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Writing Mormon history has never been as easy as putting ink on paper. The historian Linda Sillitoe explained, “History is crucial in Mormonism.” David Bohn elaborated on the former observation, “Every attempt to undermine the historical authenticity of the foundational events of the Mormon past constitutes an assault on Latter-day Saint self-understanding.” Thus the reconstruction of Mormon history occurs in a spiritually-charged arena. At the center of the conflict within the Mormon historiography stands a farm boy from Idaho, Leonard J. Arrington. This man carried the study of Mormonism into new areas of scholarly acceptance. His entrepreneurial spirit led to innovation within the field and anti-modern backlash from outside the profession. This essay examines the impact of Arrington on Mormon historiography.


Arrington Student Writing Award Winner for Third Place.



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