Paid Student Internship at Nauvoo, Illinois

By February 12, 2018

From friend of JI Nancy Ross:

I have been informed that there is a paid history internship (related to LDS/Community of Christ history), which comes with housing and up to 6 credits in history from Graceland University. This is for undergrads and graduate students. Please forward the information to interested parties.

Please check out the description here:

To apply, the forms are below and you need to send them to

This is a well-established internship and I can also put interested people in contact with someone who has done this internship before.

Image result for nauvoo illinois

2018 Church History Symposium: Financing Faith

By February 6, 2018

The 2018 Church History Symposium will be held 1-2 March 2018, splitting days between BYU campus and the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. The program committee has assembled a full slate of panels addressing the theme for this year’s conference, “Financing Faith: The Intersection of Business and Religion.” 

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Announcing MHA Executive Director Search

By February 5, 2018

See original post HERE

Position:  Executive Director, Mormon History Association

This person oversees and administers all aspects of the organization, reporting to the MHA President and Board of Directors.

About MHA:

The Mormon History Association is a nonprofit, independent, nondenominational organization dedicated to the scholarly study and understanding of all aspects of Mormon history, broadly defined. We promote this mission through scholarly research, conferences, awards, and publications.


Proven record of experience in administrative work, preferably in the nonprofit field, with demonstrated competence in the following areas: accounting/bookkeeping and records management; public relations and communications; fundraising, donor relations, and capital development; event planning and coordination. Must demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills, and ability to be innovative and creative in generating new ideas and responding to external demands. Proficiency in newsletter publishing software, electronic communications, and records management is required; web design and social media expertise strongly preferred. The position requires personal flexibility, energy, diplomacy, and the ability to work independently.

The MHA Executive Director need not be a scholar of Mormon history, but should be able to enthusiastically support and publicly represent the organization’s mission, as well as interacting with the MHA membership which includes both professional historians and enthusiasts from a variety of religious backgrounds (or none at all).

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Clipping Words and Pasting Narratives (or Tweeting the Nineteenth Century)

By February 2, 2018

True to form, the online discussion over differing journalistic approaches to the reporting of the death of President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints appears to have run its course. Mormons quickly took to Twitter to respond to one particular article perceived as far too negative. In turn, those believing the article portrayed an accurate depiction of the church and its leaders responded. Hundreds debated the nuance of words and those words’ implications for the nation’s view of the church and its leaders—all in 280 characters. In other words, it was a typical day on Twitter.

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Part-Time Work in SLC: Benchmark Books

By January 31, 2018

Benchmark Books is looking to fill a position that includes bookkeeping, packaging and shipping orders and general customer service. If you’d like to be part of a bookstore that just finished it’s thirtieth year in business and are familiar with LDS books and culture then please contact Chris Bench ( and please pass this on to friends that might be interested.

Guest Post: Response to “How Do You Rebuild Your Life After Leaving a Polygamous Sect?”

By January 30, 2018

This post comes from Cristina Rosetti, a Ph.D. Candidate in Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside and is a Mormon Studies Fellow at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. Her dissertation examines spiritualism and fundamentalist Mormonism.

As new charges and depositions against Warren Jeffs surface, the FLDS is once again in the journalistic spotlight. This even includes a Buzzfeed article by Anne Helen Petersen who captured the way former members of the FLDS are returning to Short Creek (referred to as the “Crick” by residents and frequent visitors alike), to rebuild a community that was left in ruin following the capture of Jeffs. [i] By any measure, they are succeeding. These are stories matter because they are often missing from work on Mormon fundamentalism. But, there are still other narratives and methods of story-telling that remain absent.

Most people, Mormon or otherwise, who read popular writings on fundamentalism are not aware of how we got here. To be fair, capturing the complex history of fundamentalism requires more space than many journalists are afforded (try writing the entirety of LDS history in one essay, even long-form). Writing on Mormonism is so centrally focused on an unbroken Priesthood lineage that began with Joseph Smith and ends with the current President of the LDS Church that other histories are left behind. The powerful testimonies from members of the Council of Friends, the compelling writings of Joseph Musser, and the lives of current fundamentalist leaders and Prophets are absent. These absences create a void in Mormon history that leave room for spectacle and causes outsiders to wonder how people like Warren Jeffs happened. It also leaves people assuming that all fundamentalists adhere to the same beliefs and practices.

