praying to our Mother in Heaven. We will speak of patriarchy’s attempt to silence the prayers and voices of women. Our supreme act of rebellion will be to speak with our own voices.” All three women subsequently are called into meetings with their stake presidents and bishops. The meetings are usually cordial ones (“He was gracious and kind. It was a meeting filled with love,” says one). At least two cases involve more than one interview. 

One of the women, who had not attended church since December, had earlier expressed feelings of alienation to her home teacher and had thought that the visit was a pastoral one until her bishop says he has been instructed to hold the interview by Loren C. Dunn, area president. Involuntarily, she laughs and then says, “You’ll have to excuse me. I thought you called me in because you cared about me.” The tone of the meeting thereafter becomes warm and supportive, she reports. 

In another case, the bishop wants the woman to put her doctrinal beliefs in writing so that he, with a letter of “endorsement,” can make it part of her file. When she refuses on the grounds that her beliefs have evolved over time and no doubt will again, he drafts such a letter and asks her to review and sign it. Again she refuses.[90]

14 March 1992. All twenty members of BYU’s sociology faculty sign a three-page letter to BYU president Rex Lee on 14 March affirming their support of the church and of BYU but protesting the ecclesiastical interrogations of some members about participating in scholarly symposia. Since a temple recommend is required as a condition of employment at BYU, ecclesiastical action can affect academic standing and job security. An unspecified number of “individual faculty members, department chairs, and groups wrote memos supporting the rights outlined in the sociology department memo,” according to a follow-up article in Sunstone. Four days later the Daily Universe publishes an unsigned editorial by the Daily Universe Editorial Board,” claiming that Sunstone is not an academic forum. According to Sunstone, the editorial is “ghost-written in part by a professor.” Edward Kimball and Eugene England jointly write a letter to the editor defending Sunstone as both academic and professional. David Knowlton, whose remarks at B. H. Roberts Society (not Sunstone) were quoted anonymously in the editorial, also writes a letter of good-humored protest at the editorial’s position. The next month the Universe publishes an article quoting three faculty members from religious education agreeing with the anti-symposium statement.[91]

March 1992. “42 percent of [BYU’s] faculty said they would not participate” in the August Sunstone Symposium in Salt Lake City, according to a Universe poll.[92]

30 April 1992. BYU announces a draft of a policy on academic freedom which states: “Academic freedom must include not only the institution’s freedom to claim a religious identity but also the individual’s freedom to ask genuine, even difficult questions. . . . Freedom of thought, belief, inquiry, and expression are crucial no less to the sacred than to the secular quest for truth.” It also specifies “reasonable limitations” on academic freedom to prevent behavior that “seriously and adversely affects the university mission or The Church.” Examples of restricted behavior fall in three categories. The behavior or expression (1) “contradicts fundamental Church doctrines or opposes, rather than merely discusses, official policies of the Church; (2) attacks or derides the Church or its leaders; and (3) violates the Honor Code because the behavior or expression is dishonest, illegal, unchaste, profane, or unduly disrespectful of others.” Newspaper reports of the document include interviews with David Knowlton in the sociology department about recent statements and with Tomi-Ann Roberts and Cecilia Konchar Fair, two BYU faculty members who have taken anti-abortion but pro-choice positions. They report being “cautioned” that they are jeopardizing their jobs.[93]

20 May 1992. Phi Beta Kappa, the national honor society for arts and sciences, rejects BYU’s application for a chapter. Phi Beta Kappa’s reasons for refusing the chapter application are that the “dogmatic religious assertion [s]” in its mission statements “preclud[e] other possibilities” and hence oppose Phi Beta Kappa’s promotion of “a liberal arts education which… fosters] free inquiry.” The reason for the decision is not religion per se: Notre Dame, a Catholic-sponsored university, has a Phi Beta Kappa chapter.[94]

4 June 1992. Eugene Kovalenko is tried by a high council court in Ventura, California, for apostasy. Part of the evidence against him is a transcription of a 1990 Sunstone presentation. During the question and answer period, Eugene said: “We have the right to sustain or not sustain our leaders. I believe that we have defaulted powerfully with that process. It’s become a rubber stamp We deserve the leaders we have. If they are old, decrepit, and carrying on with stuff that’s a hundred years old, that’s our fault.” Later at a stake conference, Kovalenko votes not to sustain general and stake leaders. 

Rex Mitchell, a professional mediator, is allowed to accompany Eugene but not to supply information or ask clarifying questions. According to his notes of the almost-six-hour disciplinary council, “Pres. Bryce was the central player and asked at least 90% of the questions…. It seemed much like a professional police process, done skillfully—e.g., do extensive investigation; bring in the suspect into a tightly controlled situation in which he is at a numerical/logistical/emotional disadvantage; give a minimal de scription of the charges; interrogate the witness in great detail, going over the same material in several ways, gradually inferring by your questions that you have inside/intimate information from many sources that the suspect did not anticipate; do not go into detail about your sources and do not show any documentation; continue the interrogation long/late enough to produce fatigue and possibly mistakes from the suspect; assume that the suspect is not telling the truth and ask questions designed to demonstrate discrepancies between what the suspect tells you then and past actions (writings); alternate, as convenient, between extremely literal interpretation of the suspect’s writings and stretched inferences from the writings—in each case asking the suspect to justify your interpretation; profess to be interested in the well-being of the suspect; conceal any reactions to what the suspect says (minimize verbal or nonverbal cues to the suspects); do not give the suspect any information before, during, or after the session re the process or what happens next.” Three weeks after the trial, Kovalenko receives a letter from the stake president announcing his excommunication for ‘”not sustaining’ the Mormon leaders, showing insufficient remorse, and disobeying his local leaders.”[95]

7 June 1992. Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in a BYU fireside address, delivers a twenty-point address entitled, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall/’ Among the strengths which, if excessive or unbalanced, become weaknesses are “unusual commitment to one particular doctrine or commandment, … a strong desire to understand… the gospel… past the fringes of orthodoxy, seeking answers to mysteries rather than a firmer understanding and a better practice of the basic principles”; the “strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord… in all things”; a “willingness to sacrifice” that can result in susceptibility to “cultist groups and other bizarre outlets”; an excessive zeal for “social justice” that seemingly justifies “manipulat[ing]” others or alienation “from our church or its leaders when they refrain from using the rhetoric of … or from allocating Church resources” to such causes; the “charismatic teacher” whose popularity leads him or her into “priestcraft” or “gathering] a following of disciples”; workaholism, male “dictatorship” in his family, female “attempts to preempt priesthood leadership,” excessive “patriotism,… following the words of a dead prophet, . . . love[,] and tolerance.” He concludes by encouraging listeners to cultivate “humility” to “prevent our strengths from becoming our downfall.”[96]

27 June 1992. A Salt Lake Tribune article by Peggy Fletcher Stack reports “ongoing intimidation of Mormon intellectuals,” including hate mail received by Martha Sonntag Bradley, BYU faculty member and new coeditor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. That night the Mormon Alliance, organized by Paul J. Toscano and Frederick W. Voros to document and in some cases take action on instances of “spiritual abuse,” holds its first meeting.[97] It defines spiritual abuse as “the persistent exercise of power by spiritual or ecclesiastical leaders that serves the interests of the leaders to the detriment of the members.” 

22 July 1992. During summer term various faculty members hear from friends or anonymous well-wishers that they are on a BYU Board of Trustees “hit list.” From various reports the names on the hit list seem to be Cecilia Konchar Farr, Tomi-Ann Roberts, Martha Sonntag Bradley, David Knowlton, and Sam Rushforth. Provost Bruce Hafen denies that the administration received “a letter listing faculty members to be investigated” and explains that a complaint from the board is passed “down the chain of command and it’s ‘responded to as appropriate.'”[98]

22 July 1992. Paul Toscano, acting for the Mormon Alliance at the request of Eugene Kovalenko, submits to the Ventura Stake Presidency and to the First Presidency an appeal brief outlining numerous procedural errors and several doctrinal inconsistencies committed by the Ventura Stake disciplinary council.[99]

5 August 1992. The 13th Annual Sunstone Symposium convenes in Salt Lake City with about 1,500 attendees. According to Salt Lake Tribune religion editor Peggy Fletcher Stack, who does not disclose her sources, “Several departments in the LDS Church Office Building threatened employees with dire consequences if they attended. But the Public Affairs Department sent six ‘observers/ as they have for years.” At least one BYU faculty member, Michael Allen, is “advise[d] against” participating. Sunstone editor Elbert Peck acknowledges that some BYU faculty “chose not to participate” while others “made a point of participating” and describes the impact of the 1991 First Presidency/Council of the Twelve statement as being “to make presenters much more thoughtful and careful than they have been in the past.”[100]

6 August 1992.1 present a version of this paper at a Sunstone Symposium session. Eugene England, in the audience-response period, identifies as “the chief danger the group that is compiling the files… the Committee to Strengthen Members, an ad hoc Church group without General Authority standing but apparently great influence, headed by one William Nelson. … I accuse that committee of undermining our Church.”[101]

8 August 1992. An Associated Press story by Vern Anderson quotes church spokesman Don LeFevre’s acknowledgement that the “Strengthening Church Members Committee” “provides local church leadership with information designed to help them counsel with members who may hinder the progress of the church through public criticism.” It also reports the experience of Omar Kader of Washington, D.C., formerly of BYU’s political science department. Kader says a BYU administrator told him that Nelson, then leader’s stake president, kept a file on his political activities as a Democrat in Provo in the late 1970s. Nelson “categorically denied keeping a file on Kader” and also denied “knowing Omar and Nancy Kader.” 

