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Steven Harper

Professor
Church History and Doctrine

210L Joseph Smith Building
Provo, UT 84601

Biography

Steven C. Harper is a professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. In 2012 Steve was appointed as the managing historian and a general editor of Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter Days. He was named editor in chief of BYU Studies Quarterly in September 2018. He served in the Canada Winnipeg Mission (1990-1991) and married Jennifer Sebring (1992). They graduated from BYU (1994). He earned an MA in American history from Utah State University, where his thesis analyzed determinants of conversion to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1830s. Chapters were published in the Journal of Mormon History and Religion and American Culture and awarded by the Mormon History Association with the T. Edgar Lyon Award for best article of the year and the Juanita Brooks Award for the best graduate student paper. Steve earned a PhD in early American history from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He began teaching courses in religion and history at BYU Hawaii in 2000 and joined the Religious Education faculty at BYU in 2002. That year he also became a volume editor of The Joseph Smith Papers and the document editor for BYU Studies. He taught at the BYU Jerusalem Center for Near Eastern Studies in 2011–2012. His first book was Promised Land (Lehigh University Press, 2006), a study of Lenape or Delaware Indians’ responses to a fraudulent 1737 land deal in colonial Pennsylvania. He also authored Making Sense of the Doctrine and Covenants (Deseret Book, 2008), Joseph Smith’s First Vision (Deseret Book, 2012), and First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019), along with dozens of articles.

Research Interests

Early American religion and culture, revelation, conversion, apostasy

Teaching Interests

Foundations of the Restoration, Doctrine and Covenants, Church History

Licenses and Certifications

  • National Historic Publications and Records Commission, Graduate, Institute for the Editing and Publication of Historical Documents

Honors and Awards

  • Praiseworthy Award for History/Biography
  • Joseph Smith Lecturer
  • Harvey B. Black and Susan Easton Black Outstanding Publication Award
  • Gipson Dissertation Fellowship
  • Juanita Brooks Award: Best Graduate Student Paper
  • T. Edgar Lyon Award: Best Article

Memberships

  • American Society of Church History: ( - Present)
  • Mormon History Association: ( - Present)
  • American Historical Association: ( - Present)

Professional Citizenship

  • Editorial Review Board Member, BYU Studies, 2007-01-01 - 2007-12-31 - 2011-01-01 - 2011-12-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, BYU Studies, 2003-01-01 - 2003-12-31 - 2011-01-01 - 2011-12-31
  • Editor, Associate Editor, Joseph Smith Papers Project, 2002-01-01 - 2002-12-31 - 2011-01-01 - 2011-12-31
  • Other, LDS Church History Department, 2010-01-01 - 2010-12-31 - 2010-01-01 - 2010-12-31
  • Committee/Council Member, LDS Church History Department, 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31 - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31
  • Committee/Council Member, Mormon History Association, 2007-01-01 - 2007-12-31 - 2009-01-01 - 2009-12-31
  • Other, LDS Institute of Religion, Orem, Utah, 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31 - 2008-01-01 - 2008-12-31
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Mormon Historical Studies, 2004-01-01 - 2004-12-31 - 2006-01-01 - 2006-12-31

Courses Taught

2020

  • REL C 225 : Section 011
  • REL C 225 : Section 017
  • REL C 225 : Section 047
  • REL C 225 : Section 031
  • REL C 225 : Section 032
  • REL C 225 : Section 040

2019

  • REL C 225 : Section 017
  • REL C 225 : Section 033
  • REL C 225 : Section 037
  • REL C 225 : Section 001
  • REL C 225 : Section 018

2013

  • REL C 325 : Section 025
  • REL C 324 : Section 028

2012

  • REL A 311R: Section 001
  • REL A 303R: Section 001
  • REL A 311R: Section 001
  • REL A 303R: Section 001
  • REL A 311R: Section 001
  • REL A 303R: Section 001

