"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
September 12, 2012
Nauvoo's Times and Seasons
by James B. Allen

When Nauvoo Times went online, I could not help but remind myself of a different kind of publication that began 173 years ago: Nauvoo’s Times and Seasons. There is no great similarity between the two, except that both are concerned with the faith of the Saints.

The motto for Nauvoo Times, “True to the Faith,” suggests the expectation that all its columns will be compatible with Church teachings. The Times and Seasons’ motto, “Truth Will Prevail,” reflected the desire of the publisher to present the history and teachings of the Church in as true a light as possible.

However, Times and Seasons is of special interest to historians. It ran from November 1839 to February 15, 1846, covering practically the entire span of Mormon history in Nauvoo. Its pages provide valuable insight not only into Church history but also into Church doctrine as it was taught in that day. Its story is worth remembering.1

In a sense, the story of the Times and Seasons began in the spring of 1839, when Ebenezer Robinson and Don Carlos Smith (the Prophet’s youngest brother) unearthed a printing press and some type at Far West, Missouri. The press had been used to publish the Elders’ Journal and was buried in order to keep it from being destroyed as the Mormons were driven from the state.

After digging it up, Robinson and Smith carted it all the way across the northern Missouri prairie to Commerce, soon to be renamed Nauvoo.2 There they set up a printing shop in the basement of an old warehouse and this became the first home of the new publication. Since both men had previous publishing experience, they were asked by Church leaders to publish a new newspaper, and promised all the profits if they would undertake it.

Starting the new venture presented several problems. One was simply cleaning the press and type and getting everything in working order. Another was the need for money to buy more type, paper, and other things needed to start publishing. Since neither of the partners had sufficient funds to provide for their families, let alone to begin publishing, they had to go into debt even to get a start.

In an effort to raise funds through early subscriptions, Robinson and Smith issued a prospectus in July 1839. It promised “all general information respecting the Church,” a history of the unparalleled persecution the Mormon people received in Missouri, and letters from the traveling elders as well as other people of interest. It also promised that the paper would do nothing to “calculate strife” but, rather, promote only the principles that would “make men happy in this world, and secure unto them eternal life.”

The Times and Seasons started out as a monthly publication but, beginning with Volume 2 (November 1, 1840), it appeared twice monthly until it ceased publication. There were a total of 131 issues, with only four gaps: November 15, December 1, and December 15, 1843, and June 15, 1844. At first the price was one dollar per year, but when it began to appear twice monthly it went up to two dollars.

The new paper was thought of not just as a local publication but, rather, as a voice for the whole Church that would go to members everywhere in the country. Its content was basically religious in nature, though at times it printed interesting information of other types as well as articles picked up from other papers around the country.

A more secular paper, The Wasp, began publication in April 1842. After a year its name was changed to Nauvoo Neighbor. It was edited first by William Smith (another of Joseph’s brothers) then, beginning in December, by John Taylor. It was published weekly on the same press as the Times and Seasons. Not intended as competition, its pages were devoted to general news of all sorts. It also became a strong political voice. It continued publication until October 29, 1845.3

The editors planned to begin publishing the Times and Seasons almost immediately after their July 1839 prospectus went out. However, just as they had the type set and were ready to print, both of them came down with what they called the “chill fever” (actually, malaria), thus delaying the publication. It did not begin for another four months.

Meanwhile, subscriptions for the paper started coming in, which helped provide a living for the two editors and also allowed them to build a small frame building. The lower room became the printing office and the small upper room became the home of Ebenezer Robinson and his family.

The printing office of Times and Seasons.

As they moved in, however, Ebenezer and his wife were so ill that they could hardly speak. In fact, they had to be moved while in their beds. To add to their problems, before the editors could return to work the damp dirt floor of the basement storage room had caused much of their paper supply to mildew.

The first number of the Times and Seasons, issued in November 1839 (no specific date on the masthead), set a pattern for future issues. It began with a fervent “address” by the editors in which they spelled out what they intended to do with their newspaper.

A replica of the first issue of Times and Seasons.

First, it would be a “source of light and instruction” to those who read it for it would lay before them “the great plan of salvation which was devised in heaven from before the foundation of the world.” They would dwell at considerable length “upon the fullness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ...; the necessity of embracing it with full purpose of heart, and living by all its precepts." They also planned to deal with the gathering of Israel in preparation for the time “when Christ will reign with his saints upon earth, a thousand years, according to the testimony of all the holy prophets since the world began.”

