Suspicions of theocracy, and particularly of the Mormon practice of polygamy, which the church made public in 1852, “really inflamed the animus of Americans—particularly Protestants—against the Mormons,” Bowman says. Since that day, Mormon cultural and heritage has made Utah a unique place to visit, today, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members comprise about 60 percent of the state's population. They settled it. Patrick Q. Mason holds the Leonard J. Arrington Chair of Mormon History and Culture at USU. Growing up Non-Mormon in Utah . The Utah Arts Council, founded in 1899, is the oldest state arts agency in the country. Utah - Utah - Sports and recreation: Salt Lake City is the home of two major professional sports franchises: Real Salt Lake of Major League Soccer (football) and the Utah Jazz of the National Basketball Association (NBA). Held annually in January in and around Park City, the Sundance Film Festival is widely considered the most important American showcase for independently produced motion pictures. In the 1874 case Reynolds v. United States, in which Young’s secretary, George Reynolds, tested the constitutionality of an 1862 anti-bigamy law, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the Constitution does not protect polygamy. Inside the church building and at the church activities, it is the same to me as the Mormon culture inside Utah. Why all the hostility against Smith and his fellow Mormons? The University of Utah Children’s Dance Theatre and the Brigham Young University folk-dance troupes are well known. For practicing Mormons, that means easing up on preaching to or pressuring your unsuspecting non-member neighbors. When Young and his followers first arrived in the Great Salt Lake, the region was still part of Mexican territory. Instead, as part of the Compromise of 1850, Congress greatly reduced Deseret’s size and renamed it the Utah Territory. In 1849, he sent representatives to Congress with a proposed map of the state of Deseret (a word from the Book of Mormon meaning “honeybee”.) Recently, Mormons have won or have been finalists in many singing, music, and dance competitions in the U.S. and elsewhere. Once Woodruff had formally renounced polygamy on behalf of the LDS, Congress’ attitude changed greatly, and the path to statehood became considerably clearer. The latter was built in the 1860s. There is a culture among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that denies the very teachings of Christ himself and gives Mormons a … Size (approx. I am an active Mormon, and I hate the Utah Mormon culture. Jensen says he sees his LDS patients experience their mental illnesses in unique ways because of church culture. It is theirs. Top leaders from the Utah-based faith known widely as the Mormon church said they are concerned about political and cultural divisions in the United States and … For the next two decades, wagon trains bearing thousands of Mormon immigrants followed Young’s westward trail. Despite warnings about the region’s unsuitability for agriculture and the hostile Native Americans living near the smaller, freshwater Utah Lake, the Mormons were drawn to the low population of the Salt Lake Valley. Two years later, Young led the Mormons on their great trek westward through the wilderness some 1,300 miles to the Rocky Mountains—a rite of passage they saw as necessary in order to find their promised land. Are your neighbors your “family”? U.S. Mormon leader and founder of Salt Lake City in Utah, Brigham Young. Ross is the author of “To Mormons with Love: A little something from the new girl in Utah,” a non-fiction book she wrote about the Mormon vs. non-Mormon culture after several years of living in Utah. Practices common to Mormons include studying scriptures, praying daily, fastingregularly, attending Sunday worship services, participating in church programs and activities on weekdays, and refraining from work on Sundays whe… These views are reflected in their alcohol laws, which are the most conservative in the USA. Mormon culture in Utah not Christlike. Though during the Civil War these laws were not pursued, Bowman says, this changed in the decade after that conflict. Cu… Instructors: Christopher Lewis, Associate Professor, and Margaret Toscano, Associate Professor, World Languages & Cultures This course explores literary texts that engage the culture, tradition, and worldview of Mormonism in the broad sense (i.e. The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith. A2A. Because the population of Utah is overwhelmingly Mormon, the church has a strong influence on the state’s cultural life and traditions. So, it became a cultural norm, at least in Utah, for Mormons to … The Utah State Historical Society has a collection of manuscripts, publications, and photographs and publishes the Utah Historical Quarterly, monographs, and full-volume diaries. HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, which performed for the first time in 1847, now consists of about 325 members with trained but nonprofessional voices; it presents concerts and national weekly radio and television broadcasts. Lisa Janssen is a college graduate whose family moved to Utah from California when she … By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. A colorized photograph of a 19th century polygamous Mormon family with two wives and nine children. Over time, both Mormons and non-Mormons alike wondered why coffee and tea had made the no-no list, and the consensus was that it must be the caffeine, which can be an addictive substance. Young and his fellow apostles considered options such as Texas (during its brief period as an independent republic), California