Early in the twentieth century, what should have been a most unlikely friendship curiously evolved into a lifelong amiable relationship between world-renowned filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille and David O. McKay, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In some ways, the two men were polar opposites. DeMille was an icon in the twentieth-century film industry who directed seventy motion pictures in an illustrious career that spanned over four decades. Dwelling in the midst of “Babylon” (Los Angeles), he was referred to as “Mr. Hollywood.”1 McKay presided from the heart of Latter-day Saint conservatism, Salt Lake City, dedicated to building Zion as prophet, seer, and revelator. Bringing the two men together was Latter-day Saint artist Arnold Friberg, set painter for DeMille’s epic film The Ten Commandments. Although DeMille had formed good relationships with other religious leaders,2 which was simply good business, his friendship with President McKay reveals a deeper and long-lasting bond. Through analysis of their private correspondence and public statements, instances of contact and sentiments shared by President McKay and DeMille emerge. This essay also traces how McKay’s friendship influenced DeMille to share a more positive image of the Latter-day Saints, which seems to have influenced American perception of the Church of Jesus Christ in the mid-twentieth century.
These two remarkable men were both directors—influencers who shaped the culture and character of their milieu. A decade after McKay’s call to the holy apostleship, DeMille was working as the Lasky Company Director-General3 when he lent his support to the production of an anti-Mormon propaganda silent film titled A Mormon Maid. Although DeMille was not responsible for the content of the film, he was responsible for the decision of whether or not the film should be released in theaters. He gave his approval, and it premiered on Valentine’s Day 1917 during an era when anti-Mormon literature was rampant. The film was “arguably the most potent and important anti-Mormon film in the history of cinema” and “the most-advertised picture in the history of American cinema up to that time.” Critic reviews were extremely favorable of the film, and audiences came in droves to view it.4
The following is a summation of this damning sixty-five-minute, black-and-white silent film:
Settlers Tom and Nancy Hogue, with their beautiful daughter Dora, are rescued from Indians by a group of Mormons and, destitute, are forced to go live in the Mormon city. After a few years, apostle Darius Burr directs puppet leader Brigham Young to force Hogue to enter plural marriage as part of a plot for Burr to take Dora unto himself. Hogue takes a second wife to save his daughter, but his wife kills herself upon learning of it. Dora is taken prisoner anyway, and as she attempts to escape there is a small battle in which Hogue is killed. About to be forced to marry Burr, Dora lies about her maidenhood to avoid the ceremony, after which she escapes again with her beau, a Mormon scout named Tom Rigdon. They flee with the aid of a renegade Danite, but are overtaken on the plains and in the climactic battle Dora shoots Burr in the back. The Danite is unhooded to reveal none other than Hogue, who secretly survived the previous fight, and three set off together, leaving the Mormons behind forever.5
The film played frequently for several months “across the United States, Europe, and other countries, and anti-Mormon organizations kept it in private circulation. . . . Mormons at the time and for years to come remembered it as the most lethal cinematic treatment they had ever received, particularly because of its depiction of sacred temple robes.”6 Who could have guessed that nearly four decades later DeMille would be taking a private tour of the Los Angeles temple at the generous invitation of his dear friend, President McKay. What were the events that precipitated this ironic twist of fate?
During the early 1950s, DeMille was immersed in the preproduction stages of his final and most successful film, The Ten Commandments. After getting a recommendation from an international artist, DeMille hired Latter-day Saint artist Arnold Friberg to design sets and costumes as well as promotional paintings for his epic film. Friberg became the catalyst in bringing Mr. Hollywood and the Latter-day Saint prophet together.7
In the course of their collaboration, Arnold and Cecil had many discussions that piqued DeMille’s interest in learning more about priesthood, temples, and all things pertaining to this religious film. DeMille asked Friberg to inquire into the possibility of meeting with President McKay because of his desire to tour the Los Angeles temple, then under construction not far from DeMille’s workplace. The circumstances and series of events bringing these two influential men together are described in McKay’s diary from July 11, 1954:
This morning Mr. Arnold Friberg . . . called at the office and explained . . . his position with Cecil B. deMille who has employed him to paint pictures of characters and costumes . . . for the forthcoming motion picture masterpiece, “The Ten Commandments” which is being produced by Mr. deMille of the Paramount Studios.