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State-of-the-Field and Publication Workshop: Mormon Studies

By January 29, 2018

Last year, Kris W. and I hosted a Mormon Studies Publication Workshop at the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University in St. Louis.

The workshop helped to create a sense of community among young scholars from a variety of places and disciplines while providing helpful feedback for developing projects. We were especially glad to receive so many excellent submissions on race, gender, and sexuality and were grateful to the Danforth Center for hosting scholars from California to Massachussetts. You can read more about the meeting here.

This year we will host another workshop on June 6, 2018 as a pre-conference option at the Mormon History Association conference in Boise, Idaho. The workshop, “Beyond the New Mormon History: Trends and Methodologies,” will be held Thursday, June 6 from 9 AM-5 PM. There will be no cost for the workshop beyond punctual arrival and rigorous intellectual engagement.


In a change from past years, anyone that is interested in Mormon Studies in any discipline may apply to participate in the workshop. Women and less represented groups are especially encouraged to apply and will receive preference in the selection process. The paper you propose to present must touch on Mormonism in some way (comparative studies are welcomed). Participants should be physically present in Boise to participate in the workshop.

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Call for Papers: 2018 JSP Conference on Translation

By January 24, 2018

From our Friends at the Joseph Smith Papers:

In 2018, the Joseph Smith Papers Project will release volume four of the Revelations and Translations Series, consisting of Book of Abraham manuscripts and related documents. To celebrate the publication of this volume, the project is sponsoring a conference on the topic of translation and Latter-day Saint history on October 26, 2018, at the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City, Utah. We invite proposals for scholarly papers related to Joseph Smith and translation for this conference. Papers could cover subjects such as the concept of translation in the nineteenth century, Latter-day Saint or nineteenth-century understandings of ancient languages, the production of Latter-day Saint scripture or biblical translation/revision. We encourage papers that utilize the Revelations and Translations series of the Joseph Smith Papers to illuminate the ministry and work of Joseph Smith, how Joseph Smith and other Saints understood the gift of translation, and the methods behind specific translation projects.

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The Marlin K. Jensen Mormon Studies Scholar and Artist in Residence Program at the Tanner Humanities Center

By January 23, 2018

The Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah is proud to offer its annual fellowship in the name of Marlin K. Jensen.  Our Marlin K. Jensen Scholar and Artist in Residence Program hosts prominent scholars with expertise in Mormon Studies or renowned artists who explore the relationship between faith and art in their work.

Marlin Keith Jensen was a general authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), serving as the official Church Historian and Recorder from 2005 to 2012. During his tenure, Jensen built bridges between the Mormon Church and the academy and worked to give the Church’s History Department international range, make its holdings more accessible to researchers, and publish primary materials.  Jensen was made an emeritus general authority in 2012.

The fellowship is flexible in terms of time commitment and tasks.  Applicants are asked to submit a clear plan for their time as fellow, up to a semester in length, which broadens our campus and community’s understanding of Mormonism, its people, and institutions.  Academic as well as independent scholars are encouraged to apply.

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Graduate Fellowship in Mormon Studies at the Tanner Humanities Center, University of Utah

By January 23, 2018

The Tanner Humanities Center will award a graduate fellowship in Mormon Studies for the 2018-19 academic year. The fellowship encourages, in all facets, the scholarly explorations of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, its people, values, history, culture, and institutions.  This fellowship is designed to enable doctoral students of unusual ability and achievement to engaging in research and writing full time. Projects should focus on topics related to the history and/or culture of Mormonism. Eligible disciplines include: Communication, English, History, Languages, Law, Philosophy, and Political Science, among others.

Graduate students will have successfully passed their Ph.D. or qualifying exams, and completed all course work by the beginning of the fellowship period (August 2018).

Fellows will receive a stipend of $20,000 and a private office with computer and telephone in the Center. Fellows may retain other forms of internal and external support that do not interfere with their dissertation work.

