Jay A. Parry: Mormon Author

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Jay A. Parry Mormon Author

Jay A. Perry is an author and editor. As he notes in his Amazon blog, “I have written, coauthored, or compiled three dozen books. These books have ranged in subject matter from American history to child rearing to trivia to biblical scholarship.”[1]

Parry was born on October 12, 1950, in Nampa, Idaho, to Atwell and Elaine Parry. He attended Ricks College (now Brigham Young University-Idaho) and was an editor of Runes, a literary magazine at the college. After serving a mission in Texas from 1970 to 1972, he earned his bachelor’s degree in English at Brigham Young University. He worked as a proofreader and copy editor at BYU Press while he was a student. He then worked as an associate editor for the Ensign magazine, a publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, of which he is a member. Parry also worked for the Church-owned Deseret Book as a senior editor, from 1994 to 2008, and in the Church History Department beginning in 2010. He has also worked as a freelance editor.

Beginning in 1985, Parry wrote and edited for publications of the National Center for Constitutional Studies, a non-profit constitutionalist organization founded by W. Cleon Skousen. While employed at NCCS, he co-authored a biography of U.S. President George Washington. The Real George Washington, written in 1991, gained popularity in 2008 after political commentator Glenn Beck frequently recommended it.

Parry co-wrote a series of books with his brother scholar Donald W. Parry, such as Understanding Isaiah, Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ, and Understanding the Book of Revelation. With Linda Ririe Gundry and Jack M. Lyon, he compiled Best-Loved Poems of the LDS People, Best-Loved Stories of the LDS People, Best-Loved Talks of the LDS People, and Best-Loved Christmas Stories of the LDS People. He wrote Everyday Answers: True Stories About God’s Presence in Our Lives, Everyday Heroes: True Stories of Ordinary People Who Made a Difference, and Everyday Miracles: True Stories About God’s Hand in Our Lives. In 2013, he published "Back to First Principles”: A Conversation with George Washington.

His successful book The Santa Claus Book was published under the pseudonym Alden Perkes and earned him an interview with Joan Lunden on Good Morning America. He also wrote under the pen names Joanna Benton and Marshall Stringer. He has written numerous articles, poems, children’s books, and nonfiction books on Church-related subjects. He has also been a popular speaker at BYU Education Week and firesides.

Parry served in the U. S. Air National Guard from 1972 to 1979. He and his wife, Vicki, are the parents of seven children.