Joseph M. Tanner

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Joseph M. Tanner served in several prominent capacities in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He wrote for the Improvement Era and penned books and manuals for the Church. He was the second Commissioner of Church Education (1901-1906) and served concurrently in the general superintendency of the Deseret Sunday School Union. As a young missionary, he accompanied Jacob Spori to Turkey where they served as the first missionaries there. He also helped organized the first branch of the Church in Palestine.

Tanner was born on March 26, 1859, in Payson, Utah Territory. He attended Brigham Young Academy and from 1887 to 1891, he was the principal of Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah. He was part of the first group of members of the Church to enroll at Harvard University, where he studied law until he had to return to Utah due to poor health. He was president of Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) from 1896 to 1900.

He retired in 1906 and emigrated to Cardston, Alberta, Canada, where he farmed and wrote for the Church. He was considered one of the most gifted teachers and writers in the Church during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.[1] He passed away on August 19, 1927.