Jun 16, 2009

Truman Madsen's passing

Truman Madsen passed away at the end of May. No one called me. I had to read about it in the Church News.

I just want to say for the record that I made Truman Madsen laugh. It's true. When we lived in Israel my husband and I gave talks one Mother's Day. As we were sitting at the front before our turn to speak I looked out at the crowd gathered for that Jerusalem Branch Sacrament Meeting, and there sat Truman Madsen. THE Truman Madsen. LDS scholar and philosopher extraordinaire. I thought, Seriously, I'm giving a talk with Truman Madsen present? Well, that's what I did, and while I was regaling the audience with all the uproarious humor associated with motherhood (or mumbling something incoherent into the microphone), I glanced over at Brother Truman, and he was laughing. I've never been so satisfied when giving a talk.

Here's just a few amazing quotes from this great man...

"'To be or not to be?' That is not the question... The question is not one of being, but one of becoming. 'To become more or not to become more.' This is the question faced by each intelligence in our universe." (Eternal Man, p.31-32)

"Come to him. He turns no penitant one away. Would you, if you had paid so much in suffering? Would you ever give up?" (The Highest in Us, p.6)

"The privilige of attending the house of God is in effect to have our physical beings brought into harmony with our spirit personalities." (The Temple: Where Heaven Meets Earth, p.9)

"In refusing to forgive another, we, in effect, attempt to deny the blessings of the Atonement to that person." (Quoted in The Forgiving Heart by Roderick J. Linton, Ensign, April 1991)

"If 'pray always' means vocally, none of us can. But if 'pray always' includes the kind of prayer that is wordless and from the heart, we are getting closer. And if it means even more that we are to be in the spirit of prayer regardless of what we may be doing [in effect]--living prayerfully--then all of us can." The Highest in Us, p.82)


  1. How cool that you lived in Israel. When was that? I loved the quotes.

  2. Makes me want to know more about Truman Madsen, out here in the mission field so to speak we don't hear so much of these great men.

  3. We lived in Israel from '95 to '97-me, my husband,and 7 kids. It was an amazing experience to say the least.

  4. Great post, Valerie ~

    Truman Madsen was one of my all time favorites too. I can remember once when I was a teen, he and his wife (a writer also) were visiting ward members and my YW leader called & asked me to bring some of my poetry over and Sis. Madsen critiqued it. She was very gracious. LOVED the quotes! Thanks.

  5. Thank you for that great tribute to a great man. I felt sad when i heard the news...and now you have inspired me to catch up on some more of his writings. love the quotes!

  6. Thanks for the quotes. Yes, Truman Madsen is another man who put lots of well-placed effort into gaining knowledge, perfecting it, and projecting it. A great example to follow. There must be rejoicing in heaven when a good man moves on, after proving his worthiness.

    Wouldn't it be wonderful to have people say of us, "You inspired me," or still better, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter in ... ."


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