John A. Widstoe, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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John Andreas Widtsoe (Witsø)

Also Known As: "John A. Widtsoe"
Birthdate: (80)
Birthplace: Frøya, Sor-Trondelag, Norway
Death: November 29, 1952 (80)
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA (Uremia)
Place of Burial: Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John Andersen Witsø and Anna Karine Pedersdatter Witsø
Husband of Leah Eudora Widtsoe
Father of Anna Gaarden Widtsoe; John Andreas Widtsoe; Karl Marselius Widtsoe; Mark Adriel Widtsoe; Helen Widtsoe and 2 others
Brother of Asbjørn (Osborn) John Peter J. Widstoe

Managed by: Randy Stebbing
Last Updated:

About John A. Widstoe, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wikipedia Biographical Summary:

"...John Andreas Widtsoe (31 January 1872 – 29 November 1952) was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) from 1921 until his death. Widtsoe was also a noted author, scientist, and academician..."

"...Widtsoe was born on the island of Frøya in Sør-Trøndelag, Norway. At birth his hand was attached to the side of his head but he survived the operation to fix this problem. When Widtsoe was two his family moved to the Norwegian mainland city of Namsos. His father, also named John, died in February 1878. This left his mother Anna as a widow with two young sons to take care of: Widtsoe, who was then five, and his little brother Osborne Widtsoe. After this the family moved to Trondheim. Here his mother was introduced to the LDS Church by a shoemaker.

In 1883, Widtsoe immigrated to the United States with his mother and brother. They made it to Utah Territory in mid-November. Widtsoe was baptized a member of the LDS Church the following April..."

"...Widtsoe graduated from Brigham Young College in Logan, Utah. He then attended Harvard University graduating with honors in 1894.[6] He served as the head of the agricultural experiment station at Utah State Agricultural College. He married Leah Dunford, a granddaughter of Brigham Young. She held a degree in home economics and the two of them worked together in extension efforts. He taught farmers better farming skills and she taught their wives how to better utilize what they got from the farm. In 1898, he was ordained to the office of a seventy and set apart to do missionary work in connection with his studies in Europe. He entered the University of Göttingen, Germany, and after applying himself diligently to his studies he graduated from that institution, with the degrees of A. M. Ph.D. in 1899. For part of his time in Europe, Widtsoe lived in Switzerland. The police wanted proof that he and his wife were married, and since they had neglected to bring their wedding license they got married a second time..."

"...For a short time he was a professor of agriculture at BYU, and is arguably the founding father of Brigham Young University's college of biology and agriculture..."

"...For two years in the 1920s Widtsoe lived in Washington, D. C. where he supervised the reorganization of the Federal Bureau of Reclamation..."

"...In 1923 Widtsoe accompanied Reed Smoot on a journey to Great Britain and the Scandinavian countries, during which they secured recognition and opened the way for missionaries of the church to return to these lands..."

"...Widtsoe married Leah Dunford, a daughter of Susa Young Gates, who was a daughter of Brigham Young. Widtsoe worked closely with his wife and mother-in-law in their writing of a biography of Brigham Young. It is this relationship that caused Widtsoe to complete a book on the teachings of Brigham Young..."

"...Widtsoe also wrote A Rational Theology as Taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which has been cited by later LDS authors such as J. Reuben Clark. Another book of Widtsoe's was Evidences and Reconciliations, which was actually a compilation of his Improvement Era writings, which were his answers to the questions on matters of faith he received most often.[20] In this work, Widtsoe admits that there are multiple interpretations that Latter-day Saints can hold on issues. One example is his explanation of the creation of the earth: he points out that faithful Latter-day Saints hold the six-day, six-thousand years, and undefined-period interpretations of the creation. Although he gives by far the most space to the explanation of the unknown-period interpretation, he does not rigidly contest for any of these interpretations..."

"...Widtsoe died in Salt Lake City, Utah, of uremia; he also had prostate cancer for a number of years before his death. He was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery..."

SOURCE: Wikipedia contributors, 'John A. Widtsoe', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 February 2012, 04:35 UTC, <> [accessed 17 June 2012]

  • Residence: Logan Ward 5, Cache, Utah, United States - 1910
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John A. Widstoe, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints's Timeline

January 31, 1872
Frøya, Sor-Trondelag, Norway
April 23, 1899
Age 27
Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
April 8, 1901
Age 29
Logan, Cache County, UT, USA
November 27, 1902
Age 30
Logan, Cache County, Utah, United States
May 18, 1904
Age 32
Logan, Cache County, UT, USA
August 22, 1907
Age 35
Logan, Cache County, UT, USA
November 15, 1909
Age 37
Logan, Cache County, UT, USA
July 4, 1912
Age 40
Logan, Cache County, Utah, United States
November 29, 1952
Age 80
Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, UT, USA