William W. Phelps was closely associated with many key events in the early history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called “a printer unto the church” in D&C 57, and wrote popular hymns like The Spirit of God. According to biographer Bruce A. Van Orden, W. W. Phelps was also a prolific ghostwriter for Joseph Smith.
Bruce R. McConkie served as an apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1972 to 1985. The gospel scholar authored numerous books, including the controversial Mormon Doctrine and expansive Messiah series. He knew the standard works so well that President Henry B. Eyring sometimes wondered, “Is he quoting the scriptures, or are those his own words?”
George D. Watt was the first Latter-day Saint convert baptized in the British Isles. He kept a diary as he crossed the ocean and traveled the pioneer trails on his way to Salt Lake. Watt became indispensable thanks to his expertise with Pitman shorthand, and created the Journal of Discourses. You can now read his 1851 journal, thanks to the efforts of LaJean Purcell Carruth and Ronald G. Watt.
Terryl Givens is the second scholar to publish a book about the life of Eugene England this year. His biography, Stretching the Heavens: The Life of Eugene England and the Crisis of Modern Mormonism complements Kristine Haglund’s intellectual history that includes an account of the correspondence between Eugene England and Bruce R. McConkie.
A new book includes more than 800 pages about the life of Latter-day Saint Scholar Hugh Nibley, including contributions from Dallin H. Oaks, Richard Bushman, and Truman G. Madsen. Hugh Nibley Observed also includes an emotional story about Nibley’s final weeks. In this interview, editor Jeffrey Bradshaw discusses the landmark Hugh Nibley book.
Val Holley is the author of Frank J. Cannon: Saint, Senator, Scoundrel (University of Utah Press, 2021). The book adds to the ongoing University of Utah collection of Utah-focused historical content, such as Nels Anderson’s World War I Diary.