About the Collection
1 The digital collection of Mormon Missionary diaries includes a number of diarists who served within the United States, two diarists who served in Mexico at the founding of the mission in the 19th century, and no diarists who served in Canada. Because of the digital collection focus we have put these readings in the following geographic arrangement: United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Nineteenth Century - Overview
Studies of Nineteenth Century missionary work in the United States are abundant, but there are very few studies that examine missionary work in the twentieth century.
The best study of early missionary work still remains
- Ellsworth, George S. "A History of Mormon Missions in the United States and Canada, 1830–1860." Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1951. It is especially valuable in its detailed research and its accounts of the growth of the missionary system from an informal program reaching out first to families in a village setting and then into more urban centers, to a centralized system controlled by the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
The following titles are presented in alphabetical order by author:
- Harper, Steven C. "Infallible Proofs, Both Human and Divine: The Persuasiveness of Mormonism for Early Converts." Religion in American Culture 10 (Winter 2000): 99-118.
- Harper, Steven C. "Missionaries in the American Religious Marketplace: Mormon Proselyting in the 1830s." Journal of Mormon History 24 (Fall 1998): 1-29.
- May, Dean L. "A Demographic Portrait of the Mormons, 1830–1980." In After 150 Years, The Latter-day Saints in Sesquicentennial Perspective, 37-69, Thomas G. Alexander and Jessie L. Embry, ed. Provo: Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, 1983.
- Meinig, Donald. "The Mormon Cultural Region: Strategies and Patterns in the Geography of the American West, 1847–1964." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 55 (June 1965): 191-220.
- Walker, Ronald W. "Seeking the ‘Remnant’: The Native American During the Joseph Smith Period." Journal of Mormon History 19 (Spring 1993): 1-33. Gives an analysis of the centrality of missionary work among Native Americans in Joseph Smith’s thought.
- Whittaker, David J. "Mormons and Native Americans: A Historical and Bibliographical Introduction. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 18 (Winter 1985): 33-64. Contains an introduction and extensive bibliography on Mormon missionary activity with native Americans. Click to see full-text
- Yorgason, Laurence M. "Some Demographic Aspects of Social, Geographical and Religious Backgrounds of One Hundred Early Mormon Converts, 1830–1837." M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1974.
Nineteenth Century - Regional
The following titles are in alphabetical order by author:
- Anderson, Richard Lloyd. “The Impact of the First Preaching in Ohio.” BYU Studies 11 (Summer 1971): 474-96. Click to see full-text:
- Arrington, Leonard J. “Mormon Beginnings in the American South.” Task Papers in LDS History. No. 9. Salt Lake City: Historical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1976.
- Berrett, Lamar C. “History of the Southern States Mission, 1831–1861.” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1960.[Full Text]
- Bitton, Davis. “Kirtland as a Center of Missionary Activity, 1830–1838. BYU Studies 11 (Summer 1971): 497-516. [Full Text]
- Bolton, David R. “The Effect of Mormon Missionary Activity upon the Founding of San Bernardino.” B.A. thesis, University of California, Riverside, 1957.
- Buice, David. “’All Alone and None to Cheer Me’: The Southern States Mission Diaries of J. Golden Kimball.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 24 (Spring 1991): 35-54. [Full Text]
- Buice, David. “Chattanooga’s Southern Star: Mormon Window on the South, 1898–1900.” BYU Studies 28 (Spring 1988): 5-15. [Full Text]
- Campbell, Eugene E. “A History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in California, 1846–1946.” Ph.D. diss., University of Southern California, 1952.
- Cannon, Donald Q. “Wilford Woodruff’s Mission to the Fox Islands.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: New England, 85-99. Donald Q. Cannon, ed. Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1988.
- Curtis, V. Alan. “Missionary Activities and Church Organization in Pennsylvania, 1830–1840.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1976.[Full Text]
- Driggs, Kenneth D. “’There is No Law in Georgia for Mormons’: The Joseph Standing Murder Case of 1879.” Georgia Historical Quarterly 73 (Winter 1989): 745-72.
