ArringtonLecture2013_Prince_ustNote: USU has requested that I remove this audio from the website, and so I have.  Sorry for the inconvenience!

Dr. Gregory A. Prince was selected to present the 19th annual Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture. The lecture is an annual event hosted by University Libraries and its Special Collections and Archives Division at Utah State University. The lecture is sponsored by University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives, the Leonard J. Arrington Lecture and Archives Foundation and the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Utah State University.  Dr. Prince spoke on Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Logan LDS Tabernacle.  The title of Prince’s lecture was “Faith and Doubt as Partners in Mormon History.”


  1. Marie September 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    I’ve just been reading “Adventures of a Church Historian” by Leonard Arrington this week, and this talk was the perfect companion piece. Thank you!

  2. Noel September 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm - Reply

    I remember how much I enjoyed Great Basin Kingdom, many years ago. It’s amazing how far the LDS church has come.

    • Neil September 20, 2013 at 4:53 pm - Reply

      My son and I enjoyed the talk. My son said at his University of Utah Singles ward (when it catered to only U students)one of the Bishopric counselors led a seperate saunday school class where the hard issues of the church were discussed. This class was only for those who wanted to go there and dig deeper.
      He liked the talk but said, Why can’t talks like Greg Prince made tonight ever make it into the mainstream church?” I don’t know how to answer that.

  3. Glen September 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    Nice question John and an interesting response. My question to you: Do you believe in the “historicity” of the Book of Mormon? If indeed it is not what it is purported to be, an abridgment of the record of the people of Nephi, and the abridgment of the Book of Ether, the record of the people of Jared, then isn’t it really a fraud at some level? Equating it to the book of Job seems to me to be a bit disingenuous as well.

    • Dan September 20, 2013 at 11:08 pm - Reply

      Yes, John, an excellent question that brought some concreteness to the discussion. Like Glen, I found Greg’s answer unsatisfactory, especially when Greg revealed that what “works for him” is the effect the Book of Mormon has on the converts Greg meets.

      If one held a gathering of those influenced by ANY purported divine work, say, “The Celestine Prophecies,” one would find the exact same confirmation from a similarly self-selected group of adopters. What Greg should be doing with his three questions is asking them of ALL the people who encounter the Book of Mormon, not just the minority who’ve adopted it.

  4. Jonathan M September 21, 2013 at 8:15 am - Reply

    Perhaps I should not interject without having listened to the podcast. But as someone who believes the BoM cannot possibly be what the Church has traditionally claimed it is, ie. an authentic historical record translated by the gift and power of God, I ache for the day when I can attend Church (in the absence of the emergence of a formal ‘Reformation’movement worthy of the name)and feel that I can embrace my Mormonism without feeling almost entirely alienated from my fellow congregants.

    • Glen September 21, 2013 at 12:43 pm - Reply

      Does it matter what the Church has traditionally claimed about the Book of Mormon? The Book itself says it a history and either stands or fails on its own on that assumption. Why would you attend a Church that is based on a false foundation?

      • Jonathan M October 1, 2013 at 8:55 am - Reply

        The Church, as others have said, Sterling McMurrin for one,is about far, far more than a book…. He also said that he resented being called an apostate…he was for the Church, not against it.

        Similarly, I love the Church, I love Mormons. I love the hymns. Much of the culture (yes, even that), I view warmly. I doubt that I would have ever attended University without the influence of ‘Nibleyism’! To a disproportionate extent, Mormon friends have influenced my life for the better. Even though I long for the day the Church becomes a ‘broader’organisation (more accepting of the open expression of a range of viewpoints) it captured my heart back in 1974. Why would I not want to remain of a member of that Church?

        • Glen October 1, 2013 at 6:24 pm - Reply

          Johnathan, I agree the Mormon Church is far more than a book. Remember the Church claims to be the only true church on earth and many times its Prophets/Seers/Revelators have claimed that its truthfulness is based on the foundation of the Book of Mormon and other latter-day scripture.

