Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Website URL
American religion, kinship, family, genealogy, U.S. West, Mormonism
Additional Contact Information

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of the United States, specializing in religion and kinship. I defended my dissertation, “All in the Family: Ecclesiastical Authority and Family Theology in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in October 2018.

My dissertation considers the application of beliefs about the family to the development of political structures. I bring together the siloed fields of LDS (Mormon) church governance and kinship doctrine. Drawing on personal, institutional, and family records, I examine the theological construction of a fictive family headed by LDS leaders for the benefit of humanity. This theology, which was intended to ensure followers’ salvation and exaltation, had political ramifications. Its implementation contributed to the political hierarchies that governed the LDS Church and created an oligarchic structure that consolidated leadership among the heads of a small number of families.

Recent Publications
Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
United States
Expertise by Chronology
17th century, 18th century, 19th century
Expertise by Topic
Family, Gender, Religion