Finally, they announced that they would provide a detailed history of the persecution and suffering the Saints endured in Missouri and elsewhere. They noted, however, that a “mere synopsis... would swell this address to volumes; therefore we are compelled to let it pass for the present, by touching upon a few of its most prominent features.” They then provided a brief rehearsal of the Missouri persecutions, anticipating that an extensive treatment would be forthcoming.

Nearly half of the first issue was taken up by an extract from the “private journal of Joseph Smith,” detailing some of the persecution he and others experienced in Missouri. The continuation of Joseph Smith’s history later became a regular feature of the Times and Seasons and was eventually the basis for the Church’s publication of Joseph Smith’s six-volume History. Then came a long letter from Benjamin Winchester, recounting his missionary experiences in some of the eastern states.

This issue also contained what amounted to a plea for understanding by those who had not received all their paid-for issues of the Elders’ Journal. Apparently some subscribers felt that since they did not receive all the issues they had subscribed for, they should receive a few free issues of the Times and Seasons. The editor’s made an impassioned plea for some reasonable understanding. The way they worded it should have been enough to help anyone understand their plight:

... this idea we are confident they will abandon, when they learn the fact, that the proprietors of the Journal, while conducting that paper, sustained the loss of an entire establishment in Kirtland Ohio, in Jan. 1838, after which, with much difficulty, they procured another press and resuscitated the paper at Far West Mo. where they had the opportunity of publishing two numbers only; when persecution raged to that extent, that they were compelled to leave the State, with the loss of nearly all their property. Thus, while many of you have sustained the loss of but 67 cents, they have not only lost all their property, but have been driven by their cruel and hard-hearted persecutors, from their peaceful and happy homes, and are now strangers, sojourning in a strange land....

In the same “address” the editors explained that they must receive payment for subscriptions in advance, “as our expenses are, necessarily, very heavy, and nothing but cash in hand will defray them.”

The first issue of the Times and Seasons also included a long “Greeting” to all Saints everywhere, signed by six members of the Quorum of the Twelve: Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, John E. Page, Wilford Woodruff, John Taylor, and George A. Smith.

This was especially interesting, at least to me, for at the time it was published the apostles (except for John E. Page) were making their way to England, where the Quorum would conduct one of the most significant missions in Church history. They obviously prepared the “Greeting” before they left, anticipating the July publication of the paper. It consisted of a general exhortation to faithfulness in the face of difficulties as well as behavioral advice to missionaries. Sadly, while the apostles were gone, the September 1840 Times and Seasons carried a notice of the July 17 death of Wilford Woodruff’s youngest child, Sarah Emma.

Finally, the apostles’ greeting was followed by extracts from the minutes of a conference held on March 17, 1839, a note from the editors, and a reprint of the prospectus that had been circulated in handbill form earlier.

The editorship of the Times and Seasons changed over the years. It remained in the hands of Robinson and Smith until they decided to divide the business, Don Carlos Smith assuming control of the paper and handbill business and Ebenzer Robinson taking over the book and fancy job printing, the bookbindery, and the stereotype foundry. In December 1840, therefore, the firm of Robinson and Smith, Publishers, was dissolved and Smith became the sole proprietor.

In the spring of 1841, he took on a partner, Robert B. Thompson. However, after the untimely death of Smith on August 7 and Thompson only 20 days later, Ebenezer Robinson again took over as editor and proprietor.

Robinson’s associate was Gustavas Hills, a prominent citizen of Nauvoo and a music professor in the University of Nauvoo. However, for some reason members of the Quorum of the Twelve were not fully satisfied with the way Hills was handling the editorial department. On November 20, the Prophet met with six of them and discussed the matter.

Ten days later the Quorum, wanting the Church to have more editorial control, voted to ask Robinson to step down from his editorship and give it to Elder Willard Richards. If Robinson did not acquiesce, Richards was to obtain a press and type and publish the paper as a Church publication. Robinson was reluctant, but finally sold the paper to the Church, completing the sale on February 4, 1842. His last issue was dated February 1, 1842.

