documents 6

Posted in documents on June 13, 2011 by zack

Entries 1 to 35 are to be read together. They all deal with the Talmage-Roberts-Smith affair. Nevo was kind enough on this thread to link to the authoritative texts on the subject. These documents can be read in tandem with those articles. I have never read those articles and I don’t know what they include. However, I doubt, though I could be mistaken, that the articles include, for example, Smith’s complete 63-page snoozer to the Quorum of the Twelve. I am only sorry I don’t have a copy of the Roberts’ response.

Talmage’s The Coming of Man and The Earth and Man can be found in various sources. But I doubt The Earth and Man comes with the frontispiece attached here with the handwritten  ‘False Doctrine’  (in Joseph Fielding Smith’s handwriting) on the cover of the pamphlet that was published, as well as, with the edits in Talmage’s handwriting.

1) Talmage Diary and Journal – 1881-1926

2) Talmage, The Coming of Man, Part One

3) Talmage, The Coming of Man, Part Two

4) Heber J

5) Correspondence – Roberts to Clawson

6) Correspondence – Clawson to Smith, et al

7) Correspondence – Smith to Clawson

8) Correspondence – Roberts to Grant

9) Correspondence – Roberts to Clawson2

10) Correspondence – Smith to Clawson2

11) Talmage, Earth and Man

12) Smith Address to Quorum of the Twelve

13) Smith Address to Quorum of the Twelve, Part Two

14) Smith Address to Quorum of the Twelve, Part Three

15) Smith Address to the Quorum of the Twelve, Part Four

16) Smith Address to the Quorum of the Twelve, Part Five

17) Smith Address to the Quorum of the Twelve, Part Six

18) Correspondence – Clawson to Grant

19) Talmage Journal 1931

20) First Presidency to General Authorities

21) Correspondence – Talmage and Smoot

22) Report of Pres. Clawson

23) Correspondence – Widtsoe and Lyman

24) George Richards Diary entry

25) Correspondence – Clawson to Smith (III)

26) Correspondence – SWG (_) to (_)

27) Correspondence – Widtsoe to Clawson

28) Roberts, Immortality of Man

29) Poll, Conversation with Smith

30) Correspondence – Poll to Wilkinson

31) Complaints against Poll

32) Correspondence – Smith to Perry

33) Correspondence from McKay’s office in re Smith’s book

34) Correspondence from First Presidency in re Fletcher’s Reminiscences

35) Correspondence – Romney – Davidson 3

Number 36 is really a separate issue from the affair documented in 1-35. But I am sure a lot of you would be interested in actually reading the report from Romney to McKay on McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine. Also, included are diary entries regarding that report.

36) McConkie and Mormon Doctrine

Finally, the 37st entry is my own typewritten documentary (what was a labor of love originally for all my cousins). Most, if not all, of the above have been typed into this documentary. And there is a lot more included there such as bios of the main players, a lot more stuff from Church sources on science and evolution, which should ‘fill in’ all the holes.

I must admit I finally burned out on the project, but may one day finish it completely. There is so much stuff to add, including all the stuff out of BYU-Idaho and the Evolution Packet from BYU.

After typing out Nibley’s Before Adam, I was done. What a ridiculous paper! I was embarrassed for him after reading that. It literally says nothing. He was a master at that trick. I still crack up when apologists immediately send you to this article in particular when questioning the whole evolution-creation problem in Mormon thought.

So, folks, for those of you still thinking this is an important issue, I hope you can benefit from this collection. Spread it around. Don’t hold on to it without giving it to someone else. That is really all I want – that those just beginning to question all these things can go to some source somewhere and see how the Church has handled the problem (not very well, in my opinion).

End of the science documents.

37) Mormonism and Evolution – A Historical Documentary

documents 5

Posted in documents on June 11, 2011 by zack

Perhaps we all have heard of the address by Reed Durham, Jr. concerning the involvement of Joseph Smith in Masonry. And we perhaps have even read it. Most likely, if you have read it, you also know of the Mervin Hogan address. Both of these are on the internet. You also may have heard of and even read the apology by Durham. It can be found on Wikipedia. I have included the actual apology (mimeograph). What I couldn’t find on the internet was Jack Adamson’s paper (of Ape and Angel fame), also given at the same conference. So, this should fill in or complete your files. Enjoy the read!

The following Talmage material is the first small packet of my science and evolution files. I really don’t know if this is available or not, though it is probably out in some book or other by now. I haven’t followed along to know what is out there now, but enjoy, if you haven’t read this stuff before.

No Help For Widow’s Son – Adamson, Hogan, Durham

Talmage Diary and Journal – 1881-1926

documents 4

Posted in documents on June 11, 2011 by zack

McMurrin-McKay Correspondence – I think most of this is out there, but I am not sure if all of it is. McMurrin had stacks of these when he handed me one of them and told me to enjoy the read. I hope you do too. Especially, for those who don’t have access to Dialogue and Sunstone, this is a nice summary of his involvement in ‘the Negro problem.’ I’m doubting whether all of the letters here are out in the public domain, but I may be wrong. Well, enjoy it, as I am sure he would tell you to do, as well. This is what he handed to visitors when they asked him about the topic.

I’m looking for some other things from him, and if I can round them up, they will come in the second tranch.

