A book on early LDS leader Emmeline B. Wells was named "Best Book" Friday night by officials with the Mormon History Association during their annual awards banquet.

Carol Cornwall Madsen, emeritus professor of history at Brigham Young University, authored "An Advocate for Women: The Public Life of Emmeline B. Wells, 1870-1920," published by BYU Press. A book detailing an early group that broke away from the mainstream LDS Church — "God Has Made Us a Kingdom: James Strang and the Midwest Mormons," garnered the association's "Best First Book" award for author Vickie Cleverley Speek. It was published by Signature Books.

Named as "Best Biography" was Levi S. Peterson's "A Rascal by Nature, a Christian by Yearning: A Mormon Autobiography," published by the University of Utah Press.

LDS historian Davis Bitton, a former MHA president who served for a decade as assistant historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, received the group's Leonard Arrington Award posthumously. Bitton died last month at age 77. The Thomas L. Kane Award, named after an early non-LDS advocate for Latter-day Saints, went to Robert Goldberg of the University of Utah.

Other awards announced Friday:

Best documentary — dual awards to: "The Diaries of Charles Ora Card: The Utah Years 1871-1886," edited by Donald Godfrey and Kenneth Godfrey for BYU Religious Studies; and "On the Way to Somewhere Else: European Sojourners in the Mountain West, 1834-1930," by Michael Homer for Arthur H. Clark and Co.

Best International Mormon History Publication — "Taking the Gospel to the Japanese, 1901-2001," edited by Reid L. Neilson and Van C. Gessel, BYU Press.

Best Family/Community History — "Building the Kingdom in Samoa, 1888-2005: History, Personal Narratives, and Images Portraying Latter-day Saints' Experiences in the Samoan Islands," edited by R. Carl Harris, Peczuh Printing.

Best Article — "Without Purse or Script in Scotland," by Polly Aird in "Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought" (Summer 2006).

Awards of Excellence — "Mormonism in Montana," by Brian Q. Cannon in "Montana: The Magazine of Western History" (Spring 2006) and "Mormonism and Guerrillas in Bolivia," by David C. Knowlton, Journal of Mormon History (Fall 2006).

Best Undergraduate Paper — "Daniel W. Jones and the Beginnings of Latter-day Saint Settlement in Arizona," by Christopher C. Jones, BYU.

Best Graduate Paper — "Raising the Dead: Mormons, Evangelicals and Miracles in America," by Matthew Bowman, Georgetown University.

Special Citations — James L. Kimball (retired) and Ronald G. Watt of the LDS Church Archives.