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Truman Madsen, well known LDS scholar and educator, died this morning after a long battle with cancer.

Madsen, a grandson of Heber J. Grant (seventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), was born in 1926 in Salt Lake City. He developed an interest in his Church heritage at a young age and would eventually become a recognized expert on Joseph Smith and one of the most popular lecturers among Church members on LDS topics.

After serving a mission in Canada and studying at the University of Utah and the University of Southern California, Madsen received his Master of Arts and the PhD in history and philosophy of religion from Harvard University. Part of his legacy includes his work with leaders of other religions to better understand Mormonism.

A prolific author, Madsen has written numerous books, including Eternal Man and Christ and the Inner Life. He contributed to the five-volume Macmillan Encyclopedia of Mormonism and served as an editor for the project.

His most recent projects included a series of DVDs called On Sacred Ground, devoted to walks in the Holy Land, and The Eternal Christ, containing Madsen’s deep insights into and testimony of the Savior’s life.  They are scheduled to be released this summer.

Madsen is survived by his wife, Ann Nicholls Madsen, three grown children and a foster son.