Sunday, January 10, 2010: 9:10 AM
Manchester Ballroom A (Hyatt)
Defined by polygamous family structure, utopian communal economy, and rebellious theocratic government, nineteenth-century Mormonism seems to have little relation, except by contrast, to the twenty-first-century Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Indeed, the Church's present reputation, for good or ill, appears based upon a reverse set of identity markers: idealization of the nuclear family, unapologetic capitalism, and patriotic republicanism. It is as if there were two Latter-day Saint churches, not one. This paper examines the role of Utah's Progressive Era Senator and LDS Apostle Reed Smoot in mainstreaming Mormonism during his thirty year career and the ironic consequences this created for the Church at the end of the century.