Author: John Hamer

John Hamer was born in Chicago, Illinois, and grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He did his graduate studies in the field of Medieval European history at the University of Michigan where he became an expert in Medieval cartography. His undergrad years were spent at BYU where he was one of the publishers of the Student Review, the successor to the 7th East Press. John spends most of his time encouraging and promoting Mormon studies. He is president-elect of the John Whitmer Historical Association (the Prairie Saint equivalent of MHA) and editor of John Whitmer Books. With Newell Bringhurst, John previously edited Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism. and is currently at work producing an Atlas of Mormon History. He has produced maps for the history departments of the LDS church and the Community of Christ as well as for various university presses, museums and documentary films. Along with Vickie Speek, John and his partner of 13 years, Mike Karpowicz, are compiling a new volume called Strangites: The Great Lakes Mormon Experience. John and Mike enjoy roadtripping across the country, visiting Mormon history sites along with other Americana — for example, they never miss a chance to visit the grave of one of the many illustrious (and many more not-so-illustrious) Vice Presidents of the USA. John’s ancestors joined the Latter Day Saint movement seven generations ago. He has family connections with many expressions of the Restoration (Brighamites, Josephites, Rigdonites, Whitmerites, and Strangites), but he is not personally a member of any of the churches.

Agency and the Plan of Salvation

Before the world was, so say the prophets and prophetesses, our spirits dwelt in a heavenly sphere. As the world was to be made, the two eldest spirits came before heaven’s host assembled and presented two grand plans for our…

The Next MHA

A number of the bloggernacle’s luminaries descended on the party town of Sacramento, California, last weekend for the 2008 conference of the Mormon History Association (MHA)—a theme many have blogged about. If you missed all the fun, there’s no reason…

Deep in the Heart of Mormondom

Outside of my own library and the virtual community I’m connected to through the internet, Mormondom has very little impact on my immediate environment in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The LDS Institute has a prominent place next to the university, but…

Clinton Comes to Kirtland

I was in the offices of the new Kirtland Temple Visitor Center last Thursday when the call came through. According to the mayor’s office, Bill Clinton was coming to Kirtland on Saturday — to hold a rally and to tour…

Can Mormons Be Savvy Voters?

There’s a lot of talk in the media and across the ’nacle to the effect that Romney’s Mormon identity was the critical factor that torpedoed his candidacy. The argument is that a large percentage of Republican primary voters have anti-Mormon…

9 Mormons Who Ran for President

During this campaign season I’ve been helping Newell Bringhurst and Craig Foster edit their forthcoming book, The Mormon Quest for the Presidency. The book tells the fascinating story of 9 Mormons who ran for president prior to Mitt Romney’s bid and…

The Power to Move Mountains and More!

I’ve been reading through a new compilation of early patriarchal blessings, given by the first Mormon Presiding Patriarchs: Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith and William Smith. These revelations can be mined for any number of treasures — enriching our understanding…