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Study notes

The Mormons and the Great Salt Lake

  • Levels: GCSE
  • Exam boards: Edexcel

The area surrounding the Great Salt Lake was a challenging place to live. It was difficult to grow crops on the land and there was little shelter from the blazing sun. Yet, despite these challenges, the Mormons were still able to build a fruitful settlement. 

The area surrounding the Great Salt Lake was a challenging place to live. It was difficult to grow crops on the land and there was little shelter from the blazing sun. Yet, despite these challenges, the Mormons were still able to build a fruitful settlement.

 

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, Young’s leadership was unquestioned. The Mormon’s believed he was a prophet of God and the success of their initial migration gave them little reason to doubt this. Young’s strict leadership ensured everyone worked together effectively. 

 

Young declared that the Church owned all land and that everyone had to work together for the community.  The Mormons became almost entirely self-sufficient. They built complex irrigation systems to give them access to clean water for drinking and to water their crops. They were divided into groups who each worked to produce specific products, such as crops or timber, and this was then divided amongst the whole community.

 

The success of the Mormon settlement was largely down to the strict leadership of Brigham Young, and the willingness of the group to respect his authority and work for the good of the whole community. 

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