LAYTON — The Mormon History Association has awarded its highest honor to Martha Bradley-Evans, associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Utah Honors College.

The organization bestowed the Leonard J. Arrington Award on Bradley-Evans at an awards banquet Friday evening in the Layton Convention Center, where the association is meeting for its annual two-day conference.

Bradley-Evans, a professor in the College of Architecture and Planning at the university, has written on the distinctive patterns, meanings and practices of communal religious groups such as the FLDS Church, Branch Davidians and the Family or Children of God.

She is the author of "Joseph Smith: A Prophet’s Narrative" and "Mabel Finlayson Allred: The Autobiography of a Plural Wife."

The organization also honored Jan Shipps and Christopher Talmage Jones with special citations for "outstanding contributions to Mormon history."

Other awards given at the banquet:

Best Book Award to Brandon Plewe, S. Kent Brown, Donald Q. Cannon and Richard H. Jackson, editors of "Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History."

Best First Book Award to J. Spencer Fluhman for "A Peculiar People: Anti-Mormonism and the Making of Religion in Nineteenth Century America."

Best Biography Award to John G. Turner for "Brigham Young, Pioneer Prophet."

Best Documentary Editing/Bibliography Award to the Church Historian’s Press, an imprint of the LDS Church History Department, for "Joseph Smith Papers, Histories Vol. 1, 1832-1844, and Vol. 2, Assigned Histories, 1831-1847."

Best International Book Award to Marjorie Newton, for "Tiki Temple: the Mormon Mission in New Zealand, 1854-1958."

Best Family and Community History Award to Stephen G. Schwendiman for "The Mendon Saints: Their Lives and Legacy, Vol. 2."

Best Article Award to Christopher C. Jones for "Mormonism in the Methodist Marketplace: James Covel and the Historical Background of Doctrine and Covenants 39-40" in BYU Studies Quarterly.

Awards of Excellence to Adam Jortner, for "Solomon Spaulding’s Indians or What the ‘Manuscript Found’ Really Tells Us" in Journal of Mormon History, and Benjamin E. Park ,for "(Re)Interpreting Early Mormon Thought: Synthesizing Joseph Smith’s Theology and the Process of Religion Formation" in Dialogue: a Journal of Mormon Thought.

Best International Article Award to Ronald E. Bartholomew for "The Role of Local Missionaries in Nineteenth-Century England" in Go Ye into All the World, a publication of the BYU Religious Studies Center.

Best Women’s History Article Award to Lisa Olsen Tait for "The Young Woman’s Journal: Gender and Generations in a Mormon Women’s Magainze" in American Periodicals.

Best Dissertation Award to Richard D. Ouellette for "The Mormon Temple Lot Case: Space, Memory and Identity in a Divided New Religion," a 2012 doctoral dissertation undertaken at the University of Texas at Austin.

Best Thesis Award to Matthew Lund for "The Vox Populi is the Vox Dei: American Localism and the Mormon Expulsion from Jackson County, Missouri," a 2012 master’s thesis undertaken at Utah State University.

Best Graduate Paper Award to Benjamin E. Park for "Early Mormonism and the Paradoxes of Democratic Religiosity in Jacksonian America," written last year at the University of Cambridge.

Best Undergraduate Paper Award to Joseph R. Stuart for "The Time Has Come: the Context and Post Script of the 1890 Woodruff Manifesto," written last year at Brigham Young University.

The organization gave a Student Research Paper Award of Merit to Trevor Wright in February as part of the Brigham Young University Student Symposium.

The Mormon History Association describes itself as "an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to the study and understanding of all aspects of Mormon history." At its annual conference, held in a different location each year, it attracts hundreds of professional and amateur historians of disparate religious and educational backgrounds.