511452141Nelson is director of the Evaluation Division, Church Correlation Department, which reports to Elder Boyd K. Packer, and was executive assistant to Ezra Taft Benson while Benson was president of the Quorum of the Twelve (1974-85).[102]

9 August 1992. Elder Jacob de Jaeger, speaking in Salt Lake Whittier Ward priesthood meeting, identifies as one of six duties of the Latter-day Saints “to get along with everybody—and that includes those that read the Ensign and those that read Sunstone.”[103]

12 August 1992. J. Michael Watson, secretary to the First Presidency, returns the Kovalenko appeal brief, stating that Kovalenko’s excommunication is a matter between him and his local leaders alone.[104]

13 August 1992. The First Presidency issues a statement in response to “extensive publicity recently given to false accusations of so-called secret Church committees and files.” The statement cites Doctrine and Covenants 123:1-5, which enjoins “the propriety of all the saints gathering up .. . the names of all persons that have had a hand in their oppressions” during the Missouri period of the late 1830s and then continues: “In order to assist their members who have questions, these local leaders often request information from General Authorities The Strengthening Church Members committee was appointed by the First Presidency to help fulfill this need and to comply with the cited section of the Doctrine and Covenants. This committee serves as a resource to priesthood leaders throughout the world who may desire assistance on a wide variety of topics. It is a General Authority committee, currently comprised of Elder James E. Faust and Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They work through established priesthood channels, and neither impose nor direct Church disciplinary action/’ The statement counsels members with “questions concerning Church doctrine, policies, or procedures” to “discuss those concerns confidentially with their local leaders.”[105]

14 August 1992. Peggy Fletcher Stack’s Salt Lake Tribune article reporting the First Presidency statement begins: “Mormon Church leaders say they have a scriptural mandate to keep secret files on outspoken members.” Ross Peterson is quoted as saying that the statement “is ‘stretching the scriptural justification. Comparing Sunstone and Dialogue folks to people who were shooting Mormons in 1839 Missouri is unfair.'” He described his own “grill[ing]” by his area presidency who “continually drew photocopied items out of a file and asked him about things he had written decades ago. The file was sitting on the churchmen’s desk, but Mr. Peterson was not allowed to see its contents.” “Files are a strange carryover from a paranoia that resembles McCarthyism,” says Peterson. The article also cites unnamed “LDS Church employees” who tell the Tribune that William O. Nelson “shares President Benson’s John Birch Society politics” and that “the church has kept files on outspoken members for decades. In the late 1970s a church librarian, Tom Truitt, told researchers in the LDS historical department that he was ‘on a special assignment from the brethren’ to read all LDS historical articles, underline ‘objectionable parts’ and send them on to the ‘brethren/ His clipping system was influential in having the one-volume history of the LDS church, Story of the Latter-day Saints, removed from the shelves at Deseret Book stores and dropped from the reading list at LDS institutes.” Linda Newell points out, “It’s one thing to know who your enemies are. But it’s quite another thing to label as an enemy church members who love the church, who work in the church, who pay their tithing, who go to the temple, and who only want to help the church.”[106]

14 August 1992. Jack and Linda Newell write to Elder Russell M. Nelson requesting “the opportunity to review [our] own files so that misleading or erroneous items might be properly challenged.”[107]

16 August 1992. David Knowlton and Linda King Newell appear on the weekly program Utah 1992 (KXVX, Channel 4, Salt Lake City), moderated by Chris Vanocur and Paul Murphy. In response to questions, Linda relates the story of the banning of the Emma biography and David describes his encounters with his stake president. David asserts that the practice of keeping secret files “doesn’t belong in a church that purports to represent Jesus Christ I’m ashamed, frankly, of a church that doesn’t want to tell the truth. I’m ashamed of institutional lying.” Then he asks, “Is there not a way that [orthodox] Mormons … can love me? Is there not a way that we can share the same space? realize that we are the children of the same father and mother?” Linda describes the “devastating” impact of receiving phone calls from all over the country based on such rumors as that she had been excommunicated for adultery and of going into an interview with two general authorities who had not read the book. “I have four kids,” she says. “You cannot believe the impact this has had on them, and my husband. They’ll never see the church the same way—ever It hurts so much. And it hurts so much to see it happening again and again. . . . I’m seeing my friends getting picked off one by one…. And it’s ongoing. I’m blacklisted now, along with a lot of other good people.” But when asked, “Do you ever think about leaving?” she responds, “No, why would I leave? It’s my church. I chose it.” David also answers, “These are the tests that try men’s faith But the word ‘testing’ cannot possibly explain the agony, the pain in the stomach, the soul ache.” 

18 August 1992. Keynoting the devotional for the estimated 30,000 participants at BYU Education Week, Elder Neal A. Maxwell criticizes some intellectuals: “Exciting exploration is preferred by them to plodding implementation, as speculation and argumentations seem more fun to these few individuals rather than consecration, so they even try to soften the hard doctrines. By not obeying, they lack knowledge and thus cannot defend their faith, and a few become critics instead of defenders.”[108]

20 August 1992. David T. Cox, identifying himself “a lifetime member of the church in good standing,” says he is “ashamed and terrified at the thought of a Mormon inquisition or LDS McCarthyism” and calls for church leaders “to destroy all non-statistical information” held by “the Strengthening Church Members Committee.”[109]

6 September 1992. Bryan Waterman, who had written a summary about the controversy surrounding Mother in Heaven for the Student Review in July/August 1992, is called in by his stake president, Allen Bergin, on the instructions of Elder Malcolm Jeppsen, who wanted Bryan interviewed immediately and also at the end of the semester. Bryan, who had already met President Bergin in interviews preparatory to his August marriage, finds the interviews very positive, appreciates President Bergin’s “personal concern and honesty,” and believes him to be “very sincere and genuinely loving.” President Bergin, who had been supplied with a photocopy of the article highlighted in yellow, asks Bryan and his wife, Stephanie, if they pray to Mother in Heaven, and, in the second interview, if the experience has created resentment toward the church. Bryan, who expressed some concern in the second interview about the creation of a file on him that contained only “narrowly focused” material on controversial topics, says that the experience has not been negative and that he does not feel he has “suffered organizational abuse” but does have “misgivings about the nature of the ‘confidential’ files” maintained on church members and also reports some new caution about the topics on which he chooses to write. He had written an earlier article for Student Review on Mother in Heaven to which there had been no ecclesiastical response.[110]

9 September 1992. A revised form for researchers at the LDS Church Historical Department Archives to sign alters the requirement to seek permission for all direct quotations from archival materials. The crucial provision now reads: “Any publication, reproduction, or other use of archival material that exceeds the bounds of fair use requires the prior written permission of the Church Copyrights and Permissions Office, as well as any other individual or institution that may have rights in the material.”

16 September 1992. Elders James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson, in response to my August letter requesting to see my file, respond that they regard the files not “as secret but confidential.” My second letter acknowledges the distinction and again requests to see it. As of mid-January 1993, there has been no response.[111]

17 September 1992. Elder Russell M. Nelson writes to Jack and Linda Newell that the files of the Strengthening Church Members Committee are not “secret but confidential,” pointing out that members should counsel with local priesthood leaders who may then “request advice from General Authorities through established channels of Church government,” and suggesting that they “may wish to consult” their bishop. Jack and Linda transmit their request formally through their bishop on 18 September.[112]

17 September 1992. Richard Bryce, president of the Ventura California Stake, telephones Eugene Kovalenko, then living in Santa Fe, and reads him a letter from the First Presidency affirming the excommunication. Eugene writes to the First Presidency on 24 September requesting a copy of the letter, an inventory of the materials forwarded with the appeal record, and a description of the process of reconsidering his case. He also repeats an earlier request, made to the Strengthening Church Members Committee, to review his file. 

19 September 1992. Victims: The LDS Church and the Mark Hofmann Case, authored by Richard Turley, managing director of the LDS Historical Department, is published by the University of Illinois Press. Turley claims “unprecedented access” to church officials and “previously unavailable documents.” He acknowledges that “a substantial amount of writing was done on church time.”[113]

26 September 1992. Aileen Clyde, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, while conducting the general women’s meeting welcomes them: “I am so pleased to join with you in this great congregation of Relief Society women and Young Women and leaders of our Primary children. It is good to have President Hinckley, President Monson, President Hunter, and other priesthood leaders with us tonight to symbolize the priesthood partnership we so value in the Church and in our homes.” The version published in the Ensign reads: “It is good to have President Hinckley, President Monson, President Hunter, and other priesthood leaders with us tonight.” One individual who had seen galleys of this address confirms that the “partnership” phrase was still there at that point.[114]

