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date: 22 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Historians debate the degree and nature of Mormon desires for separation, with some suggesting the move to Utah was an effort at political and religious independence and others seeing a more nuanced and complex relationship with federal authority. The tension between Mormons and the nation beginning after the Mormon exodus to the Great Basin in 1846 to Utah statehood in 1896 shaped the Utah church and marked its flight from the United States and its subsequent uneven reintegration into American life. The Mormon withdrawal transitioned over time from a geographic, economic, social, religious, and political withdrawal to a primarily spiritual withdrawal, with temples as the central symbols of their sacred space. This chapter examines the necessity of molding diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds into a society with common aspirations and goals and how Mormonism shaped the immigrant populations and those populations shaped Mormonism.

Keywords: temples, Exodus, Great Basin, Americanization, statehood

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