Monday, October 04, 2010

Tidbits from the Church Historian

Excerpts of Svithe: What Elder Jensen said (in closing) at -- a report of a fireside in Berkley CA given by Elder Marlin K. Jensen, Church Historian

When called as Church Historian/Recorder, the position had been vacant for several years (about seven). He did not ask President Hinckley why that long hiatus and it's too late now.

Jensen: What are your expectations for me as the Historian.
Hinckley: Read the scriptures and do your duty.
Jensen: What are your expectations of me as Recorder.
Hinckley: I haven't given that a bit of thought. But you better.

The Church is about to begin a big project turning Harmony, Pennsylvania into a Church History site. Upon completion of that, turning US sites into historical attractions will cease and the Church History Department will turn more to the internationalizing of Church History. This has already begun in a small way in Britain and will soon begin in earnest in Mexico, Brazil, the Philippines and other nations.

Each area of the church is working on calling area historians and 50 are already working worldwide to collect the stories of History Happening Now throughout the world.

Minutes for the Council of Fifty and Nauvoo's Relief Society will soon be online, neither of which have ever fully been available before. This is exciting. [That's both a sorta quote and an editorial comment.]

A new Comprehensive History of the Church is being planned for the bicentennial (2030). The expectation is that it will be four volumes with a massive web component.

The Church is beginning to digitize the gazillions [my word, not his] of records in Granite Mountain and hopes to have them online by [. . . 2015?].

The Joseph Smith Papers is selling like gangbusters in its first two volumes, 65,000 and 15,000[?] copies respectively. In addition to the books to be published in hardcopy, everything will eventually end up online.

The Church no longer needs to apologize for itself or its history. We are in the era of transparency. But we will still always have critics.

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