Mormon Historical Studies 10:1 (Spring 2009), Part 2

By September 9, 2009

Continued from Part 1.


Dennis A. Wright follows with ?The Beginnings of the First LDS Institute of Religion at Moscow, Idaho.?  Here Wright provides a highlight of ?key persons and events related to the beginnings of the Moscow Institute? in 1928.

Ronald G. Watt and Kenneth W. Godfrey?s ??Old 42?: The British and European Mission Headquarters in Liverpool, England, 1855-1904? explains the importance of this historic site and pulls together a host of sources that document the no-longer-extant mission headquarters.

Roger P. Minert also has a historic site piece, ?The Fate of the LDS East German Mission Home in World War II.?  This article I did find fairly interesting. Utilizing journals and interviews, Minert outlines the role of the Mission home in the throes of World War II and does a good job brining the last days of the Russian advance on Germany to life as the Mission home falls to allied bombs.  In the process, readers get a glimpse of life as a member of the Church in the German army and on the streets inside Germany during WWII.

Next comes Kyle Walker?s interview with Larry C. Porter. I haven?t read through all of this, but a quick glance shows family, school, and military service discussion as well as his entrance into the CES program, his dissertation as well as some remarkable finds (an 1830 Book of Mormon with an inscription from Joseph Smith in circulation at a local library in Broome County, New York, etc.), and much more. I?ll have to be sure to come back to this one.

Next, interestingly, is a short article by none other than President Thomas S. Monson, ?Wilford C. Wood? given at a banquet May 28, 2009 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building honoring the life and contributions of Wilford C. Wood. He gives a biographical sketch and a few stories about some of the historic sites that Wood helped acquire. He also shares some personal interactions with Wood.

Another offering from that memorial banquet is Kenneth R. Mays? ?A Man of Vision and Determination: A Photographic Essay and Tribute to Wilford C. Wood.?  It features a number of interesting photos from the Wood family of historic church sites.

Kyle Walker has another contribution to this issue, a document, ?A Letter from Missourian Josiah Hendrick During the Mormon-Missouri Conflict.?  This interesting letter indicates that at least some Missourians interpreted the ?Extermination Order? as a directive to ?kill them or drive them from the state.? It also gives a small sketch of Mormons from a Missourian point of view saying that Mormons had been driven from Jackson County because of their boasting that they would convert them all or take their lands and that Joseph Smith was believed in as Jesus by them.

Our own Christopher Jones also has a document, ?The Complete Record of the Nauvoo Library and Literary Institute.? Chris provides a summary of how the record has been used by scholars in the past and offers some new questions that the text may help answer.

Book Reviews

Jed Woodworth reviews Terryl Givens? People of Paradox. A generally good review, though pointing out some issues Givens might have engaged but does not.

Our own Matt Bowman reviews Reid Nielson and Terryl Givens? Joseph Smith Jr.: Reappraisals After Two Centuries. More on this soon.

Finally, Jed Rogers reviews William Allison and Susan Matt?s Dreams, Myths, and Reality: Utah and the American West. He writes, ?Despite some essays that are refreshing and new, readers should not expect to find the latest in historical theory and interpretation?This volume is a rejoinder of the best of that scholarship [the New Western History], a reminder of how far we have come??

Happy reading!

Article filed under Miscellaneous


  1. Thanks again, for the review, Jared. Roger Minert’s article is part of a larger treatment of the experience of German Saints during WWII that the RSC is publishing. It was going through the very final editing stages this summer, and should be on shelves soon.

    Comment by Christopher — September 9, 2009 @ 7:41 am

  2. Thanks, Jared, for the review. I recently received a solicitation to subscribe to MHS, but I passed. I subscribe to BYU Studies, JMH, and Dialogue, I’m broke from paying subscription fees, and I’m behind in my reading as it is. What is MHS’s raison d’être? Does it publish things that JMH wouldn’t or vice versa?

    Comment by Justin — September 9, 2009 @ 8:47 am

  3. Thanks, Chris. If the rest of the treatment is like this article, then it’ll really be a worthwhile read.

    Justin, the mission statement says, “Inaugurated in 2000, this independent periodical includes essays, biographies, documents, book reviews, historical site descriptions, indexes, and archival listings relevant to subjects of general interest to Latter-day Saints, while striving for high scholarly standards. From 1989-99 the periodical was published under the title, Nauvoo Journal.” Of course, basically the same could be said for the other periodicals you mention. I can’t speak to what JMH or MHS would or would not publish that the other would, etc.

    Maybe Matt or Chris can speak to why they chose MHS for their review/document as opposed to some other place.

    Comment by Jared T. — September 9, 2009 @ 10:22 am

  4. My 2c on MHS (and thank heavens I can read them all at the library; sorry, editors): MHS fairly recently became the organ of the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation. It always has concentrated to some degree, but probably will now sharpen its focus, on articles that can be tied to specific geographical locations (as opposed to historical theory or personal essay or doctrinal studies). Also, it focuses [almost? exclusively] on mainstream Mormon topics, where the other journals tend to spread out over all Restorationism. It probably doesn’t have the prestige of some of the other journals, but it publishes solid stuff that holds up.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — September 9, 2009 @ 10:26 am

  5. […] Parshall: Mormon Historical Studies 10:1Jared T.: Mormon Historical Studies 10:1Justin: Mormon Historical Studies 10:1Christopher: Mormon […]

    Pingback by Juvenile Instructor » Mormon Historical Studies 10:1 (Spring 2009), Part 1 — September 9, 2009 @ 10:31 am

  6. Ardis, those are the words I was having trouble finding, thank you. I think that seems like an accurate assessment.

    Comment by Jared T — September 9, 2009 @ 10:44 am

  7. Perhaps (likely) because Alex Baugh is the editor, the MHS seems to attract a lot of religion profs who want to write something a bit more scholarly and historical than would normally appear in the Religious Educator, but who wouldn’t normally publish in JMH. MHS usually has several articles that pique my interest, which I can’t always say for the more premier journals.

    Comment by David G. — September 9, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  8. It would be handy if MHS would follow the lead of other journals and make their back issues available on CD. Under Maurine Carr Ward (the editor for much of its run, just prior to Alex Baugh), MHS published name indexes to a number of documents, and published early lists and membership rolls and other reference materials that you may not have known you needed when an issue came out, but which would be extremely helpful to some current project.

    Any given issue of MHS also tends to have more, and shorter, articles than some of the other journals, which may partly account for the impression I have, like David, that issues usually have several articles of interest.

    Dang. I’m talking myself into thinking that MHS may be my favorite Mormon Studies periodical, although it’s the other journals that you feel like you have to be familiar with since they’re the ones everybody else is talking about.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — September 9, 2009 @ 11:28 am

  9. Ardis, I’d also like to see a more comprehensive electronic offering of this journal. Luckily, a number of the back issues are available in the interim, at the website, including the full texts of its earlier iteration, The Nauvoo Journal.

    Comment by Jared T — September 9, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  10. Another factor in why MHS might have more interesting articles (I know, a subjective statement) is that the turn around is relatively quicker than the other journals. Scholars like to get their work out there quickly, and MHS, because it lacks the funding of JMH, Dialogue, and especially BYUS (who employs a small army of student editors), can usually promise a shorter waiting period between submission and publication.

    Comment by David G. — September 9, 2009 @ 12:43 pm

  11. A really solid issue…I too may need to repent and get a subscription.

    Comment by J. Stapley — September 9, 2009 @ 2:03 pm


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