President's Message


As we approach Christmas, I wish you a happy and healthy holiday season.  In that spirit, and knowing your love of Mormon history, I share the following account by Joseph Smith of a memorable Christmas day in 1843 in Nauvoo:

“This morning about one o’clock I was aroused by an English sister, Lettice Rushton, widow of Richard Rushton, Senior, (who, ten years ago, lost her sight), accompanied by three of her sons, with their wives, and her two daughters, with their husbands, and several of her neighbors, singing, ‘Mortals awake with angels join,’ &c., which caused a thrill of pleasure to run through my soul.

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Articles & News Items

Membership Renewal for 2017 and End-of-Year Giving

MHA’s membership partner, University of Illinois Press, has sent out emails reminding members to renew their memberships, which include subscription to the Journal of Mormon History. Many thanks to those who have already renewed.

If you have not renewed already, you risk missing the January 2017 issue of the Journal! Please log on to the MHA portal at UIP HERE and renew online. You may also renew by calling 866-244-0626 or by email at

If you are able to do so, please renew your membership at the Sustaining, Patron or Donor levels. Or consider donating to the Student Travel Fund or General Fund. Your support will enable MHA to assist younger scholars, expand internationally, and assist those in under-represented groups to participate in our conferences. We have aggressive plans for this outreach, in which our fundraising success will be the key.

If you would like to make an endowed gift to MHA to support specific Awards and other longer-term programs, please email Rob at or call at 801-521-6565. Our members’ generosity will secure the future of MHA for the next 50 years!

MHA Awards

As for so many other reasons, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to be sending in nominations for the 2016 MHA awards!  We welcome nominations for article awards and graduate student work awards from anyone—authors, advisers, readers, fans, colleagues, etc. Work must be nominated in order to be considered, and you are encouraged to nominate your own work. Because some authors are hesitant to put forward their own pieces, we need your help to identify excellent scholarship. The nomination deadline for works published in 2016 is February 1, 2017, and you can submit a nomination at any time before then, as soon as you come across something you think is worthy of consideration.

Nominations for article awards should be submitted to Sheree Bench at Nominations for graduate student work awards (dissertation, thesis, and unpublished graduate paper) should be submitted to Brian Birch at brian.birch@uvu.eduCan we put out a special request to have those of you who work with graduate students to give extra attention to this? Please encourage your students to submit their work—or feel free to send in their work for them!

Nominations for book awards should come directly from publishers.  We ask publishers to submit 5 copies of nominated books.  Publishers can contact our executive director, Rob Racker at, to get current mailing information for our book award committee members (the book awards committee is chaired by Tona Hangen).

Feel free to direct general questions about awards to J.B. Haws at  Thank you for helping MHA celebrate outstanding work in the field of Mormon history!

Conference Preview: St. Louis 2017

post-2-0-34480600-1382968040MHA needs your opinion on alternatives for post-conference tour options. Click HERE to participate. Participants who complete the survey will be entered into a drawing for a FREE seat on one of the bus Tours at our St Louis Conference. Participants must complete the survey by 12/31/16 at midnight to be eligible for the drawing.

From the Local Arrangements Committee: Exciting events are planned for the 2017 MHA St. Louis Conference. Pre conference tours include a half day walking tour of 19th century Mormon and local historical sites in downtown St. Louis and a half day tour of two 19th century cemeteries, Bellefontaine  and Calgary, where the burial sites of several Mormon pioneers and other luminaries are located. A full day pre-conference tour of St. Louis highlights will tentatively include stops at Shaw’s Garden, Forest Park, site of the 1904 World’s Fair, St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri Historical Museum, and then a tour of the fabulous Fox theatre. All pre conference tours will end with a visit to the Old Court House and a ride to the top of the Gateway Arch. There will also be a pre conference half day student work shop at Washington University at the Danforth Center for Religion and Politics.

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JMH Editor Message

I hope that you are enjoying the October issue of the Journal of Mormon History. I am currently working on the July 2017 issue and looking for articles to be considered for the October 2017 volume. The deadline to be considered for October 2017 is January 15, 2017. Submissions should be between 8,000 and 10,000 words. I would love to receive some excellent Mormon history and Mormon studies papers soon! You can reach me at

There have been a few changes in the Journal staff. Ron Bartholomew has resigned as book review editor. He worked very diligently to find books and reviewers, and I and MHA leadership appreciate his efforts.

Brett Dowdle ( and Chris Blythe ( have agreed to be the new book review editors. Brett will concentrate on Mormon history books, and Chris will focus on Mormon studies publications. Brett is working on his PhD at TCU. Chris works for the Joseph Smith Papers at the LDS Church History Department. Please let them know of books you feel should be reviewed. In addition, the Journal is always looking for potential reviewers. If you are interested in a free book and a extra complementary copy of the publication, please send a short vita and a list of interests/specialties to Brett or Chris.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jessie L. Embry
Editor, Journal of Mormon History

Tribute to Colleague

mou0052025-2_20161130Thank you, Ed Kimball

By Jonathan Stapley

I never met Ed Kimball face-to-face, and I regret that. He passed away yesterday (Nov. 21, 2016), and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Ed’s son Chris, who is a friend of BCC, was quoted by the Trib: Read More

Support the Future of MHA


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A number of student MHA members present papers and participate in panels. This helps them develop professional skills in researching, writing, and presenting. Their participation ensures that MHA will continue to grow and thrive in the future. If you have interest in helping developing the youngest members of the Mormon History Association, please press HERE or contact Rob Racker about making a donation to the student fund. Your tax-free donation will help MHA develop programs designed to help students and recent students participate and thrive in MHA.

Get Social with MHA

13310602_1160964577296898_6894288483970005413_nIf you haven’t already done so, look for MHA on Facebook and follow us! As you may know, the more interaction you have with our page (“likes” and “shares”), the more often you’ll see the content we post and the farther our reach will extend. When you see something we post, make sure to interact with it.