Highlights from the Journal of Mormon History 44, no. 4

By September 27, 2018

The latest issue of the Journal of Mormon History arrived in my mailbox this week and, I am pleased to say, is a very strong issue. Below is a brief summary of the articles and a list of book reviews. You can submit your article manuscript to the Journal of Mormon History HERE.

Matthew Godfrey‘s article “The Second Sacred Grove: The Influence of Greenville, Indiana, on Joseph Smith’s 1832 First Vision Account” examines a letter written by Joseph Smith to Emma Smith on June 6, 1832. Godfrey documents the similarities between a wrestle for forgiveness with his sins in Indiana with his handwritten First Vision Account published in the same year. Particularly recommended for those that use the First Vision to explore memory studies.

R. Devan Jensen‘s article “Philo Dibble’s Dream of ‘a Gallery in Zion'” analyzes the early convert’s quest to help Latter-day Saints remember their history through art and artifacts. In turn, he also argues that Dibble’s narration of church history “influenced the selection and arrangement of scenes painted by Danish immigrant C.C.A. Christensen in his much later panoramas.”

Matthew McBride‘s “‘Female Brethren’: Gender Dynamics in a Newly Integrated Missionary Force, 1898-1915,” is a groundbreaking piece that examine the introduction of full-time single women serving missions in the late nineteenth century. As someone that has been citing “unpublished manuscript by Matthew McBride” in my own work, I am THRILLED to be able to cite it in its published form.

Tonya Reiter‘s article “Life on the Hill: The Black Farming Families of Mill Creek” is an exquisite piece of scholarship. In it, she reveals the day-to-day lives of Black Mormons living in Utah’s Millcreek. Most of “Mormon Studies” uses Mormonism as a lens rather than the subject of historical work. Reiter’s research reinforces my belief that writing Mormon history for the sake of Mormon history, rather than larger arguments, is essential to the field and valuable to many.

Bill Hartley‘s article reminded me how much I miss seeing him at the LDS Church History Library  (he passed away in April of this year). In “‘Brethren, It’s the Last Day of the Month’: A History of Ward Teaching, 1912-1963,” Hartley provides a “chronology, history, and assessment of how ward teaching served the [LDS] Church and its members, leaders, and the ward teachers themselves.” I had never considered the switch from “ward teaching” to “home teaching” and learned a lot from his analysis.

Lori Motzkus Wilkinson, a History Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Utah, contributes a fascinating story of Mormon women and the ERA. “In “Buttons, Banners, and Pie: Mormon Women’s Grassroots Movements: ‘Equality Yes, ERA No’ versus “Another Mormon for ERA,” she examines “the experiences and ideals of Mormon women who opposed the ERA, who received less attention, to demonstrate that rather than being obstructionists of women’s equality, they thought intelligently about rights and fought for their own vision of equality.”


Todd Kerstetter reviews Richard E. Turley, Jr., Janiece L. Johnson, LaJean Purcell Caruth, Mountain Meadows Massacre: Collected Legal Papers

Farina King reviews Max Perry Mueller, Race and the Making of the Mormon People

Ryan Tobler reviews Kathryn Gin Lum‘s Damned Nation: Hell in America from the Revolution to Reconstruction

Brett Dowdle reviews Kenneth L. Alford‘s Utah and the American Civil War: The Written Record

Megan Sanderson reviews Spencer Fluhman, Kathleen Flake, Jed WoodwardTo Be Learned is Good: Essays on Faith and Scholarship in Honor of Richard Lyman Bushman

Jonathan Stapley reviews Mark Ashurst-McGee, Robin Jensen, Sharlayn D. Howcroft, Foundational Texts of Mormonism

Mae Speight reviews RoseAnn Benson‘s Alexander Campbell and Joseph Smith: 19th Century Restorationists



Article filed under Book and Journal Reviews


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