Mormons Essay, Research Paper

Mormons in Utah

I intend to prove that the Mormon religion, which began to rise in both

reputation and numbers in Utah, is a strange mixer of Christianity, American

pragmatism, millennialist expectations, economic experimentation, political

conservation, evangelical fervor and international activity, but is still a

highly followed, rapidly growing, and successful religion.

Mormonism is a major modern religion with more than 8 million members,

and over 4 million in the United States. Mormonism was founded in 1830 by Joseph

Smith who was known as the prophet. This is a young age for such a widely

practiced religion, and its numbers grow daily.

Mormonism is officially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Its founding doctrine is based on the assumption that Christianity was too

corrupt and ungodly, and that restoring true Christian values was necessary. A

revelation like this may only come through God who needs to put the true, pure

forms of Christianity in a divine authority.

The Mormons, who follow four books including The Bible, The Book of

Mormon, Doctrine of Covenants, and Pearl of a Great Price do believe that all

religions have some amount of truth to them and do good in one form or another,

but it is only their religion that is ” the only true and living church upon


In 1820 , Mormonism was founded by a teenage Joseph Smith during the

19th century United States religious movement known as the “Second Great

Awakening”. On April 6, 1830, The Book of Mormon was completed and a new

religion was born.

Mormonism attracted many people and the firs official home of the

Mormons was in Fayette, New York. In 1831, the Mormons moved to Kirtland, Ohio,

now known as Kirtland Hills. Other Mormon areas were being established,

especially in Mississippi. Newly proclaimed Mormons were rushing to their new

religious grounds, mainly in norttheastern Ohio and western Mississippi.

Although the Mormons were thrilled with their “perfect” religion, there

were many problems where they had established themselves. The people who were

already present in strongly populated Mormon areas began to get upset and act

very hostile. Threats were made, and the Mormons became very scared-scared

enough to move. So they did. The Mormons reestablished themselves somewhere

along the Mississippi River at a place known as Commerce, Illinois. They Mormons

were granted permission by Chicago to latter rename their property as Nauvoo.

The Mormons still were not wanted. The people living around the Mormons became

worried about their local economy and the affects the block voting done by the

Mormons would have. The Mormons were allowed to set up their own army to protect

themselves. Soon, rumors of monarchical powers and the practice of polygamy

began floating around. This enraged locals even more and the federal government

sent armies into Mormon territory to see if they could dispel any of these

rumors. This only caused more of an upset. In 1844, Joseph Mormon and his

younger brother were placed into a prison in Illinois on charges of treason and

conspiracy. After they were released they were promised protection by the

government, but this was not the case because shortly after their release, they

were assassinated.

The leadership of the Mormons fell onto the shoulders of a group of men

known as the 12 Apostles. The 12 Apostles, knowing they couldn’t stay in

Illinois, decided they had to move. Brigham Young, who took over as prophet and

president of the Mormon group, decided to move the Mormons in 1847. They moved

from Illinois to Great Basin in the rocky Mountains in Utah. salt Lake City was

set up as the main Mormon city of worship, and soon over 300 other cities of

worship sprouted up nearby. The Mormon religious territories spread from

California to Colorado, and from Mexico to Canada.

In their new land, the Mormons thought they were safe, and 10% -20%

openly practiced polygamy. The rumors about this had proved to be true and the

government sent in an army to stop this form of worship. This propelled the

supposed Utah War that lasted from 1857 to 1858.

The Mormons went through battle after battle of judicial trials. Finally,

in 1890, the church president at that time, Wilford Woodruff, publicly ended all

Mormon polygamy. The Mormons finally were left alone and their little city in

Utah created thousands more cities like it.

The contemporary Mormon church still has many problems, and while it is

seen as a conservative Christian church, their ideas about God’s nature and

salvation greatly differ from other Christian religions. However, the Mormons

have constantly proved they believe their religion is worth fighting for.

In this report, I have proven the Mormons are an odd mixture of

Christianity, American pragmatism, millennialist expectations, economic

experimentation, political conservation, evangelical fervor, and international

activity, and continue to grow because they are a highly followed rapidly

growing, successful religion.

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