John S. Tanner (Mormon)
John Sears Tanner (born 1950) is the current president of the Brazil São Paulo South Mission of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS Church). He previously served as Academic Vice President of Brigham Young University (BYU). Tanner is the husband of Susan W. Tanner, a former general president of the LDS Church's Young Women organization.
Tanner grew up in Pasadena, California, one of 13 children of William and Athelia Tanner. He served an LDS mission in Brazil. In 1974, Tanner received a bachelor's degree in 1974 from BYU and married Susan Winder. He then began studies at the University of California at Berkley where he received a Ph.D. in English in 1980.
Tanner began his academic career as an assistant professor at Florida State University. He has also been a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil. Bothered in Florida by the freedom that feminist and atheist colleagues had to speak about their beliefs, while he had to hold his tongue about his, as well as by his wife's homesickness for Utah, Tanner became a member of the BYU faculty in 1982. Tanner has focused much of his studies on John Milton. He wrote a book entitled Anxiety in Eden that received the Best Book Award from the Milton Society of America in 1992. Tanner was also a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.
From 1992 to 1998 Tanner was the Associate Academic Vice President for Undergraduate and International Education at BYU. In this capacity he developed the Freshman Academy program to better transition new freshmen into BYU. He was also involved with developing BYU's current policy on academic freedom. Tanner also oversaw changes in BYU's General Education requirements, including a reduction in the Physical Education requirement. In 2001 Paul Y. Hoskisson edited a volume entitled Historicity and the Latter-day Saint Scriptures which included a chapted by Tanner entitled "The World and the Word: History, Literature and Scripture".
From 1998 to 2003 Tanner served as chair of the BYU English Department. In 2004 he was made the Academic Vice President of BYU.
Tanner composed the University's Educational AIMs (Spiritually Strengthening, Intellectually Enlarging, Character Building, Lifelong Learning and Service).
Tanner wrote the words to "Bless Our Fast We Pray", which is hymn # 138 in the 1985 English-language edition of the LDS Church hymnal. Tanner also wrote a "Sacrament Sonnet" that was published in The Ensign in 1981. 
Tanner was also involved with putting to music "Nephi's Psalm," from a chapter in the Book of Mormon. The first one, "I Love the Lord" was written to the tune of "Be Still My Soul" and was sung at the Priesthood Session of the April 2007 General Conference. His other adaption, "Sometimes My Soul," is based on the American folk tune "Poor Wayfaring Stranger." Tanner also wrote an article in the Ensign on the power of hymns. 
- Academic Vice President Biographical Sketch: John S. Tanner, byu.edu, accessed 2008-02-22.
- “Susan Winder Tanner Young Women General President,” Ensign, Nov. 2002, p. 123.
- Mormon Literature & Creative Arts: John S. Tanner, byu.edu, accessed 2008-02-22.
- Church News, May 13th, 1995
- Church News, Feb. 19, 2011
- Poetry Ensign, Sep. 1981, p. 5.
- http://scriptures.lds.org/2_ne/4 2 Nephi 4:15-35
- http://farms.byu.edu/publications/jbms/?vol=10&num=2&id=253 Two Hymns Based on Nephi's Psalm
- Blessings upon Our Heads Ensign, February 2004, p. 16