Applications may be found at  The deadline for all materials is March 1, 2018.  Please send applications and letters of recommendation to Beth James, Associate Director, at

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Bryce Harper and Mormon Masculinities

By January 22, 2018

Bryce Harper was the first Mormon to be compared to Lebron James. He was also the first Mormon to have a temper tantrum full of particular 4-letter words go viral. Bryce Harper also posed for ESPN’s The Body issue without a stitch of clothing on him.[i] He was, by any definition of the term in regards to styling and dress, immodest. Mormonism’s modesty culture encourages young people not to “use a special occasion as an excuse to be immodest. When you dress immodestly, you send a message that is contrary to your identity as a son or daughter of God. You also send the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval.” Harper is tattooed, rocks a perfectly-coiffed modern hair-do, and his eyes sear into the viewer. His body may be objectified, but he is not a passive observer. Quite the contrary. His stance, eyes, and rippling pectorals denote physical and charismatic power. Most casual observers would not peg him for an active Latter-day Saint.

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Heaven & Earth: Mormonism and the Challenges of Science, Revelation and Faith (Conference at UVU February 22nd-23rd, 2018)

By January 21, 2018

The conference is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Brian Birch at or Boyd Petersen at 

The relationship between science and religion has been among the most fiercely debated issues since the Copernican revolution displaced traditional wisdom regarding the nature of the cosmos. Some have argued  for a sharp division of labor while others have sought to harmonize spiritual and empirical truths. From its beginnings, Mormonism has wrestled with the implications of modern science and has produced a variety of  theological responses. This conference will explore the landscape of Mormon thought as it relates to the relationships between science, theology, scriptural narratives, and LDS authoritative discourse. It will also examine abiding questions of faith, reason, and doubt and the reactions against the intellectualizing forces that bear on the truth claims of Mormonism.

Thursday, February 22 UVU Classroom Building (CB-511)

1:00-2:15 Eugene England Memorial Lecture

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“In My Father’s House Are Many Mansions”: Black Mormon Pioneer Experiences An Evening with Amy Tanner Thiriot

By January 17, 2018

From the LDS Church Museum’s website:

The first black members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints were a vital part of the early history of the Church. They served missions and shared the gospel. As the Church moved west, they helped build Nauvoo and Winter Quarters and drove wagons across the plains to the Salt Lake Valley. Once in the valley, they helped rescue the stranded Willie and Martin handcart companies, built roads and communities, and raised families in the Mormon settlements of the West.

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The New LDS First Presidency: Historical Notes and Contexts

By January 16, 2018

Thanks to Brother X for this post!

As expected, Russell M. Nelson was set apart as President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His counselors are Dallin H. Oaks and Henry B. Eyring were selected as First and Second Counselors, respectively.

I am a historian. I do not predict the future. Latter-day Saints view every calling as from the Mouth of God. I do not disparage that. As an active LDS I believe in that. I am merely pointing out lines of thought. So please no comments about this being political.

With that in mind, there are some interesting things to think about with this new First Presidency:

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LDS Church President Obits in the NYT (PDF to Full Articles at Bottom of Post)

By January 10, 2018

For no reason at all, here are the headlines, as they currently stand, for each LDS Church President who had an obituary published in the New York Times:

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Succession in the LDS Presidency: Past and Present

By January 3, 2018

President Thomas S. Monson, sixteenth President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, passed away last night surrounded by family in his Salt Lake City home from effects related to aging. We share our sympathy and support for his family and all those affected by his death, notably sixteen million or so Latter-day Saints.

There will be time for historical retrospectives at a later date. At this time, I thought it would be helpful to review how an LDS Church President is called and sustained by the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. This section is taken from the Mormon newsroom, I would encourage you to read the rest here. At the bottom of this post, I’ll share some helpful links on the historical development of succession in the LDS Church.

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Happy New Year! Here Are a Few Things We Are Going to do This Year

By January 1, 2018

Happy New Year from all of us at Juvenile Instructor! We enjoyed bringing you historical argument, book reviews, announcements, and our summer book club in 2017. We have several more exciting plans for 2018.

  • New authors with historiographical expertise in areas we have neglected
  • Roundtables on new books in Mormon history (including J. Stapley’s and Colleen McDannell’s new books)
  • A series of posts on beginning to write a dissertation
  • A series of posts on turning dissertations into books
  • Q&As with scholars that teach Mormon history, from that that identify as Mormon historians and those that do not
  • A March Madness-style bracket on the best articles in Mormon history

Be sure to follow us on social media or via email for updates! Following us on social media helps other to find us and helps us spread the word of news and notes from the world of Mormon history.