- Erekson, Keith A., and Lloyd D. Newell. “’A Gathering Place for the Scandinavian People’: Conversion, Retention, and Gathering in Norway, Illinois (1842–1849).” Mormon Historical Studies 1 (Spring 2000): 21-36. [Full Text]
- Flake, Lawrence R. “George Q. Cannon’s Mission to California, 1855–1857.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: California, 81-105. David F. Boone, Robert C. Freeman, Andrew H. Hedges, and Richard N. Holzapfel, editors. Provo: Department of Church History and Doctrine, 1998.
- Grandstaff, Mark R. “The Impact of the Mormon Migration on the Community of Kirtland, Ohio, 1830–1839.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1984.[Full Text]
- Hartley, William G. “Dangerous Outpost: Thomas Corless and the Fort Limhi/Salmon River Mission.” Mormon Historical Studies 2 (Fall 2001): 135-62.[Full Text]
- Jennings, Warren A. “The First Mormon Mission to the Indians.” Kansas Historical Quarterly 37 (Autumn 1971): 288-99.
- Manscill, Craig K. “Missionary Activities in New England in the Early 1830s.” In Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: The New England States, 123-41. Donald Q. Cannon, ed. Provo: Religious Studies Center, 1988.
- Seferovich, Heather M. “History of the LDS Southern States Mission, 1875–1898.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1996.[Full Text]
- Seferovich, Heather M. “Statistical Profile of Southern States Missionaries, 1867–1898.” Thetean 25 (1996): 47-67.
- Smart, William B. “Mormonism’s First Foothold in the Pacific Northwest.” Utah Historical Quarterly 29 (January 1961): 21-30.
- Stone, Earle L. “The Mormons in Connecticut, 1832–1952.” M.D. thesis, Central Connecticut State College, 1980.
- Tullis, F. LaMond. “California and Chile in 1851 as Experienced by the Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt.” Southern California Quarterly 67 (Fall 1985): 291-307.
- Whittaker, David J. “East of Nauvoo: Benjamin Winchester and the Early Mormon Church.” Journal of Mormon History 21 (Fall 1995): 31-83. The growth of the Church on the East Coast of the United States has yet to be fully studied, however, this article provides a look at the Philadelphia area in the 1840s.
- Williams, Richard S. “The Missionary Movements of the Latter-day Saint Church in New England, 1830–1860.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1969.[Full Text]
There are few Twentieth Century studies at this time (2007). The following titles are presented in alphabetical order by author, with some duplication of titles found in the Nineteenth Century portion of this “further readings.”
- Allen, James B. “On Becoming a Universal Church: Some Historical Perspectives.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 25 (March 1992): 13-36. [Full Text]
- Anderson, Ted S. “The Southern States Mission and the Administration of Ben E. Rich, 1898–1908, Including a Statistical Study of Church Growth in the Southeastern United States during the Twentieth Century.” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1976.[Full Text]
- Bennion, Lowell “Ben.” “The Geographic Dynamics of Mormondom, 1965–1995.” Sunstone 18 (December 1995): 21-32.
- Embry, Jessie L. “Without Purse or Scrip.” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 29 (Fall 1996): 77-93. [Full Text]
- Harper, Steven C. “Ministerial Tramps: Southern States Missionaries, 1920–1980.” Mormon Heritage Magazine 2 (September/October 1995): 29-37.
- Hartley, William G. “Saints and the San Francisco Earthquake.” BYU Studies 23 (Fall 1983): 430-59. [Full Text]
- May, Dean L. “A Demographic Portrait of the Mormons, 1830–1980.” In After 150 Years, The Latter-day Saints in Sesquicentennial Perspective, 37-69, Thomas G. Alexander and Jessie L. Embry, ed. Provo: Charles Redd Center for Western Studies, Brigham Young University, 1983.
- Meinig, Donald. “The Mormon Cultural Region: Strategies and Patterns in the Geography of the American West, 1847–1964.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers 55 (June 1965): 191-220.
