Mormon History Association

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Mormon History Association

Welcome to the website of the Mormon History Association. Since 1965 we have provided an independent forum for the presentation and distribution of Mormon history prepared for those interested in all aspects of the genre. Through annual conferences, our quarterly periodical, the Journal of Mormon History (published since 1974), and our quarterly newsletter MHA News, we serve over one thousand MHA members by disseminating the most recent scholarship and information about Mormon history. Membership is open to all who are interested in joining the organization.

Please consider joining with us in the study and celebration of Mormon history.

Job Opening for Historian/Documentary Editor, Joseph Smith Papers

The Joseph Smith Papers seeks a full-time historian/documentary editor with the academic training, research, and writing skills to edit Joseph Smith’s papers. The Joseph Smith Papers is producing a comprehensive edition of Smith’s documents featuring complete and accurate transcripts with both textual and contextual annotation. The scope of the project includes Smith’s correspondence, revelations, journals, historical writings, sermons, legal papers, and other documents. Besides providing the most comprehensive record of early Latter-day Saint history they will also provide insight into the broader religious landscape of the early American republic. 

Duties will include document analysis (research regarding the intention, production, transmission, and reception of documents); composition of source notes and historical introductions; writing of annotation to provide appropriate context and to clarify or explain passages; regular participation in team meetings and project committees; and professional development. The Joseph Smith Papers is a highly collaborative project; the successful applicant will work in a team environment with other historians and production editors. 

Qualifications: PhD or doctoral candidate in history, religious studies, or a related field is preferred. Experience in one or more of the following areas is desirable: documentary editing, paleography, textual studies, archival management, antebellum American history, American religious history, early Mormon history. Demonstration of excellent writing and research skills required. The successful applicant will be able to adhere to rigorous schedules and produce work of the highest professional standards, and therefore must exhibit attention to detail, efficiency, flexibility, good interpersonal communications, and the ability to work in an academic environment that requires personal initiative and collaborative competence. Must be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, currently temple worthy. Competitive salary based on experience. Expected start date July 1, 2015.

Please send letter of application, vita, writing sample, and three letters of recommendation to Joseph Smith Papers Search, c/o Kiersten Olson, Church History Library, 15 E. North Temple St., Salt Lake City, UT 84150. Applicants must also complete an on-line application found at, posting 116203. Applications due by January 12, 2015.

Tanner Lecture now Smith-Pettit Lecture

An institutional icon at the annual MHA conference has been the Tanner Lecture. Dozens of outstanding lectures have been delivered through the years to MHA conference attendees through the generosity of the O.C. Tanner family.

The Tanner Lecture was endowed in 1980 to invite a scholar who has not previously worked in Mormon studies and who is not a member of the traditional Mormon community to prepare and present a paper at MHA’s annual conference.  The purpose of the lectureship is to elicit perspectives on Mormon history that place it within the broader context of American thought, American history, or the history of religion, thereby enlarging the understanding of researchers in Mormon studies.

The money initially given by the Tanner family to fund the lectureship has been exhausted for a number of years. The MHA Board approved at the quarterly Board meeting held on June 4, 2014, a change to the name of the lecture beginning at MHA's 50th Anniversary conference to be held in Provo, Utah, in 2015. The lecture will hereafter be called the Smith-Pettit Lecture. The continuation of this important feature of MHA's annual conference and interest in furthering understanding of Mormon history is made available through the generous sponsorship of the Smith-Pettit Foundation, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Membership Questions?

Having trouble renewing your MHA membership online?

You may have an account without a configured password. Visit the member login screen and click on "Forgot Password" to get started. An email with a secure link will be sent to you that will take you to an account configuration screen. Once configured, you'll be able to access the renewal form from the Billing area of your account portal.

Also remember, institutional memberships are renewed through our office and currently cannot be renewed online. Please contact the business manager by email to process an institutional membership or renewal.

Founding and early history of MHA

Read Leonard J. Arrington's rehearsal of the circumstances surrounding the founding of MHA (from his book Adventures of a Church Historian).