Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Award winning Mormon historian Richard Van Wagoner dies

On a personal note, as recent as this past weekend, I found myself referencing some writings of Richard Van Wagoner while doing family history ("A Book of Mormons").  Virtually everything I've read by him has been memorable, and enhanced my understanding and influenced my evaluation of Mormon history.  He approached Mormon history courageously, not shying away from difficult areas -- always doing so honestly with solid scholarship.
I appreciated the opportunity to meet him at a study group several years ago.  His speaking ability and commanding knowledge of history was amazing.

I understand he has written a draft of a book dealing with the New York era of Joseph Smith's life.  I look forward to its publication.
Below are excerpts of  Acclaimed Utah, Mormon church historian dies, Standard.net

A Utah clinical audiologist whose work chronicling Utah and Mormon church history earned him awards and acclaim has died.
Richard S. Van Wagoner died unexpectedly Sunday at his home in Lehi. He was 64.
An official cause of death was not immediately available.
As a historian and author, Van Wagoner was widely published in journals chronicling the history of Utah and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including the Utah Historical Quarterly, Dialogue and Sunstone.
Van Wagoner was best known for his books "Mormon Polygamy: A History" and "Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess."
Van Wagoner is survived by four children, 11 grandchildren and 1 great-granddaughter.

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