5 July 2009
President Stephen M. Veazey
Community of Christ
1001 W. Walnut
Independence, MO 64050-3562
Re: Archivist Ron Romig
Dear President Veazey:
Count me, please, as another of those you may have been hearing from lately who owes more than one debt to Ron Romig for his unexcelled knowledge and unfailing courtesy as your church’s archivist.
In the mid-’90s, when I was taking my first steps into church history beyond the Sunday School level, I discovered that your archives held a pamphlet I needed for a project but which I couldn’t get here in Salt Lake City. I don’t know which was more terrifying: knowing what an amateur I was, barely daring to ask a professional for help – or asking for help from (gasp) “those Reorganites.” A photocopy of the pamphlet, accompanied by a friendly note offering additional help if needed, came practically by return mail. I’ve never hesitated since then to ask Ron for help, and I’ve been able to help him a time or two in minor ways as my skills and experience with the LDS church history library have grown.
I know that times must be financially tough for you as for everyone else. I understand that you need to save expenses somewhere. But I wonder whether you really know and appreciate what an asset Ron is to your church and to the heritage we share, for the bridges he builds as well as for the professional services he offers. Once gone elsewhere, Ron’s wisdom and knowledge cannot be easily replaced even when times improve economically.
With sympathy for the realities of your budget, I ask you to reconsider the decision to eliminate Ron’s position as archivist. By retaining his skills and experience, you will be rendering a service of incalculable value to all of us who acknowledge Joseph Smith as the prophet of the Restoration.
If there is anything a cash-strapped outsider can do to help make this possible, do not hesitate to call on me.
Very truly yours,
Ardis E. Parshall