He said that next year they are going to Palestine to take scenes of the crossing of the Red Sea. They will also make scenes on Mt. Sinai.
Brother Friberg also said that Mr. deMille confers with him from time to time about different phases of the Old Testament. For example, the conferring of the Priesthood upon Joshua. Mr. deMille said that this was the first instance of the conferring of the Priesthood. Brother Friberg told him No; that Adam conferred the Priesthood upon his sons Seth, Noah, and others. Upon hearing this, Mr. deMille changed the scenes. . . .
Furthermore, Mr. deMille is reading the Pearl of Great Price, the Book of Mormon, etc.
During one of their conversations, on a certain subject, Mr. deMille said, “If I knew your President, I would telephone him upon this matter.” Said he had met President Grant, and President Smith, but that he had never met President McKay.” Brother Friberg told him that he was sure it would be perfectly all right to call me, but Mr. deMille was reticent about doing so. He said, however, that he would very much like to make my acquaintance. I told Brother Friberg that I would be in Los Angeles the first week in August, and at that time arrangements can be made for me to meet Mr. deMille.8
The following month, on August 5, 1954, DeMille and McKay met at Paramount Studios, making an instant connection. DeMille expressed his desire to go inside the temple.
“I’ll take you through myself,” said President McKay.
“Now that’s before it’s dedicated, I may go through?” Cecil inquired.
“Now after it’s dedicated I may not go through?” asked DeMille.
“Oh,” joked McKay, “We’ll take care of that. The first thing we’ll do is baptize you!”
Both men laughed heartily.9
A decade later in a BYU devotional speech, Arnold Friberg recalled another detail of this humorous experience when McKay asked, “‘Will that wash off all this encrusted Episcopalianism?’ ‘Oh,’ Mrs. McKay said ‘it’ll wash off every drop.’” Friberg added, “That evening I remember Mr. DeMille stopped me in the hall and was talking about President McKay. He says, ‘You know I sure love that old buzzard.’ . . . It was said with the greatest of affection. . . . He [DeMille] said, ‘When I talk to President McKay, I know I’m in the presence of a prophet. . . . It’s as if I were standing before the burning bush. I feel the same power.’”10
Concerning this meeting in Los Angeles, McKay’s diary notes, “Mr. deMille received us graciously and had nothing but high praise for Brother Friberg’s work. . . . We were entertained most graciously and interestingly during our visit.” Following their time together, DeMille presented McKay with an inscribed copy of a Samson and Delilah handbook, containing research from his previous movie. The inscription read, “To President McKay, with respect—admiration, and now affection.”11
That night from the Los Angeles Alexandria Hotel, President McKay wrote a thoughtful handwritten letter to his new friend:
My dear Mr. de Mille,
your graciousness to Mrs. McKay and me this afternoon, we shall ever cherish as one of the most interesting and informative experiences of our lives. Indeed, we became so absorbed in your presentation of the magnitude and possibilities as well as the responsibility of your art that we failed to realize how grossly we encroached upon your valuble [sic] time. The more I think of it, the more keenly becomes my embarrassment.
I not only apologize but beg your forgiveness.
In the generosity of your heart kindly remember our overwhelming interest and forget our intrusion.12
Less than a week later, DeMille responded: “Thank you for your letter of August 5th. It was a great pleasure to see you and Mrs. McKay. I am the one who should ask forgiveness, if my absorption in my work—which is heavy right now—made you feel in the slightest degree uncomfortable. Far from being an encroachment, your visit was for me a privilege as well as a pleasure—and one which I hope will be repeated if you should come to Los Angeles while I am filming THE TEN COMMANDMENTS here next year.”13
The correspondence steadily continued. The following month Mr. DeMille referred to their previous conversation during their initial August meeting: “When you were last in Los Angeles you may remember our touching on the problem of portraying the Voice of God in my forthcoming motion picture of The Ten Commandments.”14 DeMille spoke of his efforts to produce such a divine voice and described how one of his staff members (“a brilliant electronics technician” named John H. Cope, who had worked for DeMille since 1933) had remembered “the unique quality of the Tabernacle organ and believes that the Vox Humana15 stop on this magnificent instrument will be the closest thing in the world to a musical representation of the Voice of God.”
