Duane Hiatt, author of the beloved Latter-day Saint children’s song “Follow the Prophet,” passed away on May 24, 2020. He was 82-years old. On Hiatt’s website, where he shared music, little epistles, and other stories from his life, his son wrote, “He was surrounded by family at the end. We are grateful for his influence in our lives and while we will miss him intensely, we are grateful for his life and example.”
Before his passing, his wife Sharon Hiatt also shared her testimony of eternal families as Duane’s condition progressed.
“The greatest comfort in all this is that we know mortal life was never intended to be a career, but rather that it is part of the eternal life cycle of our being,” she wrote to her family. “It is like the cocoon stage of a butterfly, where we were something before with the promise of becoming something even greater after the metamorphosis. Earth life is that metamorphic stage. Our Creator is aware of us, involved as we invite Him to be, to lead us and guide us to the wonders awaiting after. I know this to be true, and Duane and I feel His hand and His love even more during this part of our journey as Duane prepares to pass on to the next part. We have always defined ourselves, not by our challenges, but by our blessings, and Oh! we have so many!”
Hiatt leaves behind a lasting legacy of music and testimony. He wrote radio and television scripts for the Church, including projects for the Tabernacle Choir and Music and the Spoken Word. In 1987, the general music committee for the Church reached out and asked Hiatt to write a song about the Old Testament prophets that was happy and “sounded like a Jewish folk song.” In the video below, Hiatt himself shares what the experience was like and how he received inspiration to create the song.
His obituary states, “Duane Hiatt lived his life for riches. Not the riches of this earth, but those of eternity. His full life consisted of honing his talents, serving others and blessing his large posterity.”