Each year at the annual conference, JWHA presents awards for best books and best articles in several possible categories related to Latter Day Saint history, with a preference for those related to Community of Christ history or other related denominations in the movement. JWHA is committed to encouraging scholarship in various fields through our awards.

Best Book Award Criteria

Best Article Award Criteria

Past Award Recipients

2020 JWHA Awards Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Steven C. Harper for First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins.
  • Greg Kofford Best Historical Article Award: D. Dmitri Hurlbut for Gobert Edet and the Entry of the RLDS Church into Southeastern Nigeria, 1962–1966.
  • Geisner & Mogg Best Theological Article Award: Ryan Thomas for The Gold Plates and Ancient Metal Epigraphy.
  • Alma Blair Best Biography Book Award: Melvin C. Johnson for The Life and Times of John Pierce Hawley: A Mormon Ulysses of the American West.
  • Whittemore Best Documentary History Book Award: Joseph Smith Papers Project for Documents Volume 8: February-November 1841 and Documents Volume 9: December 1841-April 1842.
  • Metcalfe Best Anthology Book Award: P. Jane Hafen & Brenden W. Rensink for Essays on American Indian & Mormon History.

2019 JWHA Awards Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Scott C. Esplin for Return to the City of Joseph.
  • Greg Kofford Best Historical Article Award: John S. Dinger for Sexual Slander and Polygamy in Nauvoo.
  • Geisner & Mogg Best Theological Article Award: Todd Compton for ‘Prominent among the Apostles:’ Women, Priesthood, and Position in the New Testament.
  • Brim Best Biography Book Award: Daniel P. Stone for William Bickerton: Forgotten Latter Day Prophet.
  • Whittemore Best Documentary History Book Award: Gary J. Bergera for Confessions of a Mormon Historian: The Diaries of Leonard J. Arrington, 1971–1999, ed. Gary J. Bergera.
  • Metcalfe Best Anthology Book Award: Mark Ashurst-McGee, Robin Jensen and Sharalyn D. Howcroft for Foundational Texts of Mormonism.

2018 JWHA Awards Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Carma T. Prete and Roy A. Prete for Canadian Mormons: History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada.
  • Greg Kofford Best Historical Article Award: Daniel P. Stone for The Rocky Road to Prophethood: William Bickerton’s Emergence as an American Prophet.
  • Greg Kofford Best Theological Article Award: Jeffrey David Mahas for I Intend to Get Up a Whistling School: The Nauvoo Whistling and Whittling Movement, American Vigilante Tradition, and Mormon Theocratic Thought.
  • Brim Best Biography Book Award: Tom Christofferson for That We May Be One: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective On Faith & Family.
  • Whittemore Best Documentary History Book Award: Max Perry Mueller for Race and the Making of the Mormon People.
  • JWHA Best Anthology Book Award: Michael Austin and Ardis E. Parshall for The Mormon Image in Literature.
  • JWHA Community of Christ Studies Paper Award: LaJean Carruth for Transcribing the Memoirs of Joseph Smith III, as dictated by his son, Israel.

2017 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Mark A. Scherer for Journey of a People III: The Era of Worldwide Community 1946-2015.
  • Greg Kofford Best Historical Article Award: William Shepard and H. Michael Marquardt for Mormons and Missourians 1839-1844.
  • Greg Kofford Best Theological Article Award: Melvin C. Johnson for John Hawley: Mormon Ulysses His LDS Mission to Iowa and Eventual RLDS Conversion.
  • Brim Best Biography Book Award: Gregory A. Prince for Leonard Arrington and the Writing of Mormon History.
  • Whittemore Best Documentary History Book Award: Matthew Grow, Ronald K. Esplin, Mark Ashhurst-McGee, and Jeffrey Mahas for Administrative Records Council of Fifty Minutes March 1844-January 1846.
  • JWHA Best Anthology Book Award: Patrick Q. Mason for Mormon Studies in the Twenty-First Century.

2016 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: W. Paul Reeve for Religion of a Different Color.
  • Best Biography: Kyle Walker for William B. Smith In the Shadow of a Prophet.
  • Best Anthology Book Award: Terryl L. Givens and Philip L. Barlow for The Oxford Handbook of Mormonism.
  • Whittemore Best Documentary History Book Award: Dan Vogel for History of Joseph Smith and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
  • Greg Kofford Books Best Historical Article Award: Mark Staker for Joseph and Emma Smith’s Susquehanna Home: Expanding Mormonism’s First Headquarters.
  • Greg Kofford Books Best Historical Article Award:Joseph Johnstun for Weapons Related to the Murder of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
  • Greg Kofford Best Theological Article Award: Cory Crawford for The Struggle for Female Authority in Biblical and Mormon Theology.
  • Community of Christ Studies Article Award: Junia Braby for An Abode in the Wilderness: Charles B. Thompson’s Communal Society in Western Iowa.
    I was thrilled to receive the Community of Christ Studies Article Award for my writing about Charles B. Thompson. Your acknowledgment has encouraged me to pursue further research and writing.” Junia Braby