Adamson, Ape or Angel – My advisor in the English department turned me on to Jack Adamson. Although not Mormon, my advisor had great respect for Jack Adamson. He was, however, already gone by the time I showed up, so I never took a class with him. He also co-authored a couple of biographies, including one on Sir Walter Raleigh, that was favorably reviewed. I don’t know why but this paper he gave (where, I am not sure now) really influenced me as well. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Ernest L. Wilkinson Diary Comprehensive Index, Parts One, Two, Three, and Four- I really get a kick out of this still today. There is just some damn funny stuff in here. As you all know already, Ernest L. Wilkinson was quite the character. Of course, you can read all about him and the BYU in Bergera’s book. But, I don’t think you can get the whole index out of that book. When I googled it, I saw that it is in the Marquardt papers in the Harold B. Lee Library, Special Collections Department. If you can’t get there to read it, well now you don’t have to. Enjoy!

Check out especially the McMurrin and Madsen (Truman) entries. (Truman Madsen listed on the faculty as having a Ph.D. two years before he ever received it?) Good stuff all the way through.

I am working now on the second tranch, dedicated to science and evolution. Here is one entry, from the Oral History of BYU, #17, Harvey Fletcher, p. 11:

You know they’re not always agreeing in the Twelve on some of these things, particularly when it deals with science. He (now referring to brother Widtsoe) said brother Joseph Fielding Smith and brother Talmage used to have it pretty hot sometimes, and he said that brother Talmage, see he talked about fossils and that was part of his subject as a geologist, went down to Adam-ondi-aman where the alter of Adam is supposed to be and he had a pick and picked around through it and finally found a fossil right in the cement of this altar. He found two or three of them and brought them up and put them in a bag and brought them home. He said he came back at (sic) one of the meetings of the Twelve, and he said, “Now brother Joseph, I understand that you thoroughly believe and are very sure that the first man on earth was Adam, the first life was Adam.” He said, “I certainly do believe that.” He said, “Well, what about these?” then, he handed out the fossils, and said, “I found those in the altar.”

Funny stuff. Can’t really imagine that happening today with Elders Scott and Bednar, can you? I think there will be some things in this tranch that maybe no one has had their hands on yet. I guess we will see.

McMurrin-McKay Correspondence

Adamson, Ape or Angel

Ernest L. Wilkinson Diary, Part One

Ernest L. Wilkinson Diary, Part Two

Ernest L. Wilkinson Diary, Part Three

Ernest L. Wilkinson Diary, Part Four

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Posted in documents on June 10, 2011 by zack


I hope everyone enjoys the material cached here. There should be a little bit for all of you, I trust.

Some of the material to be cached here started showing up through the Mormon Underground while Leonard Arrington was at the helm. I was a University of Utah student at the time, and studied with some of the scholars featured here. They gave me a lot of this stuff. I also have an uncle, a history professor, who directed me to other material, and shared what he had freely with me.

I was also led to a lot of material by an Institute teacher who at that time was teaching at the U. of U. Institute, U. Carlisle Hunsaker, who taught the LDS Doctrine and Philosophy course for many years. He was booted out after refusing to back down to threats that he would lose his job if he participated in Sunstone symposiums. All instigated by Elder Packer. That really was the final nail in the coffin. Well, that and my family totally freaking out and treating me like s*** for having questions and doubts.

That was ages ago it seems. I hadn’t looked at this stuff for a long time until recently and it brings back lots of mixed feelings.

But, for me, it wasn’t church history that did me in. Neither was it Sunday church culture, though I never really enjoyed that, nor felt comfortable in it. I was swept away by my studies in science, specifically evolution. And Shakespeare. It only took two or three semesters and I was out, pretty much. The study into Mormon history just confirmed what I had already concluded.

I tell people that I lost faith in Christianity long before I lost faith in Mormonism. That may sound strange, but I grew up immersed in the Mormon culture, and it was tougher to shake off than the actual doctrines of Christianity. It meant everything to me. When I lost faith in Christianity, I tried for a long time to continue holding on to Mormonism, in some way, shape, or form. What was at stake? – only my family, my complete moral framework, my self-esteem – just to name a few things.

While I lost most of my family, and had to build for myself a new moral framework, as well as, rebuild my self-esteem, it has all worked out in the end. But it was scary at times, I must admit.

I wish you all well in your journeys through this vale of tears. No path is an easy one, but I have never regretted leaving the Mormon path to strike out on my own.

Well, enough of that crap. Here is what is in the first tranch:

McMurrin, Liberal Education and Authentic Individualism. I couldn’t find this anywhere on the Net when I checked recently. Of course, you can read it at Special Collections, University of Utah, but I figure most of you can’t get there to do that. So, please enjoy. It is vintage McMurrin.

McMurrin, Toward a Christian Ethic. This is a devotional he gave in 1959 for the Week-Day Religious Education series. I found it in an old dusty book in the Institute library. I also have not seen this online at all. So, if you are a McMurrin fan, it gives a glimpse in to his thinking early in his career, while he was still working for the Church Education System.

Midgley-McMurrin Correspondence – Some of you might get a kick out of this. You can go back to the early Dialogue issue to read the reviews of McMurrin’s Theological Foundations. Midgley also sent a letter to the Editors, which was published, and you can find that there. However, the editors edited out two paragraphs. Midgley obviously wasn’t happy about that and sent a letter to McMurrin, with a copy of the two missing paragraphs. He didn’t want McMurrin to miss them. (I’m sorry for the poor quality. It was not the digital age yet.) I think you can, if you struggle, make out most everything and fill in the blanks with McMurrin’s response. He never sent the response, however, as I understand it.

McMurrin, Liberal Education and Authentic Individualism

McMurrin, Toward A Christian Ethic

Midgley-McMurrin Correspondence


Posted in documents with tags on September 6, 2008 by zack





Posted in documents on September 5, 2008 by zack