It is with sadness that I learned shortly ago that Matthew B. Brown has passed away. He was dealing with complications after a heart failure incident which occurred on September 23rd while he was in the BYU library. He was about 47 years old. He will be sorely missed.
Matt Brown was a well-known scholar, historian, lecturer, and author of LDS temple and gospel studies, and a great influence and inspiration to me, and I’m sure many others. One of his first books, The Gate of Heaven, was one of my first readings that inspired me to learn and study more about the temple, and helped me gain a strong love and testimony of the temple and the restored gospel.
His works include ten major books, many papers and articles in scholarly publications, lectures in a variety of venues, producer of a DVD documentary, and founded an annual gospel-centered symposium, EXPOUND. He wrote two guests posts for this blog, for which I was very grateful – The Lord Speaks Again: Ancient Temple Patterns In D&C 124, and Sanctuary Vesture: A Brief Overview And Comparison. He will be a great asset to the Lord’s work on the other side of the veil.
Memorial services will be held in roughly two weeks to allow his mother, who is in poor health, to attend. His burial is this Saturday. He is survived by his wife Jaimie.
Matt and his wife, Jaimie, didn’t have insurance, and she is now left with large medical bills and burial costs to pay. An account has been set up for donations (100%) to Jaimie on the FAIR website at this link: http://bookstore.fairlds.org/product.php?id_product=1261
Please share your thoughts and memories about Matt Brown in the comments.
I’m sorry to hear the news. I really enjoyed his work.
Matt was a man dedicated to his beliefs and an all-around good guy. He’ll be missed.
I’m devastated by the news! I, too, read “The Gate of Heaven” which changed, expanded, and enlighten my understanding of the temple. From that first book I’ve read hundreds more, but his was the beginning. I ran into him early one saturday morning coming up the myriad of steps under the atrium of the Harold B. Lee library and, there, on the steps, in is total excitement, he told me all about his latest research on ancient veils. I feel lucky to have met him. His death is such a loss. I wonder if his research and faith led him so close to the workings of the temple and the veil that he couldn’t be held back. He, like Hugh Nibley, probably understood and knew things that pretty much very few have known. I extend my heartfelt sympathies to his sweet, red-haired, beautiful wife. I can’t imagine your pain. May God Bless you!
I’ve heard that he and his wife didn’t have insurance, and now his wife has many medical bills to pay. An account has been set up to accept donations for his wife on the FAIR website: http://bookstore.fairlds.org/product.php?id_product=1261
Matthew Brown was an inspiration to me as well. Although I have never commented on this blog before, I have been a reader for several years. I would like to take time now to come out of the shadows for a particularly awesome soul. You will be missed.
I enjoyed his works. Only 47! Way too young for one so talented.
My appreciation of the temple was greatly deepened when I bought and read Matthew Brown’s “Symbols in Stone.” At the time, I kept thinking to myself that the material in the book is so well researched and presented that it could only have been done by someone who had spent many, many years achieving this level of understanding. And now to hear that at his death, Matthew Brown is only a year younger than me. He will be sorely missed.
Matthew Brown was more than just an inspiration to me, his work fueled my own Temple studies and helped me to give my own presentations on the subject. His scholarly efforts deepened my love for the temple and gave me an understanding which has proved to be priceless in my personal temple worship. I look forward to the day that I can personally thank him and perhaps be taught once again by him. I have feasted upon ALL of his publications over the past many years. We are kindred spirits, for his loves have also been mine! I will continue to treasure his research.
I mourn our loss. He was taken before the full measure of his contribution was completed, but I am grateful for what he has left us. I would encourage everyone who thinks themselves converted to the importance of charitable acts as part of their faith to donate to assist his surviving wife and children, for whom this loss brings an added economic weight.
PAUL THOMAS SMITH
Matt Brown was my cousin and a close friend of many years. I am grateful that we were able to co-author Symbols in Stone. I looked forward to his telephone calls and his excitement as he shared his latest findings. His books were written for reasons far greater than simply sharing his prodigious scholarship with the world, and I am convinced that he achieved what he set forth to do. He was a man of great faith and commitment to the Savior, the restored Church, and the Kingdom of God. I will miss him!