Interestingly enough, on January 28, Joseph Smith reportedly received a revelation in which he was instructed to “say unto the Twelve, that it is my will to have them take in hand the editorial department of the Times and Seasons, according to that manifestation which shall be given unto them by the power of my Holy Spirit.” It was Joseph Smith who actually took over, however, being listed as editor in all the rest of the issues of Volume 3 (8 through 24), ending with the issue dated October 15, 1842. He chose John Taylor and Wilford Woodruff of the Quorum of the Twelve as assistant editors.

As trustee-in trust for the Church, Joseph soon sold the printing business to John Taylor, and when Joseph stepped down as editor, Elder Taylor took over. He edited the paper until its final issue on February 15, 1846.

Sometime before the end of 1840, the printing shop was moved into a more commodious brick building on the corner of Bain and Water Streets, just two blocks west of Joseph Smith’s home. There the publication of the paper remained until it was moved to its final location two blocks east and north to a building on Kimball and Main streets.

The Times and Seasons continued to carry Joseph Smith’s history, several installments of a history of the Church by Oliver Cowdery, communication from missionaries, a few notes on current world events as well as world history, conference reports, doctrinal expositions, notices of trials and excommunications, marriage notices, and death notices. Each issue from December 1839 to October 1840 also carried an installment of the history of the Missouri persecutions.

When looking at marriage notices (which did not appear very often), some will be interested to note that the column is not headed by words such as “marriages” or “weddings” but, rather, by the word “hymenial.” This is a curious word to most of us today, with several possible meanings, but in its archaic origin (sometimes spelled “hymeneal”) it referred to weddings. Sometimes it implied some kind of wish for or special message to the newlyweds. Within this framework a few of the hymenials in the Times and Seasons are interesting, and even humorous.

The hymenial column on January 15, 1841, for example, seemed to be not only a wish for happiness to the newlyweds but also a plea for support of the paper—or, at least, some payment for the announcement. Heading the column was the phrase “The silken cord that binds two hearts.” But then, after listing the forthcoming marriage the editors wrote: “We wish the above pair, a happy sail down the current of life, and should their little bark strike a rock, may it put them in mind of the printer's FEE.”

After another listing the editors wrote: “We wish you well in well doing, and just as well if the printer had been remembered.” On January 15, 1842, several weddings were announced. After the last announcement the editors wrote: “With the above we acknowledge the receipt of a loaf of excellent cake, such as we are fond of—may the happy pair see many good days.” Apparently that couple provided at least some reward to the editor for announcing their nuptials.

Beginning with issue number 2, in December 1839, the Times and Seasons also carried poetry and hymns, most frequently poems by Eliza R. Snow. Eliza was perhaps the Church’s most prolific poet of the nineteenth century, and the paper published fifty of her poems.

She seemed to be able to write poems celebrating or lamenting almost any occasion. The first one in the Times and Seasons, “Slaughter on Shoal Creek, Caldwell County Missouri” bitterly decried the infamous Haun’s Creek Massacre where seventeen Mormons and one sympathizer were killed and fourteen people were wounded. Although the tone and topics of her poems varied, this one was typical of the harsh words she could throw at those who persecuted the Church as well as the colorful way she often expressed sympathy for the persecuted. To quote just a few lines:

‘Twas not enough for that unfeeling crew
To murder men; they shot them through and through!
Frantic with rage; they pour’d their moulten lead
Profusely on the dying and the dead;
For mercy’s claim, which heav’n delights to hear
Fell disregarded on rentless ears;
Long o’er the scene, of that unhappy eve,
Will the lone widow—and the orphan grieve;
Their savage foes, with greedy av’rice fir’d,
Plunder’d their murder’d victims, and retir’d

The poetry and other writings of Elder Parley P. Pratt also appeared frequently in the pages of the Times and Seasons. The first of his poems to be published there was in the February 1840 issue. True to what the editors wanted to keep on the minds of their readers, this poem was titled “Zion in Captivity: A Lamentation by P. P. Pratt, While Chained in Prison.” It was written while Elder Pratt was in the Liberty Missouri jail and lamented not just his imprisonment but also the desolation the Saints left behind as they were driven from Missouri. It also called upon God for vengeance. To quote the first few lines:

How long, O Lord! will thou forsake
The saints, who tremble at thy word?
O arm of God, awake!
And teach the nations thou art God.
Descend with all thy holy throng,
The year of thy redeemed bring near,
Haste, haste, the day of vengeance on,
Bid Zion's children dry their tears.

