Sandra Tanner oral history interviews, 1972-1983  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Tanner, Sandra, 1941-
Sandra Tanner oral history interviews
1972-1983 (inclusive)
1 box, (0.5 linear feet)
Collection Number
The Sandra Tanner oral history interviews (1972-1983) is a set of transcripts of interviews with Sandra Tanner conducted by Scott H. Faulring and James V. D'Arc. Tanner, along with her husband, Jerald Tanner, founded the Modern Microfilm Co. in Salt Lake City. Topics discussed in the interviews include Mormon history and doctrine, Jerald Tanner, the Tanner family, Sandra Tanner's writing and other activities, and history of the Modern Microfilm Company. Also included are photocopies of correspondence, photographs, transcripts of converstions discussing Sandra Tanner, and bibliographies of publications. No Photocopying.
University of Utah Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections, J. Willard Marriott Library
University of Utah
295 South 1500 East
Salt Lake City, UT
Telephone: 801-581-8863
Access Restrictions

Twenty-four hour advanced notice encouraged. Materials must be used on-site. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

Sandra McGee Tanner was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, on 14 January 1941. Two years later her parents, Ivan and Georgia Young McGee, moved their family to the San Fernando Valley of California, where Sandra was raised. In her youth, Sandra was very active in activities of the LDS Church (the Mormon Church, or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). She participated in the seminary and institute programs, but in her late teens she began questioning the doctrine and history of the Mormon church. In the spring of 1959, while Sandra was in Salt Lake City, she and her grandmother attended one of Jerald Tanner's religious meetings. Jerald (1938-2006), a church member who had became associated with the Church of Christ-Lukites, a splinter group of the RLDS Church (now the Community of Christ)led by Pauline Hancock, held religious meetings in the evenings during which tape recordings of Pauline Hancock's sermons were played. Two months later, on 14 June1959, Sandra and Jerald were married by a Protestant minister in California. Following her marriage, Sandra requested that her name be removed from the church membership rolls, and formally left the LDS Church. Sandra and Jerald Tanner founded Modern Microfilm Company in order to disseminate information acquired in their research. The name of the company waas later changed to the Utah Lighthouse Ministry.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Sandra Tanner oral history interviews (No Photocopying) were begun in l979 by Scott Faulring to fulfill the requirements for a historical research and writing course at Brigham Young University. At the completion of the project in l983, the tape-recorded interviews, preliminary transcripts, edited transcripts, and the completed project were donated to the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University. Later that year, through the efforts of Dr. Everett Cooley, a copy of the project was placed with the Manuscripts Division at the Marriott Library.

The major part of this project is comprised of ten oral interviews conducted with Sandra Tanner by Faulring from l981-l983. The discussions are chronologically arranged and deal with the history and publications of the Tanner's Modern Microfilm Company.

Additional material accompanying the interviews includes an annotated bibliography of the publications of the Modern Microfilm Company; photocopies of a series of photographs taken at the Tanner home and printing establishment; a selective bibliography of articles on the Tanners and the Modern Microfilm Company; and a number of miscellaneous documents written by Sandra Tanner which detail several episodes in their early history such as their excommunication from the L.D.S. church.

Also included in the collection are several brief interviews including an interview with Sandra Tanner conducted by James Vincent D'Arc; a Sandra Tanner interview conducted by Roger Flick; a Steven Mayfield interview with Scott Faulring; and an interview with Robert Brown conducted by Bill Forrest and Brent Metcalfe.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

No Photocopying.

The library does not claim to control copyright for all materials in the collection. An individual depicted in a reproduction has privacy rights as outlined in Title 45 CFR, part 46 (Protection of Human Subjects). For further information, please review the J. Willard Marriott Library’s Use Agreement and Reproduction Request forms.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Sandra Tanner oral history interviews, MS 0413, Box [ ]. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott Library. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Following Citations: MS 0413.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Volume One: An Oral History of the Modern Microfilm Company, 1959-1982
Contains part one of the interviews conducted by Scott Faulring for a class at Brigham Young University. Topics covered include Sandra's birth and early years, church education classes, meeting with Jerald, readings on church topics and early questions, research, the writing of Mormonism--Shadow or Reality, birth of her children, the writing and publication of several papers, sources, and the reaction of church authorities. Persons discussed include Leonard Arrington, Marvin Hill, Mark Hoffman, Spencer W. Kimball, Ogden Kraut, Michael Marquardt, Steven Mayfield, Hugh Nibley, LaMar Peterson, Mark E. Peterson, D. Michael Quinn, Legrande Richards, B. H. Roberts, Joseph Smith Jr., Joseph Fielding Smith, Samuel W. Taylor, and Wesley Walters. Church political and doctrinal issues include the Book of Abraham, Adam-God, Book of Mormon, BYU spy ring, Ex-Mormons for Jesus, the FBI, first vision, and the question of negros and the priesthood. 265 pages. No Photocopying.
1 2 Volume Two: Transcripts and Bibliography
Contains the second part of the Scott Faulring-Sandra Tanner interviews transcript. Topics include the "Salt Lake City Messenger," Kinderhook, the radio program called "Mormon Miscellaneous," access to church documents, magic, and the Utah Lighthouse Ministry. Persons discussed include Oliver Cowdry, Marvin Hill, Bruce R. McConkie, Dee Jay Nelson, Boyd K. Packer, D. Michael Quinn, Joseph Smith Jr., and Wesley Walters. Church political and doctrinal issues include the Book of Abraham, Anthon transcript, Book of Mormon, BYU Studies, negros and the priesthood, Moody Press, and the 7th East Press. 68 pages.Bibliography of Modern Microfilm Company, 1959-1982. 42 pages.Transcript of an interview with Tanner conducted by James Vincent D'Arc in 1972. Excommunication, church publications, alternatives to Mormonism, personal reflections on Joseph Smith and Mormon doctrines, cultural Mormons. 24 pagesTranscript of conversation between Faulring and Roger C. Flick who knew Sandra Tanner as a young woman. 11 pages.Transcript of a conversation between Steven Mayfield and Scott Faulring in December 1982. Background, interest in anti-Mormon literature, "Stan Fields," the Tanner's book store, working for the FBI, working for the LDS Church genealogical department, the details leading to the publication of the Tanner's "Unmasking a Mormon Spy." 56 pages.Transcript of a 1981 broadcast on KBBX-AM radio (Centerville, Utah) entitled "Mormon Miscellaneous." The radio broadcast features Bill Forrest and Brent Metcalfe interviewing Bob Brown, an active Mormon from Arizona who wrote They Lie in Wait to Deceive. Jerald Tanner calls in to debate Brown. 22 pages.No Photocopying.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Ex-church members--Mormon Church
  • Mormon Church--Controversial literature
  • Mormon Church--History
  • Personal Names :
  • Brown, Robert L.--Interviews (contributor)
  • Fields, Stan--Interviews (contributor)
  • Flick, Roger--Interviews (contributor)
  • Tanner, Jerald, 1938- (contributor)
  • Corporate Names :
  • Modern Microfilm Company (Salt Lake City, Utah)--History
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Bibliographies
  • Correspondence
  • Oral histories