DeMille asked McKay for “permission to have Mr. Cope record the Tabernacle organ” and persuasively continued, “It would be a great contribution to a proper and reverent portrayal of the Voice of God and to the spiritual values which you, and we, hope that THE TEN COMMANDMENTS will carry through the world.” DeMille concluded by reminding McKay that Mr. Cope had “built a radio station that is well known to you, KSL, and also installed the first public address system in the Tabernacle.” Finally, DeMille thanked McKay for the Gospel Ideals book McKay had recently sent to him, which contained McKay’s selected public discourses compiled the previous year. The famed filmmaker said he continued to find this book “a source of new inspiration.”16
Not surprisingly, five days after DeMille sent this letter President McKay and the First Presidency granted DeMille permission to use the tabernacle organ. McKay wrote:
My dear Mr. deMille:
I was greatly pleased to receive your letter of September 18, 1954 in which you refer again to the problem of portraying the Voice of God in your forthcoming motion picture “The Ten Commandments.” As I read your comments I thought—this is another illustration of the masterful, painstaking research that Mr. deMille makes when he produces a great picture. Truly, I admire your greatness and especially your sincerity.
This morning I read your letter in the regular meeting of the First Presidency. My counselors were also deeply impressed. We are one in assuring you that it will be a joy for us to do anything within our power to contribute to the success of the great picture you are producing. If the Vox Humana on the Tabernacle Organ will add to the musical representation of the Voice of God, this is your permission and authority to make any use of it that you wish.17
The vox humana was then used to accentuate the deep base voice of former Mormon Tabernacle Choir member Jesse Delos Jewkes, who portrayed the singular voice of God for the film.18
The following month, DeMille responded to President McKay’s note of permission: “Just returned from more than a week on Mount Sinai—one of the most unforgettably moving experiences of my whole lifetime—without further delay I must thank you and your counselors in the First Presidency for your permission to use the great Tabernacle Organ, as contained in your letter of September 23rd, and for the deep and, I am sure, prayerful interest which you and your counselors are taking in our production of THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. I hope we and our work may be worthy of it.”19
The following year, on July 21, 1955, President McKay and his wife, Emma Rae, visited DeMille’s studio in Los Angeles during active filming. On this date, McKay’s diary notes the following entry:
We went over to the Paramount Motion Picture Studios. . . . This visit to the studios was in accordance with a previous invitation by the producer, Cecil B. deMille, when we met him personally last year. As we approached the set we saw that they were taking shots of the scene just following the building of the golden calf. Moses’ descent from the mountain, the breaking of the tablets, and then the wrath of Heaven descending with fire right in the midst of it.
There were four hundred and sixty-five people in this scene.
As we were looking with admiration at what was going on, suddenly we heard over the loud-speaking system a voice saying: “I understand President McKay is in the audience; will you please come up here, President McKay.” Right then and there the whole proceedings were stopped and Mr. deMille introduced me to the entire group. Later, he announced that Sister McKay was in the audience, and he invited her to join us. He then presented Edward G. Robinson to us, a prominent actor, who is taking one of the leading parts.
We spent three hours on the set and were intensely interested and amazed at the magnitude of the whole project—what a stupendous thing it is to produce such a play as The Ten Commandments! I am impressed more than ever with Cecil B. deMille’s ability—he is a great director!20
A week after this impressive experience, President McKay wrote to thank DeMille.
My dear deMille:
As Mrs. McKay and I recall our visits and appointments in the Los Angeles area last week, we hold as the outstanding event our experience at your studio set Thursday afternoon, July 21st.
To see the “shooting” of one magnificent scene in the great picture “The Ten Commandments” was something to remember always.
Your courtesy and graciousness in recognizing our presence, and paying us tribute (however unmerited) added greatly to the thrill of the occasion.
Mrs. McKay and I have always held you in high esteem and admiration as the greatest director of this modern age; but after glimpsing the stupendousness of your task, in staging the scene following the destruction of the Tablets by Moses so deeply grieved at the people’s worshipping the golden calf, and after noting your masterful attention to every detail of scenes in which over four hundred people participated, our admiration of your leadership rose to greater heights!
So also did our appreciation of your nobility of character!
