Church Historian and Recorder
Church Historian and Recorder, shortened to Church Historian, is a priesthood calling in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. From the time of Joseph Smith, the Church Historian has kept records and prepared a church history. Oliver Cowdery, the first to fill this position, recorded minutes of meetings, patriarchal blessings, membership information, priesthood ordinations, and kept a narrative church history.
Currently, the role of the Church Historian and Recorder is to keep an accurate and comprehensive record of the Church and its activities. His office gathers history sources and preserves records, ordinances, minutes, revelations, procedures, and other documents. The Church Historian and Recorder also chairs the Historic Sites Committee and Records Management Committee, and may act as an authoritative voice of the church in historical matters.
The office of the Church Historian and Recorder is known as the Church History Department. Often Church Historians and Recorders have been assisted by Assistant Church Historians, including John Jaques, Charles W. Penrose, Orson F. Whitney, A. Milton Musser, B. H. Roberts, A. William Lund, Junius F. Wells, Preston Nibley, Earl E. Olson.
From 1835 to 1842 the office of Church Historian was separate from Church Recorder. From 1989 to 2005, there were Executive Directors of the Historical Department. These men stood in for the Church Historian and were sometimes referred to with that title.
Following Oliver Cowdery, other Church Historians have been John Whitmer, John Corrill, Elias Higbee, Willard Richards, George A. Smith, Albert Carrington, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, Franklin D. Richards, Andrew Jenson, Anthon H. Lund, Joseph Fielding Smith, Howard W. Hunter, Leonard J. Arrington, G. Homer Durham, Dean L. Larsen, Marlin K. Jensen, Steven E. Snow, and LeGrand R. Curtis Jr..