A Sermon in the Desert: Belief and Behavior in Early St. George, Utah

In recent years, scholars like “Ben” Bennion and Larry Foster have discovered that nineteenth-century Mormon polygamy (strictly speaking, polygyny) was far more pervasive and influential than we had realized. Indeed, as an institution, polygamy was Utah’s analogue to Southern slavery. Though perhaps not involving a majority of the population, nevertheless it was extensive enough to be a formative institution, one that influenced nearly every aspect of the culture in one way or another. Such is the major theme of Logue’s book, whether intentionally or not. Almost as if in metaphor, the theme of polygamy permeates the book just as the institution permeated social life in St. George of the 1860s, 1870s, and 1880s.

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