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.
Dialogue Foundation, 900 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90024
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Rees, Robert A.
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Dialogue: Vol 7 No 1
Selections from the Sermons and Writings ofHeber]. Grant, Seventh President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1941). The volume was most graciously received by President Grant as a tribute for his 85th birthday. It was published and distributed as "An Improvement Era Book." Harvardman Widtsoe, long familiar with Ellery Sedgwick, the Atlantic Monthly, and Atlantic books, visualized a future, selective series of "Improvement Era Books," a project not fully realized. After completing the work on President Grant, my energies turned toward the third and relatively unstudied (so far as his discourses and writings were concerned) President of the Church, John Taylor. The manuscript, entitled The Gospel Kingdom, was virtually completed in October, 1942. At that time, before entraining with my family for a new faculty appointment at Swarthmore College, I left a copy of the manuscript with Richard L. Evans, an editor of the Era, for possible consideration as another Era book. Work continued during the year at Swarthmore. Paper for publishing "non-essential" books was available only through the War Production Board. It was not until summer, 1943, and a return to Utah, that channels began to clear for publication. Meanwhile, the First Presidency, through President David O. McKay, Second Counselor, had been drawn into the question of book publishing by Church agencies other than Deseret Book Company. I was informed by Elder Evans that the Era was not in a position to publish the John Taylor manuscript. However, John K. Orton, immediate past business manager of the Era, was interested in and was willing to publish the manuscript as a private venture. So it was done. Orton had published Courting America, and Bookcraft was launched with The Gospel Kingdom as its first major venture. A few gift copies were proudly distributed, including one to President McKay. Having sat under his tutelage in the Mission Home in 1933, and having enjoyed close association with his children, I eagerly awaited his response to the book. The mail of Monday, January 24, 1944, brought his letter. The former head of Weber College and lifelong student of English literature was commendatory. But he raised the point, not explained, that the volume might have benefited from "more careful editing." I was deeply troubled. Richard L. Evans, trained by James E. Talmage on the Millennial Star, had been kind enough to go through the manuscript, and I considered him the most careful editor that ever edited!