Now Available!

“The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle” is now available in stores (Deseret Book, Seagull, Amazon, Eborn Books, Benchmark Books, etc.) or will be by late June. This book narrates Whitney’s life using his own formerly unpublished autobiographical writings (the first four chapters), and the best and most interesting entries from his diary (spread throughout the rest of the book).

The below should be viewed as something of an errata page, often inserted into finished books by publishers to inform readers of errors that were found too late to be incorporated into the text:

The publisher’s assigned editor made some editorial choices that were contrary to accepted documentary editing practice:

1) In many of the hundreds of cases where I quoted material from Whitney’s diary, the colon I inserted at the end of the wording I used that introduced the diary material was deleted, and replaced with a period. These should have remained colons.

2) The first four chapters of the book are largely made up of previously unpublished autobiographical material written by Whitney himself. I inserted explanatory excerpts from Whitney’s diary into this material using quotation marks, so that readers could differentiate between unpublished autobiographical material and unpublished diary material. The editor removed the quotation marks from the diary material, making this delineation more difficult for readers.

3) I used brackets to change initials in diary entries to full names as per standard procedure: “O[rson] F. Whitney” or “C[harles] W. Stayner”, etc. Many if not most of these brackets were removed by the editor.

This poor editorial procedure was incorporated into the text without my knowledge, and without the knowledge of the editor’s superiors at CFI. They were discovered right before the press deadline date when it was too late to fix them. Therefore, the finished product has the documentary editing errors in it.

Otherwise, the text is solid, sound, and historically accurate. Most readers will not notice the errors, but those with a scholarly background or experience may be annoyed with the departure from standard procedure. My sincere appologies for any annoyance. Be prepared to encounter a remarkably candid and honest and surprising text, filled with contradictions, complexities, inspiration, spirituality, testimony and commitment, and much more; a remarkable life indeed.

Worth more than the wealth of the world

From the Diary of Elder Heber J. Grant, April 9, 1890, summarizing the remarks of Lorenzo Snow to the Twelve in their Quorum meeting:

Prest. Lorenzo Snow spoke to us for an hour and a quarter. His remarks were very interesting indeed. He said that he did not care how much more of this world’s goods his brethren had than he did, but wanted to see them use their means for the building up of the church on the earth. He referred to the abilities that Orson F. Whitney had been blessed with, Said that he thought his talents were worth more than the wealth of the world. It was not reasonable to expect the Lord to bestow every talent on us. We should try and be contented and satisfied with those things which were given us. I do not envy any of my brethren, he said, that have been blessed with greater talents than I have. He said we should all prepare to stand reverses when they come along. The Lord would teach us one and all the lesson of humility. He had done so with the prophets of old. He had done so with brother Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and John Taylor. He referred to an incident in the life of the Prophet Joseph where Brigham had Joseph’s brother William on trial for his misdeeds. Joseph took his brother’s part although he was in the wrong and Brigham submitted to it. Had Brigham Young refused to submit, although he was in the right, to the prophet he, Brigham, would never have been the President of the Church. He said most of the plans of Prests. Smith, Young and Taylor had not been successful and we must not think the Lord would cause us to succeed in all that we undertook.

The Life of Orson F. Whitney


The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle
Dennis B. Horne

A man of miracles. A master of language. A bishop, historian, poet, and prophet. Orson F. Whitney was one of the most influential men and poetic speakers in early Mormonism, receiving commendations from men like Lorenzo Snow, James E. Talmage, and Joseph F. Smith.

Orson F. Whitney led a complicated life. But through struggle and humility, he managed to overcome his obstacles and serve faithfully until the end as an Apostle of the Lord.

Author Dennis B. Horne presents this intricate life story through Whitney’s previously unpublished writings, penned from his first mission to his final conference address. This is the story of the man, told candidly and completely as never before.

Available now!

Product Details
Title: The Life of Orson F. Whitney: Historian, Poet, Apostle
Author: Dennis B. Horne
Hardcover: 608 pages
Publisher: Cedar Fort, Inc.
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Language: English
ISBN-13: 978-1462114313
Price: $39.99

Orson F. Whitney’s diary

From Orson F. Whitney’s diary:

Saturday, April 6, 1889
…Before the meeting commenced Apostle L. Snow came over to where I was sitting and told me he would accept a proposition I made to him some time ago to write an appendix to published autobiography—300 pages print for $1000, and would get his papers ready for me to begin. He thought my terms were reasonable and had no doubt my work would please him.

Saturday, June 8, 1889
Left Salt Lake for Brigham City on a visit to Pres. Lorenzo Snow, who has engaged me to write some supplementary chapters of his history. Arrived at about 9:40 (having departed at 6 am) and after taking breakfast at Sister Minnie J. Snow’s, went across the ranch to a house where Bro. Snow stays, separate and apart from his family. We had a very interesting conversation this day and the three days following, on “the mysteries”. He told me he had never unbossomed himself to mortal man as he had to me, considered me a close friend and a brother. He blessed me the day before [missing text] set [missing text] his history.

Wednesday, June 19, 1889
Several days since I commenced writing the book for Pres. Lorenzo Snow, in the interests of which I visited him at Brigham City recently.

March 17, 1890
Am busy at home, since going out of office, working on Bro. Lorenzo Snow’s biography. Am making rapid progress; have written 18 or 19 chapters in the last three weeks. I hope to finish by conference time.

Thursday, April 3, 1890
Had an interview with Pres. L. Snow at his daughters, Sister Dunford’s; he cordially renewed his invitation to me to visit Brigham City after conference and paid me $250 on acct, leaving $200 still due for my labor on his book after completion.

Friday, May 9, 1890
Left for Brigham City with my little son Horace, [carrying] the manuscript of “Later Leaves of the Life of Lorenzo Snow”—finished and ready for his inspection.

Examine the Life of Lorenzo Snow


Examine the life of a pivotal prophet through the eyes of those who knew him best. This one-of-a-kind look at Lorenzo Snow includes extensive text written by Orson F. Whitney, for a contemporary perspective you won’t find anywhere else. Fascinating and informative, this well-researched volume is the definitive work on the prophet who brought our church into the twentieth century.

Available now! Find out more…