In recent years the most successful area for Mormon proselyting has been Mexico and South America. Mormon missionaries have been quite successful in countries where Catholics have preceeded them. Today (2007) Spanish is the language spoken by the majority of convert members. This digital collection as it exists today (2007) only includes two diarists, representing the opening of the mission in Mexico.
The best place to begin is with
- Tullis, F. LaMond. Mormons in Mexico: The Dynamics of Faith and Culture. Logan: Utah State University Press, 1987.
Additional studies are arranged in alphabetical order by author.
- Beecher, Dale F. “Rey L. Pratt and the Mexican Mission [Mexico City, 1906-24].” BYU Studies 15 (Spring 1975): 293-307.[Full Text]
- Godfrey, Kenneth W. “Moses Thatcher and Mormon Beginnings in Mexico.” BYU Studies 38/4 (1999): 193-55.[Full Text]
- Grover, Mark L. “Execution in Mexico: the Death of Rafael Monroy and Vicente Morales [17 July 1915.]” BYU Studies 35 (Spring 1995-96): 6-28.[Full Text]
- McNeil, Byron J. “The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mexico.” Master’s thesis, San Jose State University, 1990.
- Pratt, Rey L. “History of the Mexican Mission.” Improvement Era 15 (April 1912): 486-98.
- Tullis, F. LaMond. “Early Mormon Exploration and Missionary Activities in Mexico.” BYU Studies 22 (Summer 1982): 289-310.[Full Text]
- Tullis, F. LaMond. “Los Primeros: Mexico’s Pioneer Saints.” Ensign 27 (July 1997): 46-51. Click to see full text on http://lds.org and then click on “Gospel Library”
- Tullis, F. LaMond. “Reopening the Mexican Mission in 1901.” BYU Studies 22 (Fall 1982): 441-53.[Full Text]
At this time (2007) there are no diaries on the Mormon Missionary diary web site, representing missions in Canada.
The following titles are arranged alphabetically by author:
- Bennett, Richard E. “A Study of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Upper Canada, 1830–1850.” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1975.[Full Text]
- Ellsworth, S. George. “A History of Missionary Activities in the United States and Canada, 1830–1846.” Master’s thesis, University of California, Berkeley, 1947.
- Ellsworth, S. George. “A History of Mormon Missions in the United States and Canada, 1830–1860.” Ph.D. diss., University of California, Berkeley, 1951. An important source for the study of early missionary work.
- England, Eugene. “Without Purse or Scrip: A Nineteen Year Old Missionary in 1853. New Era 5 (July 1975): 20-29. This article was also published in a book of essays by Eugene England under a different title. ‘The Lord Knew That There Was Such a Person’: Joseph Millet’s Journal, 1853. In Why The Church is as True as the Gospel, 17-30. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1986.
- Hackney, Wilbur Gordon. “History of the Western Canadian Mission.” M.S. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1950.
- Hedengren, Paul, and Brant Russell, eds. The Great Canadian Mission: A Jubilee History. Brampton, ON: Canadian Mission, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1969.
- Parry, Keith. ‘”To Raise These People Up’: An Examination of a Mormon Mission to an Indian Community as an Agent of Social Change.” Ph.D. diss., University of Rochester, 1972.
- Pollock, Gordon Douglas. “’Tin Hat’ on the Disciples of Brigham Young: Nova Scotians, Mormons, and Polygamy, 1920–1928.” Nova Scotia Historical Review 14 (Winter 1994): 41-67.
- Tagg, Melvin S. “A History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Canada, 1830–1963.” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1963.
1 An even more extensive bibliography and guide to sources can be found in David J. Whittaker, “Mormon Missiology: An Introduction and Guide to the Sources,” 466-486. In The Disciple as Witness: Essays on Latter-day Saint History and Doctrine in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson, Edited by Stephen D. Ricks, Donald W. Parry, and Andrew H. Hedges, (Provo: The Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies, Brigham Young University, 2000). In addition review James B. Allen, Ronald W. Walker, and David J. Whittaker, Studies in Mormon History, 1830–1997: An Indexed Bibliography, (Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 2000), and the up-to-date online version at http://mormonhistory.byu.edu/.