2015 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Greg Kofford Books Best Theological Article Award: Clare D. Vlahos for Religious Experience and Bureaucracy in the Early Reorganization.
  • Greg Kofford Books Best Historical Article: John S. Dinger for A Mean Conspirator or The Noblest of Men: William Markss Expulsion from Nauvoo.
  • JWHA Best Anthology Award: Miranda Wilcox and John D. Young for Standing Apart Mormon Historical Consciousness and the Concept of Apostacy.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Documentary History Award: Gerrit J. Dirkmaat, Brent M. Rogers, Grant Underwood, Robert J. Woodford, and William G. Hartley for The Joseph Smith Papers Documents Volume 3 February 1833-March 1834.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Biography Award: Ronald E. Romig for Eighth Witness The Biography of John Whitmer.
  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: David J. Howlett for Kirtland Temple The Biography of a Shared Mormon Sacred Space.

2014 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Greg Kofford Books Best Theological Article Award: William Russell for William T. Blue: A Lonely Spokesman for Black Saints.
  • Greg Kofford Books Best Historical Article: Christine Elyse Blythe for William Smiths Patriarchal Blessings and Contested Authority in the Post-Martyrdom Church.
  • JWHA Best Anthology Award: Danny L. Jorgensen and Joni Wilson for Herstories: Ten Autobiographical Narratives of RLDS Women.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Documentary History Award: H. Michael Marquardt for Joseph Smiths 1828-1843 Revelations.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Biography Award: Todd M. Compton for A Frontier Life: Jacob Hamblin, Explorer and Indian Missionary.
  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Mark A Scherer for The Journey of a People, Volumes One and Two.

2013 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Kofford Best Theological Article: Dale Luffman for Absence of Womens Voices: A Critique of the Book of Mormon.
  • Kofford Best Historical Article: Erin B. Metcalfe for Charles Anthon The Man Behind the Letters.
  • Smith-Pettit Best Book: Samuel Morris Brown for In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death.
  • JWHA Best Anthology Book: Richard E. Turley Jr. and Brittany A. Chapman, eds. for Women of Faith in the Latter Days: Volume 2.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Biography: John G. Turner for Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet.
  • Cover to Cover Books & Mormonabilia Best Documentary History: Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, Mark R. Ashurst-McGee, and Richard L. Jensen, eds. for The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories Vol. 1; Karen Lynn Davidson, David J. Whittaker, and Richard L. Jensen, eds. for The Joseph Smith Papers: Histories Vol. 2: Assigned Histories, 18311847.

2012 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Mormonabilia Best Biography: Terryl Givens & Matt Grow for Parley P. Pratt: The Apostle Paul of Mormonism.
  • Smith-Pettit Best Book: John Dinger for The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes.
  • Kofford Best Theological Article: Matt Bowman for Matthew Philip Gill and Joseph Smith: The Dynamics of Mormon Schism.
  • Kofford Best Historical Article: Clare Vlahos for Ecstasy and Orthodoxy: Zenas H. Gurley Sr. and the Formation of the Early Reorganization.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: William D. “Bill” Russell

2011 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Will Bagley and David L. Bigler for The Mormon Rebellion: Americas First Civil War, 1857-1858.
  • Best Article Award: Chrystal Vanel for  History of the RLDS Church/Community of Christ in France.

2010 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Mark L. Staker for Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith’s Ohio Revelations.
  • Best Article Award: Christopher James Blythe for The Church in the Days of Alpheus Cutler’: New Insights into Nineteenth-century Cutlerite Ecclesiology.

2009 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: George D. Smith for Mormon Polygamy: “…but we called it celestial marriage”
  • Best Article Award: Bryan R. Monte for  Harvest Hills at Thirty-five: Graying Not Growing.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: W.B. “Pat” Spillman

2008 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Newell G. Bringhurst and Craig L. Foster for The Mormon Quest for the Presidency.
  • Best Article Award: Erin B. Jennings for Whitmer Family Beliefs and Their Church of Christ.
  • Best Article Award: Robin Scott Jensen for Mormons Seeking Mormonism: Strangite Success and the Conceptualization of Mormon Ideology, 1844-50.

2007 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Brian C. Hales for Modern Polygamy and Mormon Fundamentalism: The Generations after the Manifesto.
  • Best Article Award: David J. Howlett for The Making of a Steward’: Zion, Ecclesiastical Power, and RLDS Bodies, 1923-31.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Jan Shipps

2006 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Melvin C. Johnson for Polygamy on the Pedernales: Lyman Wight’s Mormon Villages in Antebellum Texas, 1845 to 1858.
  • Best Article Award: Richard Clothier for Different Drummers: The Diverse Hymnody of the Reorganization.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Paul M. Edwards

2005 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Robert S. Wicks and Fred R. Foister for Junius and Joseph: Presidential Politics and the Assassination of the First Mormon Prophet.
  • Best Article Award: Kim L. Loving for Ownership of the Kirtland Temple: Legends, Lies, and Misunderstandings.
  • Special Book Award: Newell G. Bringhurst and Lavina Fielding Anderson eds. for Excavating Mormon Pasts: The New Historiography of the Last Half Century.
  • Special Book Award: Devery S. Anderson and Gary James Bergera eds. for Joseph Smith’s Quorum of the Anointed, 1842-1845: A Documentary History and The Nauvoo Endowment Companies, 1845-1846: A Documentary History.