Postdoc at the University of Virginia

By December 27, 2017

2018-2019 Postdoctoral Fellowship

We invite applications from those whose work bears on American religious history, thought or practice and, ideally, in relation to law and politics. Preference will be given to applicants with interest in marginal religious movements, especially Mormonism.

The University of Virginia’s Religious Studies Department invites applications for one full-time Postdoctoral Research Associate and Lecturer for the 2018-2019 academic year. The anticipated start date is July 25, 2018. Applications are welcome from any whose work bears on American religious history, thought or practice. Preference will be given to those applicants with interest in marginal or newer religious movements, especially Mormonism. Preference will be given to applicants interested in adding Mormon Studies to their portfolio. Expertise in Mormonism is not required. Rather, the Fellowship is designed to provide training for persons who wish to add such expertise to an existing disciplinary specialty.

Duties include, but are not limited to, teaching three courses over the two-semester term of the fellowship. Specifically, the Fellow will teach two seminars in his or her discipline and on topics of his or her choice. In addition, the Fellow will team-teach, with the Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies, an introductory survey on Mormonism in relation to American culture. Applicants should evidence experience in and commitment to undergraduate and graduate teaching in a liberal arts framework, and be prepared to participate in both a large team-taught introductory-level class and smaller upper-level courses.

Additional duties include assistance with UVA’s Forum on Religion and American Democracy. The Forum sponsors interdisciplinary research and other academic and public activity on the ways American religion and democracy shape one another. It also includes study of how the evolving relationship between American religion and democracy have affected, and continue to affect, other nations.

Compensation for this appointment will be in the form of a competitive salary with full-time benefits and includes a $3,000 research fund. For full consideration apply by February 15, 2018; however, the position will remain open until filled.

Applicants for the fellowship must have attained their PhD by the appointment start date.

To apply, please complete a Candidate Profile online through Jobs@UVA (search on posting 0622269), and electronically attach the following: a cover letter, a current CV including the names and contact information for three references, and a statement describing, in no more than 300 words, your qualifications for and philosophy of teaching with attention to your disciplinary approach.

Questions regarding the position should be directed to Kathleen Flake, Richard Lyman Bushman Professor of Mormon Studies:

Questions regarding the application process or Jobs@UVA should be directed to Mick Watson, Administrator, Department of Religious Studies:

The University will perform background checks on all new faculty hires prior to making a final offer of employment.

The University of Virginia is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

MHA International Scholars Fund

By December 22, 2017

The Mormon History Association (MHA) seeks to raise $5,000 to support scholars from outside the United States to travel to and participate in the association’s annual conference in Boise, Idaho, on June 7-10, 2018.  If you love Mormon history, this is an excellent opportunity to support the diversification and internationalization of our community of scholars! LINK HERE

MHA is making a concerted effort to diversify its membership and include scholars and students from around the globe in order to help expand our understanding of Mormon history outside of the United States.  An annual fund of $5,000 will allow the association to subsidize the attendance and participation of scholars from Europe, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific Islands, and elsewhere, for whom the expense of traveling to the United States for an MHA conference is often prohibitive.  We need the perspectives and knowledge these scholars can contribute, and ask for your help in elevating their voices.

The Mormon History Association is the preeminent scholarly organization dedicated to the study and understanding of all aspects of the Mormon past.  As an independent, nondenominational, nonprofit organization, we welcome all who are interested in Mormon history.  MHA’s flagship event is our annual conference, scheduled to occur next on June 7-10, 2018, in Boise, Idaho.

Please join us in this initiative to bring a greater international presence to the MHA 2018 conference. Contributions of every level are welcome.  All donations are tax deductible.  Our goal is to raise $5,000 by January 22.

Thank you for your support of the Mormon History Association and our increasingly global community of scholars and members!


Mormonism in The Moslem Sunrise, 1922

By December 21, 2017

In 1921, Mufti Muhammad Sadiq, a representative of the Ahmadiyya Movement and the first Muslim missionary to America, launched the The Moslem Sunrise, a newspaper intended to help proselytize Americans. In its October 6, 1922 issue, Sudiq included a short excerpt from another paper on “Mormon Christians.” Here it is in its entirety:

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