and Canada. (If it were just about beer for me I would have gone back years ago.) Jump to Subtopic: Question: Was Utah was a hotbed of violence, murder, and lawlessness that can be attributed to Mormon doctrine and practices? About 60% of Utah is Mormon, and the church’s history, doctrine and practice influence the state’s entire culture. not exclusively referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). Each ward, or occasionally two or three wards together, owns a chapel with a centre for collective worship, classrooms, a basketball court, and a dance hall. Smith evaded extradition for a while, and even began planning a run for president of the United States in 1844. Question: Did Brigham Young create a 'culture of violence' in 19th century Utah … At the time, the region was part of Mexico, with limited oversight by the Mexican government. There are also notable Mormon temples in St. George, Manti, Provo, South Jordan, Ogden, and Logan. Utah gained an early start in drama with the opening of the Salt Lake Theater in 1862. These culminate biennially in a large drama festival in Salt Lake City. In Utah, Young is able to ignore the federal government, until the practice of polygamy prevents Utah’s statehood. Assimilation into the Union and later developments. Today, according to official LDS statistics, Utah is home to more than 2 million Mormons, or about one-third of the total number of Mormons in the United States. Culture and good, clean fun are also central to Mormon life. President Millard Fillmore appointed Young as territorial governor, a decision made “largely as a matter of practicality,” Bowman points out, as Young had essentially been governing Deseret (as he called it) and the Mormon Church as one entity for three years already. We believe that singing is an important form of worship and prayer to God. “The Mormons were fairly clannish, you might say,” Matthew Bowman, professor of history at Henderson State University and author of The Mormon People: The Making of an American Faith, explains. The lowest number of Mormons is found in New Jersey where they make up only … A year later, when the church celebrated the 50th anniversary of Brigham Young’s arrival in the Salt Lake Valley—Young himself died in 1877—the newly completed Mormon temple in Salt Lake City was draped in American flags. Founded in Park City in 1981 by actor, director, and prominent Utah resident Robert Redford and others, the Sundance Institute supports the development of independent motion picture projects and filmmakers, as well as (since 1984) theatrical projects and playwrights. Young largely ignored the federal agents the Fillmore administration sent to Utah, and did what he wanted. But in early 1848, Mexico ceded some 525,000 square miles of its territory to the United States at the end of the Mexican-American War, including all or parts of present-day Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming—and Utah. Its purpose is to promote all branches of the fine arts. Dance companies in Utah include Ballet West, which features classical ballet, and the Repertory Dance Theatre, which features modern dance; both are based in Salt Lake City. On June 27, 1844, a mob gathered at the jail and killed Smith and his brother Hyrum. In popular music, the Osmonds, a family of singing siblings from Provo, first gained fame in the 1960s and ’70s and continued to perform in various groupings (the Osmond Brothers, Donny and Marie) and as soloists into the 21st century. Though Young eventually agreed to be replaced as territorial governor, the Mormon practice of plural marriage would delay Utah’s statehood for nearly four more decades. It sponsors an annual arts conference and allocates funds advanced to the state by federal agencies. Top leaders from the Utah-based faith known widely as the Mormon church said they are concerned about political and cultural divisions in the United States and urged members to set aside partisan differences and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. © 2021 A&E Television Networks, LLC. Top leaders from the Utah-based faith known widely as the Mormon church said they are concerned about political and cultural divisions in the United States and … Old Deseret Village, in This Is the Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City, is a reconstructed Old West town containing original buildings and furnishings. Moreover, the influx of immigrants-beginning in the 1840s from Great Britain and in the 1850s from Scandinavia-brought directly to Utah pioneer settlements institutions not as readily accessible to many other agrarian societies in … Culture. Every county holds a fair in the autumn, highlighted by displays and competitions, concessions, and often a rodeo. As another answer to this question (Toby Dillon’s) notes, 63% of the state is Mormon. Books of Mormons: Mormon Literature | CLCS 4900 001. The most famous buildings in Utah are the many-spired Mormon Temple and the turtleback Mormon Tabernacle, both in Salt Lake City. In the ensuing uproar, Smith was convinced to turn himself in at the county seat in Carthage to face a hearing. Isolation in Utah had allowed Mormons to create a culture of their own. “It didn’t seem to be wanted by any other white people,” Bowman says of Young’s chosen spot. Almost every town has a small museum or historical building that similarly dates to the mid-1800s. Because of its strong Mormon influence, Utah holds primarily conservative views. After the Mormon church banned polygamy in 1890 in exchange for the recognition of Utah as a state, polygamists went underground, some moving to Mexico, others settling in Short Creek. The major universities have