During the 20th century, an organized objective to rewrite Latter-day Saint history from within, unbeknownst to the general Church membership, went head to head behind the scenes with traditional leaders of the Church. Meet the main players of this conflict: Leonard Arrington—progressive “Father of New Mormon History,” Ezra Taft Benson—traditionalist defender, and many other advocates of traditionalist and progressive Latter-day Saint history.
As traditionalists and progressives sparred during the 1970s-1980s, a covert cold war commenced in Salt Lake City, Utah, with the progressives spying on the traditionalists, and the traditionalists spying on the progressives. Secret informants, leaked documents, falsified reports, and even employed pseudonyms—all were part of this struggle to dominate Latter-day Saint history. But how did, and does, this secret conflict affect you? Progressives, working in the Church History Department and at Brigham Young University, claimed 40 years ago that it would take a generation to re-educate the Church. Where are we now in that re-education?