3-4 October 1992. Although not identifying specific issues, several general conference talks seem targeted at specific audiences. Possibly in response to right-wing survivalists, Elder M. Russell Ballard warns, “We must be careful not to… be caught up in extreme preparations” for the end of the world. President Gordon B. Hinckley, perhaps responding to right wing beliefs of a “silenced” prophet,[115] explains the “unique and tremendous system of redundancy and backup which the Lord has structured into His kingdom so that without interruption it may go forward, meeting any emergency that might arise and handling every contingency…. We have moved without hesitation when there is well-established policy. Where there is not… we have talked with the President and received his approval before taking action. Let it never be said that there has been any disposition to assume authority or to do anything or say anything which might be at variance with the wishes of him who has been put in his place by the Lord.” Elder Boyd K. Packer adds: “There are some among us now who have not been regularly ordained by the heads of the Church who tell of impending political and economic chaos, the end of the world They are misleading members to gather to colonies or cults. Those deceivers say that the Brethren do not know what is going on in the world or that the Brethren approve of their teaching but do not wish to speak of it over the pulpit. Neither is true.” Remarks possibly directed against intellectuals are made by Elders Russell M. Nelson (“Paul’s warnings describe apostasy and other dangers of our day. Some of those perils are … championed by persuasive people possessing more ability than morality, more knowledge than wisdom….Individuals with malignity of purpose often wear the mask of honesty”), Joseph B. Wirthlin (“Some in the Church may believe sincerely that their testimony is a raging bonfire when it really is little more than the faint flickering of a candle. Their faithfulness has more to do with habit than holiness, and their pursuit of personal righteousness almost always takes a back seat to their pursuit of personal interests and pleasure”), and Neal A. Maxwell (“… some who cast off on intellectual and behavioral bungee cords in search of new sensations, only to be jerked about by the old heresies and the old sins”). Elder Packer also includes in his remarks a warning to faculty members at BYU protesting strictures on academic freedom: “A Church university is not established to provide employment for a faculty, and the personal scholarly research [sic] is not a dominant reason for funding a university For those very few whose focus is secular and who feel restrained as students or as teachers in such an environment, there are at present in the United States and Canada alone over 3,500 colleges and universities where they may find the kind of freedom they value.”[116]

5 October 1992. Jim and Elaine Harmston are excommunicated in Manti, Utah, for apostasy. Their offenses include refusing the stake president’s instructions to refrain from “discuss[ing] the gospel in your own home with anyone except your own family” and conducting the true order of prayer outside the temple.[117]

13 October 1992. Avraham Gileadi teaches his regular Tuesday night class on the book of Isaiah, a class on-going since at least the spring of 1991 that has been attracting ever larger groups. Before the next class on 20 October, class members are notified by the director of the Hebraist Foundation, which sponsors Gileadi’s research, that the classes are “postponed indefinitely” at the request of Gileadi’s stake president, who has also instructed him not to lecture or write on scriptural topics. Gileadi obediently cancels the class and agrees to comply with the instructions not to write more, after completing two books now in progress.[118]

20 October 1992. F. Michael Watson, secretary to the First Presidency, writes to Eugene Kovalenko explaining that the answer to his letter of 24 September had been sent to President Bryce, “apparently in error/’ and re questing Eugene’s “current address, as well as the name of the bishop and stake president of the area in which you now live” so that Brother Watson could “forward to them the written confirmation which you seek.” This letter is correctly addressed to Eugene’s current address, a post office box in Santa Fe. Eugene writes Brother Watson on 27 October expressing reluctance to have information “of such a sensitive nature” sent to third parties whom he does not know and expressing pain at feeling “demeaned and patronized.” In a response 2 November, Watson explains that the church has a “long-standing policy… that matters relating to disciplinary councils and appeals therefrom, be handled through authorized priesthood leaders” and affirms that “we would be pleased” to respond through these leaders. 

27 October 1992. Scott Abbott, a member of BYU’s German faculty and a Sunstone participant, is called in by his stake president, a BYU religion professor, for a “very cordial” meeting. Scott earlier circulated his Sunstone paper, “One Lord, One Faith, Two Universities: Tensions between ‘Religion’ and ‘Thought’ at BYU,” to individual religion professors, several of whom were upset by its analysis of religious-education hiring practices. The discussion centers on what the stake president sees as the potential for apostasy in Scott’s position. Scott “felt no threats. My job didn’t come into it. He’s seen me twice since then and has come over and put his arm around me, genuinely showing his love after the rebuke.”[119]

29 October 1992. David Knowlton meets again with his stake president, Kerry Heinz, to discuss the Channel 4 Utah 1992 interview. Heinz has formed his impressions of David’s remarks only from an incomplete transcript, highlighted in yellow, and states, according to David, that “the situation almost obliged him to call a Church court because, in his opinion, I was perilously close to apostasy as a result of what he perceived as a pattern of attacking the Church.” Still, the meeting which begins and ends with prayer, is held in Heinz’s home, is “more relaxed,” and leaves David optimistic that they are working toward a shared understanding. At David’s invitation, President Heinz meets the next week with David’s department chair for an additional view of issues from an academic perspective.[120]

1 November 1992. At the instruction of Elder Russell M. Nelson, Jack and Linda Newell’s stake president, Ted M. Jacobsen, informs them that they may not see their files maintained by the Strengthening Church Members Committee. 

Early November 1992 or earlier. Three separate lists begin to circulate in the Utah South Region. Apparently at least one, “Profile of the Splinter Group Members or Others with Troublesome Ideologies,” was reportedly created by a stake president who had taken notes during a speech by Elder Jeppsen, added additional specifics to the list, and then circulated it among additional stake presidents, some of whom also added items. Harold Nicholl, one of six Sanpete County stake presidents, uses the first list “as a guide for excommunications.” This list consists of twenty unnumbered points, including: “They follow the practice of home school. There is a preoccupation with the end of the world. . . . Many have John Birch membership or leanings. Many do not work and have no jobs. They study the mysteries, feeling that what is provided in our meetings today is superficial. They meet in study groups. They listen to .. . ‘Bo Gritz’ tapes and others about such topics as Armageddon. They are inordinately preoccupied with food storage. They . . . teach that . . . the government is corrupt They feel that President Benson’s counselors have muzzled the prophet They staunchly profess that they sustain the prophet and local leaders, but when asked to stop doing certain things… they tell you straight out they will have to take the matter to the Lord. . .. They read the books of Avraham Gileadi Many of these folks are on state welfare and others try to obtain Church welfare… . Plural marriage .. . continues to surface as a part of the belief structure of many…. Some have held prayer circles in full temple clothing outside the temple.. . . Some of these folks would linger in the celestial room of the Manti Temple for hours to teach one another.”[121]

3 November 1992. John Tarjan of Bakersfield, California, a Sunstone participant, is called in by his stake president who has received a letter from Elder John Groberg, the area president, transmitting a letter from Elders Russell M. Nelson and James E. Faust accompanied by a copy of John’s Dialogue article and the newspaper report of his August 1992 Sunstone presentation, “Lying for the Lord/’ Both have passages highlighted in yellow. The meeting, which lasts for an hour and a half, is “very pleasant. One of the nicest experiences I’ve had in church for years.” The stake president is unclear about the previous summer’s First Presidency/Quorum of the Twelve statement about symposia, does not know about the Strengthening Church Members Committee, and has received no specific information about what the “problem” was or why the interview was requested.[122]

13-14 November 1992. Elder Malcolm S. Jeppsen, president of the Utah South Area, addresses the area priesthood leadership meeting. Elders Henry B. Eyring and Joseph B. Wirthlin are also in attendance. According to an attendee, Elder Jeppsen defines “a spectrum” of church members including “an increasing number .. . who still cling to their membership” but “are pursuing paths to apostasy.” In the center are “the mainstream of the Saints, whose who follow the guidance of the latter-day prophets.” To the right are four groups: “the priestcrafters who sell their services of gospel understanding for money, the latter-day gnostics who believe that they are endowed with special knowledge of the mysteries and that the veil has been rent for them, the doomsayers who forecast future events, and the cultists who practice polygamy or other doctrines that are not taught by the Church.” To the left are “the feminists: those who advocate a mother in heaven and women holding the priesthood, the intellectuals who advocate a naturalistic explanation for the Book of Mormon and other revelations, and the dissenters: those who challenge the interpretation of the leadership of the Church.” According to this report, Elder Jeppsen also characterizes Satan as “the great multiplier of perspectives in this earth” while “Jesus Christ is the great consolidated of all truth… He is asking us that we follow the brethren unquestionably [sic].” Also in the same priesthood meeting, one speaker (not identified) gives a list of fifteen “false teachings,” including specific dates for the Second Coming, “praying to a Mother in Heaven,” explicit preparations for attacks by Russians and others, and teaching where and when the ten tribes will return.[123]

15 November 1992. Cecilia Konchar Fair is called into a friendly meeting with her stake president, who explains candidly that he is acting on instructions from the area president to interview her on her general faithfulness and report back. He is not aware of Cecilia’s harassed situation at BYU, that other BYU professors have been called in, or the associated issues of academic freedom. Cecilia describes a talk on Mormonism and feminism she gave in sacrament meeting soon after the lengthy interview with her in the Salt Lake Tribune. The stake president responds enthusiastically, “That’s great with me. I’ll report back that you’re okay.”[124]

16 November 1992. In “a spirit of reconciliation,” Eugene Kovalenko, now residing in New Mexico, contacts, first, Regional Representative Vern Payne, then stake president Paul Goodfellow. President Goodfellow expresses his willingness to review personal material that would acquaint him with Eugene’s situation. Eugene describes his contacts with both men between 16 November and 7 December as “cordial.” He also provides the office of the First Presidency with the stake president’s name and address on 6 December 1992. 

