Lowell Bennion is recognized as one of the finest practical philosophers Utah has produced in the twentieth century. He was born on 26 July 1908 and raised in Salt Lake City. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Utah in 1928 and a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Strasbourg in 1933. He is the author of dozens of books and hundreds of essays and lectures that have helped give rational consistency to Mormon thought, have focused it in social morality and service, and have opened it to ecumenical dialogue with other faiths as well as the state and national communities. He has been a courageous, outspoken, and effective foe of religious prejudice and of racism, sexism, and materialism. He has also demonstrated his teachings and inspired thousands of others to follow them through devoted and effective practical humanitarian efforts in his own community and beyond.
Instead of continuing a scholarly career in the sociology of religion, Bennion accepted a call in 1934 as the first Director of the LDS Institute of Religion, adjacent to the University of Utah. He devoted himself to teaching, to writing about practical religion, and to serving the aged, needy, and troubled in the Intermountain West community. In 1935 he founded the Lambda Delta Sigma fraternity to help college students integrate learning with service. Thereafter, for thirty years, nearly every Saturday he would accompany a Lambda Delta Sigma chapter or two as they cleaned a yard, painted a house, or delivered food donated by others or from his own garden to those in need.