James Talmage, B.H. Roberts, and Confessional History in a Secular Age
Standing Apart : Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostasy
Oxford, New York
Oxford University Press
Talmage and Roberts were both important ecclesiastical figures at the turn of the twentieth century, among the highest leaders of the church. Their works were thus hugely influential at the time and remain so today...[Their] books also fall chronologically into an uneasy period in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in which the discipline of history was still in maturation.
This essay will explore the sorts of stories about the past that Talmage and Roberts were reading, make some observations about the tools they would have found in this material, describe what other American Protestants at the time were thinking about history, and finally show how Roberts and Talmage used these tools to write history that particularly reflected their Mormon beliefs about the nature of God, the church, the past, and history itself. [From the article]