Matthew Brown is my favorite author. As mentioned by others, his second book changed my understanding of the temple. It was such a faith promoting publication. I remember sitting in my beach chair consumed by every page. I have read that book over and over again. I actually had the privilege of sitting down with Matthew at BYU just two months ago and discussing his books. He was very gracious with his time and we spoke for over two hours. He spoke with so much passion about the research that he was doing. He was a delight to be around. My deepest sympathies go out to his family. He will be greatly missed
Oh, this is such sad news. I met Matthew several years ago when he was hawking his Joseph Smith book at a Deseret Book. I stopped to comment on something and ended up having an in-depth and fascinating discussion with him. I was impressed with his great mind and have loved his books. I send my condolences to his family. This is a very sad loss.
Matthew was a genuinely kind man, whose incredible scholarship and writing abilities were belied by his unassuming personality. I frequently allude to “Symbols in Stone” when taking the youth to the Temple for a baptism session. It excites them to have something for which to keep an eye out. I asked him to sign a copy of that book for me and he said that it was his most poorly written book. I disagreed then, and now. Better said, if that is true, I would hate to see what he considered his best!!!
The good thing is that at this moment, Matthew knows all the answers to life’s serious questions. If only he could write a book now!!
Good-Bye, our friend. God be with you ’til we meet again.
Such a talented scholar, I really enjoyed reading his work, listening to him speak and for all his contributions he’s given to Mormon Studies. It’s a shame he died so young, I’m sure there was much more we could have learned from him.
The first thing I did when I read this article was to go to Amazon.com to purchase a couple of his books. I have read Symbols in Stone and shared much of the symbolism with classes that I teach. That book is wonderful. If only more people could be focused on the things that matter most. I’m sure he was an example of that. No insurance – my husband died last year and he was adamant about being cremated. He died at home, we dressed him at home (a very sacred experience), and then we followed his wish to be cremated. The total cost (in AZ) was $535. There is no need to be taken in by a funeral director. I know something about loss. I pray the Spirit will be with his family and friends in abundance.
Lionel & Marianne Walters
We met Matthew when he made a presentation at a reunion for Australian descendants of Joseph and Emma in Sydney Australia. He had a deep love for the Prophet Joseph and that came out so beautifully in his presentation. May his sweetheart and other family members treasure the beautiful memories they have.
I was very saddened to hear the news of Matt’s passing. I had the opportunity to visit with Matt just a few weeks ago when he stopped in our store to look for a few books. He was so excited about the project he was currently working on up at BYU. He was smiling from ear to ear as he spoke of all the gospel greats who were working to put together a program to share their knowledge and love of the Book of Mormon. It doesn’t surprise me that he was in the middle of that research when he suffered his attack. We at Seagull Book will miss his smile and his excitement and his love and passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ and his love of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon but mostly we will miss our friend. We send our love and prayers to his wife and family. Thank-you Matt Brown for being such a great man who made our job easy with the wonderful books you gave us.
Very sad to hear about Matt’s passing. I was able to have some great conversations with him at various book signings we shared. He always had great insights to share and was a generous and enthusiastic.
I believe that I have read all of the books that he has written(Ipersonally have most of them.) I am very fussy who I let enter my mind. Brother Brown has been a blessing in my life. I look to him for many of the projects that I am involved in. I will miss him sorely.
October 18, 2011
We as dear friends of Matthew and his lovely amazing wife Jaimie would like to give a tribute that many may not know of Matthew. Anyone who has met Matthew know of his love for the Prophet and of God’s work and this love has carried Matthew to many places and venues. One of those venues was with us, the Joseph Smith Jr Family Organization that would soon expand to become the Joseph Smith Jr and Emma Hale Smith Historical Society.
Matthew was an integral part of our reaching out and gathering of our fellow descendents of Joseph Jr and Emma Hale Smith. My husband, Michael Allan Kennedy, had received a charge in our early years after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The charge given to him was for him to be instrumental in creating opportunities for the posterity of Joseph Smith to be receptive to the teachings of the gospel. Beginning in 2005 Matthew became a very key part of helping us with that mission.
The first time we would gather just our Joseph Jr cousins would be in 2005. Knowing our family to be, for the most part, a people who prefer to remain in obscurity, who did not know Joseph at all, who had been taught he was often in prison, was told he was a fallen prophet, and who had been through so much pain that they felt it safer to remain unknown; a specially designed invitation was made that its reader would not be able to ignore. In our planning meetings we decided that we needed a book, a special book, to carry this very special invitation. Just a few days after our meeting we received a phone call from our cousin Gracia Jones calling us with exciting news, “I have the book!” She had received an autographed book of Matthew’s, “Joseph Smith: The Man, The Mission, The Message. We heard Matthew was giving an overview of some of his research in American Fork so we went there to meet him in person and ask if he would be willing to sign five hundred copies. He did not even flinch even though he knew he would have to have them done in two days because of a previous commitment that was taking him out of town in three. He went to Covenant and signed nearly nonstop taking a day and a night completing them all with his signature of love for Joseph and his children.
