Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A. Theodore Tuttle Experience

Back in 1980s I took an interesting course at BYU in instructional science. I saw an ad in the Daily Universe that said "How would you like to be in the top ten percent of your class." Being as I was a very mediocre student I said to my self I have got to see this so I went and enrolled in the course. We had such illustrious teachers as Dillon Inouye, Grant Van Harrison, Harvey Black (Susan Easton Black's husband), Monte Shelley (WordPerfect), Adrian VonMonfrans, to name a few. Harvey Black told us that we needed to apprentice ourselves to a master teacher for twenty hours a week for free. I wanted to be a seminar teacher but I didn't know about how to go about being one so I chose Richard O. Cowan, a blind religion teacher. I figured I could learn how to be a great religion teacher from him. I had heard him speak once in the auditorium and found him to be knowledgeable with a good sense of humor. I had an interest in church history and knew he was very good at it so I went over to his office told him I wanted to be his assistant. He was a very gracious man and nice man. He already had a research assistant Richard Holzapfel and part-time student secretary so he said I will have to think about what to do with you. When I came back he assigned me to help him do research on temple work. Within a few months I was working for him and Lamar Berrett. I think Holzapfel graduated and went off to some graduate school.

One day he called me in and told me that he had been asked by A. Theodore Tuttle, a member of the Council of Seventy and then Provo Temple President to compile some articles on temple work. I told Dillon Inouye about the project. He spoke to Homer Ellsworth, one of his friends who was a wealthy doctor in Salt Lake City, who offered to pay to have a compilation on temple work with copies of the articles listed in one volume. Dr. Cowan and I put together a bibliography which was later called by David Whitaker the best to date, even the Parry brothers pirated it later. I spent dozens of hours going to various libraries to copy the articles. Homer Ellsworth paid to have them bound in professional brown leather. He gave them to all the General Authorities as a present. Dr. Cowan and I personally presented a copy to A. Theodore Tuttle. He later sent me a copy of the Holy Temple double signed by himself and Boyd K. Packer. A. Theodore Tuttle died a few months after this so we were fulfilling one of his last few wishes. I loved the man he was a true Saint. Brother Cowan and I commonly did projects for the General Authorities. When day I ran in to Boyd K. Packer when I was coming out of M. Russell Ballard's office. I introduced myself. He said "I know all about you. You work for Richard Cowan. He is one of the good historians and I understand you are like him. He said Richard Cowan is trusted and that you should follow his example."

I became good friends around this time with Larry Ellsworth,Homer's son, who gave me several copies of the Elder's Journal signed by his grandfather German Ellsworth who had been a mission president for over twenty years. It was one of the things that got me moving on my missionary quote book.

1 comment:

staceylea said...

Dr. B.,

I'm a student in the Instructional Psycholgy & Technology department at BYU, which was once the Instructional Sciences department. I came across this blog when I was looking up some things about Dillon Inouye online today. Our department chair just e-mailed a little bit ago and notified us of Dr. Inouye's passing this morning. What a great experience you were able to have as a result of the class you took from him and other great professors once in my department. Thanks for sharing.