Mormon Women’s History

Beyond Biography

Edited by Rachel Cope, Keith A. Erekson, Amy Easton-Flake, and Lisa Olsen Tait

Mormon Women’s History: Beyond Biography demonstrates that the history and experience of Mormon women is central to the history of Mormonism and to histories of American religion, politics, and culture. And yet, for too long, the study of Mormon women has been confined to biographies, family histories, and women’s periodicals. This volume sounds a call to move the study of Mormon (and American) women (and men) beyond simply telling the biographies of individual women. Mormon women’s history is American religious history.

The contributors to Mormon Women’s History engage the vast breadth of sources left by Mormon women—journals, diaries, letters, family histories, and periodicals as well as art, poetry, material culture, theological treatises, and genealogical records—to read between the lines, reconstruct connections, recover voices, reveal meanings, and recast stories. The stories, experiences, and examples explored in Mormon Women’s History are neither comprehensive nor conclusive, but rather suggestive of the ways that Mormon women’s history can move beyond individual lives to enhance and inform larger historical narratives.


  1. Charting the Past and Future of Mormon Women’s History by Keith A. Erekson
  2. Sifting Truth from Legend: Evaluating Sources for American Indian Biography through the Life of Sally Exervia Ward by Jenny Hale Pulsipher
  3. Silent Memories of Missouri: Mormon Women and Men and Sexual Assault in Group Memory and Religious Identity by Andrea G. Radke-Moss
  4. Early Mormonism’s Expansive Family and the Browett Women by Amy Harris
  5. Poetry in the Woman’s Exponent: Constructing Self & Society by Amy Easton-Flake
  6. Aesthetic Evangelism, Artistic Sisterhood, and the Gospel of Beauty: Mormon Women Artists at Home and Abroad, ca. 1890–1920 by Heather Belnap Jensen
  7. Leah Dunford Witdsoe, Alice Merril Horne, and the Sacralization of Artistic Taste in Mormon Homes, circa 1900 by Josh E. Probert
  8. Double Jeopardy in Pleasant Grove: The Gendered and Cultural Challenges of Being a Danish Mormon Missionary Grass Widow in Territorial Utah by Julie K. Allen
  9. Kings and Queens of the Kingdom: Gendering the Mormon Theological Narrative by Benjamin E. Park
  10. Individual Lives, Broader Contexts: Mormon Women’s Studies and the Refashioning of American History and Historiography by R. Marie Griffith