Bruce R. McConkie

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Bruce R. McConkie, former Apostle

Bruce Redd McConkie (July 29, 1915—April 19, 1985) was an influential Apostle of the Church. He is remembered by the many doctrinal books he wrote, such as Mormon Doctrine and The Messiah Series, and for writing the chapter headings for the Standard Works. Mormon Doctrine, published in 1958, was a first attempt to compile the doctrines of the Church into a single, comprehensive volume, and it was solely Elder McConkie's work. However, the tone of the book was extremely authoritative, and though some of the doctrines presented were not approved by the First Presidency, the book was popular and looked upon as authoritative by members of the Church. The First Presidency oversaw revisions to the book, at first reluctant to republish it in any form. New editions were released in 1966 (with a more moderate tone) and 1978 (after the Priesthood was given to all worthy male members of the Church).

He also wrote the words to the hymn "I Believe in Christ" (#134), which was included in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Elder McConkie was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, to Oscar Walter McConkie and Margarat Vivian Redd. During his childhood, he lived in Monticello, Utah; Salt Lake City; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. He attended the University of Utah. While there, he met Amelia Smith. He served a mission to the Eastern States between 1934 and 1936 and participated in the Palmyra Pageant in 1936. He married Amelia, (1916–2005), daughter of Joseph Fielding Smith in 1937, just after they both graduated from the University.[1] McConkie later earned his Juris Doctor degree.

McConkie was called into active duty during World War II. He then worked for a time as a newspaper reporter. He was called to the First Council of the Seventy in 1946, and then to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1972, where he served until his death. He served as mission president in Southern Australia from 1961 to 1964, while a member of the Seventy.

Elder McConkie famously wrote the note "It is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. It is your province to echo what I say or to remain silent."[2] The statement was part of a 10-page letter that was sent to Eugene England in response to a letter and essay he had sent to Elder McConkie.

Elder McConkie died just twelve days after the conclusion of a General Conference, in which he delivered a masterful talk and testimony, titled, The Purifying Power of Gethsemane. Speaking of the Savior, he declared with apostolic knowledge, "I am one of his witnesses, and in a coming day I shall feel the nail marks in his hands and in his feet and shall wet his feet with my tears. But I shall not know any better then than I know now that he is God's Almighty Son, that he is our Savior and Redeemer, and that salvation comes in and through his atoning blood and in no other way."

At Elder McConkie's funeral, President Gordon B. Hinckley was the closing speaker. He said, "I felt like a puppy trying to keep up with McConkie, as he took his long measure steps, so it has been with most of us in keeping up with the stride of his mind in scholarship in the gospel."


  • Bruce R. McConkie bio Wikipedia
  • In Memoriam: Bruce R. McConkie [3]
  • Remembering Bruce R. McConkie [4]
  • Bruce R. McConkie's last conference talk before his death [5]
  • Excerpts from the Bruce R. McConkie Story [6]