Question: Was Utah was a hotbed of violence, murder, and lawlessness that can be attributed to Mormon doctrine and practices?


Question: Was Utah was a hotbed of violence, murder, and lawlessness that can be attributed to Mormon doctrine and practices?

"Overattention to such activities obscures the fact that they were very rare compared to elsewhere in the West"

Critics charge that Utah was a hotbed of violence, murder, and lawlessness, and that this can be attributed to LDS doctrine and practices. This is not to say that there was not some violence in frontier Utah—of course there was, given the place and time. But, as one researcher noted:

the point here is not to claim that no vigilante crimes by angry Mormons protecting their interests ever occurred in territorial Utah. The point is that overattention to such activities obscures the fact that they were very rare compared to elsewhere in the West, where no concerted effort to undermine a popularly supported government was going on as in Utah [by the federal government versus the Mormons].[1]

Notes

  1. Eric A. Eliason, "Review of: Forgotten Kingdom: The Mormon Theocracy in the American West, 1847–1896," FARMS Review of Books 12/1 (2000): 95–112. off-site