Mormon History Association

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The Mormon History Association (MHA) is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the study and understanding of all aspects of Mormon history to promote understanding, scholarly research, and publication in the field. MHA was founded in December 1965 at the American Historical Association (AHA) meeting in San Francisco under the leadership of Latter-day Saint and historian, Leonard J. Arrington. In 1972, MHA became an independent organization with its own annual conferences and publications. The Journal of Mormon History, the official biennial publication of the association, began publication in 1974. MHA also publishes the quarterly Mormon History Newsletter and is an affiliate of both AHA and the Western History Association.

MHA "welcome[s] all who are interested in the Mormon past, irrespective of religious affiliation, academic training, or world location." Its members are composed of people both within and without The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the Community of Christ, including those who reject Mormonism.[citation needed]


MHA presidents are recognized contributors to the field of Mormon history and serve for one year.

Years Name Prominence at the time of service
1966–67 Leonard J. Arrington MHA co-founder; Utah State University history professor; author of Great Basin Kingdom
1967–68 Eugene E. Campbell Brigham Young University (BYU) history professor
1968–69 T. Edgar Lyon Nauvoo Restoration
1969–70 S. George Ellsworth Utah State University history professor
1970–71 Richard D. Poll Western Illinois University vice-president; former Brigham Young University history professor
1971–72 Davis Bitton MHA co-founder; University of Utah history professor
1972–73 James B. Allen MHA co-founder; Brigham Young University history professor
1973–74 Reed C. Durham Jr. Director of Institute of Religion at the University of Utah
1974–75 Thomas G. Alexander
1975–76 Charles S. Peterson University of Utah history professor; former director of the Utah State Historical Society.
1976–77 Paul M. Edwards
1977–78 Douglas D. Alder
1978–79 Milton Backman Brigham Young University religious education professor
1979–80 Jan Shipps Indiana University professor of history and religious studies
1980–81 Dean C. Jessee Author of Letters of Brigham Young to his Sons; archivist and researcher with the LDS Church.
1981–82 Melvin T. Smith
1982–83 William D. Russell Professor of history at Graceland University
1983–84 Kenneth W. Godfrey LDS Institute of Religion Director
1984–85 Maureen U. Beecher Brigham Young University English professor with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History.
1985–86 Richard L. Bushman Columbia University history professor; author of Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism.
1986–87 Richard W. Sadler
1987–88 Valeen Tippetts Avery Co-author of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith
1988–89 Stanley B. Kimball Southern Illinois University Edwardsville history professor; author of Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer
1989–90 Carol Cornwall Madsen Brigham Young University history professor with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Church History.
1990–91 Richard P. Howard World Church Historian of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
1991–92 Ronald W. Walker
1992–93 Marvin S. Hill Brigham Young University history professor and author of Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism
1993–94 Roger D. Launius
1994–95 Mario S. DePillis
1995–96 David J. Whittaker Brigham Young University archivist
1996–97 Linda King Newell University of Utah history professor; co-author of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith; former co-editor of Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; former John Whitmer Historical Association president
1997–98 Armand L. Mauss Washington State University professor of sociology and religious studies
1998–99 Jill Mulvay Derr BYU History professor, later director of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute
1999–2000 Newell G. Bringhurst
2000–01 William G. Hartley
2001–02 Dean L. May Professor of History, University of Utah, specializing in social history of the American West
2002–03 Lawrence Foster Professor of History, Technology, and Society, Georgia Institute of Technology
2003–04 Martha Sonntag Bradley
2004–05 Donald Q. Cannon Brigham Young University professor
2005–06 Philip L. Barlow Harvard-trained professor of theology and American religious history at Utah State University
2006–07 Ronald K. Esplin Director of Joseph Smith Papers Project; former Brigham Young University professor; former Joseph Fielding Smith Institute director.
2007–08 Paul L. Anderson BYU Museum of Art curator
2008–09 Kathryn M. Daynes Brigham Young University history professor; author of More Wives Than One.
2009–10 Ronald E. Romig Community of Christ archivist
2010–11 William P. MacKinnon[1] Independent historian; author of At Sword's Point: A Documentary History of the Utah War to 1858.
2011–12 Richard L. Jensen[2] Research historian with LDS Church History Department
2012–13 Glen M. Leonard Independent historian, author of Nauvoo
2013–14 Richard E. Bennett Professor of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University
2014–15 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Journal of Mormon History[edit]


Since 1974, MHA has produced the Journal of Mormon History, an academic journal in the field of Mormon studies. From the founding of MHA until 1974, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought was a principal venue for articles on Mormon History written by MHA members.

A DVD archive of past issues of the journal is available at MHA's web site.

List of editors[edit]

Name Position Term
Richard Sadler Editor 1974–1981
Dean L. May Editor 1982–1985
Leonard J. Arrington Editor 1986–1987
Lowell M. Durham, Jr. Editor 1988–1990
Lavina Fielding Anderson Editor 1991–2009
Martha P. Taysom[3] Editor 2009–present

Mormon History Association Awards[edit]

Among the awards presented by the Association are: the Leonard J. Arrington Award "for distinguished and meritorious service to Mormon history" – named for the MHA's founder, and father of New Mormon history; Best Book Award; Best First Book; Best Documentary or Bibliography; Best Biography; an award for an outstanding International Mormon history; an award for an outstanding history of a Mormon family (or grouping of families in one community).[4]


  1. ^ "MHA Officers and Board Members". Mormon History Association. July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-14. 
  2. ^ R. Scott Lloyd (June 4, 2011). "'Utah's Dixie' is site for annual Mormon History Association conference". Church News. Retrieved 2014-09-22. 
  3. ^ Ben (January 29, 2009). "New JMH Editor: Martha P. Taysom". Juvenile Instructor. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  4. ^ "MHA Awards", (Mormon History Association) 

External links[edit]