Unlike the Jews, however, the Mormons are a missionary people, and the majority of them today are first-generation converts.
Worldwide, according to the Church, the number of Mormons has grown by nearly four hundred per cent during the past thirty years, to more than eleven million.
That vision was eroded by the ceding of the Utah Territory to the United States in 1850, after the Mexican War, and by the subsequent admission of Utah as a state, in 1896.
Yet it is striking how much of the dream has been achieved.
In this setting, the handsome state capitol nearby looks a bit captive.Temple Square, the ten-acre heart of Mormonism, is a serene enclosure.The Tabernacle, home to the celebrated choir, stands in the middle of the complex, facing the multi-spired Temple.The state legislature is overwhelmingly made up of white Mormon Republican males. The entire United States congressional delegation from Utah is Mormon.School boards, city councils, municipal agencies, and mayors’ offices are dominated by Mormons.Mormons constitute sixty-three per cent of Utah’s population.