Teacher, Therapist, Speaker,
Popular Latter-Day Saint Author
Brigham Young High School
Class of 1963
Brenton G. Yorgason was born May 25, 1945 in Mt. Pleasant, Utah to Gayle and Beatrice Yorgason. Brent's siblings included Judy, Blaine, Valerie, Greg, Marilynn and Gary.
Brent grew up in Nephi, Utah, and Provo, Utah. In high school he participated on in Track and Basketball, and was co-captain of the Football team. He was on the Debate team, played in the Band, sang in Chorus, was elected Junior Class Vice President, and as a senior was elected Student Body Business Manager. He studied in Seminary all four years in high school.
Brent graduated from historic Brigham Young High School in the Class of 1963.
He then served an LDS mission in Florida and Puerto Rico.
Back home, he attended Brigham Young University where he met "the love of his life," Margaret Yates. They had a whirlwind courtship and were married in the Manti Temple.
Soon after their marriage Brent was activated in the Army and sent to Vietnam. While there, he was set apart as a special missionary and taught the gospel to many comrades.
Yorgason learned to write prolifically while serving as a unit typist in Vietnam. After duty, he would write a daily letter to his wife back in Utah.
"He wrote me every single day that he was gone," she says. "I think he developed his talent writing love letters to me. I have a scrapbook with all of these precious letters."
Returning home, at BYU he completed his Bachelor's in Sociology in 1970, Masters in Child Development & Family Relations in 1973, and PhD in Family Studies in 1981, with a minor in Marriage and Family Therapy.
He spent several years teaching Seminary, and taught in the Family Science Department at BYU.
He was BYU's national Cougar Club president in 1984, the year the football team won the national championship, and in 2001 he was honored as an alumnus of the College of Family, Home and Social Sciences.
Margaret is a devoted homemaker. As an accomplished violinist, she worked with her children to help them develop their musical talents. She co-authored several clip-art books, as well as a children's coloring dictionary.
In the 1970s and '80s, Brenton co-wrote several books with his older brother Blaine, including 1979's "The Bishop's Horse Race," which was based on a family legend about their great-great-grandfather, who, in the 1880s, bet that he could ride a horse from Sanpete County to Salt Lake City's Hotel Utah in record time.
"We just had a blast writing it. It was a fun, fun, fun story," Blaine Yorgason says. "We took that event and ran with it. It was 99.8 percent fiction."
The brothers went on to publish several more popular books for the Bookcraft publishing company, including "Brother Brigham's Gold" and "A Town Called Charity." The popularity of the books launched both Yorgasons as motivational Mormon speakers in the 1980s and '90s.
Brenton Yorgason went on to focus on writing nonfiction, publishing more than 40 personal histories, as well as sports books, such as "Ty: The Ty Detmer Story."
Brent and Margaret Yorgason lectured extensively in the area of marriage and the family. They co-authored Dirty Socks and Shining Armor, a story about King Arthur and his family, several years after Camelot.
"When Brent was speaking around the church and around the United States, he would say: 'We have nine children, all of which are girls, except for seven,'" Margaret recalls, an example of the humor he used to warm up audiences. "He wanted to help people in their relationships and with their kids."
Brent's greatest love was teaching the youth of the Church. His training enabled him to counsel and coach countless people through difficult times. He was never too busy to respond to the needs of others.
He served as Bishop twice and as 1st counselor in the Sandy Granite Stake Presidency.
Dr. Yorgason was most well-known as a prolific author and renowned speaker. As a member of the National Speaker's Association, he was renowned as a keynote speaker. In all, he wrote and published 105 books, over 40 of which were biographies.
He became one of the most popular authors ever to write for the Latter-day Saint fiction market. He enjoyed writing many books with his brother Blaine. The paintings they did together were used as the covers of many of their books. He loved to include others as co-authors, especially his wife Margaret as they laughed, wept and worked together.
Brent was co-author with his brother Blaine of the novel Chester, I Love You, which was adapted to the TV movie "The Thanksgiving Promise" (1986), directed by and starring Beau Bridges.
Other books by Brent Yorgason include: The Carpenter's Son; All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Primary; Discovering Life's Treasures; Cherished Intimacy; Dating; From Darkness into Light; Grandma's Apple Tree; The Last Stagecoach Robbery; Little Known Evidences of the Book of Mormon; On Wings of Love; and Paradise Creek: A Love Story that Will Capture Your Heart
In addition, he wrote Quiet miracles : a true story of love and courage; Romance in Marriage: Spicing It Up; Seven Days for Ruby; Spiritual Survival in the Last Days; Standing Tall: The Shawn Bradley Story; The Garrity Test; The Soderberg Saga; The Wings of Words; Writing and Publishing a Book Made Easy; Ty: The Ty Detmer Story; and Understanding Death's Passage: A Companion to Grandma's Apple Tree.
Brent spoke nationally to a wide audience and loved meeting people wherever he went, inspiring others to become their best self.
A self-proclaimed workaholic, he had an entrepreneurial spirit and started many companies, from bookstores to real estate to movie production.