2004 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Dan Vogel for Joseph Smith: The Making of a Prophet.
  • Best Article Award: Robert Flanders for Nauvoo On My Mind.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Alma Blair
  • Best Student Paper Award: David J. Howlett for Memory, Prophets, and Polygamy: The RLDS Church and American Religious Transformations in the Late Twentieth Century.

2003 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Will Bagley for Blood of the Prophets: Brigham Young and the Massacre at Mountain Meadows.
  • Best Article Award: D. Michael Quinn for National Culture, Personality, and Theocracy in the Early Mormon Culture or Violence.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Richard P. Howard
  • Special Award: Dan Vogel for Early Mormon Documents.

2002 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Smith-Pettit Best Book Award: Glen Leonard for Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A Place of Promise.
  • Best Article Award: Eric Rogers for Mark Hill Forscutt: Mormon Missionary, Morrisite Apostle, RLDS Minister.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Leonard J. Arrington

1988 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Special Award: Jack Garnier for Images and Impressions. 
  • Best Article Award: Ronald E. Romig and John H. Siebert for The Genesis of Zion: Kirtland and the Concept of Temples.
  • Best Book Award: Roger Launius for Invisible Saints: A History of Black Americans in the Reorganized Church.
  • Best Book Award: D. Michael Quinn for Early Mormonism and the Magic World View.

1987 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Special Award: John Horner for The Kirtland Rehearsal.
  • Best Article Award: Arthur L. Gardner for Great White Father: Gilbert J. Haller and the Church in the Hawaiian Islands.
  • Best Book Award: Stephen C. LeSueur for The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri.

1986 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Scholar of Promise: John Glaser for The Disaffection of William Law.
  • Special Award for Scholarly Merit: Charles Turner for Joseph Smith III and the Mormons in Utah.
  • Best Article Award: Paul Edwards for When will the Little Woman Come Out of the House?
  • Best Book Award: John Phillip Walker for Dale Morgan on Early Mormonism, Correspondence and a New History.
  • Best Book Award: Brigham D. Madsen for Studies for the Book of Mormon.

1985 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Lecture: Richard P. Howard for The Changing RLDS Response to Mormon Polygamy.
  • Best Lecture: Imogene Goodyear for Joseph Smith and Polygamy: An Alternative View.
  • Special Award: Richard and Ruth Wildermuth for Service in Advancing RLDS History at Plano, Illinois.
  • Best Book Award: Linda K. Newell and Valeen T. Avery for Mormon Enigmas Emma Hale Smith.

1984 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: Paul Shupe for Indulging in Temperance: Prohibition and Political Activism in the RLDS Church.
  • Best Book Award: Roger Launius for Zion’s Camp.
  • Special Citation for Contribution to RLDS Thought: A Preface to Faith.

1983 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Scholar of Promise: Susan Curtin Mernitz for Palmyra Revisited: A Look at Nineteenth Century America and the Book of Mormon.
  • Best Article Award: Hiroshi Yamada, Kesuki Sekine with assistance of Marliene Ham for The Church in Japan: A Search for Cross-Cultural Universals.

1982 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: D. Michael Quinn for Joseph Smith III’s Blessing and the Mormons of Utah.
  • Best Book Award: Larry Hunt for F.M. Smith: Saint as Reformer, Vol II.

1981 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Scholar of Promise: Paul Shupe for Indulging in Temperance.
  • Best Dissertation or Thesis: Madelon Brunson for Precedents Lost: A History of the RLDS Women’s Organization, 1842-1974.
  • Best Article Award: Clare Vlahos for Images of Orthodoxy: Self-Identity in Early Reorganization Apologetics.
  • Best Book Award: Maurice Draper, ed. and Clare Vlahos for Restoration Studies I.

1980 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Special Award: F. Henry Edwards  (Spring Banquet)

1979 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: Junia Braby, Barbara Howard for The Hodges Hanging.
  • Best Lecture:  Howard Booth for Shifts in Restoration Thought.
  • Promising New Scholar Award: Nancy Hiiles Ishikawa for Lamoni as Environment, Alice Smith Edwards’ Experience.
  • Best Book Award: Leonard Arrington and Davis Bitton for The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints.

1978 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: Paul Edwards for The Secular Smiths.
  • Restoration History Lecture Series Award: Garold Barney for Indians, Mormons, and the Ghost Dance Religion 1830 – 1890.
  • Best Book Award: Chad Flake for A Mormon Bibliography, 1830 – 1930.

1977 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: Maureen Ursenbach Beecher for The Eliza Enigma: The Life and Legend of Eliza R. Snow.
  • Best Lecture Award: Charles Peterson for Fulfillment or Reaction: The Mormon Restoration and the American Revolution.
  • Best Book Award: Davis Bitton for Guide to Mormon Diaries and Auto-biographies.

1976 JWHA Award Recipients

  • Best Article Award: Larry Hunt for F. M. Smith: The Formative Years.