Talk:Church Historian and Recorder

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Accuracy and citations[edit]

I'm seeing information on dates and positions in credible sources that are contradicting various uncited material in this page. It's happening enough, that I'm starting to doubt all uncited information here. Where are these figures even coming from? For example:

  • I find no sources saying Marlin K. Jensen was called to be Historian/Recorder in 2001. That year, he was released from the Sunday School Presidency and Presidency of the Seventy, but the Ensign only mentions he then went to the Europe Central Area Presidency. The earliest mention I can find anywhere online about his role in the Department is that he was made executive director in 2004 then sustained the next April as the actual Historian/Recorder. I can't find any earlier or later sustainings to this position.
  • There is a note that G. Homer Durham was not sustained as Historian/Recorder but was executive director of the department, however I see here that whether sustained or not, he was Historian/Recorder until death in 1985.
  • Dean L. Larsen is shown to have served until 1989, but he was actually released in 1997 in General Conference.
  • John K. Carmack is shown on have served until 2001, but this article says D. Todd Christofferson took over in 1998.

Rich jj (talk) 21:37, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

This looks pretty bad. We should fix it as best we can, using the sources which you've done well to find. I thought we should ask the original author, but then I saw that they have not edited for months, so I'm not sure if there will be any reply. Good Ol’factory (talk) 21:58, 12 June 2008 (UTC)
I found a source showing Larsen's calling. I'll fix and cite there. I think we still need clear sources for (1) Jensen's calling, (2) Durham's sustaining, (3) Carmack's calling and (4) release, and (5) whether Christofferson held the position. Rich jj (talk) 03:20, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Great; thanks for doing this. I've begun to look too, but as you've probably discovered it's hard to find relevant stuff since the church stopped sustaining the sitting historian every conference. As the dates and names get adjusted, we should also change them in Template:LDShistorian. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:01, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
I think I found something good, which suggests that there was no church historian/recorder from 1997 to 2005:
"I've always loved the history of the Church; my wife has gotten after me for years for all the books I've bought," reflected Elder Jensen in a recent Church News interview, having been sustained in April at general conference as the Church Historian/Recorder. He is the first person to hold that office since Elder Dean L. Larsen of the Seventy, who was sustained in April 1985 and formally released in October 1997, though the Family and Church History Department (formerly the Church Historical Department and, before that, the Church Historian's Office) has long and continuously had an integral role in the administrative functions of the Church.
The source is: R. Scott Lloyd, "'Historian by yearning' collects, preserves: Elder Marlin K. Jensen is historian/recorder", Church News, 2005-05-28, p. 12. I found it in the archives at, which unfortunately is not public. I think this means it probably went Durham (–1985); Larson (1985–1997); vacant (1997–2005); Jensen (2005– ). It appears that Carmack and Christofferson never officially held the position, though they were likely directors in the department.
I suggest we eliminate Carmack from the listing, since he was never actually held the position. If we did that, that would lead us with needing only (from your list) something about Durham's calling in 1982. Good Ol’factory (talk) 04:33, 13 June 2008 (UTC)
Great find on the Church News. I agree on (1) removing Carmack, (2) fixing Jensen's date, (3) making Jensen #19, (4) correcting Template:LDShistorian, and (5) correcting all biographical WP pages of the affected persons (I've some of these errors there too). I also found this Sunstone article which verifies Jensen's 2005 call and also claims Arrington was released in 1977 (this should be verified from a more primary source). Another find: the original WP errors here may come from this Encyclopedia of Mormonism article. It wrongly reports Larsen's term ending in 1989, and other figures fit with assuming the Executive Director is the same as Church Historian. It might be interesting to catalog Executive Directors and Managing Directors since their ideologies are influential, but that's a whole different task. Rich jj (talk) 19:48, 13 June 2008 (UTC)

Steven E. Snow[edit]

It was announced earlier this month that Elder Steven E. Snow will succeed Elder Marlin K. Jensen as Church Historian and Recorder later this year. This will necessitate Elder Snow's release as a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. However, the change is not effective yet, so I don't think it's accurate to list Elder Snow as Church Historian and Recorder until he officially becomes such. Consequently, I am reverting this change. Please post here BEFORE changing it back. No change should be made on WP until it's official so that the page remains accurate. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 18:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)

