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A Mountain of Paper

The Extraordinary Diary of Leonard James Arrington

Carl Arrington and Susan Arrington Madsen

Publication Year: 2012

The series, established by one of the twentieth-century West's most distinguished historians, Leonard Arrington, has become a leading forum for prominent historians to address topics related to Mormon history. The first lecturer was Arrington himself. He was followed by Richard Lyman Bushman, Richard E. Bennett, Howard R. Lamar, Claudia L. Bushman, Kenneth W. Godfrey, Jan Shipps, Donald Worster, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, and F. Ross Peterson. Utah State University hosts the Leonard J. Arrington Mormon History Lecture Series. The University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives houses the Arrington collection. The state's land grant university began collecting records very early, and in the 1960s became a major depository for Utah and Mormon records. Leonard and his wife Grace joined the USU faculty and family in 1946, and the Arringtons and their colleagues worked to collect original diaries, journals, letters, and photographs.

Although trained as an economist at the University of North Carolina, Arrington became a Mormon historian of international repute. Working with numerous colleagues, the Twin Falls, Idaho, native produced the classic Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-day Saints in 1958. Utilizing available collections at USU, Arrington embarked on a prolific publishing and editing career. He and his close ally, Dr. S. George Ellsworth helped organize the Western History Association, and they created the Western Historical Quarterly as the scholarly voice of the WHA. While serving with Ellsworth as editor of the new journal, Arr ington also helped both the Mormon History Association and the independent journal Dialogue get established.

Published by: Utah State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. iii-iv

The establishment of a lecture series honoring a library’s special collections and a donor to that collection is unique. Utah State University’s Merrill-Cazier Library houses the personal and historical collection of Leonard J. Arrington, a renowned...

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About the Authors

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pp. v-vi

Carl Arrington, the second son (middle child) of Leonard and Grace Arrington, was born in Logan, Utah in 1951. He grew up in Cache Valley attending Adams Elementary, Logan Junior High (where he was suspended for publishing...

A Mountain of Paper: The Extraordinary Diary of Leonard James Arrington

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pp. 1-3

Carl: At the end of World War II, an American soldier stationed in Rome went to visit Roman Catholic sites on his day off. This Private First Class from Idaho, with some purpose in mind, found his way to the majestic...

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Leonard’s Birth and Boyhood

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pp. 4-5

Carl: The world little Leonard arrived in was an embattled world. The Great War—as World War I was known at the time—raged in Europe. Leonard James Arrington was born July 2, 1917, in a small frame home on the outskirts of Twin...

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Leonard the Public School Student

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pp. 5-7

Carl: In 1923 a new era began for young Leonard. He started school. When six years old, I started school in Twin Falls. I enrolled in Washington School in [the] first grade...

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A College Education

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pp. 8

Carl: Growing out of these youthful experiences, Leonard chose to do something that no other member of the Arrington family had yet done—that was to enroll in a university and acquire a college education. Father Noah disapproved...

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North Carolina Studies, Marriage, Army Service, and USU

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pp. 9-13

Susan: After completing his studies at the University of Idaho, Leonard worked on his PhD at the University of North Carolina. There he met and married a lovely Southern belle, Grace Fort. They were married in the Hayes Barton Baptist...

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Leonard’s Calling, Service, Experiences, and Accomplishments as Church Historian

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pp. 13-17

Carl: As mentioned previously, in 1972, Leonard was called by President Joseph Fielding Smith to be the Church Historian and Recorder. In our minds, and in the minds of many others, he became truly a model Church Historian...

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Leonard’s Legacy

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pp. 17-20

Carl: After Leonard moved from his office in the Church Office Building in 1982, he continued to be a man who loved precision and clarity, and humor. Consider, for instance, his take on the frustrations of bachelor...

Back Cover

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E-ISBN-13: 9780874218473
Print-ISBN-13: 9780874218466

Publication Year: 2012