16 November 1992. The summer 1992 issue of Brigham Young University Studies (vol. 32, no. 3) arrives, including “a revision of portions” of Elder Maxwell’s FARMS banquet address (see entry of 27 September 1991), and “the main part” of BYU Provost Bruce C. Hafen’s address to the faculty in September 1992, “edited .. . for distribution to a wider audience.” In it he warns “troubled” faculty, “Conscientious private communication may ultimately be of real help to the Church and its leaders, but public expression . . . may simply spray another burst of spiritual shrapnel through the ranks of trusting and vulnerable students.” He adds, “The statement by the First Presidency and the Twelve . . . counseling against any participation in certain kinds of symposia . . . is not primarily a BYU matter—but it clearly speaks to BYU people. It is written in nondirective, nonpunitive terms, but its expectations are clear to those with both eyes open. . . . If a few among us create enough reason for doubt about the rest of us, that can erode our support among Church members and Church leaders enough to mortally wound our ability to pursue freely the dream of a great university in Zion.”[125]

18 November 1992. Devery Anderson of Longview, Washington, who earlier requested a meeting with his area president (Elder Joe J. Christensen), is called in for an unexpectedly “friendly” meeting with his stake president. The stake president, who forwarded the request to Elder Chris tensen with a cover letter of his own summarizing the situation from his perspective, tells Devery that Elder Christensen has requested that Devery write him a complete account directly. The stake president expresses willingness to return Devery’s recommend, if that is Elder Christensen’s decision. In response to Devery’s letter, President Christensen expresses his hope that continued efforts at understanding may lead to a satisfactory resolution. As of mid-January 1993, the matter remains unresolved.[126]

19 November 1992. Timothy B. Wilson of Nephi, Utah, who is preparing Mormon’s Book: A Modern English Rendering for publication in 1993, is called in by his stake president (Pioneer Stake in Provo) and asked about his project and whether he knows Avraham Gileadi. Tim does not, although Gileadi’s wife is editing his book. His stake president also asks whether he would drop the project if he were so instructed. Tim has already received verbal confirmation from Church Copyrights and Permissions that his project does not infringe on the church’s copyright and is awaiting written confirmation at the time of the interview.[127] According to a Salt Lake Tribune article, Tim’s bishop (Pioneer Third Ward of Provo) told him that the First Presidency “objected to the format of his book,” which arranged the standard and modernized rendering verse by verse in parallel columns. Tim revised his rendering to a paragraph, rather than verse, format in an effort to resolve the problem. Inspired by President Benson’s challenge to “flood the earth with the Book of Mormon,” he has spent two years and $20,000 on this project, which he hopes will make the Book of Mormon more accessible to millions of readers.[128]

29 November 1992. A front-page Salt Lake Tribune article reports a “massive housecleaning” of “hundreds of Mormon dissidents who church officials say are preoccupied unduly with Armageddon.” Although it gives no figures, the article uses the term “purge,” compares it to the 1850s reformation, and identifies Mormons who have been excommunicated or “threatened” in Nevada, Arizona, and Idaho. This attack on ‘”super patriots’ and survivalists” is the first conspicuous public action taken against the church’s right wing since the official distancing of the church from the John Birch Society during the 1960s and 1970s. Ezra Taft Benson, then an apostle, was vocal in his public support of the anti-Communist group. Much of the agenda of those receiving church discipline revives concerns of those days: concern with the apocalypse, fleeing “to the tops of the mountains,” serious attention to a food supply, John Birch Society “leanings” (which usually translates into a mistrust of government, including the United Nations), and an interest in the events preceding Christ’s second coming.[129]

A related Tribune article analyzes the appeal of Mormon convert Colonel James “Bo” Gritz as a “military hero and messiah of the new Populist Party” and leader of the American First Coalition, “dedicated to such goals as abolishing the IRS, eliminating foreign aid, prohibiting foreign ownership of American soil[,] and opposing global government.” Gritz joined the LDS church in 1984 and sees his patriarchal blessing, received in 1985, as foretelling his leadership role. He reported: “It said you will have a gift of discernment. You will be given an ability to explain in words people will understand. You will have multitudes that will follow you. They will have no allegiance to you. They will only have allegiance to what it is you stand for.” Twenty-eight thousand Utahns voted for Gritz in the November presidential election. Gritz concedes that he has been “warned by church leaders to be careful about what he teaches” and “listening to Bo Gritz tapes” appears on the “Profile of the Splinter Group Members” list of twenty items being used by some stake presidents in the Utah South Region to interview suspected dissidents and apostates.[130]

2 December 1992. Ronald Garff, of the Utah South Area, is instructed by his stake president, Leland Wright, to stop selling his popular series of videotapes, “Today through Armageddon,” which dates the second coming of Christ near 6 April 2000. The lifelong member protests, “I’m not speaking for the church. I never have.” Wright counters: “He quotes from the prophets, but his evaluations lead people to believe the ideas are from the church” and admits “put[ting] his membership on hold.”[131] Apparently the same day, church spokesman Don LeFevre issues a statement announcing that “disciplinary matters are … strictly between the individual and . . . local ecclesiastical leaders,” stating that Elder Jeppsen “said he had never provided any such list,” denying that high church officials are “sedating” Ezra Taft Benson, and denying that there has been “any increase in the number of people excommunicated from the Church.”[132]

7 December 1992. Bo Gritz, speaking to a reporter, comments: “Home schooling, the ‘New World Order/ government conspiracy—if this list is true, geez, it sounds like … I’d be one of the first to be excommunicated.” In 1989, his former stake president, Lewis Hildreth of Las Vegas, received a Bo Gritz video and letter from an apostle in Salt Lake City asking him to review the tape. Hildreth did and found nothing objectionable, according to Gritz, but warned him not to hold meetings in church buildings or present his position as the church’s position. Gritz complied with both. His comment on the possibility of being disciplined is: “If I had been born in the church under the covenant and raised by a Mormon family, then maybe I would feel my entire salvation hinged on my status within the Church. But… in the end, when it comes down to the day of judgement, you’re not going to be able to say, ‘Well, it was my stake president who told me to believe this,’ or even the bishop or the prophet A lot of folks, they would die if their bishop were to criticize them or if their membership were threatened. To me, it’s more important what my personal relationship is with the [S]avior.”[133]

2 January 1993. Three Nevada stake presidents are quoted in the press as saying that they know of no excommunications in their areas for “political activities.” The newspaper report does not say if these stake presidents were asked about disciplinary councils held for apostasy, the reason given in most of the central Utah excommunications. However, one stake president reportedly says the church “becomes concerned” when “you start teaching principles that are contrary to the accepted principles of the Church.”[134]

2 January 1993. William O. Nelson, director of the Evaluation Division, Correlation Department, identifies as significant “doctrinal developments by the First Presidency under Priesthood Correlation” after 1990 the “statement of the First Presidency on symposia—public versus private discussion of sacred matters” and the 1992 First Presidency statement affirming “the King James Version of the Bible as the official text in English.”[135]

That brings us up to date. I have omitted many incidents and barely mentioned many that cry out for fuller exposition, among them the existence of a “blacklist” prohibiting some people from writing articles for the Ensign or speaking at BYU functions, and the policy at Deseret Book, also shared by church manuals or CES materials, of not quoting certain authors.[136] But what is here is enough to outline the general contours of the present situation. And now what can we do about it? I have seven proposals. 

First, we must speak up. We must stop keeping “bad” secrets when our church acts in an abusive way. We must share our stories and our pain. When we feel isolated, judged, and rejected, it is easy to give up, to allow ourselves to become marginalized, and to accept the devaluation as accu rate. If we silence ourselves or allow others to silence us, we will deny the validity of our experience, undermine the foundations of authenticity in our personal spirituality, and impoverish our collective life as a faith community. During the 1970s and 1980s I was an observer and occasionally a co-worker as a handful of modern women scholars discovered Mormon women’s history. They did it from the documents. No living tradition had survived of the spiritual gifts and powers of Mormon women, of how they saw themselves, of their vision for women of the church and the world. By failing to perpetuate the past as a living tradition, the women and men who were its guardians had erased it. I cannot adequately express how much this hurt me. I learned for myself that silence and self-censorship are terrible wrongs. Reducing the diversity of voices in a community to a single, official voice erases us. We must join in the on-going dialogue between individual and community out of necessity and also out of love. 

Second, we must protest injustice, unrighteousness, and wrong. I pay my church the compliment of thinking that it espouses the ideals of justice and fairness. I am confused when leaders confiscate temple recommends of members who publicly praise the church’s actions. Blacklists, secret files, and intimidation violate my American sense of fair play and my legal expectation of due process. They violate the ideal that truth is best served by an open interchange, that disagreement can be both courteous and clarifying, and that differences are not automatically dangerous. Most importantly I am dismayed when the organization that teaches me to honor the truth and to act with integrity seems to violate those very principles in its behavior. I am bewildered and grieved when my church talks honorably from one script and acts ignobly from another. Some of the incidents I have mentioned make me cry out with James: “My brethren, these things ought not so to be” (James 3:10). 

Third, we must defend each other. It was heart-warming that fourteen friends, acquaintances, and former ecclesiastical leaders attended Eugene Kovalenko’s trial, even though only four were allowed to make five-minute statements. Some official actions are obvious attempts to marginalize and punish intellectuals and feminists. Although some intellectuals and feminists may well be bitter, those I know personally are not trying to undermine the faith of others, do not hate the church, and are not cynical about their personal faith. To the extent that there is anti-intellectualism and anti-feminism in the church’s response, it is unfair. Also unfair are any malice and irresponsibility in the activities of intellectuals and feminists. We need to provide honest feedback to each other, as well as express caring and concern for each other. If I am saying excessive, irresponsible things, I need to know it. And I will hear it most clearly from my friends. We must sustain and support individuals who are experiencing ecclesiastical harassment. Such support will help prevent overreactions and speed the healing process in the survivor. Supportive observers may also help prevent some ecclesiastical abuse. 

