- Morton, Ermel J. (Ermel Joseph), 1914-1992 (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
1 box (0.5 linear ft.)
3 folder (0.3 linear ft.)
Ermel Joseph Morton was born on October 1, 1914, in Mapleton, Utah, to parents Joseph and Belva Hatfield Morton. He graduated from Brigham Young University (BYU) with a BA and MA, then went to Indiana University for his PhD. He served a mission to Tonga in 1936-1939, then became a reporter for the Salt Lake Telegram. He married Lena Gertsch (1911-2008) on March 3, 1944, and together raised five children: Lorraine, Allen Ermel, Marsha Kaye, Richard Wayne, and Annette.
Morton taught at BYU (1944-46) and Ricks College (1946-80). He was the principal at Liahona College in Tonga (1951-57), while serving on the Tongan Board of Education; later serving on the Pacific Board of Education (1957-60). While at Ricks College, he served as the President of the Ricks College Missionary Training Center (1969-76). After he retired, Ermel and Lena Morton served a mission to Seattle, Washington (1983-84). Over the years, Ermel served in the church as High Counselor, temple worker, in the name extraction program, and as a Patriarch.
Morton is best known for his work to translate the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price into Tongan. He also wrote a Tongan grammar book and dictionary. A student of 60 languages, Morton translated missionary discussions in Cantonese, Korean, Japanese, Tongan, Niuean, Mandarin Chinese, Finnish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian. He was also a student of Hebrew and many other languages. He taught Spanish at Ricks.
Morton died on March 23, 1992 in Rexburg, Idaho. He is buried in Mapleton/Springville, Utah.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Margaret Weddle, student manuscript processor; and John M. Murphy, curator; 2014.
- Register of Ermel J. Morton papers
- John Murphy, curator, and Audrey Spainhower, student manuscript processor
- 2010 April 28
- Description rules
- Language of description
- 2014 April 30: Addition and update (including change of collection title) by Margaret Weddle.