Gerrit J. Dirkmaat is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. He received his PhD from the University of Colorado in 2010, where he studied nineteenth-century American expansionism and foreign relations. His dissertation was titled “Enemies Foreign and Domestic: US Relations with Mormons in the US Empire in North America, 1844–1854.” He worked as a historian and writer for the Church History Department from 2010 to 2014 with the Joseph Smith Papers Project and served as a volume coeditor/historian for Documents volume 1, the lead volume editor on Documents volume 3, and has continued to work as a volunteer editor for the Joseph Smith Papers project on Administrative Records, Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846 and Documents volume 8. He is the coauthor, along with Michael Hubbard MacKay, of the award-winning book From Darkness unto Light: Joseph Smith’s Translation and Publication of the Book of Mormon, published by the BYU Religious Studies Center and Deseret Book in 2015. He is also the author of dozens of academic articles as well. In 2015 he published a groundbreaking analysis of the differences between the originally recorded versions Utah-era sermons of Brigham Young and other Church leaders and those later published in the Journal of Discourses. This article, “The Prophets Have Spoken, But What Did They Say?: Examining the Differences Between George D. Watt’s Original Shorthand Notes and the Sermons Published in the Journal of Discourses,” won the 2016 Article of Excellence Award from the Mormon History Association. Before his work at the Church History Department, he served as the senior assistant editor of Diplomatic History from 2003 to 2009. He currently serves the Research Director for the Religious Studies Center and on their Review Board, as editor of the academic journal Latter-day Saint Historical Studies published by the Ensign Peak Foundation, and on the Church History editorial board for BYU Studies. He and his wife, Angela, have four children.
Research InterestsJoseph Smith, Early Latter-day Saint history, the publication and translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith's martyrdom, the Council of Fifty, Expulsion of Latter-day Saints from the United States, Utah History, Brigham Young, Federal Relations with Latter-day Saints, Early antagonism to Latter-day Saints, Plural Marriage
Teaching Interests19th Century Latter-day Saints Church History, Foundations of the Restoration, Doctrine & Covenants, Joseph Smith, American history.
Honors and Awards
- The Religious Education Outstanding Citizenship Award, Religious Education (2021 - 2021)
- Best Documentary History, John Whitmer Historical Society (2020 - 2020)
- Article of Excellence, Mormon History Association (2016 - 2016)
- Best Book, John Whitmer Historical Society (2015 - 2015)
- Best Documentary Editing Publication, Mormon History Association (2014 - 2014)
- Editor of Mormon Historical Studies (2016 - Present)
- Board Member, Religious Studies Center (2021 - Present)
- Board Member, Brigham Young Center (2017 - Present)
- Editor, Associate Editor, Mormon Historical Studies Journal (2016 - Present)