Incidental Effects of Church Activity on Development, Landscapes and Culture : An Example from Tonga
Brigham Young University
The effect of religious bodies upon the economy, landscape and culture of developing countries is a topic that needs further study. Intuitively, mission work in such lands would seems to have some impact but the actual conditions and changes are not carefully defined. This thesis seeks to describe one instance, the effect of the LDS Church upon Tonga. Here the Church is a fairly recent entrant into the land and its effects may readily be seen.
The LDS Church was found to play a modest role in the economy and a much greater role in changing landscapes. It is seen as a supporter of the local culture even though Tonga's societal patterns do not always conform to LDS beliefs, especially those about family government.