2011

  • REL A 311R: Section 001
  • REL A 303R: Section 001
  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 341 : Section 002
  • REL C 324 : Section 006
  • REL C 325 : Section 005

2010

  • REL C 324 : Section 040
  • REL C 324 : Section 013
  • REL C 325 : Section 013
  • REL A 211 : Section 003
  • REL A 211 : Section 009

2009

  • REL C 324 : Section 011
  • REL C 325 : Section 018
  • REL C 325 : Section 021
  • REL C 325 : Section 028
  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 325 : Section 002
  • REL C 325 : Section 006
  • REL C 324 : Section 030
  • REL C 325 : Section 003
  • REL C 325 : Section 013
  • REL A 301 : Section 001
  • REL A 301 : Section 003

2008

  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 324 : Section 013
  • REL C 324 : Section 019
  • REL C 324 : Section 027
  • REL C 324 : Section 045
  • REL C 324 : Section 006
  • REL A 121 : Section 007
  • REL A 121 : Section 016
  • REL A 121 : Section 026
  • REL C 341 : Section 006
  • REL C 341 : Section 008
  • REL C 324 : Section 028
  • REL C 324 : Section 030

2007

  • REL C 342 : Section 001
  • REL C 342 : Section 003
  • REL C 324 : Section 026
  • REL C 324 : Section 031
  • REL C 324 : Section 045
  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 341 : Section 002
  • REL C 325 : Section 005
  • REL C 341 : Section 007
  • REL C 341 : Section 009
  • REL C 324 : Section 031
  • REL C 325 : Section 002
  • REL C 325 : Section 005
  • REL C 325 : Section 009

2006

  • REL C 324 : Section 026
  • REL C 324 : Section 031
  • REL C 325 : Section 001
  • REL C 325 : Section 003
  • REL C 325 : Section 032
  • REL C 324 : Section 002
  • REL C 324 : Section 005
  • REL C 341 : Section 008
  • REL C 341 : Section 010
  • REL C 325 : Section 003
  • REL C 325 : Section 006

2005

  • REL A 121 : Section 007
  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 341 : Section 002
  • REL C 341 : Section 008
  • REL C 341 : Section 010
  • REL C 324 : Section 002
  • REL C 324 : Section 006
  • REL C 324 : Section 024

2004

  • REL C 324 : Section 004
  • REL C 324 : Section 028
  • REL C 341 : Section 001
  • REL C 341 : Section 008
  • REL C 341 : Section 010
  • REL C 324 : Section 004
  • REL C 324 : Section 005
  • REL C 324 : Section 401
  • REL C 324 : Section 006
  • REL C 341 : Section 008
  • REL C 341 : Section 010

Publications

  • Harper SC. July (3rd Quarter/Summer), 2011. Suspicion or Trust: Reading the Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision. Robert L. Millet, editor. Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret.
  • Harper SC. April (2nd Quarter/Spring), 2011. Joseph Smith and Hearty Repentance. 2nd ed. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center.
  • Harper SC. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2011. A Seeker's Guide to the Historical Accounts of Joseph Smith's First Vision. 1st ed. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center.
  • Harper SC. April (2nd Quarter/Spring), 2010. Evaluating the Book of Mormon Witnesses. 2nd ed. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center.
  • Harper SC. April (2nd Quarter/Spring), 2010. Making History: Documenting the 1737 Walking Purchase. 2nd ed. Paul Newman, editor.
  • Harper SC. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2010. Angels in the Age of Railways. Robert L. Millet, editor. Macon, Georgia: Mercer University Press.
  • Harper SC. January (1st Quarter/Winter), 2010. Joseph Smith and the Kirtland Temple, 1836. Richard N. Holzapfel and Kent P. Jackson, editors. Provo, Utah: Religious Studies Center.
  • Jensen RS, Woodford RJ, Harper SC. July (3rd Quarter/Summer), 2009. Joseph Smith Papers, Manuscript Revelation Books. Salt Lake City: Church Historian's Press.

