History’s Apprentice: Personal Reflections On B. H. Roberts

Though he has been dead for seventy years, B. H. Roberts remains a significant Mormon historian and theologian, and is considered one of the Church’s premier intellectuals. Though best known for his writings, Roberts was also a member of the First Council of Seventy and a stalwart of Utah’s Democratic Party. This presentation draws on my experience as the editor of his journals covering the period from 1880 to 1898. The journals tell us much about Roberts’ early life, but also illuminate his struggle with church officials over politics, his resistance to the Woodruff Manifesto, and his growth from young missionary to general authority. In short, they offer new clues into the life of one of Mormonism’s leading figures, and help us better understand his impact on the times in which he lived.

John Sillito