Ronald Warren Walker (1939 – May 9, 2016) was an American historian of the Latter Day Saint movement and a professor at Brigham Young University (BYU) and president of the Mormon History Association.

Ronald W. Walker
Ronald Warren Walker

(1939-10-12)October 12, 1939[1]
DiedMay 9, 2016(2016-05-09) (aged 76)[1]
EducationBrigham Young University (B.S., M.A.)
Stanford University
University of Utah (PhD)
EmployerBrigham Young University (1980– )
Home townBakersfield, California
Spouse(s)Nelani Midgley Walker


Walker was born in Missoula, Montana,[2] and raised in Iowa and the San Joaquin Valley of California. He graduated from high school in Bakersfield, California.[2]

Walker attended BYU, where he received a bachelor of science in 1961 and a master of arts in 1965.[3][4] He received a master of science from Stanford University in 1968,[2][3][5] and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1977, writing his dissertation on the Godbeites.[6] During his graduate studies, Walker had worked in the Institute of Religion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in southern California and at the University of Utah. He joined the LDS Church Historical Department under Leonard Arrington in 1976.[5] In 1980, he was transferred to BYU to become a professor of history and inaugural member of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History.[3] He would later serve as a senior research fellow at the Smith Institute and acting director of the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies.[5] He was president of the Mormon History Association during 1991–92.[7]

Walker and his wife, Nelani Midgley, had seven children. In the LDS Church, Walker served as a bishop.[8]


Walker was widely published in the field of Mormon history and historian Leonard Arrington called him "one of the church's most sophisticated writers."[5]

The following is a partial list of Walker's writings and publications:

  • Walker, Ronald W. (1977), The Godbeite Protest in the Making of Modern Utah (Ph.D. dissertation)|format= requires |url= (help), Salt Lake City, Utah: Department of History, University of Utah.
  • —— (1998), Wayward Saints: The Godbeites and Brigham Young, Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-02378-1. (Republished by the University of Utah in 2009)
  • Allen, James B.; Walker, Ronald W.; Whittaker, David J. (2000), Studies in Mormon History, 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography, Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-02565-2.
  • Walker, Ronald W.; Whittaker, David J.; Allen, James B. (2001), Mormon History, Urbana, Illinois: University of Illinois Press, ISBN 0-252-02619-5.
  • —— (2004), Qualities That Count: Heber J. Grant as Businessman, Missionary and Apostle, 43, BYU Studies, ISBN 0-8425-2550-5.
  • Neilson, Reid L.; Walker, Ronald W., eds. (2006), Reflections of a Mormon Historian: Leonard J. Arrington on the New Mormon History, Norman, Oklahoma: Arthur H. Clark, ISBN 0870623486.
  • Walker, Ronald W.; Turley, Richard E., Jr.; Leonard, Glen M. (2008), Massacre at Mountain Meadows, Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-516034-5.
  • Turley, Richard E., Jr.; Walker, Ronald W., eds. (2009), Mountain Meadows Massacre: The Andrew Jenson and David H. Morris Collections, Provo, Utah: BYU Press, ISBN 978-0-8425-2723-1.


  1. ^ a b "Ronald Warren Walker".
  2. ^ a b c Walker, Ronald W. (September 7, 2001), The Legacy of Brigham Young Today (Speech, 00:50–01:25), Provo, Utah: BYU Broadcasting, retrieved 2009-12-17
  3. ^ a b c "College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences". Undergraduate Catalog 1997-98. Brigham Young University. 1997. Archived from the original on 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
  4. ^ Richard H. Cracroft (Fall 2008). "Historical Miscellanea". BYU Magazine. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  5. ^ a b c d Leonard Arrington (1998). Adventures of a Church Historian. Urbana: University of Illinois Press. p. 86. ISBN 9780252023811. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  6. ^ "The Godbeite protest in the making of modern Utah / by Ronald Warren Walker". J. Willard Marriott Library & S.J. Quinney Law Library catalogs. University of Utah. Archived from the original on 2012-07-15. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  7. ^ "Past MHA Presidents". Mormon History Association. Archived from the original on 2012-02-13. Retrieved 2009-12-17.
  8. ^ Peggy Fletcher Stack The Salt Lake Tribune (9 May 2016). "Historian Ronald Walker, who wrote with candor and grace about Mountain Meadows and other Mormon moments, dies". The Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 11 May 2016.


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