Presentations

  • Harper SC. Remembering and Forgetting the First Vision. Utah Valley University Mormon Studies Conference. Based on parts of my book First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019). March, 2020.
  • Harper SC. Raising the Stakes: How Joseph Smith's First Vision Became All or Nothing. The First Vision of Joseph Smith: 200 Years On. Based on passages of my book First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019). January, 2020.
  • Harper SC. Putting the First Vision in the Pensieve, or How Joseph Remembered. Harold B Lee Library First Vision Lecture Series. Based on my book First Vision: Memory and Mormon Origins (Oxford University Press, 2019). September, 2019.
  • Harper SC. Memory and Joseph Smith's 1835 and 1838-39 Accounts of His First Vision. Joseph Smith Papers Conference. October, 2017.
  • Harper SC. Four Accounts and Three Critiques of Joseph Smith's First Vision. Thirteenth Annual Mormon Apologetics Conference. August, 2011.
  • Harper SC. Seeking, Assuming, and Joseph Smith's First Vision. Young Single Adult Multi-Region Summit. June, 2011.
  • Harper SC, Farnes S, Winslow B, Shaefer M, Metcalf W. New Perspectives on Early Mormon History from the Edward Partridge Papers. Mormon History Association. May, 2011.
  • Harper SC. Dynamics of Apostasy in Mormonism. American Academy of Religion . March, 2011.
  • Harper SC. William McLellin's Lost Manuscript and the Book of Mormon Witnesses. BYU Studies Academy. February, 2011.
  • Harper SC. Historical Headnotes and the Index of Contents in the Book of Commandments and Revelations. Mormon History Association. 2009.
  • Harper SC. Mormonism and the Paraniod Style. Secularization and Revival: The Fate of Religion in Modern Intellectual History. 2009.
  • Harper SC. The Mormons: Panel Discussion of the PBS Film by Helen Whitney. American Society of Church History. 2008.
  • Harper SC. 'Making History: Documenting the Walking Purchase'. Lawrence Henry Gipson Institute for Eighteenth-Century Studies. 2007.
  • Harper SC. Savage Warfare': Northampton County 1755-1763. Moravian Bookstore. 2007.
  • Harper SC. Ye Hurry Walk: Easton and the Long History of the Walking Purchase. Northampton County Historica and Genealogical Society. 2007.
  • Harper SC. "Angels in the Age of Railways". By What Authority?. 2006.
  • Harper SC. "Pentecost and Endowment Indeed": The Kirtland Temple Experience. BYU-Idaho Religious Lecture Series. 2006.
  • Harper SC. Mormons and Missourians: Conflicting Views of Authority. From Conflict to Understanding: The Mormon Experience in Missouri. 2006.
  • Harper SC. Teaching Mormonism. John Whitmer Historical Society. 2006.
  • Harper SC. The Problems and Promises of Editing Joseph's 1837 Papers. Mormon History Association. 2006.
  • Holzapfel RN, Bushman R, Anderson RL, Black SE, Faulring S, Harper SC, Schwartz RF, Thayne S, Morris LE, Skousen RJ, et alOliver Cowdery Symposium. 2006.
  • Harper SC. "Upon this Head': Oliver Cowdery as Witness of Priesthood Restoration. Oliver Cowdery: Restoration Witness, Second Elder. 2006.
  • Harper SC. We Not I: The Law of Consecration in the Doctrine & Covenants. BYU-Idaho Religious Lecture Series. 2005.
  • Harper SC. A Small Slice of Joseph Smith (A discussion of my work and discoveries as an editor of Joseph Smith's 1835 documents). Mormon History Association. 2005.
  • Harper SC. Dictated by Christ: Joseph Smith and the Politics of Revelation. Mormon History Association. 2005.
  • Harper SC. Dictated by Christ: Joseph Smith and the Politics of Revelation. Society for Historians of the Early American Republic. 2004.
  • Harper SC. Endowed with Power. BYU-Idaho Religious Lecture Series. April, 2004.
Steven Harper