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Carole Mikita ReportingNoted Latter-day Saint historian and former BYU professor Hugh Nibley died today at age 94.
Hugh Nibley is remembered tonight as an outspoken scholar and defender of his faith. A teacher of generations of students, a researcher intent on finding the truth, a writer of thought-provoking works, Hugh Nibley left a rich legacy.
Hugh Nibley, "The Faith of an Observer": “Writing itself, as Galileo said, is the most marvelous device ever invented. There’s no invention that will ever approach writing for sophistication and the marvelous things it does…”
An expert in ancient studies, Nibley examined the wonders of the world and brought what he learned home.
Prof. Noel Reynolds, Nibley Colleague: "He was always rehearsing these languages that he had studied. It was necessary to keep on them, so he had his notecards and he'd be mumbling along as he would walk on campus."
Prof. Jack Welch, Nibley Colleague and Friend: "You could catch him at any one moment and he might be thinking of something from the 5th century B.C. or the middle ages or right down to what he had just read in the newspaper."
His brilliance seemed never to cease, he spoke freely, Nibley could be critical...
Hugh Nibley: "We've lost interest in knowledge today. It's a very interesting thing; we want power, recognition and things like that. But knowledge for its own sake doesn't excite us very much, it's surprising..."
Nibley's family says he was a man full of wonder for life.
Paul Nibley, Hugh Nibley's Son: "Our bedtime stories were translated from the original Greek and Latin."
Rebecca Nibley, Hugh Nibley's daughter: "He loved animals, he loved the beautiful mountains.. He loved nature, he loved long hikes."
Toward the end there was controversy. In an upcoming book, daughter Martha Beck accuses Nibley of abusing her as a child. Nibley adamantly denied the abuse, and the other siblings stand by their father.
Nibley is survived by his wife, Phyllis, eight children, 24 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized.