Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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28 / DIALOGUE: A Journal of Mormon Thought Research in Economic History of the Economic History Association. The two main readers for the Committee, Herbert Heaton and Lewis Atherton, responded favorably and made suggestions for improvement. Leonard began further revisions then, but he found little time and energy for perfecting the product. Church assignments and professional responsibilities (he was still on the faculty at Utah State), and the articles he was publishing took up most of his time. But his reputation for excellence as a scholar and as a writer was reaching an ever-widening circle of western historians. Reflecting this recognition, the Utah State University Research Council granted him funds enough to allow him to teach only half time, thus freeing him for writing, some of which went into a centennial history of Cache Valley. All of his activities were exciting and important, but he had not yet finished his book. Finally, in 1956, he received a six-month grant from the Huntington Library and another six-month grant from the Department of Economics at Yale University. He soon became so involved in editing projects at Huntington, that his grant there was extended and his Yale grant postponed. The year in Southern California was very rewarding. The "scholars paradise" he found at Huntington was more than he had hoped for. Its reference library in western history, the miscellaneous Mormon collections, and the Dale Morgan index of Mormon materials were just the items he needed. Besides the creative environment, his stay at the Huntington also afforded him a new circle of acquaintances. His own thinking about Mormon and western history, and especially about Mormon historiography was influenced during this period by scholars like Paul W. Gates, Austin and Alta Fife, and Allan Nevins. He specifically began to broaden his conceptual base for the study of Mormon history: We are still provincial and narrow—Salt Lake centered—in many ways. Our faith rests to a large extent upon parents, grandparents, etc., and the Utah experience. How much broader our concepts if we could see our history in terms of presenting the gospel in far-off Singapore, Cape Town, Hong Kong, and Jutland! He considered making a proposal for a scholarly periodical which would be devoted to Mormon topics, and when he returned to Utah, was asked by Clinton F. Larson to submit material to the proposed Wasatch Review. This finally appeared as Brigham Young University Studies with Leonard as an early supporter. By May 1957 he had completed the manuscript for Great Basin Kingdom. He sent a copy to George Ellsworth at Logan who thoroughly reviewed the work. Ellsworth's comments were important not only as a scholar, but also as a believer. Leonard was anxious to know how his book would be received by the general membership and by the leaders of the Church. Ellsworth did suggest some minor changes, but gave the work his approval, recognizing that it would be difficult to please both scholars and laymen, but feeling Leonard's book to be objective and fair. The book combined the ideals of the Mormons with their actual achievements. In the preface, Leonard defended his "naturalistic treatment" of Mormon history: The true essence of God's revealed will, if such it be, cannot be apprehended without an understanding of the conditions surrounding the prophetic