I’m excited to have our first LDS General Authority on the show! (Although we have had an apostle and Seventy from the Community of Christ, as well as member of First Presidency from the Remnant Church!) We’ll get more acquainted with Elder Steven Snow in this first episode, and I’ll ask him about his favorite stories in Church history.
Elder Snow: I will continue to be the Church Historian until August 1, and then I will be officially released at October conference, but my duties finish up August 1.
GT : One of the big questions that I get delving into Mormon history, and so I’d like to pose this to you is, how can you maintain a testimony and know all this church history?
Elder Snow: Well, that’s a very interesting question, and I hear it too. For me, the more I learned about our history, as a church, it actually strengthens my testimony. The more I learn, the more respect I have for those that went before and the hard things they did, that were driven by their faith, many of these accomplishments. I just find it very inspiring. Now, there are situations and experiences in the past that sometimes are sensationalized by others online. I really believe in studying things in the context of time and place and trying to understand what was going on. But at the same time, understanding the big picture. If you get too wrapped up with non-consequential issues, then it’s hard to progress, and so I just love church history. The more I learn, the more my testimony grows.
GT: Can you share with us, studying church history, what has been the most inspirational story that you’ve learned?
Elder Snow 5:30 It’s hard to identify just one, Rick, but I think the first volume of Saints is a good representation. I think of many stories, some of which members of the church will not know. I just think, how did they do it? How did they suffer all this persecution, and I’m sure it was a sifting process for many. But, boy, they had a lot of courage and a lot of faith, those that stayed true and came west and established Zion here in the Rocky Mountains. It’s just an inspiring story, I think, our history.
I also asked if there was anything that troubled him.
Elder Snow: No, there’s little surprises that come up every once in a while. But one thing I’ve done is I’ve really loved to study church history. So there’s not a lot of things new that have troubled me as we’ve studied and learned our history. I just think people that don’t study history enough, are the ones that tend to be a little bit surprised, and maybe rocked a little bit or are jarred by what they learned, so I encourage people to study history and to really learn the story, rather than just get hung up on a couple of little issues that may have been troubling. That’s why I like Saints, the new series, the first volume of the four-volume series that we have out. I enjoy that because you read some of these little episodes in the context of the whole story. They seem really what they are, rather insignificant to the whole narrative. So no, I really haven’t found much that’s troubled me, nothing really that’s troubled me. A few little surprises, but nothing too much.
Check out our conversation…..
In our next episode, we’ll talk about the Gospel Topics Essays, and you might be interested in some historians and scientists who helped with this effort.