R. Lanier Britsch
Ralph Lanier Britsch is an emeritus professor of history at Brigham Young University. He specialized in the history of missionary work by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pacific Islands and Asia. While at BYU, he also directed the David M. Kennedy Center for International Studies.
Britsch received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Asian studies from BYU and earned his doctorate from Claremont Graduate University where he emphasized Asian religions and thought. His publications include Unto the Islands of the Sea: A History of the Latter-day Saints in the Pacific, Moramona: The Mormons in Hawai’i, and Nothing More Heroic: The Compelling Story of the First Latter-day Saint Missionaries in India. From 1986 to 1990, he was the academic vice president of BYU– Hawaii.
Throughout the years, Britsch served in various capacities for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: he completed two missions in the Hawaiian Islands, performed numerous assignments in bishoprics of BYU student wards, and served in the presidencies of a BYU student stake and the Orem Utah Sharon Stake. He serves as a stake patriarch in Orem, Utah.
He married JoAnn Murphy on December 18, 1961, in the Salt Lake Temple, and they had six children. After JoAnn’s passing in 2005, Britsch married Shirley McKay in 2006.