From our good friends at the John Whitmer Historical Association:
42nd Annual Meeting: Lamoni, Iowa—September 25–28, 2014
CALL FOR PAPERS—Sacred Places and Zionic Communities: The Ideals and Realities of the Restoration
ZION, GATHERING, SIGNAL COMMUNITIES, REFUGE, NEW JERUSALEM, CONSECRATION, UNITED ORDER … all have been used to describe the communalist thought that underpins the ideals of many of the Latter Day Saint denominations. Joseph Smith’s history with communalism is mixed. After his death, several leaders attempted to reinstitute communalism in various forms. In the Midwest, Strang gathered his followers at Voree and then Beaver Island. In Iowa, Charles B. Thompson gathered his followers to Preparation. Although not yet practicing consecration, Alpheus Cutler’s followers gathered at Manti, Iowa, then moved to Minnesota, finally to Independence, Missouri—where many of the members lived the law of consecration.
When a group of his followers organized the United Order of Enoch in 1870 and decided to buy land in the area that is now Lamoni, Iowa, Joseph Smith III gave a reserved blessing to the effort. The Smith family and church headquarters eventually relocated to Lamoni in the early 1880s, but communalism was not part of the new community. At the same time in Utah, several united order communities were attempted during the 1870s and 1880s. In 1910 there was a revival of the united order in Independence, which had limited success into the 1930s.
However, the community-building nature of the movement has been expressed through the organization of women’s departments (Relief Society in the LDS expression), educational institutions, the administrative hierarchies of various denominations in the movement, and through other forms. Some denominations in the movement continue to work toward “united order” types of societies among their members.
Proposals for complete sessions are encouraged, but individual papers, panel discussions, interviews, personal essays, debates, musical presentations, and more will also be considered. Proposals related to the conference theme are preferred but reflections on other topics and their intersection with the Latter Day Saint movement, in addition to studies of historical and contemporary events and figures, news in the Latter Day Saint world, and cultural studies will be considered, as well.
Proposals should include: title, 100-word abstract, brief summary of the topics relevance to JWHA’s focus of purpose, list of any audio/visual equipment needs (or specify “no AV needed”), and a brief bio (with contact information) for the proposed presenter(s). The proposal deadline is April 1, 2014. Those presenting at the conference will be expected to register, including the payment of registration fees, prior to the conference.
Please submit proposals to: firstname.lastname@example.org.