Mrs. McKay joins me in this note of appreciation for a most impressive and memorable visit.21
DeMille was deeply touched by his friend’s kind letter and responded in part: “Your letter . . . reminds me of the ideal my father had as a playwright—to bring to the larger ‘congregation’ of the theatre the same message he delivered every Sunday in the little church which he served as lay reader. I have tried to follow in his footsteps; and it means much to me that you believe I have to some extent succeeded.”22
Less than six months later, President McKay took DeMille and his small staff of six through the Los Angeles temple. This special private tour took place on January 16, 1956, two months before the temple was dedicated in March.23 This was at a time when both men were pressed with many responsibilities and DeMille was still in the middle of filming The Ten Commandments.
The local news picked up on DeMille and his Paramount Studios entourage touring the temple. Soon, “DeMille Visits L.A. Temple” headlined the papers. The papers also captured the mutual admiration that DeMille and McKay had for each other. DeMille informed the press that the private tour “was a great privilege and a pleasure.” As President McKay bid farewell to the group, he said of DeMille, “Here is one of the true noblemen of this world.” DeMille described President McKay to a reporter as “one of the great souls that I have been privileged to meet in this world; he has understanding; he has the true spirit of Christ; he is a great pioneer of God.”24
Apparently, the temple tour had a spiritual impact on DeMille. The Deseret News reported that President McKay described DeMille as “a longtime friend and interested student and admirer of the Church and its people” and noted he “seemed deeply impressed by his visit to the new temple as were the other members of his party.”25 Friberg later recalled that President McKay’s only explanation to DeMille regarding the temple’s purpose was “to take man from physical man to spiritual man.”26
In his autobiography, DeMille described McKay as a “great-hearted, lovable man who is literally a latter-day saint” and a man “through whom the Divine Mind shines crystal clear.” In addition, the Episcopalian DeMille noted, “Others like me might be more regular church-goers if there were more McKays.”27
On Thursday, August 2, 1956, DeMille arrived in Salt Lake City to provide a preview of his epic film, The Ten Commandments.28 DeMille biographer Scott Eyman noted that this was the film’s “sole public preview.”29 During a press conference, the famed filmmaker of over seventy motion pictures told reporters that his three-hour-and-forty-three-minute film was his “greatest achievement.”30 The following night, The Ten Commandments was shown. The Salt Lake Tribune announced, “Cecil B. DeMille, the undisputed king of Biblical motion pictures, arrived in Salt Lake City Thursday bent on determining public reaction to his latest 13 million dollar epic.31 The Hollywood director will attend a sneak premiere Friday night at the Center Theater to find out what Salt Lakers think of ‘The Ten Commandments.’” DeMille said Salt Lake was selected for the preview “because there are ‘good normal American people’ here and they don’t offer ‘undue criticism or praise.’”32
In his Autobiography, DeMille noted, “I always preview my pictures away from Hollywood, because it is almost impossible to get a typical audience reaction. . . . Most of my staff warned me that I would not get a typical reaction in Salt Lake City either: it would be too heavily weighted in favor of a religious theme because of the preponderant number of Mormons in any Salt Lake City audience.” Yet DeMille reasoned, “If the deeply religious, serious-minded Latter-day Saints of Salt Lake City approved . . . , so would millions of others, of other faiths, throughout the world.” DeMille affirmed the Latter-day Saints “did approve it, enthusiastically. And,” he said, “I may have had a personal, almost a selfish, reason for wanting to preview in Salt Lake City: it gave me another chance to spend some time with . . . the President of the Mormon Church, David O. McKay. There are men whose very presence warms the heart. President McKay is one of them.”33
The Deseret News reported, “About 1,700 lucky Utahns were in the audience, which included many civic, business and church leaders. . . . Many of the audience had stood in line prior to noon Friday to purchase tickets to the rare showing. . . . Several thousand others . . . were unable to obtain admittance because the Centre Theater showing was the only one that could be arranged.”34 DeMille’s staff described the Salt Lakers as “the perfect audience. . . . It was the best audience reaction we have ever seen.”35
The Tribune headline proclaimed, “Previewers Cheer ‘Commandments.’” Praiseworthy comments included “Great beyond words . . . Fabulous . . . Indescribable . . . A masterpiece . . . The best picture ever produced.” DeMille was particularly delighted by the “burst of applause at the scene showing the waters of the Red Sea parting. The scene required three years of effort, he explained.”36
