Professor J.B. Haws is an accomplished associate professor of Church History and Doctrine at Brigham Young University. Since attending Weber State University and BYU and receiving his PhD in American History from the University of Utah, Professor Haws has authored and edited for several works on the history of the Latter-day Saints in America. These include the book The Mormon Image in the American Mind: Fifty Years of Public Perception and the articles “Reconciling Joseph Smith—History 1:10 and 1:18–19” for Religious Educator, “When Mormonism Mattered Less in Presidential Politics: George Romney’s 1968 Window of Possibilities” for Mormon Historical Studies, and “President Joseph F. Smith’s Encouragement of His Brother, Patriarch John Smith” for the book Joseph F. Smith: Reflections on the Man and His Times which he also worked on as an editor. His focus on the Church’s history and American perception of it through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries has helped change and inform public opinion of the Church.
Professor Haws was born and raised in Utah. He served a mission in the North Carolina Raleigh Mission before returning to his home state for his education and career. After graduating, Professor Haws spent several years teaching seminary in northern Utah before joining the religious education staff of BYU as an associate professor and a coordinator of BYU’s Office or Religious Outreach.
After returning home from North Carolina, he married Laura Favero. The two have four children that Professor Haws talks about in his devotional “…” From his children, he has learned many different lessons about love, pride, cooperation, and comparison that he shared in that speech for his BYU audience. “I can still hear his little voice yelling, “Good catch, Par!” or “That was great, Par!” And then he would miss the next throw that came to him. But somehow that didn’t dampen his enthusiasm for Parley’s success. Somehow, he knew that his contest was not with Parley. He could have joy in Parley’s success. How do we recapture that sense of childlike celebration for the good fortune of others?”