Eugene England is remembered by tens of thousands as one of twentieth-century Mormonism’s most significant influences on culture, literature, and practical religion. When Gene participated in the founding of Dialogue, elder Joseph Fielding Smith said it would not be good for the Church. And Gene’s essays and sermons were as troubling to some as the scholarly journal he began was to elder Smith. However, those who knew Gene would add a caveat that however inspiring or troubling his words, he was even more interesting and difficult to know. Whatever Eugene England’s legacy and influence on Mormons and Mormonism, his influence—on the people who knew him—was greater. “Searching for Gene England” is a personal essay about how he troubled, tested, influenced, and inspired one Mormon to love him.
Clifton H. Jolley