Leonard J. Arrington

Leonard James Arrington (July 2, 1917 – February 11, 1999) was an American author, academic and the founder of the Mormon History Association. He is known as the "Dean of Mormon History" and "the Father of Mormon History" because of his many influential contributions to the field. Since 1842, he was the first non-general authority Church Historian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), from 1972 to 1982, and was director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History from 1982 until 1986.

On the one hand, I am the Church Historian and must seek to build testimonies, spread the word, build the Kingdom. On the other hand, I am called to be a historian, which means that I must earn the respect of professional historians—what I write must be craftsmanlike, credible, and of good quality. This means that I stand on two legs—the leg of faith and the leg of reason."
 — Leonard J. Arrington (diary, August 1972)}} Arrington grew up in a large family in Idaho, where he and his family were members of the LDS Church. After high school, he studied agricultural economics at the University of Idaho and continued studying economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While teaching at the Utah State Agricultural College in Logan, Utah, Harvard University Press published his book ''Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints, 1830–1900'' in 1958. After a Fulbright professorship at the University of Genoa in Italy, Arrington raised funds to pay for research and writing on LDS (Mormon) biographies. He taught Western American History at Brigham Young University (BYU) from 1972 to 1987.

In conjunction with his teaching appointment at BYU, Arrington was also appointed as the first Church Historian for the LDS Church from 1972 to 1982. It was the first time a professional historian was given this job. Arrington and his team of researchers, forming the church Historical Department, began many projects to document LDS Church history, ranging from articles for the church's official magazine to scholarly books written for a non-LDS audience. The Historical Department was not subject to the church's Correlation Program and enjoyed some freedom of research. However, over time, various church members and apostles disliked the historical articles. The new director of the Historical Department, G. Homer Durham, required that all publications go through him and halted the hiring of new employees. In 1982, the LDS Church released Arrington as Church Historian and transferred the History Division to BYU, creating the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History. Arrington published over 20 books and articles, including several biographies, with the help of many research assistants.

Arrington donated his research and personal papers to Utah State University, and also donated microfilms of his pre-1982 diaries to the LDS Church Archives, with the condition that the diaries not be read until 25 years after his death. However, the LDS Church broke the agreement when shortly after Arrington's death they argued that they owned part of the collection, and asked Arrington's daughter to excise portions of Arrington's diary. After legal negotiation, half of a box of the collection was given to the LDS Church Archives. Provided by Wikipedia
Showing 1 - 20 results of 32 for search 'Arrington, Leonard J.', query time: 0.05s Refine Results
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    Adventures of a church historian / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1998
    Book
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    Federally-financed industrial plants constructed in Utah during World War II / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1969
    Book
  5. 5

    The Mormon experience : a history of the Latter-Day Saints / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1992
    Book
  6. 6

    Charles C. Rich, Mormon general and Western frontiersman / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1974
    Book
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    A dependent commonwealth : Utah's economy from statehood to the Great Depression / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1974
    Book
  9. 9

    The Mormon experience : a history of the Latter-day Saints / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1980
    Book
  10. 10

    The Mormon experience : a history of the Latter-Day Saints / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1979
    Book
  11. 11

    Great Basin Kingdom : an economic history of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900. by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1958
    Book
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    Great Basin Kingdom : an economic history of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830-1900 / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1966
    Book
  14. 14

    Brigham Young : American Moses / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1985
    Book
  15. 15

    Harold F. Silver : Western inventor, businessman, and civic leader / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1992
    Book
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    Utah's audacious stockman, Charlie Redd / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1995
    Book
  18. 18

    Building the city of God : community and cooperation among the Mormons / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1992
    Book
  19. 19

    Beet sugar in the West : a history of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, 1891-1966 / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 1966
    Book
  20. 20

    Reflections of a Mormon historian : Leonard J. Arrington on the new Mormon history / by Arrington, Leonard J.

    Published 2006
    Book
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