7th out of 26 books — 2 voters
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First, a little theological background would be helpful to understand the subject of this book. For members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Zion is more than just a name for Jerusalem or a title for a “city on a hill.” Instead, it is what God calls His people. As the Lord revealed to Joseph Smith, “this is Zion – the pure in heart.” Doctrine and Covenants 97:21. And in other latter-day scripture, Enoch and his people were called Zion – “And the Lord called his people Zion, be ...more
Some of the assumptions on the origins of the United Order movement through Joseph Smith's revelations are a bit dated: Arrington basically uncritically accepts Brigham Young's apparent belief or insistence that the United Orders were the direct result of Joseph Smith's "United Firm," later called a "United Order." The consensus of historians now, however, is that the United Firm was really a different thing, and not really the type of communal effort that Brigham Young attempted in the latter h ...more
The information in this book is thorough and well researched. I'm sure it answers any question you could ever have about communalism among the Mormons, a pretty interesting topic if you ask me. It also made me want to gouge my eyes out. I have trudged dutifully through several history books this semester with very minimal skimming, but this one was beyond dry. By the time I got half way through I was convinced getting through the second half would kill me. I skipped entire chapters and skimmed m ...more
I guess I am just a history junkie, but I was engrossed by this book. For example, did you know that in the 1870s Brigham City had textile industry that included mulberry trees and silk worms? Or that Brigham Young encouraged the residents of St. George to make and sell (but not consume) wine to people living outside the city (presumably non-Mormons)? It covers pre- and post-United Order efforts including co-ops and the pre-1975 church welfare system. Most of the focus is on the United Order eff ...more