Dr. Gregory Prince was born and raised in Southern California. He served a mission in Brazil. After his mission he became a Dentist and later received a Ph.D in pathology. As a young elders quorum president in Washington DC he began researching and writing about the history of the priesthood in the LDS Church and produce a book called, Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood. He later met a mission president in Washington DC that would soon become a friend and change the course of his life. That mission president was Robert Wright who Dr. Prince co-authored David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern MormonismThis book project led Dr. Prince to meet the daughter of former Church Historian, Leonard Arrington, who asked him to write Leonard’s biography.

In this episode Dr. Prince discusses the role of history as it relates to doctrine of the Church. We also discuss what the realities of inspiration look like and how perfect revelation is received through mortals that can make mistakes. We also discuss how leaders can mentor lay members who struggle with some aspects of Church history.

Episode Highlights

  • How did the path of becoming an author begin for you? (03:21)
  • Power from on High, The Development of Mormon Priesthood (05:55)
  • Being asked to become David O. McKay’s biographer (06:37)
  • What did you learn from your research on the Priesthood that would help an Elders Quorum President to lead more effectively? (08:33)
  • How Sidney Rigdon influenced the doctrine of the Priesthood? (11:26)
  • Priesthood Authority vs. Priesthood Power (14:23)
  • The significance of the temple endowment and missionaries (17:23)
  • A brief synopsis of David O. McKay’s biography and the Leonard Arrington biography (23:48)
  • What comprises inspiration for our Church leaders? (30:23)
  • Why should leaders feel comfortable saying “I don’t know?” (33:13)
  • Recognizing hyperbole in Church leadership inspiration (37:32)
  • “Don’t they realize we’re just human beings doing our best?” (43:01)
  • How different leaders see the relationship between truth and history (44:38)
  • History can inform testimony but it is not testimony (48:56)
  • What would you say to a leader that wants to use history to bring someone out of doubt? (50:27)
  • How can a local leader get ahead of these historical data points so that people learn of sticky Church history from their bishop rather than online? (54:13)
  • What can you tell us about Leonard the person that would encourage people to read his biography? (56:36)
  • Would you agree that Leonard was a person that had a different viewpoint but still stayed in the Church and found room? (59:58)
  • What about leadership to these two biographies teach us the best? (01:02:24)
  • Over your time studying the history of the Church and researching some of the mistakes of prophets and seers, how have you become a better disciples of these prophets, seers, and revelators? (01:06:01)

Links:

Power from on High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood

David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism 

Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History

PBS Mormon Documentary

President Kimball’s talk where he mentions plateaus

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