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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Dialogue: Vol 33 No 2
66 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought A Time of Tension This high standard of scholarship would not always be cause for celebration, however. About the time Bradford began her editorship with Dialogue, tensions became apparent between more conservative apostles and Mormon intellectuals. By 1976, criticisms were most noticeably directed toward the history division headed by church historian Leonard Arrington. Arrington's troubles began when several of his team's publications came under attack by apostles Ezra Taft Benson, Mark E. Peterson, and Boyd K. Packer. Packer had complained of the history division's "orientation toward scholarly work" in 1974, and two years later Benson openly criticized the book, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, a one-volume history of the church by James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, produced under the direction of the Historical Department. The book was just off the press when some of the Twelve complained to Benson, the quorum's president, who responded by ordering a review. Arrington writes: "Certain members of the Twelve, now feeling an obligation to warn President Kimball of the dangers of our 'freewheeling' historical research, demanded that the Twelve have more say in these matters. The implication was clear that if they had made the choice I would not have been church historian." Yet, the First Presidency remained supportive of Arrington and his team.313 In a separate incident on 28 March 1976, Apostle Benson, in a speech to students at Brigham Young University, criticized the 1973 evolution article by Duane Jeffery (as discussed earlier). The following September, while addressing LDS religious educators, he condemned several historical interpretations in Story of the Latter-day Saints314 and counseled his audience to avoid Dialogue, although he did not mention the journal by name. After a stern warning against "purchasing writings from known apostates," he also told teachers to avoid those "from other liberal essays on the subject by two Latter-day Saints: Margaret Blair Young, "Essay for June 9, 1998/' and Keith E. Norman, "The Mark of the Curse: Lingering Racism in Mormon Doctrine?", both in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 32 (Spring 1999): 103-117 and 119-36 respectively. 313. Arrington, Adventures of a Church Historian, 143-44. 314. Benson was upset that the authors would see a catalyst for the revelation prohibiting tobacco and alcohol, known as the Word of Wisdom, in the strong temperance movement of the nineteenth-century. In response to Benson's attack, Dialogue published three articles in 1981 giving a historical perspective of the Word of Wisdom. See Lester E. Bush, "The Word of Wisdom in Early Nineteenth-Century Perspective," Robert J. McCue, "Did the Word of Wisdom Become a Commandment in 1851?," and Thomas G. Alexander, "The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement," all in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Autumn 1981): 46-88.