Being Anxiously Engaged


Richard Neitzel Holzapfel

S. Kent BrownProfessor S. Kent Brown retired in August

The prophet joseph smith was on his first historic visit to Jackson County, Missouri, in August 1831 when he heard the voice of the Lord, “Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness” (D&C 58:27). Religious Education faculty members continue to respond to the Lord’s command to be engaged in many good causes beyond their classroom assignments. As we release our second issue of the Religious Education Review, I would like to highlight just a few who are doing so.

Our Religious Education faculty are heavily involved as administrators and contributors in our sister research institutions. For example, Andrew C. Skinner, professor of ancient scripture and former dean of Religious Education, recently completed a term of service as executive director of the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship and as the chair of the Council on Religious Endeavors (CORE) at Brigham Young University.

My past professor and colleague S. Kent Brown retired in August as professor of ancient scripture, director of FARMS, and director of the Laura F. Willes Center for Book of Mormon Studies. For six years he was also the editor of the Journal of Book of Mormon Studies. He has now accepted an assignment to serve as academic coordinator at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies.

Andrew H. Hedges, associate professor of Church history and doctrine, replaces Brown as the editor in chief of the newly expanded Journal of Book of Mormon and Restoration Scripture.

In addition to his work on campus, John B. Stohlton, professor of ancient scripture, has served as executive director of the American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities (AAPICU) since February 1995. The APPICU has about two hundred members who are presidents representing different private colleges and universities, including many sponsored by various religious denominations. Through involvement in this association, Stohlton blesses many lives because he helps with efforts to keep these private institutions independent of government control.

Daniel K JuddDaniel K Judd speaking in the Sunday afternoon session of the October 2007 general conference.

Daniel K Judd, professor of ancient scripture, currently serves as the first counselor in the Church’s general Sunday School presidency.

Elder John M. Madsen, professor emeritus in Church history and doctrine, was called to the Second Quorum of the Seventy in August 1992 before being called to the First Quorum in April 1997.

Many more faculty members serve in significant responsibilities beyond their Religious Education teaching assignments. However, there is one colleague I would like to introduce to you. You may already recognize his distinct baritone voice announcing, “From the Conference Center at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, this is the 178th Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with speakers selected from the General Authorities and general officers of the Church.” That voice belongs to Lloyd D. Newell, an associate professor of Church history and doctrine.

I extend my gratitude for so many people who hearken to the Lord’s gentle command to be “anxiously engaged” because their efforts bless me, the university community, and many more beyond BYU campus.