Provo, UT — New Scholarship on Latter-day Saint Women in the Twentieth Century opens dialogue on women’s past experiences and analyzes developments for Mormon women from the Progressive Era through civil rights reforms to the emerging women’s movement. The book has recently been published by the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History.

This volume of proceedings covers essays by new and seasoned scholars presented at Women’s History Initiative seminars held in 2003 and 2004. Cherry Silver, co-editor of the book and co-chair of the 2004 seminar, said that the “authors explain, explore, set in context, and give meaning to the ever-increasing complexity of our religious and social worlds as Latter-day Saints.”

Important observations about Latter-day Saint women include insights into the thinking of Relief Society leaders Susa Young Gates, Amy Brown Lyman, and Belle Spafford.

“The variety of subjects, differences in approach, and diversity of contributors demonstrate the richness of the field and wide-ranging interest in studying it,” said Carol Cornwall Madsen, co-editor of the book and co-chair of the 2004 seminar.

Authors explore the experiences of women missionaries over the past century, the challenges faced by Hmong converts to the Church in the past fifteen years, and historical views of Latter-day Saints who engaged in woman suffrage early in the century, to name just a few topics.

“Readers will be reminded of the contributions Latter-day Saint women have made in politics and wartime, as individuals, as local Relief Society groups, and as Latter-day Saint nurses,” said Silver.

Notable scholars Thomas G. Alexander, James B. Allen, Marie Cornwall, Cheryl B. Preston, and Mary Jane Woodger, with many others, contributed to the historical research in the book.

New Scholarship on Latter-day Saint Women in the Twentieth Century demonstrates the response of Mormon women to cultural trends, politics, and religion.

“Essays in this volume confirm that Latter-day Saint women have played important roles in the larger social and cultural life of the past century,” said Silver. “The writing is solid, the information appealing, and the overall effect is uplifting.”