Mormon History Association

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." It is not affiliated with the LDS Church and was founded by people who support no religious beliefs.[1] 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.


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 historian; 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 BYU historian
1971–72 Davis Bitton MHA co-founder; University of Utah history professor
1972–73 James B. Allen MHA co-founder; BYU history professor
1973–74 Reed C. Durham Jr. Director of Institute of Religion at the University of Utah
1974–75 Thomas G. Alexander BYU history professor
1975–76 Charles S. Peterson University of Utah historian; former director of USHS
1976–77 Paul M. Edwards
1977–78 Douglas D. Alder USU history professor and director of honors program
1978–79 Milton V. Backman BYU Religious Education professor
1979–80 Jan Shipps Indiana University professor of history and religious studies
1980–81 Dean C. Jessee Joseph Smith researcher and archivist 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 BYU English professor with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute.
1985–86 Richard L. Bushman Columbia University historian; author of Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism
1986–87 Richard W. Sadler
1987–88 Valeen Tippetts Avery Northern Arizona University historian, Co-author of Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith
1988–89 Stanley B. Kimball SIU Edwardsville historian; biographer of Heber C. Kimball
1989–90 Carol Cornwall Madsen BYU historian with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute.
1990–91 Richard P. Howard World Church Historian of the RLDS Church
1991–92 Ronald W. Walker BYU history professor
1992–93 Marvin S. Hill BYU historian; author of Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism
1993–94 Roger D. Launius JWHA president; chief historian for NASA
1994–95 Mario De Pillis
1995–96 David J. Whittaker Brigham Young University archivist
1996–97 Linda King Newell historian; author of Mormon Enigma; editor of Dialogue; JWHA president
1997–98 Armand L. Mauss WSU professor of sociology and religious studies
1998–99 Jill Mulvay Derr BYU historian; authored women's histories
1999–2000 Newell G. Bringhurst
2000–01 William G. Hartley Director of the Family History and Genealogy Research Center at BYU
2001–02 Dean L. May University of Utah historian specializing in social history of the American West
2002–03 Lawrence Foster Georgia Institute of Technology professor of history, technology, and society
2003–04 Martha Sonntag Bradley
2004–05 Donald Q. Cannon Brigham Young University professor
2005–06 Philip L. Barlow Professor of theology and American religious history at Hanover College
2006–07 Ronald K. Esplin Joseph Smith Papers Project director; BYU historian; Joseph Fielding Smith Institute director
2007–08 Paul L. Anderson BYU Museum of Art curator
2008–09 Kathryn M. Daynes BYU historian; author of More Wives Than One
2009–10 Ronald E. Romig Community of Christ archivist
2010–11 William P. MacKinnon[2] Independent historian; author of At Sword's Point
2011–12 Richard L. Jensen[3] Research historian with LDS Church History Department
2012–13 Glen M. Leonard Independent historian; author of Nauvoo
2013–14 Richard E. Bennett BYU professor of Church History and Doctrine
2014–15 Laurel Thatcher Ulrich Harvard University historian of early America and women; Pulitzer and Bancroft winner
2015–16 Laurie Maffly-Kipp Professor at Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis
2016–17 Brian Q. Cannon BYU historian and director of the Charles Redd Center
2017–18 Patrick Q. Mason Utah State University Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture, professor of history. Former Howard W. Hunter Chair at Claremont University.
2018–19 W. Paul Reeve University of Utah professor of history and the director of graduate studies in the history department
2019–20 Ignacio M. Garcia BYU Lemuel H. Redd Jr. professor of Western American History at Brigham Young University.
2020–21 Jenny Lund Director of the Historic Sites Division of the Church History Department

Journal of Mormon History

Cover of the Fall 2008 issue (Vol. 34, No. 4). Covers between 1991 and 2009 were variations on this abstracted window from the Salt Lake City Tenth Ward building.[4]

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

Richard SadlerEditor1974–1981
Dean L. MayEditor1982–1985
Leonard J. ArringtonEditor1986–1987
Lowell M. Durham Jr.Editor1988–1990
Lavina Fielding AndersonEditor1991–2009
Martha P. Taysom[5]Editor2009–2016
Jessie L. Embry[6]Editor2016–2019
Christopher James Blythe
Jessie L. Embry
Christopher Cannon Jones
Jessie L. Embry

Mormon History Association Awards

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).[7]


  1. Swensen, Jason (2018-06-11). "Mormon History Association conference says the past of the LDS Church is not frozen". Deseret News. Retrieved 2022-08-20.
  2. "MHA Officers and Board Members". Mormon History Association. July 14, 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
  3. R. Scott Lloyd (June 4, 2011). "'Utah's Dixie' is site for annual Mormon History Association conference". Church News. Archived from the original on September 16, 2014. Retrieved 2014-09-22.
  4. "COVER". Journal of Mormon History. 34 (4): ii. Retrieved 2015-11-23.
  5. Ben (January 29, 2009). "New JMH Editor: Martha P. Taysom". Juvenile Instructor. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  6. J. Stuart (October 21, 2015). "New Editor of the Journal of Mormon History: Jessie Embry". Juvenile Instructor. Retrieved 2015-11-05.
  7. "MHA Awards",, Mormon History Association
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