Lynn M. Hilton

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Lynn Mathers Hilton
District President over Egypt and Sudan
Utah House of Representatives, District 4
In office
Political party Republican
Military career
1943–1945 (World War II)
Service/branch United States Army Air Forces
Rank Second Lieutenant (as pilot of a B-24 bomber)
First Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve (until 1955)
Personal details
Born (1924-11-03) 3 November 1924 (age 93)
Thatcher, Arizona
Home town Berkeley and Oakland, California
Education Ph.D. in Educational Administration
Alma mater University of Chicago
University of Utah
Employer Brigham Young University
Spouse(s) Annalee Hope Avarell (1948–1999)
Nancy Goldberg (m. 2001)
Children Cynthia, Polly, Sheree, Ralph, and Spencer

Lynn M. Hilton (born 3 November 1924) was a member of the Utah State Legislature, an education professor, a businessman, Middle East explorer and an author of many LDS/Mormon books.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Hilton was born in Thatcher, Arizona, to Eugene Hilton (1889–1982) and Ruth Naomi Savage (1891–1969, granddaughter of Levi Savage Jr.).[2] He was raised in Berkeley and Oakland, California.[3] He served as a pilot on a B-24 bomber in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II. After leaving the Army at the end of the war, Hilton served as a missionary (1945–47) for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in the church's New England Mission.[4]

Hilton earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees at the University of Utah; and a Ph.D. in educational administration from the University of Chicago in 1952.


After earning his Ph.D., Hilton became a professor of education at Brigham Young University. He later served as associate dean of continuing education and was the founder of the BYU Salt Lake Center.[5] Also among other things at BYU, Hilton helped to develop the first curriculum for genealogy courses.

Hilton served for one term as a member of the Utah House of Representatives, starting in 1972. In 1974 he ran unsuccessfully as a Republican candidate for the United States Congress.

In 1975 Hilton set up a business drilling wells for water in Egypt. He was also made the District President of the LDS Church over Egypt and Sudan at this time and worked for the four years he was in Egypt to try to get the LDS Church recognized by the Egyptian government.[6]

By appointment of the LDS Church's Ensign magazine, Hilton was called to organize an expedition of discovery to find the trail of the Book of Mormon prophet Lehi and his family. The Book of Mormon says that Lehi's group left from Jerusalem in approximately 600 B.C., traveled through the wilderness to the place called Bountiful, and there built a ship in which they sailed to their promised land of America. This expedition was partly funded by the LDS Church. The results of Hilton's discoveries were first published in the Ensign in the September and October 1976 editions.[7] Hilton wrote two books on this subject, In Search of the Lehi's Trail and Discovering Lehi. His wife, Hope, was co-author of each book. In 2008, Hilton published a DVD entitled Lehi's Trail in Arabia, a slide show and narration.

Hilton's first wife was Annalee Hope Averell; she normally went by Hope. They were married 51 years. They had five children. Hope died in 1999. Two years later he married Nancy Goldberg, a Jewish convert to the LDS Church.[8] Goldberg had been a businesswoman in Dallas, Texas before joining the church in 1996. After this she sold her business and was called on a two-and-a-half year mission to work in the Family History Library. At the Family History Library, Nancy developed a database of Jewish-related resources in the library that earned her an award from the International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies.

Since the Hiltons married in 2001 they have served as missionaries for the LDS Church on five separate occasions. The first one was to Sydney, Australia, where they served as Regional Employment Directors. The second was a mission in LDS Church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The third was ten months in Irbid, Jordan, where Hilton was the branch president of the Irbid, Jordan branch; his wife did humanitarian work for the church. On this third mission, they also served eight months as the Directors of the Family History Center in Athens, Greece. The fourth and fifth missions were in New York and Boston respectively, where they performed family history work.

Hilton also wrote The Kolob Theorem: A Mormon's View of God's Starry Universe[9] and The Pearl of Great Price Concordance. Hilton also served as the editor of The Story of the Salt Lake Stake, the Salt Lake Stake's 125th anniversary history; he did this while serving on the Stake's high council. This work was published in 1972.[10] Hilton also compiled an edition of Levi Savage Jr.'s journal. Hilton is a great-grandson of Savage.

Excommunication of Annalee Skarin[edit]

Hope and Lynn Hilton played a central role in the excommunication of Annalee Skarin—Hope's mother[11] in 1952. They submitted a study they had made of her book, Ye Are Gods, to church Elder and president of the Deseret News, Mark E. Petersen. Elder Petersen gave Annalee the choice of renouncing her writing as the work of Satan, or facing excommunication.[12]


  1. ^ Muir, Leo Joseph (1952). A Century of Mormon Activities in California— Volume 2. Deseret News Press. p. 188. 
  2. ^ "Ruth Naomi Hilton". Retrieved 31 May 2018. 
  3. ^ "Lynn M. Hilton Papers, 1944-2002". Archives West. Retrieved 31 May 2018. 
  4. ^ Hilton, Lynn M. (7 September 2015). Without Purse Or Scrip: Experiences of a Mormon Missionary. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 1516950380. Retrieved 31 May 2018. 
  5. ^ Ernest L. Wilkinson and Leonard J. Arrington, ed. Brigham Young University: The First One Hundred Years (Provo: BYU Press, 1976) p. 719
  6. ^ Kimball, Edward L., Lengthen Your Stride: The Presidency of Spencer W. Kimball. (Lake City: Deseret Book, 2005) p. 139.
  7. ^ Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, “In Search of Lehi’s Trail—Part 1: The Preparation,” Ensign, September 1976, p. 33; Lynn M. and Hope A. Hilton, "In Search of Lehi’s Trail—Part 2: The Journey", Ensign, October 1976, pp. 34–35.
  8. ^ Hilton, Nancy Goldberg (2010). Hilton, Lynn M., ed. My Miracle from God: The True Story of Her Journey from Judaism to the Lord Jesus Christ. Brigham City, Utah: HiltonBooks. ISBN 1475014066. 
  9. ^ Hilton, Lynn M. (1995). The History of LDS Business College and its Parent Institutions 1886-1993. Salt Lake City, Utah: LDS Business College. Retrieved 2009-06-01. 
  10. ^ "Does Your Ward (or Stake) Have a History?", Ensign, January 1976, pp. 84–85.
  11. ^ "Annalee Skarin". Retrieved 29 May 2018. 
  12. ^ Taylor, Samuel (April 1991). "The Puzzle of Annalee Skarin: Was She Translated Correctly?" (PDF). Sunstone: 42–46. 

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