Preston Nibley

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Preston Nibley (May 26, 1884 – 1965) was an American religious leader in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and wrote several books on the church, including several pieces of devotional literature.


Nibley was a son of Charles W. Nibley and one of his wives, the former Ellen Ricks. Nibley was born in Logan, Utah Territory.[1] From 1903 to 1906 he served as a Church missionary in the German Empire, including eighteen months as president of the Berlin Conference.

Nibley accompanied Joseph F. Smith on his 1906 trip to Nauvoo, Illinois, where Smith told him of having seen one of the Joseph Smith Papyri rolled out in the Mansion House.

From 1906 to 1907, Nibley was a student at the University of Chicago. He then returned to Logan, Utah, and in 1908 he married Anna Parkinson, with whom he had three children. They moved to Salt Lake City in 1911, where he became involved in real estate and manufacturing.

Nibley served as corresponding secretary of the Utah State Historical Society around 1920.

Church service

In 1919, Nibley was appointed as a member of the general board of the church's Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association.

From 1937 to 1940, Nibley served as president of the Northwestern States Mission. Shortly after becoming mission president in 1937, he counseled Church members in Eugene, Oregon, to begin building a chapel. Nibley was succeeded as mission president by Nicholas G. Smith.

During 1957 to 1963, Nibley served as an Assistant Church Historian under Joseph Fielding Smith.[2]

Published work

Brother Nibley wrote Brigham Young: The Man and His Work (originally published in 1936), as well as a collection of stories on the presidents of the LDS Church and a collection of missionary experiences. He also edited and published an edition of Lucy Mack Smith's The History of Joseph Smith by His Mother.

Among many other works, Nibley compiled some of the writings and sermons of George Albert Smith which were then published under the title Sharing the Gospel with Others.


  1. "NIBLEY, Preston," in Latter-day Saint Biographical Encyclopedia, by Andrew Jenson, volume III, page 686 (Salt Lake City, Utah: Andrew Jenson History Company, 1920) [1]
  2. Leonard J. Arrington, "The Search for Truth and Meaning in Mormon History," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (1968) vol. 3, issue 2, p. 66 [2]