Richard N. Holzapfel

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Richard Charles Neitzel Holzapfel[1] (born 1954)[2] is an American professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University (BYU) and an author on topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), Western and Utah History, and the New Testament.


Holzapfel was born in Blackfoot, Idaho, and moved regularly as a child, due to his father's naval career. In addition to his native state, his family resided in California, Hawaii, and Maine. He attended Castle Park High School (Chula Vista, California) and graduated from York High School (York, Maine) in 1972. Holzapfel served from 1973 to 1975 as a missionary for the LDS Church in Italy and Switzerland.

Holzapfel attended BYU, Hebrew Union College, and the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), receiving B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. degrees respectively, with an emphases in Middle Eastern Studies, Jewish History, Ancient History, American History, and Nineteenth Century American Religious History.

Holzapfel met Jeni Carol Broberg at BYU, and they were married in 1978. A year later their first child, Nate, was born and Holzapfel moved the family to California to pursue graduates studies, completing his doctorate at UC Irvine. While at UC Irvine, he simultaneously worked for the LDS Church's seminary and institute program. His first book, Old Mormon Nauvoo 1839-1846 was released in 1990. He is the author of the state history textbook used in Utah public schools, Utah: A Journey of Discovery.

In 1993, Holzapfel went to BYU as an assistant professor, teaching in the Church History and Doctrine, Ancient Scripture, Honors, and History departments. His courses included World Civilization, Utah History, American Heritage, Doctrine and Covenants, New Testament, and Foundations of the Restoration. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center from 1997 to 1998 and directed the BYU Study Abroad program in Italy and Greece in 2009. Holzapfel has lectured around the United States, and in Brazil, Canada, Cyprus, England, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria.

Holzapfel served as the Publications Director of the Religious Studies Center at BYU from 2006 to 2010, and as editor of the Religious Educator, a quarterly publication from 2000 to 2010. In addition to teaching and filling various committee assignments at BYU, Holzapfel continued a research, writing, and publication agenda. He has written and edited over 45 books and numerous articles.

Holzapfel and his wife reside in Springville, Utah and are the parents of five children. Holzapfel has served in the LDS Church as a bishop,[3] as president of the Alabama Birmingham Mission from 2010 to 2013,[4] and since March 2014, Holzapfel has served as president of the church's Provo Utah YSA 1st Stake.[5]

In 2007, Holzapfel assisted the More Good Foundation in launching, a website intending to bring people closer to Jesus Christ.


Holzapfel has written numerous books, including biographies and various photographic works. Following is a partial list.

  • Within These Prison Walls: Lorenzo Snow's Record Book, 1886-1897 (co-edited with Andrew H. Hedges)
  • Joseph Smith's Prophetic Ministry: A Year-by-Year Look at His Life and Teachings (co-author)
  • He Will Give You Rest: An Invitation and a Promise (with Gaye Strathearn)

Holzapfel also edited, along with Thomas A. Wayment, a three-volume series The Life and Teachings of Jesus Christ.[6]


  1. ^ Holzapfel's middle names are from the Google Book Search entry for his doctoral dissertation. See: "Roman Christianity". Google Book Search. Retrieved 2009-05-19. 
  2. ^ "Brigham Young : images of a Mormon prophet / Richard Neitzel Holzapfel, R....". Copyright Catalog (1978 to present). United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  3. ^ Church News, Feb. 13, 2010.[full citation needed]
  4. ^ "New mission presidents." Church News, July 3, 2010, p. 5
  5. ^ "New stake presidents", Church News, April 26, 2014.
  6. ^ FARMS Review, Vol. 19, issue 1


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