Fourth, we must protest, expose, and work against an internal espionage system that creates and maintains secret files on members of the church. If there were some attempt to maintain a full and complete record— including the record of church service, the lives influenced for good, and the individual’s spiritual strength—I might feel differently. I might also feel differently if individuals had access to their files. But they are secretly maintained and seem to be exclusively accusatory in their content. I find such an activity unworthy in every way of the Church of Jesus Christ. 

Fifth, we must be more assertive in dealing with our leaders. I have had good experiences with my stake president. But I am repelled by reports of puppet interviews, where a stake president or bishop is ordered to interview and/or punish a member on information secretly supplied by ecclesiastical superiors. Such a procedure does not uphold the ideal of confidentiality. Rather it violates the trust that should exist between member and leader, and we should say so. Furthermore the stake president, not the offended general authority, is required to deal with the offender. This process short-circuits the scriptural injunction of face-to-face confrontation, including “reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love” (D&C 121:43). Perhaps more importantly such a system isolates and insulates leaders from members. These leaders create hostile stereotypes of members who are “evil” and “deserve” to be punished and excluded. Similarly members judge and stereotype faceless and voiceless general authorities who are known to them only through punitive intermediaries. Both behaviors are equally damaging. 

Sixth, we need to support, encourage, and sustain ecclesiastical leaders who also value honesty, integrity, and nurturing. Michael Quinn’s stake president is one heartening example. In March 1992 David Knowlton movingly told a large audience at Sunstone in Washington, D.C., how, after repeated abrasive encounters with his stake president, he went to his bishop who listened, asked him how he felt, and gave him a blessing. David reported that he could not stop weeping during this interview, which did much to heal his wounds. When Garth Jones in Anchorage, Alaska, used a Bible translation other than the King James Version in his Sunday school class, a visiting high councillor informed the stake president, who instructed the bishop to release Garth. The bishop said he would fast and pray as he considered the stake president’s “advice.” After doing so he reported that he felt his initial inspiration in calling Garth to that position was still valid and declined to release him. “This bishop is not a liberal man,” observed Garth. “He’s a righteous man.” We need more such models of nurturing leaders. 

And seventh, we must seek humility as a prerequisite for a more loving, a less fearful, community. The apostle Paul queried, “Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16) Oliver Cromwell pleaded, “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible you may be mistaken.”[137] These are questions we must ask ourselves, as well as posing them for others. My prayers for the church’s ecclesiastical officers have never been more sincere than during the past few months, even when my sorrow and anguish have been most intense. 

I consider myself to be simultaneously a loyal Latter-day Saint, an intellectual, and a feminist. My identity involves all three elements. I cannot truncate my life by excising one or more elements in a misguided search for simplicity. In Nauvoo black convert Cathy Stokes changed my life forever by telling me, “When I went to the temple, I consecrated all of me. That included my blackness. If the Lord can use it, it’s his.” She set me on the road to realizing that the Lord wanted all of me, even the parts that the church did not want and could not use. With the utmost reverence I declare that I have tried to make a full consecration. 

Consequently, as I hope for forgiveness, so must I offer it. And I do. We must mutually acknowledge our pain, whether intentionally or unintentionally inflicted. We must ask for and offer forgiveness. We must affirm the goals of charity, integrity, loyalty, and honesty that are foundational in the gospel. Such forgiveness, such acceptance hold the promise of movement toward a Christlike community.

[1] Patricia Lyn Scott, James E. Crooks, and Sharon G. Pugsley, ‘”A Kinship of Interest’: The Mormon History Association’s Membership,” Journal of Mormon History 18 (1991): 156n9. 

[2] “God’s Hand in Our Nation’s History,” Twelve-Stake Fireside at Brigham Young University, 28 Mar. 1976, 8; photocopy in my possession. He gave the identical speech more than eight years later on 30 December 1984 to Canyon Road Ward in Salt Lake City. “The Gospel Teacher and His Message,” 17 Sept. 1976,15-16; photocopy of typescript in my possession. 

[3] Paul James Toscano, Memo to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 21 Aug. 1992, 1-2.

[4] Linda Sillitoe, “A Foot in Both Camps: An Interview with Jan Tyler,” Sunstone 3 (Jan.-Feb. 1978): 11-14. 

[5] Peggy Fletcher, “Church Historian: Evolution of a Calling,” Sunstone 10 (Apr. 1985): 46-18. 

[6] Toscano, Memo, 2. 

[7] “The Debate is Over,” Ensign 19 (Aug. 1979): 2-3. 

[8] “Church Tradition Now a Policy,” Sunstone 10 (Feb. 1985): 32-33.

[9] Toscano, Memo, 2. 

[10] Neal Chandler, letter and untitled manuscript to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 14 Sept. 1992, 4-5.

[11] Linda Sillitoe, “Off the Record: Telling the Rest of the Truth,” Sunstone 14 (Dec. 1990): 12-26; see also Linda Sillitoe and Paul Swenson, “The Excommunication of Sonia Johnson: A Moral Issue,” Utah Holiday, Jan. 1980; Linda Sillitoe, “Church Politics and Sonia Johnson: The Central Conundrum,” Sunstone 5 (Jan.-Feb. 1980): 35. 

[12] Maureen Ursenbach Beecher and Lavina Fielding Anderson, eds., Sisters in Spirit: Mormon Women in Historical and Cultural Perspective (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987). Contributors were Jolene Edmunds Rockwood, Melodie Moench Charles, Linda P. Wilcox, Maryann MacMurray, Carol Cornwall Madsen, Linda King Newell, Jill Mulvay Derr, Marybeth Raynes, and Grethe Ballif Peterson. 

[13] Sheryl Davis, “Our Readership: What the Survey Shows,” Exponent II7 (Winter 1980): 1.

[14] Ezra Taft Benson, “Fourteen Fundamentals in Following the Prophets,” 1-7; typescript in my possession; all-capitalized words and underlining eliminated. David Briscoe, Associated Press Writer, “Benson Speech Stirs Speculation on LDS Changes,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, 2 Mar. 1980; photocopy of clipping in my possession; “Interpretation of Speech Not Correct, Church Says,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, 27 Feb. 1980; photocopy of clipping in my possession. 

[15] Toscano, Memo, 2-3. 

[16] Photocopy of typescript of pre-delivery text in my possession, including changes given during delivery and, separately, changes made in the published version.

[17] Lavina Fielding Anderson diary, 3 July 1980. 

[18] Photocopy of letter in my possession. 

[19] Gary Bergera wrote to Elder Rector inquiring about the difference between the published version of his talk and the version reported in the Deseret News, Church News, and Salt Lake Tribune. Elder Rector replied in a hand-written note: “Sometimes it is not expedient to make people angry by telling them in too plain terms what their problems are I presume a combination of things made the First Presidency decide to eliminate certain portions of my remarks even tho’ they had received and cleared the talk before it was given. It is O.K. They know best. However, what was said is still true.” Gary J. Bergera, Letter to Hartman Rector, 11 May 1981; undated response handwritten on the bottom of the letter by Hartman Rector.

[20] “Keeping Confidences,” 18 Jan. 1980,10; photocopy of typescript in my possession. 

[21] I volunteered to discuss the matter with Sister McConkie. Elder Ballard instructed me to call Elder Bruce R. McConkie instead, who agreed I should discuss the matter with Sister McConkie. Sister McConkie had no additional evidence besides family traditions of Joseph F.’s “kindliness” as an adult to add to the evidence I had assembled about the wagonmaster. Anderson diary, 13 Feb. 1981. The paper was published as “Mary Fielding Smith: Her Ox Goes Marching On,” in Maren M. Mouritsen, ed., Blueprints for Living: Perspectives for Latter-day Saint Women, Volume 2, (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Press, 1980), 2-13. 

[22] Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater than the Intellect,” 22 Aug. 1981, CES conference; photocopy of typescript in my possession.

[23] See, as examples, “The Mormon (His)story,” (letter to the editor), Sunstone, Feb. 1992 [mailed in Aug. 1992], 9; and “The Acids of Modernity and the Crisis in Mormon Historiography,” in Faithful History: Essays on Writing Mormon History, ed. George D. Smith (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1992), 189-226, first published as “The Challenge of Historical Consciousness: Mormon History and the Encounter with Secular Modernity,” in By Study and by Faith: Essays in Honor of Hugh W. Nibley on the Occasion of His Eightieth Birthday, eds. John M. Lundquist and Stephen D. Ricks (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book/FARMS, 1990), 2:502-51. The Smith volume includes “Unfounded Claims and Impossible Expectations: A Critique of New Mormon History” (227-63), a revised and expanded revision of “No Higher Ground,” Sunstone 8 (May-June 1983): 26-32, “The Burden of Proof,” Sunstone 10 (June 1985): 2-3, and “Our Own Agenda,” Sunstone 14 (June 1990): 45-49. 

[24] “Historian Responds to Apostle,” Seventh East Press, 18 Nov. 1981. This essay was reprinted as “On Being a Mormon Historian” with an “Aftermath” recounting subsequent consequences, in Smith, Faithful History, 69-112. 

[25] Fletcher, “Church Historian.” I was working in the History Division offices on Monday, 7 February, and wrote in my diary that day: “Leonard came beaming and chuckling out of his office, waving a letter from the First Presidency—all four of them—informing him that he had been released as Church Historian at the time his title was changed and no, they didn’t want to meet with him, but he should feel free to take any questions he had to Elder Durham.” 

[26] “Apostles Vs. Historians,” Newsweek, 15 Feb. 1982, 77; Boyd K. Packer, “The Mantle Is Far, Far Greater,” Brigham Young University Studies 21 (Summer 1981; received several months later): 259-78. 

[27] Anderson diary, 23 Feb. 1982; see news story by Linda Ostler Strack, Sunstone Review, Sept. 1983, 4-7: “Certain scholars who requested materials that they had been working with in an unrestrained fashion were told that their sources were either on restriction or being reassessed.”

[28] George Raine, “Historical Debate ‘Formal,'” Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Feb. 1982, B-l, B-2. 

[29] Bruce R. McConkie, “What Is Our Relationship to Members of the Godhead?” Church News, 20 Mar. 1982; George W. Pace, undated letter without salutation; photocopy of typescript in my possession; see also “Who Answers Prayers?” Sunstone Review, Apr. 1982, 2,13. 

[30] D. Michael Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath),” 90. 

[31] Chandler, letter and manuscript, 2-3. 

[32] “Paper Seeks to Reverse Ban by BYU,” Salt Lake Tribune, 11 Feb. 1983, B7.

[33] “Man Fired From LDS Post Says He’s Still Faithful,” Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Aug. 1983, 2-B. “Metcalfe’s firing was the most serious action taken against 12 Mormon authors known to have been questioned about their writings or faithfulness by their local church leaders this spring.” 

[34] Transcript from videotape of the broadcast speech; photocopy in my possession. 

[35] David John Buerger to Elder Mark E. Petersen, 21 May 1983; photocopy in my possession. 

[36] Salt Lake Tribune, 23 May 1983 (“LDS Church Telling Editors to Use Only ‘Faith Promoting’ Stories?”; photocopy of clipping in my possession), gives the numbers as “six writers and seven editors.”

[37] Mark E. Petersen, “Avoiding Sectarianism,” address to Seminary and Institute Faculty, 22 June 1962, 3; photocopy of typescript in my possession.

[38] “Editor Upset over Efforts to Silence Scholars,” Ogden Standard-Examiner, 26 May 1983; photocopy of clipping in my possession; photocopy of undated and untitled typescript of the Newell statement of response in my possession; Anderson diary, 17 May, 21 June 1985; “LDS Bishops Want ‘Faith-Promoting’ Articles,” Provo Herald, 22 May 1983, 3; David John Buerger to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 4 May 1983; John Dart, “Sunstone Provides Intellectual Safety Valve for LDS,” Salt Lake Tribune, 3 Sept. 1984,12B. “LDS Leaders Challenge Y Professors’ Faith,” Utah Valley Enterpriser (Provo), 8 June 1983, article reprinted from the Provo Daily Herald gave the figure of “at least 14 authors and scholars in four states” who had been questioned “in the last 50 days.” Three BYU professors had been questioned “within the last two weeks.” The article added: “All of the writers being questioned have written for Seventh East Press, a now-defunct student newspaper banned from sales on the BYU campus, or for Dialogue or Sunstone.” 

[39] Notes reporting incident in my possession.

[40] “Stop Looking for Storms and Enjoy the Sunlight,” Church Nexus, 3 July 1983,10-11. 

[41] Toscano, Memo, 3. 

[42] Armand L. Mauss, John R. Tarjan, and Martha D. Esplin, “The Unfettered Faithful: An Analysis of the Dialogue Subscribers’ Survey,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 20 (Spring 1987): 27-53. 

[43] See Poelman addresses, “The Gospel and the Church,” Ensign 14 (Nov. 1984): 64-65; “Adversity and the Divine Purpose of Mortality,” Ensign 19 (May 1989): 23-25. 

[44] Toscano, Memo, 3. 

[45] Quinn, ‘”On Being a Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath),” 91-92.

[46] Chandler, letter and manuscript, 5-7. 

[47] Dawn Tracy, “LDS Officials Ban Authors from Lectures on History,” Salt Lake Tribune,” 29 June 1985, B-l, B-16; John Dart, “Mormons Forbid Female Biographers of Smith’s Wife to Address Church,” Los Angeles Times, 29 June 1985, Part II-5; “Co-author Says LDS Ban Her Talks on History,” Deseret News, 30 June 1985, B-4.

[48] “Keep the Faith,” Ensign 15 (Sept. 1985): 3-6. 

[49] Photocopy of typescript notes, taken by an unidentified person, in my possession. 

[50] Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath),” 92.

[51] “Elder Decries Criticism of LDS Leaders,” Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Aug. 1985, B-l. 

[52] Russell M. Nelson, “The Truth and More,” address delivered 27 Aug. 1985 at Brigham Young University; photocopy of typescript in my possession, 8-9.

[53] “Man Forced to Resign over Translation Issue,” Sunstone 10 (no date given; printed after Oct. 1985): 38-39. He is now an archivist at the University of Utah’s Marriott Library with responsibility for acquiring and maintaining the Mormon collection. 

[54] “Scholar Who Challenges LDS Beliefs Is Forced to Resign,” Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Sept. 1985, B-l, B-5; see also, “LDS Are Told They Need Not Fear Honest Research on the Book of Mormon,” Deseret News, 29 Sept. 1985, B-3; William D. Russell, “Supports History Group,” Salt Lake Tribune, 30 Oct. 1985; photocopy of clipping in my possession. 

[55] As quoted in John Dart, “Mormon Hierarchy to Cut Critics’ Funds,” Los Angeles Times, 12 Oct. 1985, II-5.

[56] Linda Sillitoe, “Off the Record,” 21, points out that Hofmann remained a member of the church during this process and was not excommunicated until six months “after he pleaded guilty to killing two people.” 

[57] Dawn Tracy, “Despite Some Limitations, Y. Teachers Report They Have Academic Freedom,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Apr. 1986, 2B; “BYU Receives High Marks in Reaccreditation,” Sunstone, Jan. 1987,45; Eugene England, “Reflections on Academic Freedom at BYU: Prior Restraint and Guilt by Association,” Student Review, 12 Apr. 1898, 9.

[58] “Criticism,” LDSSA Fireside, 4 May 1986, 3, 5, 12; photocopy in my possession; expanded in The Lord’s Way (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1990), chap. 7. An “edited” version was published as “Criticism,” Ensign 17 (Feb. 1987): 68-73. 

[59] “Church Archives Adopts New Access Policies,” Sunstone 10 (no date, printed after May 1986): 43. Permission letter in my possession.

[60] Quinn, “On Being a Mormon Historian (and Its Aftermath),” 92-94.

[61] “Apostle Answers Queries, Sunstone 11 (Nov. 1987; arrived 3 Feb. 1988): 45. 

[62] Sharee Hughes, “Sunstone Calendar,” Sunstone 12 (Mar. 1988; arrived Aug. 1988): 49. 

[63] “BYU Professor Terminated for Book of Mormon Beliefs/’ Sunstone 12 (May 1988, received 1 Oct. 1988): 43-44. 

[64] Dawn House, “LDS Doctrine Can’t Justify Ban on Women Priests, Firmage Says,” Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Mar. 1989, B1-B2. He subsequently reported receiving death threats. 

[65] Oaks, “Alternate Voices,” Ensign 19 (May 1989): 27-30; Mauss, “Alternate Voices: The Calling and Its Implications,” Sunstone 14 (Apr. 1990): 7-10. 

[66] “Follow the Prophet,” Ensign 19 (May 1989): 25-27. 

[67] “The Canker of Contention,” Ensign 19 (May 1989): 68-71.

[68] Notes on incident in my possession. 

[69] Conversation, 21 Aug. 1992. Notes in my possession. The director confirmed in the conversation with Margaret that she had been a “good teacher” and implied to Paul that the center would rehire her “in a couple of years.” A friend taking a classics class at BYU reported that the teacher expressed concern about Margaret, who “had gone off the deep end” and also reported that another teacher “had something to do with getting her fired.” These hearsay reports have not been confirmed. 

[70] “Press Coverage of Lee’s Excommunication Ambivalent,” Sunstone 13 Nov. 1989 (misdated Aug. on the contents page): 47-49 

[71] Toscano, Memo, 3-4.

[72] “Comments on Temple Changes Elicit Church Discipline/’ Sunstone 14 (June 1990): 61; Keith Norman, “A Kinder, Gentler Mormonism: Moving Beyond the Violence of Our Past,” Sunstone 14 (Aug. 1990): 10-14; see also “Comments on Temple,” 59-61.

[73] Keith Norman, Letter to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 18 Aug. and 18 Sept. 1991. 

[74] “History of LDS Fraud Chronicled,” Sunstone 14 (Dec. 1990): 59.

[75] Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991); “An Open Letter to the Members of the Church,” Church News, 26 Oct. 1991, 5. For a thorough treatment of Dunn’s additional business ventures, see Lynn Packer, “Castles in the Sky: When It Comes to Business, It’s All in the Family,” Utah Holiday, June 1992, 41-50, 55-58. 