This kind of sentiment would have been eaten up by the beleaguered exiles from Missouri.

An interesting new feature in Volume 2 was advertising. The first ad in that issue was for The Book of Mormon, which could be purchased wholesale for $1.00 per copy, retail for $1.25, or $1.50 for a book with extra binding for the convenience of traveling elders.

More interesting, however, were all the other ads, for they touted various patent medicines of the day, each said to miraculously cure a host of ailments: Gridley’s Salt Rheum Ointment guaranteed to cure salt rheum (and inflammatory skin disease, like eczema), tetter (a similar disease), Michigan or prairie itch, Illinois mange, scald head (a scalp disease similar to ringworm, scrofula (a glandular swelling), ringworm, “obstinate old sores, of long standing,” and almost every other cutaneous disease; Bliss Purgative Bilious Pills, for all stomach disorders; Bliss’ Imperial Syrup, claimed to be “the safest and most efficacious remedy... that has ever been offered” for diarrhea and most other bowel infections; and Dr. Vancouver’s Powders, for the immediate cure of fever and the ague. All were available at establishment of Robinson and Smith (i. e., the printing office).

The financial well-being of the Times and Seasons was, unfortunately, sometimes in question. From the beginning the editors sought more subscriptions but also pleaded with their agents around the country to actually send in the money they had collected. Apparently some agents not only held back on the subscription money but even used it for their own needs — intending, no doubt, to pay it back.

In February 1840, the Nauvoo stake presidency and high council placed a long communication in the paper in which they publicly expressed their “entire disapprobation” of any agent who thus withheld funds. Pointing to the general feeling of Church leaders concerning the roll of the paper they wrote: “The high council lament their poverty, in not being able, as agents for the church, to sustain the press, with funds necessary to effect a work so interesting and needful. One so much desired, and looked for, by our friends in the East, who, no doubt, desire to be often informed concerning the situation of us in the West; particularly since the Missouri outrage was committed on us.” They called upon the delinquent agents to send the monies forthwith or the council would “discountenance any, and all such acts, and offending persons.”

Apparently this appeal did not have the desired immediate effect, for three months later the editors referred to it and complained that the offending agents had not responded. This was followed by a threat. Unless the money was forthcoming soon the editors would be under the necessity of publishing their names in the paper as well as withholding any papers they had ordered. It is not clear how many, if any, paid up.

Only adding to the paper’s financial problems was the fact that letters too often came postage unpaid. In the future, the editors announced in the July 1840 issue, they would pay no attention to any letter unless the postage were paid. A clever explanation followed: “Our subscription for one year is one dollar in advance: a letter comes requesting the paper for one year, containing $1; Postage 25 cents, in the course of three months the second letter makes its appearance, requesting the paper to be directed to another Post Office: Postage 25 cents. After a short time a paper gets miscarried and one number is missing; the subscriber anxious to keep the volume complete, sends the third letter requesting the last No. Postage 25 cents. The fourth letter comes lumbering along in a few days requesting the paper to be stopped at the office as he is about to move into the place: Postage 25 cents. The next letter that comes has a silver dollar, to pay for the paper one year; excess of Postage 75 cents. How do you think printers can live?”

Over the years, the Times and Seasons reflected much of the history of Nauvoo. The inaugural address of Mayor John C. Bennett’s (who, unhappily, later became one of the Church’s worst enemies) was published on February 15, 1841. In the second issue edited by Joseph Smith (March 1, 1842), the Prophet published one of the facsimiles from a scroll that accompanied the Egyptian he had acquired from Michael Chandler. The facsimiles are now part of the Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. In that same issue he also published the famous Wentworth letter, in which he told the story of the First Vision, the coming forth of The Book of Mormon, and the founding of the Church. The letter also included the first listing of what are now the Articles of Faith.4

The paper also published numerous items that were important politically. One concerned John C. Bennett, who gave the political life of Nauvoo a blow when he was shown to be dishonest, immoral, and in every way leading a life antithetical to Church teachings. He also made serious charges against Joseph Smith. When all his indiscretions were publicly exposed he was cut off the Church and turned against it.

On July 1, 1842, the Times and Seasons published a lengthy statement attesting to Bennett’s offenses. Bennett had already resigned as mayor of Nauvoo, and this issue also printed a sworn statement by him absolving Joseph Smith of charges he had previously levied.

