Author: David Grua

Latino/a and Mormon

America, as they say, is browning. Latino/as recently surpassed African Americans as the largest minority group in the United States, and the Church is experiencing that browning along with the rest of the nation. “According to Church statisticians, the future…

I was born in Sharon, Vermont

Yesterday was Joseph Smith’s birthday. I wonder sometimes how important it is to us in the 21st century that he was born in Vermont, given that the narratives we use to discuss Joseph usually skip his birthplace altogether and fast…

Zion v. Babylon: Life in the Enclave

In his recent (and excellent) book, Making Space on the Western Frontier: Mormons, Miners, and Southern Paiutes, Paul Reeve examines the contact and interactions between the three groups mentioned in his title in southern Utah/eastern Nevada during the last four…

The Haun’s Mill Massacre in Mormon Memory

In April 2005, I spent two weeks on assignment for the Joseph Smith Papers Project in Missouri and Illinois, visiting court houses and archives searching for documents pertaining to early Mormon history. On the second evening of my stay in northwestern Missouri, I drove down a lonely dirt road to a desolate place that had significant meaning for me as a Latter-day Saint. When I arrived, I found only a small creek surrounded by trees, grass, mud, and a small plaque that identified the site of the Haun’s Mill Massacre…