He loved reading biographies of the greats, almost as much as he loved writing them. One of his greatest joys was reading in the quiet pre-dawn hours.
As an Eagle Scout himself, he had his own Eagle's Nest with his seven sons. Proud of his service as a veteran, he was a true patriot to his country. He proved to be a die-hard BYU Cougar fan, serving as National Cougar Club President.
In recent years, Brent fought Lewy Body Dementia or as Margaret describes it "our battle with Lewy!"
On October 22, 2016, Margaret Yorgason bought 100 luminaries and 100 lights for the family's 39 grandchildren to mark the national day raising awareness for husband Brenton Gayle Yorgason's disease, Parkinson's with Lewy body dementia.
"All across the country, our grandkids have sacks they lit for Grandpa, for Lewy body," Margaret Yorgason says. "The kids colored the sacks and cut them into heart shapes. It was really tender."
Just a week later, Yorgason, 71, died from the disease. He had been living with Parkinson's for 10 years and received the Lewy body diagnosis about six months ago, his wife said.
Even amidst this struggle, he continued to lift others with his unpredictable humor. He endearingly named his car "The Holy Cow".
Brenton G. Yorgason was surrounded by family as he passed away on the October 28, 2016.
He had a full and joyous life and was loved by many. Brent will be greatly missed by his wife, Margaret, his 9 children: Jason (Beth), Aaron (Susan), Jeremy (Cheri), Joshua (Elena), Jen (Paul Thatcher), Don (Teresa), Dave (Holly), Jordan (Marianne), and Angela (Joseph Higbee), and his 39 grandchildren.
Funeral services were held on Saturday November 5, 2016 in the LDS Chapel at 1550 S. 1100 W. Lehi, Utah. Yorgason was laid to rest in the James Yorgason Pioneer Cemetery in Fountain Green, Utah.
Yorgason had spearheaded efforts to raise money to restore the graveyard, named for his great-great-grandfather.
[Thanks to Ellen Fagg Weist and the Salt Lake Tribune, November 4, 2016]
[Thanks to the Deseret News, November 2, 2016]
Bibliography of Dr. Brenton G. Yorgason
This list of books appears to be a complete bibliography for Brenton Yorgason. Some of these books were co-authored. Co-authors include: Blaine Yorgason, Margaret Yorgason, Wesley Burr, Terry Baker, Kevin Lund, Richard Myers, Frank Herbert, Sonny Detmer, and Donald Mangum.
From First Date to Chosen Mate/Dating (1977)
Bishop's Horse Race (1979)
A Town Called Charity (1980)
From Two to One (1981)
The Krystal Promise (1981)
Creating a Celestial Marriage (1982)
From This Day Forth (1982)
Marriage and Family Stewardships (1982)
Seeker of the Gentle Heart (1982)
Chester, I Love You (1983)
Brother Brigham's Gold (1984)
Ride the Laughing Wind (1984)
The Loftier Way / Tales From the Book of Mormon (1985)
Family Knights/Dirty Socks and Shining Armor (1986)
Seven Days For Ruby (1986)
The Eleven Dollar Surgery (1986)
The Greatest Quest (1987)
In Search of Steenie Bergman (1988)
The Gospel Power Series (1989) - 12 Pamphlet Books
Sacred Intimacy (1989)
Beyond the Pearly Gates (1989)
Here Stands a Man (1990)
Spiritual Survival in the Last Days (1990)
Prayers on the Wind/Storm (1991)
First Christmas Gift (1991)
The Garrity Test (1992)
TY: The Ty Detmer Story (1992)
Standing Tall: The Shawn Bradley Story (1993)
Simeon's Touch (1993)
Tarred and Feathered (1994)
The Carpenter's Son (1994)
Quiet Miracles (1994)
On Wings of Love (1995)
Amazing Grace (1996)
All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Primary (1997)
An Angel's Promise (1997)
Paradise Creek (1998)
Cherished Intimacy (1998)
Wing of Words (1998)
The Carpenter's Son, Part 2 (1999)
Last Stagecoach Robbery (1999)
Understanding Death's Passage (2000)
Grandma's Apple Tree (2000)
From Darkness Into Light (2000)
The Story of Ira A. Fulton (2001)
Life Is So Beautiful: The Mary Lou Fulton Story (2002)
Capturing Your Dreams (2003)
Little Known Evidences of the Book of Mormon (2003)
Man of Vision: The Charles Roy Albright Story (2003)
Seamless Lives: The Frank and Betty Newman Martino Story (2004)
All About Jim: The James Leo Thynne Story (2004)
Restoring Righteous Paths: The Story of Kirk and Paula Wilson Story (2005)
No Greater Joy: The Life and Labors of H. Kay Pugmire (2006)
One In Thine Hand: The Garth and Eloise Andrus Story (2006)
Rori: My Miracle, My Angel (2006)
Dr. Brenton G. Yorgason, BYH Class of 1963
May 25, 1945 ~ October 28, 2016