A Small Tribute to Truman G. Madsen

I meant to do this back in May for the year anniversary of Madsen’s passing (May 28, 2009), but late is better than never. I grew up with long family vacations, often these were to historical sites related to the Church, and without fail, a staple of those trips were Truman G. Madsen’s lectures on Joseph Smith. I can still remember at 3 or 4 a.m. while one of my parents took turns driving, laying down on the floor of our large van and listening to Madsen talk of the First Vision. (See J. Stapley’s review of the Illustrated version of his book based on some of those lectures.) Those lectures early on piqued an interest in me, a hunger, which has yet to be sated, and which I hope never will be.

When we were first married, my wife and I lived in the Sharon East Stake where Madsen was the stake patriarch. For all the bravado with which I undertook to beat a path to Nibley’s door, I never mustered up the nerve to call Madsen up or visit him. And it’s one of my great regrets.

Before we left that ward, at a March 2008 Stake Conference, Madsen spoke. I was unprepared, but wanted to capture what he said, so I borrowed a pen and wrestled some scraps of paper from my wife (I seem to have misplaced them by now) and did my best. Late last year I found these notes in my files and typed them out and I’ll share them here with you–not by way of advocating his points but as a historical document and as a small tribute to him. Enjoy.

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