This article is the text of a talk given by Leonard J. Arrington at the 1983 Mormon History Association in Omaha, Nebraska. In it, Arrington simply relates a series of observations that he says have come to him while reading the diaries, books, letters, and manuscripts of the early Latter-day Saints. Among these observations are the following: Early converts to the Church found the experience to be a 'freeing experience' from the strict beliefs they formerly held; a sense of humor played an important role in sustaining the Saints in times of difficulty; that apostates from the church were largely persons of talent and sensitivity who had once made a total commitment to Mormonism, and who later felt a guilt about leaving the faith, and sought to purge that guiltby writing about it; and so on. The author wonders if there is not a danger in becoming to fanatically for or against--that hysterical, uncompromising advocates may reverse ground and begin to focus too heavily on shortcomings. Another observation concerns the leaders of the Church: they were great men and women, but they were also human beings. Arrington discusses the human qualitites of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, and observes that his reading of the documents impresses him with the nobleness of the lives of Latter-day Saint men and women--who, despite suffering and anguish, remained faithful. He concludes by stating that in reporting Mormon history, if readers are to have confidence in it, historians must reflect the ambiguities and complexities that are a part of life.