Appreciating Historiography: Jonathan Grimshaw and George A. Smith

Sitting here recovering from a little carving by an MD, I thought I’d express some thanks.

Most Mormons would be ignorant of the position the two men in the post title hold in regard to the ways we appreciate Joseph Smith. By appreciate, I suppose I really mean apprehend, as a body, as a Church. I’ve posted about Grimshaw before, and it is important not to underestimate him, but Smith was a careful supervisor of the work of the Historian’s office of the 1850s in Utah, with his marks being left in sometimes subtle but important ways. While the kind of ultra-careful and transparent work currently taking place with say, the Joseph Smith Papers Project[1] is not in evidence, the staff was diligent, sacrificing personally in many ways to do the work of documenting the rise of the Church, Joseph Smith’s life and the contemporary prospects of the kingdom.
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Wilford Woodruff and the CHL

Today for most of the afternoon I was at the LDS Church History Library in Salt Lake City. My mission was to correct a little problem in chapter 6 of the funeral sermon book. A couple of years ago, when I was making typographical facsimiles[1] of source documents (which will be in the book) I was being very careful to triple check transcriptions. But for some reason, I failed in this when it came to the sermon in chapter 6 (the subject of chapter 6 is Joseph Smith’s sermon of March 10, 1844). I seem to have made just one pass at Wilford Woodruff’s journal account. Now I’ve been reading Woodruff’s journal off and on since the early 70s. (It’s worth repeating that read.) I have a sort of summary of his journal entries that focus on what you might call “the good stuff.”
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John Wesley, Methodism and Staking out Mormon Doctrines

W. J. Abraham and J. E. Kirby’s The Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies gives some insight into some issues of antebellum American Methodism that play into the shaping of Mormon doctrine, in the sense that Mormonism, at its outset, felt the need to define its positions in the controversies of the day. I quote:
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