Honorary Lifetime Membership
Thomas F. Rogers
Playwright, Linguist, Essayist, Scholar
The Association for Mormon Letters honors Thomas F. Rogers with its Lifetime
Membership Award for his commitment to creative work that conveys Latter-day
Saint values under pressure. Standing among its first dramatists, Tom caught the
imagination of Church audiences with his historical play Huebener, depicting a
Mormon youth's active resistance to Nazi propaganda. It is only fitting that as a
mission president in Russia from 1993 to 1996, Tom had his district members
perform that play along with the Brothers Karamotzov, while a professional group
presented a Russian translation of his play on religious dissidents in Stalinist
Russia, Journey to Golgotha or God's Fools.
Tom, as educator and creative writer, has written short stories and personal essays,
has encouraged young artists through his work with the Mormon Festival of the
Arts, has led study-abroad programs to Eastern Europe and Russia. He has
served AML as a judge for awards and himself received the AML drama prize in
1983. He has lectured for the Utah Council of the Humanities on Soviet and
earlier Russian culture. Through his studies of languages, namely German,
Russian, Serbo-Croatian, Polish, and Hindi, he has become an interpreter, not only
of idiom but of ideology, for peoples often neglected by western humanists.
Through his scholarly and creative efforts, he has intensified the expression of
Mormon values in our region and represented them superbly abroad.
Tom Rogers, now emeritus professor of Russian language and literature from
Brigham Young University, continues his distinguished career as an
internationalist and spokesman for humane letters. It is appropriate that he returns
to Nanking this spring to study Mandarin in order to further understand this
important culture and hoping to connect with the brilliant graduate students he
taught last year in Beijing. His plays and his essays persistently illustrate the
motif scripture he printed on the frontis page of God's Fools,
"let every man" esteem his brother as himself (Doctrine & Covenants 38:24).