[76] Gordon B. Hinckley, “Cornerstones of Responsibility,” address delivered at the Regional Representative Seminar, 5 Apr. 1991; photocopy of typescript in my possession. 

[77] William Grigg, Untitled review, Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture, Mar. 1992, 6-7. 

[78] Notes in my possession. 

[79] Peggy Fletcher Stack, Salt Lake Tribune, 11 July 1991, Final Home edition, A-l, A-2″; “The Bomb of Gileadi,” Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991): 72.

[80] “Statement,” Deseret News, 31 Aug. 1991, B-l; “Statement,” Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991): 58-59; Peggy Fletcher Stack, “LDS Church Decries Sunstone Sessions, Calls Content Insensitive, Offensive,” Salt Lake Tribune, 24 Aug. 1991, Bl; Anderson diary, 4 Apr. 1992; “Church Issues Statement on ‘Symposia,'” Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991): 58-59. 

[81] “How Shall We Worship Mother in Heaven?” Mormon Women’s Forum Newsletter, July 1992,1-11; Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign 21 (Nov. 1991).

[82] “BYU Professor Charges LDS Church With Intimidation,” Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Sept. 1991, B-l, B-2. 

[83] “God Bless You!” Speech as quoted in “Elder Maxwell Speaks at F.A.R.M.S. Banquet of Consecration,” Insights/F.A.R.M.S. Update, Jan. 1992,5-6.

[84] David C. Knowlton, “Of Things in the Heavens, on the Earth, and in the Church,” Sunstone 15 (Sept. 1991): 12-15.

[85] D. Michael Quinn, “150 Years of Truth and Consequences about Mormon History,” Sunstone 16 (Feb. 1992 [mailed Aug. 1992]): 12-14.

[86] Anderson diary, 7 Apr. 1992.

[87] John R. Sillito, telephone conversation, 7 Oct. 1992, notes in my possession.

[88] Nancy Turley, telephone conversations, 2,29 Sept. 1992; letter to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 16 Sept. 1992. The article was “A Motherless Child,” Exponent II16 [delivered 9 Apr. 1992], 4:12-13. 

[89] Chandler, letter and manuscript, 9-11.

[90] Anderson diary, 9 Apr., 20 May 1992. 

[91] Vern Anderson, Associated Press, “BYU Sociologists Say They Fear Intimidation from LDS Leaders,” Salt Lake Tribune, 22 Feb. 1992, A-10; “Sunstone Symposium Not an Academic Forum,” Daily Universe, 26 Feb. 1992, 4; “Professors Respond to Sunstone: Symposium Is an Academic Forum” (Kimball/England letter); “Editorial Divides BYU Community/Meaning of Church’s Statement Open to Multiple Interpretations” (Knowlton letter), Daily Universe, 4 Mar. 1992,4. For the text of the Department of Sociology’s memo, the editorial, and the Kimball/ England and Knowlton letters to the editor, see also “BYU Memo Highlights Academic Freedom Issue,” Sunstone 16 (Feb. 1992 [mailed in Aug. 1992]): 62-66. 

[92] Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Despite Church Warnings, 1,500 Attended Sunstone Symposium,” Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Aug. 1992, A-5, A-7.

[93] “Statement on Academic Freedom at Brigham Young University,” 30 Apr. 1992,8-9; photocopy of typescript in my possession. Peggy Fletcher Stack, “BYU President Issues Paper on ‘Freedom’: Document Defines Limits of Academic Discussions,” Salt Lake Tribune, 1 May 1992, B-l, B-2; Peg McEntee, “BYU Tries to Juggle Faith, Free Thinking,” Salt Lake Tribune, 6 June 1992, C-l, C-2. The report of the draft statement in BYU’s alumni magazine (“Faculty Considers Draft Statement on Academic Freedom,” BYU Today, July 1992, 5-6) did not give the examples of limitations on academic freedom. See also “BYU Memo Highlights Academic Freedom Issue,” Sunstone 16 (Feb. 1992 [mailed in Aug. 1992]): 62-66.

[94] Vern Anderson, “Phi Beta Kappa Rejects BYU Chapter Again/’ Salt Lake Tribune, May 20,1992, B-l, B-3. 

[95] Eugene Kovalenko, “The Values Crisis,” draft of 24 Feb. 1990, 10; and [Rex Mitchell], “Impressions of the 6/4/92 Disciplinary Council,” 1-2; photocopies in my possession; Peggy Fletcher Stack, “LDS Intelligentsia Is Grouping to Fight Defamation,” Salt Lake Tribune, 27 June 1992, A-7.

[96] Dallin J. Oaks, “Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” BYU Today, Nov. 1992,42-43. 

[97] Stack, “LDS Intelligentsia Is Grouping to Fight Defamation,” A-7; Paul and Margaret Toscano, Letter to Paul and Lavina Fielding Anderson, 8 June 1992. The Mormon Alliance was called the Mormon Defense League in this letter. It was incorporated 4 July 1992 to identify and resist “spiritual abuse” among other reasons. The initial trustees were Paul and Margaret Toscano, Janice Allred, Erin Silva, and Paul Swenson.

[98] Geoffrey M. Thatcher, “Academic ‘Hit List’ Rumor Untrue, Provost Assures,” Daily Universe, 22 July 1992,1. 

[99] Toscano, Memo, 4. 

[100] Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Despite Church Warnings, 1,500 Attended Sunstone Symposium,” Salt Lake Tribune, 15 Aug. 1992, A-5, A-7. 

[101] Audiotaped presentation of Lavina Fielding Anderson, “Dialogue Toward Forgiveness: A Documentary History of the Intellectual Community and Church Leadership,” 6 Aug. 1992.

[102] Vern Anderson, “LDS Official Acknowledges Church Monitors Critics/’ Salt Lake Tribune, 8 Aug. 1992, D-l, D-2. In follow-up news coverage 10 August by Channel 4, Kader repeated his assertions; Nelson was unavailable due to “surgery.” In a Salt Lake Tribune article by Peggy Fletcher Stack and Michael Phillips (“Critics: For BYU’s Good, Church Must Loosen Grip”), Kader felt the church should divest itself of BYU. Michael Allen, a professor of history at BYU, was quoted as saying that the church “should at least acknowledge that there is something fundamentally at odds between religious indoctrination and the classical university,” while David Knowlton felt that the university has created “institutionalized paranoia,” treating individual cases in such an arbitrary way that faculty are “looking over their shoulders.” Scott Abbott of BYU’s German department quoted a fall 1991 address by Elder Boyd K. Packer announcing, “The role of BYU will be determined by the board of trustees whose fundamental credentials were not bestowed by man” and pointed out that “a new paragraph in faculty contracts requires professors to ‘accept, support and participate in the University’s religious-oriented mission.'” 

[103] Anderson diary, 9 Aug. 1992. 

[104] Toscano, Memo, 4.

[105] “First Presidency Issues Statement on Scriptural Mandate as Reason for Church Committee,” 13 Aug. 1992, news release; photocopy in my possession. 

[106] Peggy Fletcher Stack, “LDS Leaders Say Scripture Supports Secret Files on Members,” Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Aug. 1992, B-l, B-2. 

[107] L. Jackson Newell and Linda King Newell to Russell M. Nelson, 14 Aug. 1992; photocopy in my possession.

[108] “Knowledge Alone Is Not Enough, Apostle Says,” Salt Lake Tribune, 19 Aug. 1992, B-2. In his October conference talk, he made a similar statement: “Still others find it easier to bend their knees than their minds. Exciting exploration is preferred to plodding implementation; speculation seems more fun than consecration, and so is trying to soften the hard doctrines instead of submitting to them. Worse still, by not obeying, these few members lack real knowing. (See John 7:17.) Lacking real knowing, they cannot defend their faith and may become critics instead of defenders. A few of the latter end up in the self-reinforcing and self-congratulating Hyde Park corner of the Church, which they provincially mistake for the whole of the Church” (‘”Settle This in Your Hearts/” Ensign 22 (Nov. 1992): 66.

[109] David T. Cox, “Church Dictatorship/’ Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Aug. 1992. He also points out the irony that the church has employed “tactics used by these twisted and defeated dictatorships” that have so recently collapsed in other parts of the world. 

[110] Telephone conversation with Bryan Waterman, 11 Dec. 1992; Bryan Waterman to Lavina Fielding Anderson, 24 Dec. 1992. The first article was Bryan Waterman, “In Search of . . . God the Mother,” Student Review, 13 Nov. 1991, 13-14. After briefly summarizing scriptural acknowledgments of the Mother’s existence and role, quotations from Eliza R. Snow, Linda Wilcox, and Klaus Hansen, and a summary of President Hinckley’s injunctions not to pray to her, Bryan acknowledged, “I know that this is a touchy subject…. I have only hoped to prompt the reader to ask why one believes what he or she does.” He concluded with the “ultimate hope . . . that none of us will become so dogmatic in our expectations that we fail to recognize the Mother when she reveals herself to us.” In “Who’s Afraid of Mother God? Student Responses to the Continuing Controversy,” Student Review, July/Aug. 1992, 3, 15, Bryan quoted President Hinckley at greater length and also summarized the April panel by Margaret Toscano, Lynne Whitesides, and Marti Esplin, then encouraged increased “communication between what are now two hostile forces.”

[111] Lavina Fielding Anderson to James E. Faust and Russell M. Nelson, 31 Aug. 1992; Faust and Nelson to Anderson, 16 Sept. 1992; Anderson to Faust and Nelson, Oct. 1992. 

