Mark Ashurst-McGee

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Mark Roscoe Ashurst-McGee[1] (born 1968)[2] is an American historian of the Latter Day Saint movement and editor for the Joseph Smith Papers project.


From 1988 to 1990, Ashurst-McGee served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in New Jersey.[2] His wife Angela was a fellow of Western American Literature (an academic journal), a teacher of college English, a freelance editor for the Joseph Smith Papers, and currently runs the résumé writing service Red Rocket Résumé. They have five children.[3]

Ashurst-McGee received a B.A. and B.S. from Brigham Young University (BYU) in 1994,[4] and an M.A. in History from Utah State University (USU) in 2000.[2] His master's thesis on Joseph Smith's religious development won the Reese History Award from the Mormon History Association.[5] He then pursued his doctorate in history at Arizona State University (ASU), where he also worked on a project for American Indian history and culture.[6] His dissertation was on Joseph Smith's early social and political thought, and won the Gerald E. Jones Dissertation Award from the Mormon History Association.[7] Through this training, he became a "specialist in documentary editing conventions and transcription methodology."[8] A BYU professor of religious education and colleague in the Joseph Smith Papers Project, Steven C. Harper, stated Ashurst-McGee "probably knows the field of documentary editing better than anybody that I know."[9]

Mormon studies

In 1999, Ashurst-McGee was an intern in the Church Archives of the LDS Church.[10] After his time at ASU, he joined the staff of the Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History at Brigham Young University.[6] He also worked as an editor for Deseret Book and published articles with the Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies (FARMS)[11] and the Mormon History Association.[2]

When FARMS printed a coordinated critique of Grant Palmer's controversial 2002 book, An Insider's View of Mormon Origins, Ashurst-McGee wrote one of the five critiques published in the FARMS Review.[12] The other reviewers were James B. Allen, Davis Bitton, Louis Midgley, and Steven C. Harper.

Ashurst-McGee is a member of the Joseph Smith Papers Project. Along with Richard L. Jensen and Dean C. Jessee, he co-edited the first volume to be published from the series, which was on the early journals of Joseph Smith. Released in 2008, the book became very popular and sold very quickly, prompting expanded additional printings. In 2009, it received the Steven F. Christensen Best Documentary Award (Mormon History Association) and a Special Award in Textual Criticism and Bibliography (Association for Mormon Letters).[13] Ashurst-McGee is expected to edit future volumes of Smith's papers.



  1. "Zion rising : Joseph Smith's early social and political thought". Copyright Catalog (1978 to present). United States Copyright Office. Retrieved 2010-01-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "The Mark R. Ashurst-McGee Papers". Marriott Library Special Collections. Salt Lake City: University of Utah. Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Meet Former WAL Fellows". Western Literature Association. Utah State University. June 1, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Alumni Updates: Profiles". BYU Magazine. Spring 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "About the Contributors". FARMS Review. 18 (1). 2006. Retrieved 2009-04-09.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 "H-AmIndian Staff". Department of History. Arizona State University. Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Lloyd, R. Scott (May 23, 2009). "'Massacre' receives honors from Mormon History Association". MormonTimes. Deseret News. Retrieved 2009-06-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Contributor Bios". The Joseph Smith Papers. Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Harper, Steven C. (August 18, 2008). The Joseph Smith Papers (mp3). BYU Education Week. Provo, Utah: BYU Broadcasting. Retrieved 2009-08-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. 42:55 minutes in.
  10. Ashurst-McGee, Mark (1999). "The Josiah Stowell Jr.-John S. Fullmer Correspondence". BYU Studies. 38 (3): 108–117. Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Mark Ashurst-McGee". Authors. Maxwell Institute. Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Ashurst-McGee, Mark (2003). "A One-sided View of Mormon Origins". FARMS Review. Foundation for Ancient Research and Mormon Studies. 15 (2). Retrieved 2009-02-27.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "News, Reviews, and Endorsements". The Joseph Smith Papers. July 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-24.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links