Because it has been officially announced, I think noting the upcoming change in the article would be appropriate. Maybe a sourced sentence after the table? 72Dino (talk) 18:51, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Great idea. I'll take care of it. Thanks for your feedback. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 19:42, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Steven E. Snow has been listed as Church Historian and Recorder in several sources. This leads me to believe that the change has been made, even though he has not been sustained as such. So my question is, do we make the change now, or wait until after General Conference this weekend? Thoughts? --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 00:48, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Now would be fine if you'd like to & have the time. The church's annual "assignment cycle" began with the 1 August effective date that impacted changes in such things as the Presidency of the Seventy and various Area Presidencies. The official change to Elder Snow is consistent with that date. ChristensenMJ (talk) 02:20, 3 October 2012 (UTC)
Have made the change. How does it look? Thanks for the feedback. --Jgstokes-We can disagree without being disagreeable (talk) 00:36, 5 October 2012 (UTC)

Weird lettering system for Executive Director of the Church History Department[edit]

I was looking over this article, and I don't understand the weird lettering system used for the men who served as Executive Director of the Church History Department but not necessarily as Church Historian and Recorder. Could someone please explain it to me? Why is the first man listed as 18b and two others as 18c and four as 18e? Any clarification would be appreciated. If I'm confused, I'm sure readers coming to the article will be as well. Thanks in advance for the feedback. --Jgstokes (talk) 05:24, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

I think, but that is my own opinion as I didn't create it, that it was done this way because technically Dean L. Larsen was still Church Historian until 1997. He didn't actually do the work of Church Historian as the duties of the Church Historian fell on the Executive Director of the Historical Department, i.e. John K. Carmack in 1989. Upon Larsen's leaving in 1997 there wasn't an official Church Historian until 2005. The postion was technically empty, but the duties continued to be done by the Executive Director of the Historical Department until Marlin K. Jensen became Church Historian in 2005.
So I think that someone used 18a-18e as a way to include those that weren't officially Church Historian's but who did the job.
However, I cannot explain the four 18e's. I think that is a type and I was wp:bold and changed them.--- ARTEST4ECHO (talk) 14:33, 29 October 2014 (UTC)
Looking back on the history I'm pretty sure the four 18e's were a typo when the tables were broken up.--- ARTEST4ECHO (talk) 14:36, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

Makes sense, but then we still have the two "18c"s. What should be done about that? I would propose making one of them 18d and moving all the rest down by one more letter, if that's agreeable. Thoughts? --Jgstokes (talk) 23:24, 29 October 2014 (UTC)

New Assistant Church Historian and Recorder[edit]

According to this link, Reid L. Neilson has been named as an additional Assistant Church Historian and Recorder. He joins Richard E. Turley Jr. in assisting Elder Steven E. Snow in his assignment as Church Historian. I suggest that we implement this information into this article ASAP, but I'm not sure how to go about it. Thoughts? --Jgstokes (talk) 05:14, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

I gave it a shot. Bahooka (talk) 05:23, 24 January 2015 (UTC)
Looks great! Thanks! --Jgstokes (talk) 07:45, 24 January 2015 (UTC)

Table Numbering and Format[edit]

I made some updates to correct the dates and positions for the early years. It made me realize that the numbering really doesn't work for those early years when people were coming and going as Church Historian and Church Recorder so often. So, I removed the numbering for that section and redid the numbering for the later ones.

On another note, does someone with more coding skills want to look at redoing the first table? The one for Church Historians and Church Recorders. It looks a little silly with all of those breaks and repeated names. I'm guessing there has to be a better way to do it. --WildKazoo (talk) 23:36, 30 December 2015 (UTC)

Date confusion[edit]

It seems apparent from past discussions on this matter that Steven E. Snow has been considered the Church Historian and Recorder since assignment changes were effective on August 1, 2012. Why then is the end of Marlin K. Jensen's tenure and the beginning of Snow's listed in October 2012? As evidenced from the April 2016 Sustaining of Church Officers, it seems that the commencement of service has not so much to do with the date an individual is sustained (since that didn't happen with either the new Presiding Bishopric or Gerrit W. Gong's tenure in the Presidency of the Seventy) but with the date such assignments are effective. In this case, it seems apparent that Snow started his service as Church Historian and Recorder on August 1, 2012, when other such assignments became effective, and not in October 2012 when he was sustained. Thoughts?--Jgstokes (talk) 00:25, 8 May 2016 (UTC)