Especially significant politically was the correspondence between Joseph Smith and John C. Calhoun, instituted when Joseph was considering who he might support for U.S. President in the 1844 election. His correspondence with Calhoun was published in the Times and Seasons on January 1, 1844. His correspondence with Henry Clay on the same subject was published June 1.

Meanwhile, on February 15, John Taylor, editor of the paper, published a long editorial under the title “Who Shall be Our Next President?” It was no surprise that the answer was a ringing endorsement of Joseph Smith, who had decided that he could support none of the major candidates. His full political platform was published in the May 15 issue, taking up six pages.

Though the Times and Seasons was published regularly on the 1st and 15th of each month, the June 15, 1844, issue never appeared. This may have been related to the Expositor affair, which led directly to the martyrdom of Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Most of the July 1 issue was related to that tragic murder, and included, not surprisingly, a poem by Eliza R. Snow. It began:

Ye heavens attend! Let all the earth give ear!
Let Gods and seraphs, men and angels hear—
The worlds on high—the universe shall know
What awful scenes are acted here below!
Had nature's self a heart, her heart would bleed
At the recital of that horrid deed;
For never, since the Son of God was slain
Has blood so noble, flow'd from human vein
As that which now, on God for vengeance calls
From "freedom ground”—from Carthage prison walls!

That same issue also published a very interesting series of letters exchanged between Emma Smith and Illinois Governor Thomas Carlin in 1842.

The months following the assassination of the Prophet constituted a time of trouble for the Saints in Nauvoo, resulting in their forced exodus, beginning in February 1846. However, the Times and Seasons provided what some would consider surprisingly little coverage of the troubles. Rather, editor John Taylor may have felt that sustaining the faith of the Saints was more important, for he mostly published material of a religious, faith-sustaining nature. This included the continuation of Joseph Smith’s history.

The next-to-last issue, however, carried an editorial about the forthcoming exodus as well as an article about the projected voyage of the ship Brooklyn that would carry 238 Saints from New York to California. The final issue, February 15, 1846, made further reference to the Brooklyn and even included a list of rules that the passengers must obey aboard ship.

Thus the Times and Seasons came to an end. However, if you are to any degree a Church history buff you need to find some way to go through at least some of its 131 issues. You may weep and/or grow angry at the stories of the Missouri persecutions, find delight in reading some of Joseph Smith’s own history, feel the spirit of the times while perusing the poetry of Eliza R. Snow, Parley P. Pratt and others, smile at a few quaint wedding announcements as well as the fantastic claims of patent medicine ads, read missionary experiences, and find great interest in the way the doctrines of the Church were often presented in that day. For some it may seem to be a chore to plow through the unillustrated and sometimes tedious prose of that time, but for those who really want to feel the spirit of those early days in Nauvoo this is one of the places to go.5


1 The two major articles dealing with the history of the Times and Seasons are Parry D. Sorensen, “Nauvoo Times and Seasons,” Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society 55 (Summer 1962): 117-35, and Robert T. Bray, “Times and Seasons: An Archaeological Perspective on Early Latter Day Saints Printing,” Historical Archaeology 13 (1979), 53-119.

2 Actually, it is unclear to me just who dug up the press and type. Some sources say it was Elias Smith and Hyrum Clark, but Bray says it was Robinson and Don Carlos Smith. His article seems to me to be more correct.

3 For more information on The Wasp see Jerry C. Jolley, “The Sting of the Wasp: Early Nauvoo Newspaper—April 1842 to April 1843,” BYU Studies 22 (Fall 1982), 487–96. For a short discussion of the Nauvoo Neighbor see Darwin L. Hays, “Nauvoo Neighbor” in Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan), 999.

4 This was not the first time a Church leader had put together a list of basic beliefs, and most of those stated in the Articles of Faith had been identified earlier. However, this was the first list to be put forth by Joseph Smith himself. It is assumed that in preparing it he drew from some previous writings of others. See John W. Welch and David J. Whittaker, “‘We Believe....’ Development of the Articles of Faith,” Ensign (September 1979), 50-55.