Over 500 of these colourful invitations to Joseph’s 200th Birthday Celebration were made and laid inside the cover of Matthew’s personally autographed book. The book with the invitation was mailed to each descendant with faith that all the temple work we performed over the last two decades for the deceased families of the Prophet would enable them to impact the lives of their living posterity, and there would be a great desire to accept the invitation and come to this celebration. And they came, many testifying of impressions and feelings they could not explain but knowing they had to come. After a tour of This is the Place Park we were bused to the BYU campus where we heard Heidi Swinton, Matthew Brown and Ugo Perego speak of their love of Joseph, the respect scholars all around the world have for him, and of his many accomplishments from the First Vision account, the translation of the Gold Plates to the Book of Mormon, how Joseph developed one of the nation’s largest cities and that he was one of America’s highest ranking military officers
We had prepared so these events could be repeated for the almost one third of Joseph and Emma’s descendants living in Australia. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, Matthew Brown who came with us under his own expense shared his in-depth research. He masterfully illustrated the side by side evidence of the flimsy accusations which were greatly outnumbered by the stacks of evidence on Joseph’s side. I’ll never forget his hands raised in animation as he explained beautifully what he had found. This evidence laid flat the falsehoods that had been circulated about Joseph throughout his life and that has been perpetuated even until this day. Many of our families admitted that what they had heard most about Joseph were the negatives and that he had spent a lot of time in jail. After two afternoons of listening to Matthew, they now understood and proudly had their pictures taken in front of the life size banners of Joseph and Emma.
This last July of 2011 Matthew gave of his precious time to come and be with us as we gathered the Joseph Smith Jr family for the fourth time in Independence, MO. Michael knew years ago that the fourth gathering would be centered on Temples and what it means. Once again Matthew masterfully took the family from ancient of days to the time of our Grandfather Joseph Smith. Showing the historical authenticity of temples and why they have always been a part of God’s plan. His eloquence at delivering the vast knowledge he had in a way that even the youngest in our audience could understand and appreciate filled the room. No one moved and all were spell bound. The affect of his teachings and those of his cousin Paul Thomas Smith who shared his teaching on Emma in 2007, will be far reaching for years to come and many generations. At his memorial Paul said that no matter what Matthew was researching, ‘His studies always ended up back to the Temple.’
Matthew, our eyes are wet at your passing, but we know that with your spunk and joy of learning you are now testifying and convincing many of the truthfulness of this work. There is a prophecy that the children of Joseph and Emma will one day come into the church as it were a flood. You have been with us since the beginning and we know with your knowledge of the truth and your love of the gospel the words that came to me during your memorial will truly come to pass. “Matthew will begin the flood!”
We have worked consistently for years to bring about this flood and have what Michael calls “A Leak”, but there are family members on the other side who are held back by false traditions, once they are swept away, they will turn their hearts to their children and the flood we have watched for will begin.
We love you
Darcy and Michael Kennedy
Gracia and Ivor Jones
So sad to that he passed away. His works were excellent and it meant a lot to me. Thank you brother Brown for your great insights and studies that you shared with us.
Am very sorry for the immense lost the family is experiencing. A man of this kalibre does great work and accomplishes much, he surely does even greater work being on the other side of the veil now. May the family be receiving all the needed comfort, as it still is a great loss.
When I attended the last EXPOUND symposium, I signed up for the dinner afterward. There was a miscommunication and my payment had never been received. I was planning on paying Matthew with a check, but he told me to just enjoy dinner and not worry about paying. I objected but he wouldn’t hear of it, just patted me on the shoulder and told me not to worry about it. So hospitable to a virtual stranger.
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“The Temple on Mount Zion” Conference | FAIR Blog
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I have read ,”The Man, The Mission, The Message and absolutely treasure this book. I’ve learned more about Joseph Smith than I ever thought was possible. It breaks my heart that he has left us. What a great blessing it is to so many lives to have these books he wrote through inspiration and love of the Lord. I pray the Lord’s choicest blessings will be with Jaimie and their children. You are in my prayers.