This presentation examines the beginnings of Mormonism from its time in western New York to the period just before the church headed to Utah. It will argue that they survived under such adverse conditions because of the unique religious, economic, and social changes occurring in American society at that time. These changes allowed for a new religion to begin. The dynamic leadership of Joseph Smith added to these factors, as did his preaching of economic egalitarianism, while holding to a rigid religious hierarchy that allowed for a strong church focused on social change. This, in turn, led to confidence that allowed them to weather persecution. Finally even polygamy helped the Mormons as it helped to gain many more members in a quick manner, reinforce Old Testament values, and drive out those not fully committed to Mormonism.
|Presenter:||David Douglas (Undergraduate Student)|
|Time:||4:05 pm Session V|