Regional Church News
- Layton Utah Temple Groundbreaking : 30 May 2020 by Craig C. Christensen
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) was established in the Utah in 1847 following the arrival of Brigham Young and the pioneer wagon trains coming from the east. Today it is the home to the headquarters of the church.
Approximately 62% of Utahns are reported to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), making Utah the only state with a majority population belonging to a single church. This greatly influences Utahn culture and daily life. The LDS Church's world headquarters is located in Salt Lake City.
Latter Day Saint settlement (1847)
Following the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, Brigham Young, as president of the Quorum of the Twelve, became the effective leader of the LDS Church in Nauvoo, Illinois. To address the growing conflicts between his people and their neighbors, Young agreed with Illinois Governor Thomas Ford in October 1845 that the Mormons would leave by the following year.
Young and the first band of Mormon pioneers reached the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Over the next 22 years, more than 70,000 pioneers crossed the plains and settled in Utah. For the first few years, Brigham Young and the thousands of early settlers of Salt Lake City struggled to survive. The arid desert land was deemed by the Mormons as desirable as a place where they could practice their religion without harassment.
The Mormon settlements provided pioneers for other settlements in the West. Salt Lake City became the hub of a "far-flung commonwealth" of Mormon settlements. With new church converts coming from the East and around the world, Church leaders often assigned groups of church members as missionaries to establish other settlements throughout the West. They developed irrigation to support fairly large pioneer populations along Utah's Wasatch front (Salt Lake City, Bountiful and Weber Valley, and Provo and Utah Valley). Throughout the remainder of the 19th century, Mormon pioneers established hundreds of other settlements in Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, California, Canada, and Mexico – including in Las Vegas, Nevada; Franklin, Idaho (the first European settlement in Idaho); San Bernardino, California; Mesa, Arizona; Star Valley, Wyoming; and Carson Valley, Nevada.
Prominent settlements in Utah included St. George, Logan, and Manti (where settlers completed the first three temples in Utah, each started after but finished many years before the larger and better known temple built in Salt Lake City was completed in 1893), as well as Parowan, Cedar City, Bluff, Moab, Vernal, Fillmore (which served as the territorial capital between 1850 and 1856), Nephi, Levan, Spanish Fork, Springville, Provo Bench (now Orem), Pleasant Grove, American Fork, Lehi, Sandy, Murray, Jordan, Centerville, Farmington, Huntsville, Kaysville, Grantsville, Tooele, Roy, Brigham City, and many other smaller towns and settlements. Young had an expansionist's view of the territory that he and the Mormon pioneers were settling, calling it Deseret – which according to the Book of Mormon was an ancient word for "honeybee". This is symbolized by the beehive on the Utah flag, and the state's motto, "Industry".
Utah was Mexican territory when the first pioneers arrived in 1847. Early in the Mexican–American War in late 1846, the United States had taken control of New Mexico and California. The entire Southwest became U.S. territory upon the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848. The treaty was ratified by the United States Senate on March 11. Learning that California and New Mexico were applying for statehood, the settlers of the Utah area (originally having planned to petition for territorial status) applied for statehood with an ambitious plan for a State of Deseret.
LDS Church History
- March 10: Salt Lake Utah West Stake (Tongan) - new stake created from a division of Salt Lake Utah South Stake (Tongan) and Salt Lake Utah Stake (Tongan). There are now 599 stakes in Utah, of which four are Tongan language stakes.
"The Utah Area is the Church’s largest in terms of membership and activity, with more than 2 million Latter-day Saints participating in nearly 630 stakes. While that is only 13% of the Church’s 16.6 million membership worldwide, the Utah Area accounts for about a fourth of the Church’s active-attendance totals, Elder Christensen said." 
- Template:Cite web
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- U.S. Religious Landscape Survey 2008, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, pp 99–100. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
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- Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton: The Mormon Experience, page 22. Vintage/Random House, 1979.
- Richard N. Ostling and Joan K. Ostling: Mormon America, page 38–39. Harper Collins, 2000.
- William W. Slaughter and Michael Landon: Trail of Hope – The Story of the Mormon Trail. Shadow Mountain, 1997.
- Arrington and Bitton, p. 118
- William Clayton, edited by George D. Smith: An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton, p. 300. Signature Books, 1991.
- Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: "Church History in the Fullness of Times." 1989.
- The Church News