What's new: Orson F. Whitney as an apostle, historian, and poet

By Kurt Manwaring

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, July 3 2014 5:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Wednesday, July 2 2014 4:13 p.m. MDT

"THE LIFE OF ORSON F. WHITNEY: Historian, Poet Apostle," by Dennis B. Horne, Cedar Fort, $39.99, e-book $9.99, 608 pages (nf)

Orson F. Whitney sprang from prominent pioneer blood. His grandfathers were Newell K. Whitney and Heber C. Kimball. This lineage alone might lead one to suppose Orson F. Whitney would become a man of exhaustive faith and refreshing boldness.

While he would come to be recognized for these qualities, Whitney’s life was also a complicated one. Much like those who seek truth today, he faced the turmoil and self-doubt of one whose path to discipleship was not easy.

His life as presented in “The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle,” shows Whitney as a very human and relatable man. His own words often identify his struggles with self-confidence, receiving assurance of his worth and calling from the Lord, and moving forward in faith.

The same man whose pursuit of purpose led him to declare that “for several years (before serving a mission), nothing seemed to prosper with me,” would later share a vision of the Savior in Gethsemane that softened the hard-hearted and melted those whose hearts yearned to hear testimony of such beautiful truth.

With support from others, he would become an accomplished writer. Within the church, he would become an apostle and assistant church historian of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Whitney was a fervent defender of truth whatever its source. “Truth is truth,” he believed, “where’er ‘tis found, On Christian or on heathen ground.”

“The Life of Orson Whitney” is the story of a truth-seeker relevant to truth-seekers today.

Author Dennis B. Horne is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and he has published several doctrinal and biographical works over the past 15 years. Some of his other biographical works include examinations of the lives of Elder Bruce R. McConkie, President Lorenzo Snow and Elder Abraham H. Cannon.

Now, Horne opens the challenges, faith, talents and life of Whitney.

Kurt Manwaring is a consultant who lives in Taylorsville. He loves the gospel and church history and maintains a personal blog at kurtsperspective.blogspot.com. Email: kman801@gmail.com.

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