          So, it seems to me that either it is as it claims or it isn’t. If the Book of Mormon is a fabrication, then the Church is not what it claims. No matter the social camaraderie that you enjoy with an organization like the Church, it seems to me, and I could be wrong, that you are deceiving yourself or at least participating it a deception of immense proportions and encouraging others to also participate in that deception. If you want just a social organization there are dozens that are not based on deception for which you wouldn’t have to be thinking one thing and doing another. Can’t you still have Mormon friends without acting like you believe what you think is a fraud?

    • yvonne October 8, 2013 at 10:12 am - Reply

      What makes you think you are “entirely alienated from my fellow congregants?” I think their are more of us than the church even suspects who have doubts/do not believe in the historicity of the BofM, and I could add countless other church claims. We continue to worship there for our own reasons. Two of my reasons are: All churchs have problems with their history, etc, and culturally, I love being a Mormon. I should also add I love the fellowship I receive and give. Some of the best people I have ever met. I would just like the lies and prevarications to stop, re Pres Hinckley interviews, Elder Holland, and others.


  5. Rob September 22, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    As a Reform Mormon (not LDS) I accept “The Book of Mormon” as scripture AND a completely fictional. All scripture is art.

    • Jonathan M October 1, 2013 at 9:03 am - Reply

      I’m guessing you are Rob Lauer? Well, to be frank, though I genuinely wish you very well, I’m not convinced that your version of Reform Mormonism (home-based) is suitable for me. I want and need community ie regular, public, formal, worship. And I’d rather not leave the LDS Church.

      • Jonathan M October 1, 2013 at 9:04 am - Reply

        Oh, and BTW, I accept the BoM as scripture.

  6. Rob September 22, 2013 at 10:24 am - Reply

    What a wonderful talk!

  7. John Dehlin September 24, 2013 at 10:42 am - Reply

    USU has asked that I remove this audio from my site, and so I have complied. Sorry for the inconvenience!!!

    • Rich JJ September 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm - Reply

      I was glad to see this in my feed on Saturday, and so quickly after the event. USU is really good about publishing the Arrington Lectures a year after they’re given and making those print editions available on their website for free, but I’d love to see the audio recordings made available for listening.

      So many Mormon conferences and lectures are clearly being recorded and never being distributed. Sunstone does a great job, and the 2013 SLC sessions are now on their podcast. And the FAIR podcast carries some of their past sessions. And the Dialogue Podcast had some of the recent Miller-Eccles lectures. And BYU Speeches is out there. And General Conference.

      But what about Arrington Lectures? And especially Mormon History Association conferences? And others (McMurrin Lecture, Church History Symposiums, Sperry Symposium, UT State History Conference, JWHA, SMPT). Where is all of this golden audio? I guess it’s wishful thinking to have podcasts from the archives of these recordings.

  8. JT September 29, 2013 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Such am interesting question and response near the end about the Church’s backwardness with respect to modern  – well, not so modern – Biblical scholarship.  It’s ironic that the Church has gone to so much trouble defending the historicity of a cornerstone whose biblical foundation has been crumbling since it’s inception.  We’ll just have to see where this conjunction of doubts lead.

  9. Matt Harmer October 9, 2013 at 9:03 am - Reply

    John, thanks for posting this talk. I downloaded it shortly after you posted it, so I still have it on my i-pod. For the most part, I really enjoy reading/listening to Greg Prince, but the audio quality of this particular podcast was pretty poor.

    I am wondering whether there’s a way to get a transcript of Greg’s talk. Since USU asked you to remove the audio, that seems like a good excuse to ask Greg if he’d be willing to allow you to post a transcript of his talk. Greg doesn’t know me, but I’d be happy to make the request . . . except that I don’t have any contact information for him.

    Thanks for all you do, my friend.

  10. Nielson October 10, 2013 at 12:40 pm - Reply

    Is there any other way to get this as either an audio or transcript? It sounds amazing.

  11. Noel October 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm - Reply

    Hello, I agree the sound was bad, I thought it was just my old age hearing problem but it seems others found an audio problem.

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