ST. GEORGE — Jaunita Brooks, widely known for her ground-breaking 1950 chronicle of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, has been honored posthumously by the Mormon History Association.
Meeting this weekend in St. George for its annual conference, the association presented a special citation at an awards banquet Friday evening. Two of her surviving children and their spouses received the award for Brooks, a longtime resident of St. George.
The book, widely reviewed throughout the United States, laid the blame for the massacre on the Mormon militiamen of Iron County, Utah, who carried it out as well as Mormon leaders whose preaching inflamed their zeal, the citation noted.
"However, Juanita's arraignment of the guilty was tempered by a deep compassion. She understood that those who carried out the massacre were fundamentally good and decent men led by circumstances to commit a deed for which their own conscience condemned them."
The following awards for articles and books published within the past year were presented:
Juanita Brooks Undergraduate Student Paper Award: Justin R. Bray, "All Progressive Wards Are Buying": The Individual Sacrament Cup," Brigham Young University.
Juanita Brooks Graduate Student Paper Award: Jared Tamez, "The Construction of Race and Colonizing Mexican Mormons in the Mexican Mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1879-1889), University of Texas - El Paso.
Lester E. Bush Best Thesis Award (two winners): Jill N. Crandell, "Garden Grove, Iowa: From Mormon Way Station to Permanent Settlement, 1846-1852," MA Thesis, Brigham Young University.
Scott K. Thomas, "Violence Across the Land: Vigilantism and Extralegal Justice in the Utah Territory," MA Thesis, Brigham Young University.
Gerald E. Jones Best Dissertation Award: Matthew L. Rasmussen, "Till We Have Built Jerusalem': Mormonism and the Making of a Lancashire 'Zion,'" Ph.D. Dissertaion, University of Lancaster (UK).
Silver Award for Mormon Women's History: David Hall, "A Crossroads for Mormon Women: Amy Brown Lyman, J. Reuben Clark, and the Decline of Organized Women's Activism in the Relief Society," Journal of Mormon History 36, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 205-249.
J. Talmage Jones Awards of Excellence (two winners): Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, "An American Album, 1857," American Historical Review 115 (February 2010): 1-25.
Benjamin E. Park, "Salvation Through a Tabernacle: Joseph Smith, Parley P. Pratt, and Early Mormon Theologies of Embodiment,"Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thoughts 43 (Summer 2010): 1-44.
T. Edgar Lyon Best Article Award: David Hall, "A Crossroads for Mormon Women: Amy Brown Lyman, J. Reuben Clark, and the Decline of Organized Women's Activism in the Relief Society," Journal of Mormon History, 36, no. 2 (Spring 2010): 205-249.
Winchester Family/Community History Award: Leslie Albrecht Huber, The Journey Takers (n.p.: Foundation Books, 2010).
Andrew Jenson International Article Award: Mark L. Grover, "Helvecio Martins: First Black General Authority," Journal of Mormon History 36, no. 3 (Summer 2010): 27-53.
Geraldine McBride Woodward International Mormon History Award: Raymond M. Kuehne, Mormons as Citizens of a Communist State: A Documentary History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in East Germany, 1945-1990 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2010).
Steven F. Christensen Documentary Award: Edward Leo Lyman, ed., Candid Insights of a Mormon Apostle: The Diaries of Abraham H. Cannon, 1889-1995 (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 2010).
Smith-Pettit Best First Book Award: Benjamin Pykles, Excavating Nauvoo: The Mormons and the Rise of Historical Archaeology in America (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010).
MHA Best Book Award: Mark L. Staker, Hearken, O Ye People: The Historical Setting of Joseph Smith's Ohio Revelations (Draper, UT: Greg Kofford Books, Inc., 2010).