SPEAKING IN A PROPHETIC VEIN: Hugh Nibley as Social Critic

Eugene England has called Hugh Nibley “the finest lay (in contrast to officially called) prophet of the Latter-day Saint people,” and has argued that Nibley “most perceptively describes our sins, most courageously and persistently calls us to repentance, and most accurately predicts our future if we will not repent.” England may be guilty of hyperbole, but most would agree that Hugh Nibley has had a gift for sizing up the spiritual state of society and the ability to call us to repentance in plain but sincere words. It is interesting to discover that he has had this gift since he was a teenager. Further, perhaps there is something for us to learn from Hugh’’s style of criticism: He has never been censured for his sometimes-biting words about the Mormon community. And although his influence has not been universally embraced by the Church, it has been deeply felt by many.

Boyd Petersen, Edgar C. Snow