Date of Award

4-15-1995

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Departmental Honors

Department

History

Abstract

The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faced a twin dilemma in the years of 1868 to 1874. The specter of non-Mormon infiltration of society and destruction of the Mormon empire loomed menacingly on the horizon, and Internal divisions and inequities threatened to destroy the religious ideals of unity and equality fostered by Mormons since the time of Joseph Smith, Jr. This twin crisis led Mormon leaders to institute church-wide economic and social programs of reform, culminating in 1874 with the establishment of the Second United Order of Enoch.

The issue explored herein is the internal dilemma of the Mormon Church; the perceived threat of inequality and division among Church members, and the subsequent attempts to Institute social programs to alleviate these problems. Mormon leaders had to balance religious beliefs of unity, equality of opportunity, and self-sufficiency with economic realities of inequality, stagnant social mobility, and Individual self-interest. These internal pressures were balanced by a socio-religious institution that enabled social control while offering substantial incentives to both self and group interests. Using Brigham City as a case study, I will attempt show that the United Order provided an efficient institution not only for fostering religious unity, but also to balance the often competing interests of religious belief with economic self-interest.

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