From the Archives: Leonard Arrington on the Most Needed Studies in Mormon History

By October 17, 2018

This list comes from the Leonard Arrington Papers at Utah State University. It’s fascinating to see how far the historical professions has gone–can you imagine writing a thesis or dissertation on the LDS Church in all of South America(!!)? It’s amazing to see how specialized things have become, but also how Mormon the theses are. I’m not sure that writing something on the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, without using it as a lens to examine something else, would be encouraged today for aspiring academics.



(Let us know if you have someone who is working on or will work on one of these)

1. History of Church Social Services

2. History of Missionary Work by Women[i]

3. History of Home Teaching[ii]

4. History of the Church Sunday Schools

5. History of the Church Hospital System

6. History of the Primary Association

7. History of the Mutual Improvement Association (especially since 1938)

8. History of the Melchizedek Priesthood in this Dispensation

9. History of the Church Building Program

10. History of the Church in Hawaii (especially since 1941)

11. History of the Church in the South Seas (especially since 1941)

12. History of the Church’s Presence in Central America

History of the Church’s Presence in South America

13. History of the Church in England in the 20th Century

14. History of the Improvement Era

15. History of Teacher Development

16.  History of Teacher Development

17. History of Mormon Exhibits in World Exhibitions

18. History of Church Public Relations

19. History of the Church Translation System

20. History of the Church Welfare Plan (especially since 1953)

21. History of Proselyting Methods in the Church Missionary Program

22. History of the Church During World War II

23. History of Ethnic and Racial Branches in the Church: Black, Mexican-American, German, Scandinavian

24. History of Temple Work

25. Social History of Utah Mormons in the 20th Century

26. Social History of latter-day Saints in Metropolitan Areas in the 20th Century

Leonard J. Arrington Papers, MSS 1, Series III, Box 4, Folder 5, “26 MOST URGENTLY NEEDED THESES IN LDS CHURCH HISTORY,” Special Collections and Archives, Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Logan, Utah.

[i] Matthew McBride’s article in the Journal of Mormon History is a great start!

[ii] Bill Hartley’s article in the Journal of Mormon History is worth reading on the topic.

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Very interesting find, J.!

    Comment by David G. — October 30, 2018 @ 1:15 pm


Recent Comments

Hannah on DH and the Woman's: “Thanks for this great post and run-down of topic modeling. Cheers Jeff!”

Alan Clark on 2020 Mormon History Association: “Hey Ben, I have a topic that might go well with yours. Let's talk.”

Ben S on 2020 Mormon History Association: “I’m going to be submitting something related to the Modernist/Fundamentalist controversy (early 20th century), probably centered around either Joseph Fielding Smith/hermeneutics or the LDS Church…”

Quincy D. Newell on 2020 Mormon History Association: “SLC 2019 was great, and I'm looking forward to Rochester 2020! Let's see if we can make 2020 the YEAR WITHOUT A MANEL--thanks for…”

J Stuart on Hark Lay Wales Grave: “This seems like an intentional misreading. Your offense at my raising concerns about the language used to discuss the lives and labor of enslaved people…”

lcn on Hark Lay Wales Grave: “No man can serve two masters. The greatest among you shall be your servant, and those who exalt themselves will be made low. …”