Awarded annually to a scholar whose contributions are truly outstanding for distinguished service to Mormon history. The selection committee will consider the influence of certain individual works by nominees for this award, as well as their cumulative records of meritorious scholarship in general. Awarded since 1999, this award is named and given in memory and recognition of a founding father of the Mormon History Association and premier mentor and promoter of Mormon history. This award replaces the Grace Fort Arrington Award for Historical Excellence that was offered from 1981 through 1998, so winners of that award will not be eligible for the present one.
Awarded for the best book published on Mormon history. Given to honor and encourage the sense of purpose, dedication, excellence of study, research and scholarship in the field of Mormon history. Funded by Curtis T. Atkisson in memory of his wife, Mary Ann Atkisson (pictured), a lover of history, an accomplished artist, and MHA member.
Awarded for the best published Mormon memoir or personal history. Funded in honor of Barbara Ashcroft Thurston and Morris Alma Thurston (pictured), whose dedication to preserving family history and genealogy was an inspiration to their childrens’ mission to promote well-written and compelling personal life stories.
Awarded for the best published biography in the field of Mormon history. Funded in honor of Ella Larsen Turner, a published historian and genealogist,and her daughter, Ella Ruth Turner Bergera (pictured), a published family historian, novelist, and poet.
Awarded for the best published article on Mormon history. Funded by the Hartley Foundation to honor noted Mormon historian William G. Hartley (pictured).
Awarded to one outstanding article in memory of Christopher Talmage Jones, an MHA member for nearly forty years who dedicated much of his life to the preservation and scholarship of Mormon history.
Awarded for the best international Mormon history article (in print or online journals), in honor of Andrew Jenson (pictured), Assistant LDS Church Historian, for his outstanding contribution in documenting nearly every LDS congregation around the world.
Awarded for an outstanding article on the experiences of Mormon women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Sponsored by the Mormon Women’s History Initiative Team (MWHIT), an independent group of scholars from around the United States who encourage research, writing, and publications on Mormon women’s history.
Awarded for the best doctoral dissertation on a Mormon historical theme. Funded in honor and memory of the many students of Gerald R. Jones, who served for many years as an administrator and instructor for the LDS Church Education System.
Award for the best master’s thesis on a Mormon historical theme. Funded in honor of Lester E. Bush who served for five years as Associate Editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought and wrote many articles and one book. His most noteworthy achievement was a Dialogue article published in 1973 on Blacks and the priesthood. He spent his career as a physician working for the federal government and is now retired.
$300 to each recipient
One of MHA’s primary objectives to foster research and publication of Mormon history is by encouraging young scholars in undergraduate and graduate programs to participate in the process. An important step in support of this interest has been created by long-time MHA member G. Kevin Jones who in November 2013 agreed to fund an annual student paper competition at universities with programs specific to Mormon studies. For a number of years, MHA funded a competition at BYU conducted by the university that proved worthwhile in furthering MHA objectives. Now, with the expansion of Mormon Studies programs at several universities, Kevin’s generosity will allow these programs to conduct their own student competitions with a $300 cash award being given to each school’s winner on behalf of MHA. Each award recipient also receives a year’s membership in the Mormon History Association.
This award was established by Kevin Jones to acknowledge the contributions to Mormon history of Dr. Davis Bitton, one of the founders of MHA. Dr. Bitton had a distinguished career as a professor/historian, teaching at the University of Texas at Austin, the University of California at Santa Barbara, and for twenty-nine years at the University of Utah. Trained as a European historian, he also devoted considerable time to Mormon history. He spent a decade as an Assistant Church Historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Among other volumes that he published, together with Leonard J. Arrington he wrote The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints, an acclaimed work intended to assist non-Mormons in understanding Mormon history. Dr. Bitton was active in the meetings of the Mormon History Association, an organization where he served as president in 1971-1972.
Dr. Bitton was a great role model, a highly accomplished individual who was kind, soft-spoken, and sincerely interested in the welfare of others. This award recognizes the unique life of Dr. Bitton, and the friendship that Kevin enjoyed from his association with Dr. Bitton and his lovely wife JoAn.