Annalee Skarin
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Annalee Skarin (born Annalee Kohlepp: July 7, 1899 – died January 17, 1988), was an American Mormon writer of mysticism and New Age literature. Her 1948 book ''Ye Are Gods'' was popular among Utah Mormons, but later provoked ire among church leaders and led to her excommunication#The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, excommunication. The underlying theme for all of her writings was a desire to understand the deeper meaning behind scripture. She wrote: "There was just that intense feeling that something was required of us and we had to find out what it was." Annalee was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) who served as a missionary in California, and later was a ward (LDS Church), ward Relief Society president. As of 2014, ''Ye Are Gods'' was in its 18th printing, though her later books were more popular among non-Mormons in the New Age movement. She accepted no royalties, and it remains unclear who if anyone profited from her many successful books.


Early life

Skarin was born in American Falls, Idaho, the seventh of twelve children. Her parents were Frederick John Kohlepp and Mary Ella Hickman, her grandfather was "Wild Bill" Hickman. Annalee's eldest sister, Minerva Teichert, was an accomplished artist with paintings on display in many LDS temples.


Career


''Ye Are Gods''

Annalee self-published her first book, ''Ye Are Gods'', in 1948, correspondence indicates that this was soon followed by a second volume in 1949.Letter from Annalee Skarin to Hope Hilton October 12, 1949, Hope A. Hilton papers, Ms 584, Box 5 Folder 5. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah.Letter from Lynn Hilton to Spencer W. Kimball October 19, 1949, Hope A. Hilton papers, Ms 584, Box 5 Folder 5. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah. She published a new edition in 1952 that combined the two volumes. This edition removed explicit references to the LDS Church, however, still widely quoted early LDS leaders and scripture. The content of these books was central to her excommunication in 1952.


Excommunication

Annalee's daughter, Hope Hilton and her husband, Lynn M. Hilton, submitted a study they had made of Annalee's book to LDS apostle (Latter Day Saints), apostle and president of the ''Deseret News'', Mark E. Petersen.The Life and Death of Annalee Skarin
Petersen gave Annalee the choice of renouncing her writing as the work of Satan, or facing excommunication#The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, excommunication. "In the spring of 1952 Annalee was visiting friends, Chris and Sally Franchow, in Salt Lake City who lived on Ninth East [3140 South 900 East], just across from the Hillcrest Ward [3151 South 900 East]. As news of her visit became known, she was besieged with invitations to speak at Church and fireside groups. Then without warning the axe fell. After addressing an enthusiastic congregation, she was ushered into the bishop’s office where she was confronted by Elder Mark E. Petersen, a member of the Council of the Twelve. He denounced Ye Are Gods as inspired by Satan, and demanded that she repent and repudiate the book. 'And then it was that I, who love Christ above all others,' she wrote, 'was acclaimed to be the great anti-Christ.' When she rejected the ultimatum, she was tried by a Church court and excommunicated June 1952. "Annalee called it a 'kangaroo court,' where I was refused counsel. My efforts to bear witness to what I had written, or even to defend myself, were denied and silenced.' When Sally Franchow tried to defend her, 'For her courageous efforts she too was excommunicated.'"' The definitive reasons for Annalee Skarin's excommunication are contained in the Church Court's transcript which Petersen refused to release.' This essay was written seven months after Annalee's excommunication in response to letters requesting an explanation for his actions.Hope A. Hilton papers, Ms 584, Box 6 Folder 6. Special Collections and Archives. University of Utah, J. Willard Marriott. Salt Lake City, Utah. Petersen begins his essay, pages 2–5, by describing the difficulties inherent in establishing a church based on personal revelation. Soon after the establishment of the LDS Church several members began to have revelations. That might sound like a good thing, however, the content of those revelations conflicted with Joseph Smith's leadership. The Lord resolved this issue through Smith receiving revelation that only his revelations affecting church members were real, all others were of the devil. His status as the sole Prophet, seer, and revelator, revelator would pass to his successors and he could appoint substitute revelators as needed. Petersen concludes that since LDS President George Albert Smith didn't appoint Annalee Skarin to be a Prophet, seer, and revelator, revelator, her books could only be inspired by the devil. Annalee sent copies of her books to all of the church leaders, including LDS President George Albert Smith. In October 1949 she wrote to Hope, "From many have come beautiful letters --- the one from President George Albert Smith was filled with love and kindness." Annalee was excommunicated by Petersen after Smith's death. In am October 12, 1949 letter, Annalee said that she had sent copies of her books to “All of the (LDS) Authorities…” and that she had received “beautiful letters” in response. She specifically referenced letters from the sitting LDS Prophet & President George Albert Smith, apostle (later to be President) Spencer W. Kimball, and "Stake, Mission, and Temple Presidents…".


Personal life

Annalee married William Michael "Mikey" Gorman on July 15, 1916, the marriage was annulled in 1920. Her second marriage, arranged by her mother, was to Hugo Joseph Avarell August 31, 1922 in Salt Lake City. It ended in divorce after 21 years. Her final marriage was to Reason E. Skarin October 18, 1943 in Buffalo, New York. Her eldest daughter, Hope (Avarell) Hilton, was actively involved in Annalee's excommunication#The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, excommunication. Her younger daughter, Linda Lee (Avarell) Moat, was the child described suffering from a severe illness in ''Ye Are Gods''. "Dear God, this child is Yours first -- and then she is mine. If you want her -- take her -- I love her so! But all that I have is Thine." After her excommunication, Annalee used the alias Nansela Mathews to prevent Hope Hilton from discovering her whereabouts.


Works

* ''The Pathway of Glory'' Annalee Skarin, compiled from 1933–1946, self-published, eventually formed the basis for ''Ye Are Gods''. * ''Ye Are Gods,'' self-published, 1948 * ''Ye Are Gods'' (, published b
De Vorss and Co
1952) As of 2014 this book was in its 18th printing. * ''Sons Of God'', by ''Christine Mercie'' (, published b
De Vorss and Co
1954) A drama written by Annalee Skarin under a pen name. This was Annalee's first book written after her excommunication, as of 2003 it was in its 23rd printing. * ''To God The Glory'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1956) * ''Temple Of God'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1958) * ''Secrets Of Eternity'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1960) * ''Celestial Song Of Creation'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1962) * ''Man Triumphant'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1966) * ''Beyond Mortal Boundaries'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1969) * ''The Book Of Books'' (, published by De Vorss and Co, 1972) * ''Pathway of the GODS'', Vol 1 date unknown 1995 * ''Pathway of the GODS'', Vol 2 date unknown 1995


References


External links

* Samuel W. Taylor
The Puzzle of Annalee Skarin: Was She Translated Correctly?
''Sunstone Magazine, Sunstone'', Volume 15:1 (April 1991): 41–46.
Annalee Skarin
– a short biography by New Age teacher Robert Coon {{DEFAULTSORT:Skarin, Annalee 1899 births 1988 deaths People from American Falls, Idaho Writers from Idaho American Latter Day Saints Women mystics New Age writers People excommunicated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Mormon mystics