President’s Message – August 2017

One of the things I’m thankful for this holiday season is the Journal of Mormon History.  The most recent issue arrived in my mailbox just as I was putting the finishing touches on a manuscript of my own, and included new research that gave me a more three-dimensional portrait of an episode that I had rendered too simplistically.  JMH to the rescue!

Article by article, book by book, conversation by conversation, together we come to a fuller understanding of our past.  Whether or not you identify as Mormon, and whether you’re a professional scholar or a casual peruser, history belongs to all of us.  And history matters.

I know that each of us is deluged with appeals for year-end giving.  There is real need in the world, and many worthy causes.  I’m not asking for any grand gestures—though if you were just about to write that six-digit check to MHA, stop reading and put a stamp on that envelope!  For the rest of you, I ask that you consider two simple things that can make a real difference.

First, please renew your membership.  If you’re anything like me, you received your annual reminder e-mail and promptly ignored it.  But MHA is only as strong as its membership.  At some point this season you’re going to be stuck in an obligatory and interminable play, concert, or party.  When you pull out your phone to browse Facebook or play Candy Crush, take five minutes instead to renew your MHA membership.  And I promise, those cute videos of kittens dressed up as elves will still be there when you’re done.

Second, please consider donating to support the expansion and next generation of Mormon history scholarship.  If we want our Mormon history community to remain vibrant and strong, we need to cultivate new members, especially students and international scholars.  The cost of travel to our annual conference is often prohibitive for these students and scholars who will bring new energy and perspectives to our association.  Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support either student or international scholar travel to our annual conference.  Even a modest donation can go a long way in ensuring MHA’s future.

On behalf of the entire MHA board, thank you for your ongoing membership and support!  And I wish you a very merry Christmas and joyous holiday season!

Patrick Mason
President, Mormon History Association