R. Lanier Britsch

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R. Lanier Britsch is an emeritus professor of history at Brigham Young University, where, for a time, he directed the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies. He also served as the academic vice president of Brigham Young University-Hawaii from 1986 to 1990.

He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from BYU, and earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University.

A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Britsch served two missions in the Hawaiian islands, the first as a young man, the second as a senior missionary assigned to help document the history of the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Among his publications are Unto the Islands of the Sea: A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Pacific (1986); Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai’i (1991); From the East: The History of the Latter-day Saints in Asia, 1851-1996 (1998); Nothing More Heroic: The Compelling Story of the First Latter-day Saint Missionaries in India (1999); Unto Every Nation: Gospel Light Reaches Every Land (with Donald Q. Cannon, Richard O. Cowan, David F. Boone, and Fred E. Woods); and Counseling: A Guide to Helping Others (1983; with Terrance D. Olson).

He and his wife JoAnn Murphy Britsch had six children; she died in 2005. Britsch married Shirley McKay in 2006. Both his father, Ralph A. Britsch, and his brother, Todd Britsch, were also professors at BYU (his brother was also academic vice president).