Following the Salt Lake premier, final film editing was completed in Hollywood before the motion picture opened in New York City on November 9, 1956.37 Just prior to the New York opening at the Criterion Theater, DeMille gave an address, later published, titled “Why I Made the Ten Commandments.” In his address he stated, “The Ten Commandments are not outmoded relics of a barbaric age. They are as true and valid and real as the day they were burned into tablets of stone by the Finger of God.”38
Near the beginning of the new year, President and Sister McKay sent a pamphlet to DeMille to explain the teachings of the Church. DeMille graciously responded, writing, “Thank you for sending me the inscribed copy of ‘A Look At Mormonism’, a fascinating and very useful collection of glimpses at the widespread and varied activities of your church. As I leaf through it, one thing that strikes me is the predominance of cheerful smiling faces, even in the unposed photographs—a fine illustration of the wholesome influence of your faith upon its devout adherence.”39
Soon thereafter, DeMille was selected to receive an honorary doctoral degree from Brigham Young University and spoke at the spring commencement exercises on May 31, 1957, following an introduction by President McKay. On that occasion, McKay said of his dear friend, “I have never felt the joy in introducing a speaker to an audience that I experience at this moment in announcing to you, as the Commencement speaker, Mr. Cecil B. deMille.” President McKay added that DeMille was “one of those living light-fountains in whose presence one feels inspired and uplifted.” McKay felt his famed friend’s greatness was “not only in his ability to choose the right . . . but also because of his soul, his faith in God, his confidence in his fellow men,” adding, “I love him because of his nobility.”40
DeMille then spent the bulk of his well-prepared speech41 on the importance of law and keeping the Ten Commandments, a theme apparent in his landmark film, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards and which he produced, directed, and narrated. He also spoke of his friend President McKay: “One of the most valued friendships that I have [is] the friendship of a man who combines wisdom and warmth of heart. . . . I have known many members of your Church . . . but David O. McKay embodies, more than anyone that I have ever known, the virtues and the drawing-power of your Church.” DeMille then said, “David McKay, almost thou persuadest me to be a Mormon!”42
About six weeks later, McKay sent DeMille a letter with enclosed photographs of the commencement activities of which DeMille had been a part. President McKay noted, “I cherish these pictures as being reminiscent of one of the greatest days in the history of the Brigham Young University. Your Commencement address . . . won and merited the praise of tens of thousands who heard it directly and over radio and television.”43 A week later, DeMille thanked the President for “the touching inscription on the photograph which . . . enshrines forever the memory of that wonderful evening at Brigham Young University.”44
On September 7, 1957, DeMille sent a birthday telegram to McKay: “The world has changed mightily since 1873 [the year of McKay’s birth on September 8], but through all worldly changes the eternal values abide, the faith in God of which your life is a valiant example, the hope that has inspired you, and the love with which you are surrounded on this happy birthday, in which I join with warmest greetings and affection.”45
Four days later, President McKay wrote a letter to DeMille thanking him for his thoughtfulness in sending a birthday greeting, noting, “It was gracious of you to take time to send affectionate greetings. . . . None of the many received gave me more joy.” McKay also wrote, “Among the ‘eternal values’ that direct men’s souls toward the Infinite is the desire to be of service to one’s fellowmen. You have demonstrated that you possess this virtue in rich abundance. May God’s choicest blessings be your reward! For your graciousness and friendship I am deeply grateful.”46
As the year drew to a close, President McKay and his wife, Emma Rae, sent a Western Union telegram on December 29, 1957, to DeMille stating, “YOUR WIRE DELIVERED XMAS DAY IN THE MIDST OF FAMILY FESTIVITIES. . . . MAY THE NEW YEAR BRING YOU RESTORED HEALTH HAPPINESS AND CONTINUED SUCCESS IN YOUR BENEFICIAL SERVICES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF MAKING [MANKIND].”47