[112] Photocopies in my possession. 

[113] Jan Thompson, “New Book on Hofmann Gives Perspective of LDS Church,” Deseret News, 19 Sept. 1992, B-l, B-2.

[114] Videotape of General Women’s Conference in my possession; Aileen H. Clyde, “Confidence through Conversion,” Ensign 22 (Nov. 1992): 88; Anderson diary, 18 Nov. 1992. 

[115] For example, Elaine Harmston, excommunicated in Manti, Utah, in October, was quoted as saying: “We support President Benson 100%…. He has warned us thoroughly. But there are some brethren who speak 180 degrees against him.” Chris Jorgensen and Peggy Fletcher Stack, “It’s Judgment Day for Far Right: LDS Church Purges Survivalists,” Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 1992, A-l. Joseph Stumph, whose business includes selling Ronald Garff’s “Armageddon” tapes, stated, “I’m sure President Benson wouldn’t approve of this hanky-panky.” Chris Jorgensen, “Mormon’s End-of-World Talk Could End LDS Membership,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Dec. 1992, B-l.

[116] All in Ensign 22 (Nov. 1992): Ballard, “The Joy of Hope Fulfilled/’ 32; Hinckley, “The Church Is on Course,” 54; Packer, “‘To Be Learned Is Good, If/” 73 (“end of the world”), 72-73 (BYU statement); Nelson, “Where Is Wisdom?”, 8; Wirthlin, “Spiritual Bonfires of Testimony,” 34; Maxwell, ‘”Settle This in Your Hearts,” 66. 

[117] Jorgensen and Stack, “It’s Judgment Day for Far Right”; “File Notes, 27 October 1992,” photocopy in my possession. At least one additional excommunication has been confirmed in Manti; Randy Dal ton’s offenses included twelve years of involvement in home school and association with Jinn Harmston. Anderson diary, 24 Nov., 1 Dec. 1992. 

[118] Anderson diary, Nov. 1992. According to Jorgensen, “Mormons’ End-of-World Talk Could End LDS Membership,” Gileadi “is also facing excommunication for his writings and lectures” but is working on only one book, not two.

[119] Telephone interview, 19 Nov. 1992, notes in my possession.

[120] Telephone conversations with David K. Knowlton, 18 Nov. 1992 and 4 Jan. 1993; notes in my possession.

[121] The first list is “Profile of the Splinter Group Members or Others with Troublesome Ideologies,” n.d.; photocopy of FAX in my possession. The second list is “Dealing with Apostate and Splinter Groups,” n.d.; photocopy in my possession. This second list is headed “A. Inappropriate and Questionable Activities,” suggesting the existence of a subheading “B” and possibly other subheadings. It consists of fourteen rather generally phrased characteristics, such as “teaching false doctrines,” “refusing to follow priesthood leaders’ specific counsel and instruction in Church-related matters,” and “teaching that individuals receive inspiration or have a higher knowledge or level of spirituality which gives them greater insights or abilities than ordained Church leaders.” The third list is titled “Our Challenge to Keep the Doctrine of the Church Pure,” n.d.; photocopy in my possession. It is a four-page typescript with two paragraphs of introduction to a nineteen-item, unnumbered list, followed by three pages of instructions to “you stake presidents and your bishops” to “watch for false doctrine being taught, and then bring it quickly to an end.” Among the nineteen items are “The declaration that the millennium will begin in April 1993 with the advent of Christ at Adam-ondi-Ahman,” “teaching others to have altars in homes, with prayers circles, etc.,” “praying to a mother in heaven,” “President Benson being a ‘covered prophet’” “‘Dream Mine’ and related long ago discredited stories,” and such eschatalogical doctrines as “the mark of the beast/’ the “seven seals,” and the “Davidic servant.” The paper also contains a list of six unnumbered “concerns” caused by these doctrines: church members have “uprooted their families to move to Utah,” “contention .. . in wards,” “members cashing in .. . insurance policies to acquire food supplies,” “missionaries being diverted from their work to study these speculations,” and “Area Presidencies must spend an inordinate amount of time to counsel Church leaders and others.” Jorgensen and Stack, “It’s Judgment Day for Far Right,” A-l, A-2. 

[122] Interviewed by Lavina Fielding Anderson, 18 Nov. 1992, notes in my possession. The Dialogue article is “Heavenly Father or Chairman of the Board: How Organizational Metaphors Can Define and Confine Religious Experience,” 25 (Fall 1992): 36-55.

[123] “Rough Transcript” of taped remarks at a “stake general priesthood meeting” on 15 November 1992; photocopy in my possession. Many but not all of the fifteen points duplicate items on the “Profile of the Splinter Group members” list. 

[124] Anderson diary, 19 Nov. 1992.

[125] Neal A. Maxwell, “Discipleship and Scholarship,” Brigham Young University Studies 32 (Summer 1992): 5-8; the quoted portion added “consecration” to “submissiveness” but remained otherwise unaltered in substance. Bruce C. Hafen, “The Dream Is Ours to Fulfill,” ibid., 11-25. The quotations are from 17, 22-23. 

[126] Telephone conversation, 19 Nov. 1992, notes in my possession.

[127] Anderson diary, 23 Nov. 1992.

[128] Telephone conversation with Tim Wilson, 23 Nov. 1992; notes in my possession; and Peggy Fletcher Stack, “Translating Book of Mormon to Modern English Brings Complexity, Controversy to Wordsmiths,” Salt Lake Tribune, 28 Nov. 1992, D-l, D-3. The article mistakenly states that Tim’s bishop was in Nephi. The article included a lengthy interview from Lynn Matthews Anderson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who has already produced her own modernized version, available in electronic format on Mormon-L. She has received no pressure not to publish. A sidebar gave sample passages from the original Book of Mormon with the parallel passages from the modernized versions. 

[129] Jorgensen and Stack, “It’s Judgment Day for Far Right,” A-l, A-2. For the church’s official attempts to disassociate itself from Elder Benson’s hard-driving rightist politics, see D. Michael Quinn, “Ezra Taft Benson and the LDS Church Conflict, 1950s-1980s,” Sunstone Symposium, Aug. 1992; audiotape in my possession. (An expanded version of Quinn’s essay will appear in the summer 1993 issue of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought.) According to the Jorgensen/Stack article, Jim and Elaine Harmston of Manti were apparently excommunicated primarily for holding a temple-type prayer circle in their home; but Larry Garmouth, a security guard at the Manti temple, was apparently punished for attending a study group at the Harmston home. His stake president warned him to avoid the Harmstons; then he was demoted to groundskeeper on suspicion that he “was letting apostates into the temple after hours to perform clandestine religious rituals.” Garmouth denied the charge. Another lifelong member in Fairview was reportedly “threatened with excommunication for having too much food in storage.”

[130] Christopher Smith, “Hero-Turned-Heretic? Gritz May Be Leading LDS Flock into Wilderness,” Salt Lake Tribune, 29 Nov. 1992, A-2. 

[131] The article did not give the date of Wright’s ultimatum. Chris Jorgensen, “Mormons’ End-of-World Talk Could End LDS Membership,” Salt Lake Tribune, B-l. 

[132] LeFevre is quoted in “Survialists [sic] Views Need to Be Balanced,” (editorial) Daily Universe, 3 Dec. 1992,4. Bruce Olsen, managing director of LDS Public Affairs, also declined to give exact figures, said reports of survivalist excommunications were “grossly exaggerated,” described “discipline” as occurring only “for totally unacceptable practices” such as performing temple rituals in private homes, and insisted the church “has no policy regarding the John Birch Society, scripture-oriented study groups or the reading of material unapproved by the church, [or] home schooling.” Peggy Fletcher Stack, “LDS Deny Mass Ouster [sic] of Radicals,” Salt Lake Tribune, 4 Dec. 1992, B-l, B-2; “LDS Church Downplays Reports on Discipline,” Deseret News, 4 Dec. 1992, B-l.

[133] Christopher Smith, “Ultraconservative Gritz Remains as Bold as Ever,” Salt Lake Tribune, 7 Dec. 1992, Bl, B2. 

[134] Associated Press, “Nevada LDS Church Officials Say Reports of ‘Political’ Purges Exaggerated,” Salt Lake Tribune, 2 Jan. 1993, D-l, D-2.

[135] Nelson, “An Overview of Selected Doctrinal Revelations in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times,” Church News, 2 Jan. 1993, 9. Neither statement had been previously designated as “doctrine” except to the extent that all public pronouncements by the full First Presidency are considered authoritative.

[136] While I was at the Ensign, the magazine’s blacklist was a 3×5-inch card kept in the desk of Sharon Kirwin, secretary to the editor (usually a general authority). Over the years it included Reid Bankhead, Hyrum Andrus, Paul Toscano, Eugene England, Gordon Thomasson, and Lowell Bennion. An individual on a planning committee at Brigham Young University explained to me during the early 1990s that I was “on the [university’s] blacklist” for the annual women’s conference (and presumably other events as well). “Uncitable” books include but are probably not limited to Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith by Linda Newell and Valeen Tippetts Avery, The Story of the Latter-day Saints by James B. Allen and Glen Leonard, and the works of D. Michael Quinn.

[137] In C. Robert Mesle, Fire in My Bones: A Study in Faith and Belief (Independence, MO: Herald House, 1984), 204.