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    The History of the Mormon Church in a Positive Light

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    Anson Shupe and John Heinerman. The Mormon Corporate Empire. Boston: Beacon Press, 1985. The discussion of the Church Security Program in this book is under a heading titled “The Myth of Mormon Welfare.” This is of the bat giving the reader a bias of not believing in the Welfare Program installed by the church, and the authors set out to disprove the original claims that the speakers of the Mormon Church laid out for their Program during the Great Depression.

    This is useful information because it in direct opposition with other sources that are viable for this project. Because of this, two sides of history are being told, which is useful in debunking bias and interpreting standpoint. While this source touches on the Church Security Program less than some of the other sources, it is still incredibly useful information, and present the Program with broader historical context, which provides a greater view instead of the magnifying glass that other sources present.

    Church Educational System (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints). Church History in the Fullness of Times: The History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Salt Lake City, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1989, rev. Edition 1993. This book looks at the entirety of Mormon history, and examines it in a mainly positive light. While it does examine events that were not as graceful as is told, the recounts are told from an LDS perspective, and therefore must be taken with a grain of salt.

    The authors of this source take words from the President of the Church at the time, as well as church records, which they have full access to. This source is important to understanding the Welfare Program of the LDS Church during the 1930s because it is told from a purely insider perspective. While it is key to remember that perhaps this is a biased source, this opinion and viewpoint are how Mormons today remember the Welfare Program, and surely this mindset helped to influence how this church got to where it is today. As well as the viewpoint, it offers extensive information about the Security Program and how the mechanics of it worked.

    Hinton, K. Wayne. “Some Historical Perspective on Mormon Responses to the Great Depression” Journal of the West 24, Issue 4 (October 1985): 19-26. America: History & Life (36502417). This source is another among the lines of insider viewpoint. While this author uses more outside information and evidence to prove his point, his overall goal is to give an understanding to the reader of the actions of the Mormon Church during the Great Depression. A variety of sources were put to use by Dr. Hinton, including newspapers and Church Conference records.

    This variety of information is useful to create an a personal standpoint (as a reader) about what occurred during the 1930s. The author attempts to stay objective, and yet there is no finger-pointing as with some other sources. It is an important source because of this objectivity and the breadth of information provided and analyzed. Whalen J. William. The Latter-Day Saints in the Modern Day World. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1964.

    This source was again another that provided helpful information with a grander historical context. The author seeks to debunk a “myth” about Mormon Welfare, but also to provide information about the beneficial things that resulted in the LDS actions during the Great Depression. This is vital to the research because there are still institutions in place today in Utah that are directly correlated to the events of the 1930s. To understand the state of Utah and the Mormon Church today, it is important to take into account the timeline and reason for aspects and structure of them. This book provides useful information about how the occurrences during the Great Depression still linger in modern day life, for Mormons in particular.

    “Church Program Hit by Recession.” Times Independent. May 5, 1938. This article is from an in-state newspaper of Utah. It gives a description of the state of church members after hitting a second recession during the 1930s. This was one of the first articles to bring into question the mechanics of the Security Program. Because of the second recession and how badly Utah in general was hit economically, the Program was put under scrutiny. This article is the first of this analysis, and surely not to be the last before the decade is finished.

    “L.D.S. Leaders’ Parley Called.” Salt Lake Telegram. April 5, 1938. This is another article that is based around the misconduct of the hierarchy with the Church Security Program. This particular article explains that the higher-ups of the church were finally being called in to questioning for their involvement with money-laundering and such with the Program. While all of the information of the severity of the scandal was not at this point released to the public, it was in fact a wake-up call to the people involved with the Program, and those who had supported it in the beginning.

    “L.D.S. Plan Attracts” Salt Lake Telegram. December 4 1936. This article talked of the attention that the plan received as it was being put into motion. This helps to understand what the outside world was thinking about the Mormon Church at the time. The argument is that it was a positive light for such a creative program.

    “L.D.S. Plan Seen Proving Worth” Salt Lake Telegram. April 3 1937. Record of what is supposedly happening with the Security Program, as well as an air of pride in what it is accomplishing. This is before the scandal began, and so the plan was still seen in a spectacular light. Again, helpful for understanding the positive attitude others were having toward the Mormon church.

    “L.D.S. Security Plan Analyzed” Salt Lake Telegram. February 26, 1938. Plan is brought into question, as numbers begin to not add up. Fingers are immediately pointed at the hierarchy, and it is stated that they are to go in for questioning and interrogation. This is helpful to argue the point that the hierarchy is partially the reason that the plan failed.

    “Tithes and Security” Time Magazine. August 1, 1938. This was the response of the outside world to the corruption and miscommunication of the Church Security Program. While it was originally viewed as 100% beneficial and admired by the rest of the nation, this article tears it down and reduces it to a string of lies. While this article is a bit harsh, it is important because this was the light that was painted for Mormons after the truth came out about the Welfare Program. While historical analysis of later years softens the accusations of this article, there is a great amount of finger-pointing and pessimism in the writing of this article.

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    The History of the Mormon Church in a Positive Light. (2023, Mar 10). Retrieved from

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