Building Zion
In 1873, in response to a world-wide recession, Brigham Young rolled out United Orders to better insulate the Saints from the negative side effects of the boom-and-bust American economy. Church Historian Leonard J. Arrington reported that Brigham set up four different types of United Orders. In the St. George type, which we could call the Company Model, participants consecrated their...
Building Zion
By Jesse Fisher As mentioned, Brigham Young and other LDS leaders said the Mormon cooperative movement of the 1860s was a stepping stone to the United Order – celestial-level economics. President Young had seen the success of the Brigham City co-op network in getting the Saints to move their focus from filling their own temporal needs competitively to working cooperatively....
Building Zion
With hindsight, it appears Brigham Young may have jumped the gun by introducing the United Order to the Saints in 1873. That year there was a nationwide banking panic, and he apparently introduced the United Order to better insulate the Saints from the negative economic symptoms of “Babylon” - from bank runs to unemployment. The Saints had been living in...
Building Zion
By Jesse Fisher    Previously we mentioned that the 1868 General Conference focused on preparing the Saints to support a church-wide rollout of the Brigham City system of cooperatives with ZCMI as its centerpiece. Let’s look at what the prophet said in one of his talks at that conference. He reveals his motivation to lead the Saints in become economically independent...
Building Zion
As mentioned last time, John Taylor wasted no time after the death of Brigham Young in working to unify the Saints economically in a Zion-like fashion. Young’s efforts had failed to successfully institute the United Order a second time among the members of the church generally. In 1879, Zion’s Central Board of Trade was established by the newly sustained president...
Building Zion
The general failure of the United Orders coincided roughly with the passing of Church President Brigham Young in 1877. One might wonder if at the end, Brother Brigham was discouraged about building Zion and whether, after he passed, his successor John Taylor would move on and focus elsewhere. This was definitely not the case. To the very end, Brigham Young...
Building Zion
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. - George Santayana. Since we LDS Church members may some day be building Zion communities, we might do well to learn from our Utah ancestors’ mistakes. Last time we suggested one such misstep was that the Saints moved too quickly from cooperatives to the United Order instead of giving...
Building Zion
Over the last 16 installments, we have reviewed the history of the LDS Church's efforts to build a real, live Zion society in the Territory of Utah. Much was accomplished in their 40-year effort to establish a Zion society based on cooperative free enterprise in the Rocky Mountain West. This effort was the direct result of the belief that...
Building Zion
In 1868, LDS Church President Brigham Young couldn't have said it any plainer: “We are gathered together in the tops of these mountains for the express purpose of building up Zion, the Zion of the last days, the glory of which was seen by the prophets of the Almighty from the days of old.” Eleven years earlier, he took...
Building Zion
Definitions matter. What we mean by the term “Zion” matters very much if we are to eventually build one as the Lord requires. One of the common meanings of the term “Zion” among the Saints is that Zion is the LDS Church. To these members, “building Zion” simply means doing the work of the Church. Unfortunately, Church history doesn't support...