John S. Tanner (Mormon)

John S. Tanner (Mormon)

John S. Tanner (born 1950) is the current Academic Vice President of Brigham Young University (BYU). Tanner is the husband of Susan W. Tanner, a former general president of the Young Women organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.


John Tanner grew up in southern California, one of 13 children. He served an LDS mission in Brazil. [ Academic Vice President Biographical Sketch: John S. Tanner] ,, accessed 2008-02-22.] Tanner received his bachelor's degree in 1974 from BYU. This same year he married Susan. He then began studies at the University of California at Berkley where he received his Ph.D. in 1980.

Tanner began his academic career as an assistant professor at Florida State University. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. [ [ “Susan Winder Tanner Young Women General President,”] "Ensign", Nov. 2002, p. 123.] Tanner became a member of the BYU faculty in 1982. [ [ Mormon Literature & Creative Arts: John S. Tanner] ,, accessed 2008-02-22.] Tanner has focused much of his studies on John Milton. He wrote a book entitled "Anxiety in Eden" that received the Best Book Award from the Milton Society of America in 1992. Tanner was also a contributor to the "Encyclopedia of Mormonism". Tanner's article "The Body as a Blessing" ("Ensign", July 1993) has even been quoted in General Conference, however the quoting was done by his wife. [ [ "Ensign", November 1995, p. 13] ]

From 1992 to 1998 Tanner was the Associate Academic Vice President for Undergraduate and International Education at BYU. In this capacity he developed the Freshman Academy program to better transition new freshmen into BYU. He was also involved with developing BYU's current policy on academic freedom. Tanner also oversaw changes in BYU's General Education requirements, including a reduction in the Physical Education requirement. ["LDS Church News", May 13th, 1995]

In 2001 Paul Y. Hoskisson edited a volumne entitled "Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures" which included a chapted by Tanner entitled "The World and the Word: History, Literature and Scipture".

From 1998 to 2003 Tanner served as the chair of the BYU English Department. In 2004 he was made the Academic Vice President of BYU. In this position Tanner normally announces changes in the administration under him. ["LDS Church News", January 5, 2008.]

Tanner has served as both a bishop of the BYU 111th Ward. [ [ - Liahona Article - Reflections on the Sacrament Prayers ] ] He has also served as a stake president in the LDS Church.


Tanner wrote the words to "Bless Our Fast We Pray", which is hymn # 138 in the 1985 English-language edition of the LDS Church hymnal. Tanner also wrote a "Sacrament Sonnet" that was published in "The Ensign" in 1981. [ [ Poetry] "Ensign", Sep. 1981, p. 5.]

Tanner was also involved with putting to music "Nephi's Psalm," a chapter [ 2 Nephi 4:15-35] in the Book of Mormon. The first one, "I Love the Lord" was written to the tune of "Be Still My Soul" and was sung at the Priesthood Session of the April 2007 General Conference. His other adaption, "Sometimes My Soul," is based on the American folk tune "Poor Wayfaring Stranger." [ Two Hymns Based on Nephi's Psalm] Tanner also wrote an article in the Ensign on the power of hymns. [ [ Blessings upon Our Heads] "Ensign", February 2004, p. 16]


External links

* [ List of John S. Tanner articles, quotes and other references at]

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