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Railroading ReligionMormons, Tourists, and the Corporate Spirit of the West$
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David Walker

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653204

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653204.001.0001

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Brigham Young and the Railroad Connection

Brigham Young and the Railroad Connection

(p.47) Chapter Two Brigham Young and the Railroad Connection
Railroading Religion

David Walker

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter covers Brigham Young’s effort to aid and expedite the incorporation of railroads within Mormonism. A background of the Mormon land system, origins and precedents introduces the Plat of Zion devised by Joseph Smith as a model for future Mormon settlement, the elaboration of the priesthood system, and theodemocracy. Following Smith’s plan for a utopic plat, Young reshaped the modes and morphologies of Mormonism with his decision to expand the Plat of Zion to the Great Basin. Three factors increased Mormon interests in the Great Basin: established networks of exchange in the form of missions to area indigenous groups; the single-commodity extractive and manufacturing communities; and the permanent settlements designed for predominantly Mormon residence but diverse economic activity.

Keywords:   Brigham Young, railroads within Mormonism, Mormon land system, Plat of Zion, Joseph Smith, priesthood system, theodemocracy, Great Basin, permanent settlements, Mormon residence

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