symphonies and choral groups performing in winter, as well as summer festivals and concerts. Culture Music Music and hymns have been an integral part of our culture since its very inception. Federal courtrooms sat empty, while Mormon leaders filled the territorial legislature. I am happy you have enjoyed your experiences in Utah- I think it would only be natural and normal for an outsider to make all the observations that you did! In 1887, the Edmunds-Tucker Act took square aim at the Mormon church itself, disincorporating it and authorizing the federal government to seize much of its property. Jailed in Missouri, Smith was allowed to escape to Illinois, where he helped build Nauvoo into a thriving city. Utah becomes the 45th state. Did Utah foster a culture of violence in the 19th century? Individual creative works were recognized and appreciated, but the more robust Mormon cultural expressions were those requiring unified action and cooperation. But when a local newspaper, the Nauvoo Expositor, published a front page article criticizing the Mormon doctrine of polygamy, Smith ordered its printing press smashed. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Again the Mormons brought suit, but in 1890 the Supreme Court ruled the Edmunds-Tucker Act constitutional. “It’s a proclamation saying that for the good of the church, for the survival of the church, we have to abandon plural marriage.”. But for everyone to feel safe, we need to be valued and respected, especially when it comes to religious and personal beliefs. On January 4, 1896, Utah became a state. Young led the Mormons on their great trek westward through the wilderness some 1,300 miles to the Rocky Mountains—a rite of passage they saw as necessary in order to find their promised land. Though the Mormons had been considering migrating West, beyond the reach of the United States government, before their founder’s murder, the crime solidified this intention. By: Kylea Custer. Relying on reports of Western explorers and the low population, the Mormons set their eyes on Utah. The "Mormon Culture" in Utah may be thick, and have it's pros and cons, but all in all I think it's a wonderful culture to be a part of. It holds up to 8,000 people and has rare acoustical qualities that enrich the sounds of its world-famous organ, with some 11,600 pipes. Each stake has a “tabernacle,” or stake centre, with one or more chapels and recreational and cultural facilities. The culture is geographically concentrated in the Mormon Corridor in the United States, and is present to a lesser extent in many places of the world where Latter-day Saints live. Having already produced nationally known writers such as Pulitzer Prize winner Wallace Stegner, Bernard De Voto, and Fawn McKay Brodie, Utah emerged in the 1980s as a centre of Western American literature (a journal with that title is published by Utah State University). At that time, naturalist writer Terry Tempest Williams, literary critic and nature writer Thomas J. Lyon, and natural history writer Stephen Trimble began to publish extensively. Top leaders from the Utah-based faith known widely as the Mormon church said they are concerned about political and cultural divisions in the United States and urged members to set aside partisan differences and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ. (Credit: Bettmann Archive/Getty Images). Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. A replica has been constructed on the University of Utah campus, and performances are held there regularly. Since that day, Mormon cultural and heritage has made Utah a unique place to visit, today, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints members comprise about 60 percent of the state's population. The Western Historical Quarterly, the official publication of the Western History Association, is published by Utah State University. Having grown up in Utah as both a born and bred Mormon and an OG Bravoholic, ... that “perfection is attainable” was a part of Utah culture long before Bravo’s cameras started rolling. The basic beliefs and traditions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) have a cultural impact that distinguishes church members, practices and activities. The built it. It also made the Mormons a useful political foil for Washington politicians, some of whom likened the religion to another highly divisive institution: slavery. The culture of Utah revolves heavily around its most influential group, the Mormons. Utah is one of 18 control states, where the state has a monopoly over the wholesaling and retailing of all alcoholic beverages. The Utah Symphony Orchestra, the Utah Opera Company, and the Oratorio Society of Utah are other major ensembles located in the capital. City/State: Salt Lake City,UT (Utah) County: Salt Lake: Type/Era: Postcard, Chrome: Publisher: Intermountain Tourist Supply, Inc. When Utah becomes part of the U.S., Young sees an opportunity to control a state government. Relying on reports of Western explorers and the low population, the Mormons set their eyes on Utah. The latter was built in the 1860s. MORMON STUDIES The Tanner Humanities Center launched its Mormon Studies Initiative in 2010 to encourage the vibrant, intellectual exploration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and all religious traditions that trace their roots to Joseph Smith in an effort to better understand their various institutions, histories, cultures, and peoples. 'Cultural Mormons' Adjust The Lifestyle But Keep The Label Some members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints choose to leave the faith but not the community. 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