Heidi S. Swinton: Mormon Historian

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Heidi S. Swinton Mormon Historian

Heidi S. Swinton is an award-winning author, historian, and screenwriter. She is best known for her biography of Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which she is a member.

Swinton is the author of Sweet Water Rescue: The Willie and Martin Handcart Story and PBS documentaries American Prophet: The Story of Joseph Smith, Sacred Stone: The Temple at Nauvoo, Trail of Hope, and America’s Choir: A Commemorative Portrait of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She also wrote for Music and the Spoken Word and conducted interviews for “Conversations” on the Mormon Channel. The title of her biography of President Monson is To the Rescue: The Biography of Thomas S. Monson. She also wrote biographies of Joseph Anderson, who was secretary to the First Presidency and a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy, and D. Arthur Haycock, who was secretary to five Church presidents. She also authored Something Exraordinary: Celebrating Our Relief Society Sisterhood and Pioneer Spirit.

She has served on the Relief Society General Board, the LDS Church Curriculum Writing Committee for Teachings of the Presidents of the Church and the BYU Women’s Conference Executive Committee. She has also served as vice chair of This is The Place Heritage Park and the Salt Lake City Historical Landmarks Commission. She has co-authored articles on buildings such as the Hotel Utah and the Relief Society Building.

Swinton was born in 1948 in Salt Lake City. She is a graduate of the University of Utah and attended Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. She and her husband, Jeffrey, are the parents of five sons. She served with him when he presided over the England London South Mission from 2006 to 2009. While she served, she wrote a column for Meridian Magazine, an online magazine for members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Swinton and her husband are both descendants of former Church president George A. Smith. She is also a stepdaughter to former Church historian Leonard J. Arrington, with whom she wrote The Hotel: Salt Lake’s Classy Lady, and In the Utah Tradition: A History of the Governor’s Mansion.