45th Annual Conference
September 21–24, 2017
Nauvoo, Illinois

One of the delights of being program chair this year is the email exchanges I have had with many of our JWHA historians and scholars. I frequently remind these folks that I am not a historian, rather I am an enthusiastic consumer.

Whether you are a history professor or a consumer of history, the Program Committee invites you to join us, REGISTER NOW for the JWHA fall conference!  Early registration ends August 31st.  Here are just a few of the provocative scholars you will miss if you don’t join us in Nauvoo.

  • “No, Sherry, Sidney Rigdon’s dissent was not painful. His excommunication provided another leader whom others could rally round,” said Steve Shields, always the teacher and my good friend.
  • And when David C. Nelson responded in the affirmative to my request that he chair a conference session, I knew that meant I would get to meet him. Who wouldn’t want to meet the author of Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany, which I just finished reading.

The program committee is very pleased that three founding members of JWHA are on the program:

  • Richard P. Howard after whom the Thursday night lecture is named given his contribution as the first formally-trained and official historian of the Community of Christ;
  • Paul Edwards, Graceland University Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and the Temple School, and founder of the Center for the Study of the Korean War, also prolific author, who grew up in the heart of Community of Christ leadership in the 20th century;
  • William D. Russell, LDS History and Political Science Professor Emeritus at Graceland University, and keeper of the historical memory of this august history association;
  • Also in attendance is Mark Scherer, the most recent official historian for Community of Christ, who is participating along with Richard E. Bennett, Lachlan Mackay and Scott C. Esplin in the Saturday morning plenary entitled Preserving Mother Nauvoo’s Material and Cultural Infrastructure and Artifacts for Her Posterity.
  • And Steven Snow, the current Church Historian and Recorder for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, who also agreed to chair a session.

The name-dropping could go on and on.  In fact, we have it on the best authority that Joseph Smith III and his wife Ada will be joining us for a while.

This is a particularly dense conference with 61 presenters and an additional five interpreters on the Walking/Shuttle Tour Saturday afternoon. We would remind you, dear readers, that every presenter needs an audience.  Without you, there is little point to their research and writing.  As my church history Sunday School teacher said to us before we started the lesson, “Put on your thinking caps.”

Sherry Morain, Chair

On behalf of the full Program Committee

  • Bill Shepard, Co-Chair
  • Mel Johnson
  • Rachel Killebrew
  • Bill Russell
  • Clare Vlahos
  • Barbara Walden