Monday, September 01, 2003

SCHOLARLY INFLUENCE?: In the 1981 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Church added for the first time an appendix to the Manifesto entitled “Excerpts from Three Addresses by President Wilford Woodruff Regarding the Manifesto,” in which President Woodruff states that the Manifesto was issued at least in large part to protect the temples from confiscation and desecration by federal officials. (Both are available from the Church website here.) These passages were cited in a paper by Edward Leo Lyman entitled “Woodruff Manifesto in the Context of the Times,” which was delivered at the 1979 meeting of the Mormon History Association. A copy of this manuscript was subsequently requested by the First Presidency prior to the publication of the 1981 edition of the scriptures. I don't know of any direct proof, but this seems like very strong circumstantial evidence that the Bretheren drew on Mormon scholarship – and the “New Mormon History” in particular – in offering a quasi-authoritative interpretation of the Manifesto. I take this as a faith promoting story illustrating that perhaps the institutional church and Mormon intellectualism of the kind we indulge in is not harshly opposed in the way imagined by the Salt Lake Tribune.