'What a Power We Will Be in This Land' : The LDS Church, the Church Security Program, and the New Deal
Journal of the West
The motivation of the Church in establishing the Church Security Progam at the height of the New Deal has been largely misunderstood. While it was once interepreted as a 'gesture of defiance against the New Deal,' historians Leonard Arrington and Wayne Hilton in 1964 suggested that it was 'not in essence a political move.' While the majority of subsequent historians have adopted their argument, Cannon suggests that the reality is a mixture of the two: the Church Security Program was not entirely a political maneuver to undermine the New Deal, nor was it entirely apolitical. Detailing the events and initial opposition that preceded the establishment of a church welfare program, Cannon demonstrates that the Church Security Program was born not only from a desire on the part of Church leaders to combat the evils of the dole and undermine the government's growing centralization of powers, but also from a desire to encourage self-sufficiency, care for members' needs, and promote the image of the Church.