Karen Lynn Davidson

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Karen Lynn Davidson was an educator, hymnwriter, historian, and literary critic. She was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Karen was born in 1943 in Glendale, California. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in English literature from Brigham Young University and her PhD, with an emphasis in medieval literature, from the University of Southern California. She did post-doctoral research as a fellow at the Cambridge University in England and the University of Chicago.

She was a member of the BYU English faculty for nine years and Honors Program Director. Karen also taught at USC, Long Beach City College, Pasadena City College, and the Mayfield Academy.

As an accomplished violinist and violist, she was concertmaster of the BYU Philharmonic Orchestra, Pasadena Community Orchestra, and Rio Hondo Symphony in California. She also played with the Orchestra at Temple Square.

The Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1985 book) includes two hymns written by Davidson: “Each Life That Touches Ours for Good” and “O Savior, Thou Who Wearest a Crown.” She served on the General Music Committee of the Church of Jesus Christ and is the author of Our Latter-day Hymns: The Stories and the Messages. She also contributed a hymn to the 1981 Reorganized (RLDS) Church: “Songs More Brightly Sung.”

Karen authored articles and books, including Thriving on Our Differences. She was co-editor of the Histories Volumes 1 and 2 of The Joseph Smith Papers series, co-authored Eliza: The Life and Faith of Eliza R. Snow with Jill Mulvay Derr, and was co-editor of Eliza R. Snow: The Complete Poetry with Jill Mulvay Derr. Karen served for decades in various stake and ward Relief Society callings and recently on the board of the Mormon Scholars Foundation.

Karen passed away in Salt Lake City on October 14, 2019. Her husband, David A. Davidson, passed away in 2016.