In Pictures: How Mormons Set up Their City
Nyusu Special: Here is how the Mormons established Salt Lake City as the cradle of their faith.
(Text and pictures contributed by Jayanthi Ravi).
Mormons are a religious & cultural group related to Mormonism and are understood to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
They were persecuted by traditional church sects in the US and fled west from the east coast until they were finally allowed to settle in Utah territory. The Mormons went on to establish impressive edifices with neo-Gothic architecture. One of these buildings has an all metal roof where a pin drop can be heard all the way at the back of the building.
The Mormons donate 1/10th of their income to the church which is called ‘tithe’. They used to practice polygamy which they gave up after being granted statehood in the early 1900s, though smaller sects still follow the practice.
Thanks to IT majors for financial institutions like American Express & Goldman Sachs, and also an Intel Micron factory there are around 1,000 Indian families living in Salt Lake Valley. The area has one of the highest population growth in the USA. The people here share western pioneer values of strong libertarianism which leads to aversion to regulation & governmental interference, and an inclination towards the Republican Party today. This is also shared by neighbouring states like Wyoming, Montana and Nevada.
The first great novel of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle involving Sherlock Holmes ‘A study in Scarlet’ was penned majorly in the Salt Lake Valley. According to the novel, a man and a young girl who lie down to die due to exhaustion were rescued by the Mormons on the condition that they follow their practices. There was some undesirable criticism for Doyle for showing Mormons in a derogatory manner.