The Church and Its Scholars: Ten Years After

In August 1992, Lavina Fielding Anderson, who had been collecting information about a disturbingly unhealthy relationship between the Church and its scholars, primarily historians, presented that information as a chronology at a session of the Salt Lake Sunstone symposium. She called for greater honesty, humility, courage, and compassion from both scholars and the Church. As measured by desired results, that paper was spectacularly unsuccessful. Firings at BYU, excommunications, disfellowshippings, a heightened level of fear, increased pressure on Sunstone, and the virtual demise of Mormon feminism followed. This paper will recall that initial 1992 presentation, analyze the environment for scholarship in the Church over the past decade, and indulge in some “what ifs.”

Lavina Fielding Anderson, Armand Mauss