5 Unfortunately, copies of the Times and Seasons are not readily available except at a few libraries that hold significant LDS collections. If you wish to see the complete text of all issues of the Times and Seasons online go to http://www.centerplace.org/history/ts. This is not a photographic reproduction but, rather, simply a reproduction of the text. There are some problems, however, particularly with the poetry. The problems are probably connected with electronic scanning of the text. In some poems (example, Eliza R. Snow’s “My Father in Heaven,” now known as “O My Father”), the lines are run together so that a line in one stanza is followed by the line in a stanza a little lower on the page. Also, there may be a few changes reflecting typographical errors. For example, the masthead always carried the motto “Truth Will Prevail,” but in the first issue “Prevail” was inadvertently misspelled “Ptevail.” That is corrected in this online version. Deseret Book’s gospelink.com also includes the Times and Seasons, but it is very difficult to navigate at this site and not all the entries show up. However, through the website of the Marriot Library at the University of Utah you can see digital copies of all the issues.

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About James B. Allen

JAMES B. ALLEN, Professor of History, Emeritus, Brigham Young University

James B. Allen was born June 14, 1927, in Ogden, Utah. He married Renée Jones, April 16, 1953. They have five children, twenty-one grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren . He received his bachelor's degree in history form Utah State University in 1954, a master's degree from Brigham Young University in 1956, and the Ph.D. from the University of Southern California in 1963.

Active in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints all his life, he has served in numerous positions, including bishop of two BYU wards and a member of 5 different BYU high councils. In 1999-2000 he and Renée served as missionaries at the Boston Institute of Religion.

He has also been active in the Republican party and twice served as a delegate to the state convention.

In his professional career, he taught in the LDS Seminary and Institute program from 1954-63, after which he was a member of the faculty at Brigham Young University until his retirement in 1992. From 1972 to 1979 he also served as Assistant Church Historian (splitting his time between BYU and the Church Historical Department). He was chair of the History Department from 1981-1987 then, during his last five years at BYU, he was honored to hold the Lemuel Hardison Redd, Jr. Chair in Western American History. After his retirement he became associated with the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at BYU, where for several years he held an appointment as a Senior Research Fellow.

He has also been active in various professional organizations, including the Western History Association (served on various committees, and as chair of a program committee) and the Mormon History Association (president, 1971-73). He has been on various boards of editors and advisory committees and presented numerous papers at the meetings of various historical associations.

As a researcher and writer he is the author, co-author, or co-editor of fourteen books or monographs and around 90 articles relating to Western American history and Mormon history, as well as numerous book reviews in professional journals. Some of his books include the following:

The Company Town in the American West (University of Oklahoma Press, 1966)
The Story of the Latter-day Saints (with Glen M. Leonard; Deseret Book Company, 1976; 2nd edition 1992)
Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, a Mormon (University of Illinois Press, 1987). Revised and republished in 2002 by BYU Press under the title No Toil Nor Labor Fear: The Story of William Clayton. In 1986, while still in press, this book won the prestigious David Woolley Evans and Beatrice Cannon Evans Biography Award.
Men With a Mission: The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841 (with Ronald K. Esplin and David J. Whittaker, Deseret Book Company, 1992)
Studies in Mormon History 1830-1997: An Indexed Bibliography (with Ronald W. Walker and David J. Whittaker; University of Illinois Press, 2000). Allen was the lead investigator for this important work. It lists, and provides an index to, all the significant books, articles, doctoral dissertations and master's theses on Mormon history produced between 1830 and 1997. It has been widely hailed as one of the most important aids to finding LDS history ever published. In 2001 the Mormon History Association awarded the authors a special citation for the publication of this book. After that, working with J. Michael Hunter, Allen continued to update the bibliography database. Hunter has now taken over the updating, and the database is online at mormonhistory.byu.edu.
Mormon History (with Ronald W. Walker and David J. Whittaker, University of Illinois Press, 2001). This book is a history of the writing of Mormon history, from the days of Joseph Smith until the present time.

Over the years he has received various awards, honors, and recognitions, besides those indicated above. Among them were several "best article" awards; the Karl G. Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award, Brigham Young University, 1980; named Distinguished Faculty Lecturer, Brigham Young University, 1984; named a Fellow of the Utah State Historical Society, July 15, 1988; the Leonard J. Arrington Award for a Distinctive Contribution to the cause of Mormon History, awarded by the Mormon History Asociation, 2008.

James and Renée have enjoyed living in Orem, Utah since 1963.

He currently serves as Sunday School President in his ward, and he and Renée have been officiators in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple since 2004.

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