Journal of Mormon History 33/1 (2007)

I have heard some people decry the aesthetics of popular Mormon art. I say to those people, cast your fury upon the recent cover of JMH. Fortunately, the substance of the journal is not reflected in the cover.*

Back in 2006, JMH published a critique of Joseph Smith biographies by Michael Quinn, in which Quinn was quite critical of Dan Vogel. The current issue publishes a rebuttal where Vogel attacks Quinn and a response by Quinn where he defends believing-history. Fascinating.

1. Philip Barlow’s Presidential Address, “Toward a Mormon Sense of Time.”
A fairly well documented introductory essay on Mormon conceptions of time. It was fine, I guess. Not particularly my area of interest.

39. Stephen Stein’s Tanner Lecture, “Historical Reflections on Mormon Futures.”
The Tanner Lecture is a presentation at the annual MHA conference where a non-Mormon scholar presents on their field of research as it relates to Mormonism. This is a interesting essay on Mormon eschatology by a notable scholar.

65. John Hammonds, “The 1876 Journal of Frank Hammond: ‘Travailing’ to the Little Colorado.”
While some people will probably fall asleep here, this is my bread and butter. Hammond is preparing a series of Frank Sr.’s diaries for publication with A. H. Clark, and this article gives excellent context and a review for Frank Jr.’s colonizing mission to the Little Colorado River in Arizona. This is a great supplement to the recently released Making Space on the Western Frontier and has a tremendous amount of information. A great article.

121. William MacKinnon, “‘Lonely Bones’: Leadership and Utah War Violence.”
Bill is a great scholar, period. In this study, he reviews a number of violent conflicts of a war that many have considered “bloodless.” He shows the extent of carnage and potential culpability of the Federal government and the Mormons. This is one of the better articles in a year of commemoration.

179. Gary James Bergera, “Tensions in David O. McKay’s First Presidencies.”
Even if you have read Princes McKay biography, there is more to see. What is even more fascinating is how McKay’s contemporaries learned and adapted from the institutional tension. Lot’s of good details for people interested in the development of church administration and the big issues of the day.

247. Glen Leonard reviews Claudia Bushman’s Contemporary Mormonism. Positive Review. Says the book does what is set out to do.

252. Jed Woodworth reviews H. Michael Marquardt’s The Rise of Mormonism, 1816-1844. Negative review. Can be paraphrased as, “Yawn.”

257. Thomas Alexander reviews Leonard Arrington’s Great Basin Kingdom (anniversary edition). Positive Review. Though dated and lacking in some areas, it still holds up well and young scholars should read it.

David Johnson reviews Fred E. Woods’ Gathering to Nauvoo. Positive Review. General audience volume with some useful insight. Scholars will be left wanting.

262. Samuel Passey reviews David Bigler’s Fort Limhi. Very Positive Review. An excellent narrative and documentary history.

265. J. and Taryn Nelson-Seawright review Jana Riess and Christopher Kimball Bigelow’s Mormonism for Dummies. Positive review. Who cares about the book? The reviewers rock!

* Unfortunately the MHA website is reflective of the cover of the journal. There is no information on the last 2 issues of JMH.


  1. Mark IV says:

    Thanks for this review, J. Bergera’s and MacKinnon’s articles were fascinating.

  2. Kevin Barney says:

    Thanks for the great report. I appreciate it, as my copy hasn’t arrived yet.

    I was present for the first couple of presentations, as they were given at 2006 MHA. The annual conference is a regular source of material for the Journal.

    It’s also nice to see the connections with the Bloggernacle (Bill M., Jana R., Serenity Valley and Roasted Tomatoes).

  3. You might contact them, Kevin. I have had it for well over a month now.

  4. I think the Quinn biography paper was actually in a 2006 JMH.

  5. I’ve always wondered why we get the same Catholic cathedral graphic every issue of JMH, just with a different color scheme. I agree, this month’s is particularly hideous. Is that an LDS window? Inquiring minds want to know.

  6. Thanks Melanie, fixed the typo. Tona, I honestly don’t mind the cover typically (not that I understand it), but this month…whoa.

  7. Christopher says:

    The graphic on the cover of JMH is the window on the Salt Lake City Tenth Ward church building. Pre-BYU and economically-efficient cookie-cutter chapels, Mormon architecture used to be pretty cool.

  8. Christopher says:

    For those interested, I located a photograph of the historic Tenth Ward chapel (with the window that appears on the cover of JMH).

  9. Christopher says:
  10. Thanks, Christopher. It is quite attractive when not cast in neon, pink, orange and green. (grin)

  11. Ugh, that is easily the worst cover yet. It is proof that they’ve run out of color combinations to decorate the same cover (the Fall 1994 cover was also a mistake). I prefer the pre-1991 covers.

    Re the Tenth Ward chapel design, I’ve noticed that several JMH issues in the early 1990s identified the design as originating from the Seventeenth Ward chapel. Then the Fall 1992 issue identified it as an abstraction of the window tracery from the “Salt Lake City Ward.” The following issue, Spring 1993, the design was linked to the Tenth Ward chapel. The designs look the same to me. Would JMH publish an article on the history of the JMH cover description?