Mormonism and history

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    Mormonism and history

This page is a summary or index. More detailed information on this topic is available on the sub-pages below.


Accuracy of Church history

  • The Church's Gospel Topics essays
    Brief Summary: The Church has posted a series of Gospel Topics essays on which discuss a variety of issues related to Church History and belief. (Click here for full article)
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  • Church response
    Brief Summary: Elder Dallin Oaks discusses the issue of church history and facts that are not discussed frequently in church approved curriculum during an interview with Helen Whitney (HW) for the PBS documentary, The Mormons [1]. (Click here for full article)
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  • Accuracy of Church art
    Brief Summary: It is claimed that the Church knowingly "lies" or distorts the historical record in its artwork in order to whitewash the past, or for propaganda purposes. A commonly used example is the inaccuracy of any Church art representing the translation process of the Book of Mormon. (Click here for full article)
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Attitude of the Church toward historians

  • "Some things that are true are not very useful."
    Brief Summary: Elder Packer gave an address to religious educators called "The Mantle is Far, Far Greater Than the Intellect." The following quote is a favorite of critics who wish to demonstrate that the Church wishes to suppress its history and independent thought: "There is a temptation for the writer or the teacher of Church history to want to tell everything, whether it is worthy or faith promoting or not. Some things that are true are not very useful." (Click here for full article)
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  • "I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth."
    Brief Summary: There is much that critics do not reveal about this quote or its context, which is attributed to Elder Packer. The source of this quote is the now excommunicated D. Michael Quinn, who wrote in a footnote that, "When Elder Packer interviewed me as a prospective member of Brigham Young University's faculty in 1976, he explained: 'I have a hard time with historians because they idolize the truth.'" This quote is not from any recorded address by Elder Packer, nor is it in any of his writings. (Click here for full article)
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  • Church discipline of scholars: The "September Six"
    Brief Summary: Some claim that the Church excommunicates or disfellowships scholars who publish historical information that is embarrassing to Church leaders. Despite the fact that these disciplinary actions are carried out by local leaders, some critics insist that they are in reality instigated by general authorities. (Click here for full article)
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Other Church history topics


  1. [note]  "Elder Oaks Interview Transcript from PBS Documentary," (accessed 21 August 2007) off-site
  2. [note]  "The Mormons," off-site

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