Friday, 10 February 2012

The future of Mormonism - recreating an independent state?

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Readers will know that I am well-disposed towards Mormons, and I was pleased to see there have been a couple of good articles about Mormons lately:

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/01/mormonism-obsessed-with-christ

http://anepigone.blogspot.com/2012/01/wholesome-mormons.html

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What attracted my interest to Mormonism in the first place (although my attention was retained by other aspects) was 'sociological': that they were a modern group - well-integrated with contemporary society in terms of being high status, highly educated, high earning, holding many responsible positions of leadership, exceptionally well-behaved - yet Mormons have had larger-than replacement-size families, and the richer and more devout the Father, the larger was the family (pretty much all Mormons use contraception, so these all represent deliberate choices).

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Yet, having since become a reactionary (at least in aspiration), I now wonder whether Mormonism is equipped to survive: since I suspect that moderate 'conservative' or 'Republican' views cannot survive rule by Leftism/ Political Correctness - we now perceive that 'sensible' moderates will always compromise with the Left until they have nothing left to compromise on.

What - if anything - may survive is the intransigent, immoderate, extremist, anti-modern religious Right (although not necessarily nor probably the Christian religious Right - at least not in the UK and Europe).

So, now my concern is that the recipe for Mormon success, the special mixture of modern/ integrated and traditional/ patriarchal - may have made the religion just too expedient (when compared with the founders of the LDS church, who certainly were intransigent!).

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Speculation time.

I suspect that the Mormon diaspora is unlikely to survive - what will be critical is what happens in the Mormon heartland around Utah, in face of an ever more aggressive and intrusive Federal Leftist government.

(By Leftist government I, of course, include the mass of mainstream Republicans. US Federal government is intrinsically Leftist. And modern Leftism is intrinsically secular.)

The choice would seem to be either to re-create an independent Mormon state - which Utah was originally - and to call upon all Mormons to come and dwell there; or else become assimilated to the ever more Leftist, secular, materialist norms of the USA.

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I have no doubt that a Mormon state would be highly viable in all vital respects - and would be large enough in population - probably around 10 million.

But what I wonder is whether this really is a choice for modern Mormons.

Whether the LDS Church, or its leadership, is nowadays capable of such an extreme and intransigent step as making an independent State.

It would be a U-turn on the expansionist, assimilationist, quietist strategy of about a century - with Mormons supposed to 'plant' themselves and found 'colonies' all over the world. It would mark a return to the consolidation and fortification of the Brigham Young era and after; when Mormon converts were supposed to migrate or emigrate to live in Utah.

The very success of Mormons in US national life means they have a lot more to give-up now.

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If presented, now, at one crisis, with a clear and immediate choice between the LDS Church or the Federal government, between secularism and personal success or the spiritual life and hardship, Mormons would no doubt choose the Church, the spiritual life and hardship.

But it will not happen like that.

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