Sunday, February 14, 2010

Uncommon Man

It’s been five years ago this month that Hugh Nibley died at age 94.

“Who is he?” you say. “And why should I care?”

I am sad if you really said that.

Hugh Nibley was *only* an intellectual genius!!

One afternoon back in 1967, I was on BYU campus with The Knight. He took me upstairs in the Joseph Smith Memorial building to look at the office door that had the name of Hugh Nibley on it. We gazed at the name and the door with tremendous awe. (In today’s vernacular: WHOA!!!!!) Even back then, Hugh Nibley was practically a household word among Latter-day Saints because of his scholarly articles published in Church Magazines.

And then, as we stood there regarding the door with awe-struck reverence, suddenly an elf-like man with a twinkle in his eyes and a knowing smile on his face emerged. He greeted us in a friendly fashion and went on his way. (WHOA!!!!!!! AGAIN.) I think we were still breathless for a full five minutes after he vanished. There was no pretension whatsoever in the man.

Hugh Nibley was also a man of faith and uncommon obedience.

Don Norton (who taught one of the seminars I took while I was doing Degrees by Independent Studies) talked in class about his friend Hugh Nibley. Don wrote the Foreword to Nibley’s Approaching Zion (Volume 9 of the Collected Works). If I recall correctly, it was Don Norton who told us that Hugh Nibley refused to accept any money from the sale of his books and instead gave the money away (to charitable causes). Nibley chose to live the law of consecration in his life.

And for that, Hugh Nibley is my hero.

If anything, I stand more in awe of him today than I did in 1967.

Which of his books have you read?

I plan on reading Eloquent Witness (vol. 17) soon.



Rebecca said...

i have heard his name many times - I have not read any of his books

maybe i will

Anonymous said...

Awesome! I have heard mention of him many, many times! I haven't read any of his books, but I probably should add them to the invisible list I am making of things to do before I die. :)

leafhopper said...

We own a copy of Approaching Zion, but I have yet to read it. I guess I should find it and crack it open. I believe it belongs to Chris.