Introduction

At the start of the 19th century, American society experienced a renewed sense of religious fervor with the advent of the Second Great Awakening. This religious revival allowed Americans to experience religion in a new, highly sensationalized manner. The movement sparked several new religious movements as well as religions, one of which was Mormonism. Following Joseph Smith’s publication of The Book of Mormon in 1830, Mormons, under the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS) have had a presence in American society. Mormonism was almost immediately met with criticism, as the term “anti-Mormon” was being used shortly after the Joseph Smith had introduced the nation to the religion.[1] Also, the Mormons practice of polygamy proved to be irreconcilable with American social norms.

However, despite these volatile public relations that define much of the Church’s early history, the church has been able to integrate itself into American society. How then, did this religion, despite its early rejection, become integrated into American society?[2]

 


[1] John Corrigan and Lynn S. Neal, Religious Intolerance in America (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010), 73.

[2] Note: Previous knowledge of the historical events of the Mormons may be helpful when investigating this inquiry module. For any historical references, refer to this timeline: http://www.pbs.org/mormons/timeline/index.html