28 May 2009

Truman Madsen Passes Away

This morning Truman G. Madsen passed away at the age of 82 after a battle with bone cancer. He was one of my heroes. I love his lectures and his books. I was honored to have attended one of his lectures while I was at BYU a few years ago. He had a wonderful lecture style that showed his incredible depth and breadth of knowledge. I'll miss his keen insights and his voice; there's something comforting about his voice. I love all of his work, but one that has strengthened and touched me deeply is his biographical series about our modern-day prophets. It is available on CD and as a book. His works about Joseph Smith are wonderful as is his series of philosophical/gospel lectures called, Timeless Questions, Gospel Insights (the link goes to a site where you can purchase the audio lectures digitally {as MP3s}); I've listened to those lectures at least 20 times on cassette. If you haven't read or listened to his works, I highly recommend them. I'll copy en masse what LDS Living wrote about him. You can also read a short biography on his website.
Truman Madsen, well known LDS scholar and educator, died this morning after a long battle with cancer.

Madsen, a grandson of Heber J. Grant, was born in 1926 in Salt Lake City. He developed an interest in his Church heritage at a young age and would eventually become a recognized expert on Joseph Smith and one of the most popular lecturers among Church members on LDS topics.

After serving a mission in Canada and studying at the University of Utah and the University of Southern California, Madsen received his Master of art and PhD in history and philosophy of religion from Harvard University. Part of his legacy includes his work with leaders of other religions to better understand Mormonism.

A prolific author, Madsen has written numerous books, including Eternal Man and Christ and the Inner Life. He contributed to the five-volume Macmillan Encyclopedia of Mormonism and served as an editor for the project.

His most recent project took a similar vein his DVDs called On Sacred Ground, with this series devoted to walks in the Holy Land. The DVDs, called The Eternal Christ, include Madsen’s deep insights into and testimony of the Savior’s life. They are scheduled to be released this summer.

He served in the Church as a bishop, stake president, president of the New England Mission, and executive assistant of the Temple Square visitor’s center. Most recently, he served as the patriarch of the Provo Utah Sharon East Stake. He also served previously as director of the Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

“Truman Madsen mastered the weighty matters, the themes of eternity, in a far-reaching range of interests: philosophy, scriptures, Jerusalem, Joseph Smith, and temples,” said D. Kelly Ogden, a friend and former associate director of the Jerusalem Center. “He has left deep impressions in ‘lives without number,’ in a worldwide context—as a professor, guest lecturer, commentator and writer, as a stake president, a mission president, as director of BYU's Jerusalem Center, and especially in his key roles as husband and father. The legacy of his brilliant mind and fervent spirit will live on for generations to come.”

Peter Johnson, who worked closely with Madsen on several projects, including On Sacred Ground and the upcoming The Eternal Christ, recalled Truman’s unique traits. “One of the things I will always remember is his humor and compassion. Everyone who knew him thought they were his best friend. And that tremendous love just reached out and touched any individual he had dealings with,” he said. “He was such Christ-like man.”

“Truman really is an amazing man," he concluded. "He is one-of-a-kind a man of tremendous intellect combined with faith and testimony. I’m so thankful that I was privileged to spend the intimate creative time that I did with such a profound thinker and man of God.”

Madsen and his wife, Ann Nicholls Madsen, are the parents of four grown children.

1 comment:

LdsNana said...

Truman Madsen will be greatly missed. How wonderful it is, that we have so much of him to continue learning from, through his books, lectures, etc...

tDMg

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