Charles Redd Monographs in Western History, No. 9. Provo, Utah
Brigham Young University Press
This article compares Christchurch, New Zealand and Salt Lake City, Utah. They had a great deal in common: contemporary in their founding (1851 and 1847), and an idealogy of religious and social purpose. Both were, by design, at the remote margins of settlement for their period and originating polations, later becoming central places for their geographical regions. Each was originally carefuly laid out in a rectangular, cardinally oriented grid focused upon a proposed sacred building, later constructed; and in each, special provision was made for social amenities, particularly education. But this similarity should not be surprising, says Grey, for both were part of a current of their times--the geographic expansion of vigorous poltical and economic centers. Both were representative of the period of their founding. But this does not mean that Mormon settlements were simply products of their time. That is a post hoc fallacy. 'Rather, it means that geographically specific Mormonism exists now because it was possible for its germ idea to grow in the milieu within which it arose. . . . Without political power or economic influence, the Latter-day Saints had to move to a territory of their own or very likely suffer the fate of the Albigenses; and it helped that other millions were then doing much the same thing. . . . It is in their social and economic conditions, rather than in their morphology, that the Mormon settlements showed their identity.'