Hugh Nibley a scholar from early age

by | Jan. 29, 2010

Mormons We Know

Most people wouldn't be surprised to learn Hugh Nibley was an extraordinary scholar, even at an early age. But some might be surprised, and amused, to learn what daughter Zina Nibley Petersen said he didn't know.

Petersen, Nibley's youngest daughter, presented on his early education as part of the weekly Hugh Nibley lecture series taking place at BYU to commemorate what would been his hundredth birthday.

Petersen said that she's been asked many times how her father became the renowned LDS apologist that the academic community revered.

"He had defensive armor against trivialities," said Petersen.

But Nibley wasn't always prepared for what the world threw at him, such as the first day of kindergarten.

Petersen recalled her father sharing that on the first day, his mother asked the milkman to see him safely to school. But when the principal, an austere, authoritative man, came strolling toward young Hugh, he ran all the way home and flung himself into his mother's arms to "escape the retribution of authority."

Soon, however, Nibley came to excel.

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