The well wishes for a restoration of health were sent due to a recent heart attack DeMille had suffered in Egypt. Six months after the warm holiday wishes sent by DeMille to the McKays, he testified for the right to work before a subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives. On his return to his home in Hollywood, June 18, 1958, he suffered another heart attack, which was more serious than the previous one.48 Llewelyn R. McKay, the second oldest son of President McKay, also sent a Christmas gift in November, a short book he and his father had written this same year titled Christmas Silhouettes: Two Christmas Stories.49 Two months later, on January 21, 1959, DeMille died at his home due to heart failure at the age of seventy-eight; his friend McKay outlived him by a decade, not passing until 1970 at the age of ninety-six.50 On the eve of his passing, DeMille discussed with his granddaughter their family and God, whom Cecil described as “the mind of the universe.”51 While on his deathbed, DeMille had marked various passages in his Bible, including Psalm 121:1: “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills; from whence cometh my help?”52
On the day of DeMille’s death, McKay’s diary notes, “Received word of the passing of Cecil B. DeMille . . . a friend for many years, and I held him in the highest esteem.” In addition, he sent a telegram to the DeMille family stating that Mr. DeMille “merits the welcome, ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the rest prepared for the just.[’] Heartfelt condolence to his bereaved Loved Ones.”53 A Deseret News reporter called at McKay’s office that same day to request a statement on his friend’s passing. President McKay stated, “I am deeply grieved. He was a great man, fearless in the defense of what he considered to be right. I consider him the greatest leader in the motion picture business, really a world benefactor. He was a man of high ideals. This was demonstrated in his strenuous fight a few years ago for the right to work. I was proud to be counted among his friends.”54
A few days after the passing of DeMille, President McKay received a letter from the Paramount Pictures Corporation notifying him of a gift that would soon be coming—“an especially bound copy of the screenplay for THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.” President McKay learned that there were just twenty-five of these works printed and only nineteen of them were inscribed, one of which was McKay’s.55 Soon thereafter, the gift arrived, and President McKay expressed in his diary his delight at receiving one of only nineteen bound inscribed screenplays and described “the beautiful book with my name imprinted in gold.” He added, “So genuine is my affection for this great man that I feel honored to have my posterity know that, in part at least, he reciprocated my friendship.”56
Such a special, inscribed gift seemed fitting, since DeMille had spent years trying to produce a moving piece to hold up God’s law, engraved on stone tablets, while President McKay had spent a lifetime trying to etch spirituality in the Latter-day Saints and the good people of the earth. Like David O. McKay, Cecil B. DeMille spent his life filled with a desire and unique ability to lift his fellowman via his extraordinary gifts. Donald Hayne, his close associate and editorial assistant to his autobiographical work, wrote on the night before his funeral, “He was a man of unquenchable faith and hope and a courageous heart. . . . He was a man of vision.”57 James Vincent D’Arc, who was well acquainted with DeMille’s Autobiography and wrote part of his dissertation on the creation of this work, noted:
According to his close associates, DeMille was not the crassly commercial purveyor of sex and redemption that many critics of his films have written of him. His creation, early in life, of the Champion Driver—“the Robin Hood whose Sherwood Forest was the world”—who fought against the forces of evil, was sincerely felt. Whether as a child jousting artichokes in his mother’s garden in acting out the chivalry of his Champion Driver, or later in life showing Moses in glorious Technicolor uttering God’s retribution to an unrepentant Ramses, DeMille’s deeply rooted values espoused by his minister-playwright father spoke to generations of eager moviegoers. “He sold the same message as the great illustrator Norman Rockwell,” wrote DeMille screenwriter Jesse Lasky, Jr., and son of his former partner, “by using Babylon instead of the small-town drugstore.”58
Both David O. McKay and Cecil B. DeMille had a great impact on their generation. President McKay wore out his life building what he believed to be God’s kingdom on earth. While DeMille spent most of his life in the flash and pomp of Hollywood, he never seemed sullied by it.
Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles discussed the influence of such good people: “The Lord’s Work has need of auxiliaries outside as well as inside, to help it along. Because of their worldly influence—which would depart if they connected themselves with the Church—many are kept where they are, where the Lord has placed them, and can best use them for the good of all.”59 DeMille certainly seems to fit into this category.
Because of the laws both DeMille and McKay lived, they were both considered men of honor, decency, and nobility in their different spheres of society. The genuine friendship of David O. McKay and Cecil B. DeMille was not only unexpected but remarkable, shining a bright light down the corridor of history’s shadows and also yielding a more favorable view of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the midst of the twentieth century.