Leonard J. Arrington Diary Excerpts

(Tribune file photo)  Leonard Arrington

Leonard J. Arrington Diaries

Leonard J. Arrington was an American historian and the official Church Historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1972 to 1982. He played a significant role in shaping the study of Mormon history and was influential in establishing a more open and scholarly approach to the Church’s historical records.

As research for his book, Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History, Dr. Gregory A. Prince made copies of excerpts from Arrington’s diaries beginning with an entry from 1925, when Arrington was just eight-years-old, to 1998, a year before the historian’s death. (Note: The original diaries can be found at Utah State University.)

We’re extremely grateful to Dr. Prince for sharing his digital copies with the program. We hope scholars and general readers alike will enjoy reading these personal writings from the “Dean of Mormon History.”

“My study of history...has not made me pessimistic. The human capacity for moral grandeur is unquestionable. The lives of good people--the heroes and heroines. Maybe not in the vast majority, but there. Lots of good role models. Lots of people we are grateful for...The life of reason is still possible!”

Leonard J. Arrington, 1997