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Brigham's Beehive State


David Bokovoy

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President Brigham Young adopted the symbol of the Beehive to represent the inspired co-operative economic efforts fundamental to the restored Gospel. In so doing, was President Young perhaps influenced by Owenite philosophy?

From a historical perspective, Latter-day Saint efforts to accomplish economic harmony formed part of a larger spirit of social and economic reforms sweeping across the United States during the 19th century.

One of the most influential of these movements was the Working Men

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Are you trying to say that Brigham Young was a believer in Socialism? If so you are wrong. I think Brigham got the honey Bee symbol from the Book of Mormon (Ether 2:3)

As for socialism there is a statement already made by many Apostles and Prophets that the United Order is not Socialism or Communism, no I am not quoting President Benson,

The following is from Elder Marion G. Romney:

(Elder Marion G. Romney Of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, April Conference 1966) "What I am going to give you is a statement I have prepared in

answer to the question, "Is Socialism the United Order?" Some of you

may have already heard it. This is the first time I have ever attempted

to give a talk a second time. My excuse is that the Brethren have asked

me to give this talk here tonight.

I suppose the best way to start a comparison of socialism and

the United Order is with a definition of the terms. Webster defines

socialism as:

"A political and economical theory of social organization based

on collective or governmental ownership and democratic management of

the essential means for the production and distribution of goods; also,

a policy or practice based on this theory." (Webster's New Inter-

national Dictionary, 2nd ed. unabridged, 1951.)

George Bernard Shaw, the noted Fabian Socialist, said that:

"Socialism, reduced to its simplest legal and practical

expression, means the complete discarding of the institution of private

property by transforming it into public property and the division of

the resultant income equally and indiscriminately among the entire

population." (Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 ed., Vol. 20, P. 895.)

George Douglas Howard Cole, M.A. noted author and university

leader in economics at Oxford, who treats socialism for the Encyclopedia

Britannica, says that because of the shifting sense in which the word

has been used, "a short and comprehensive definition is impossible. We

can only say," he concludes, "that Socialism is essentially a doctrine

and a movement aiming at the collective organization of the community

in the interest of the mass of the people by means of the common owner-

ship and collective control of the means of production and exchange."

(Ibid., p. 888.)

Socialism arose "out of the economic division in society."

During the nineteenth century its growth was accelerated as a protest

against "the appalling conditions prevailing in the workshops and

factories and the unchristian spirit of the spreading industrial

system."

The "Communist Manifesto" drafted by Karl Mark and Friedrich

Engels for the Communist League in 1848 is generally regarded as the

starting point of modern socialism. (Ibid., p. 890.)

The distinction between socialism, as represented by the

various Socialist and Labor parties of Europe and the New World, and

Communism, as represented by the Russians, is one of tactics and

strategy rather than of objective. Communism is indeed only socialism

pursued by revolutionary means and making its revolutionary method a

canon of faith. Communists like other socialists, (1) believe in the

collective control and ownership of the vital means of production and

(2) seek to achieve through state action the coordinated control of the

economic forces of society. They (the Communists) differ from other

socialists in believing that this control can be secured, and its use

in the interests of the workers ensured, only by revolutionary action

leading to the dictatorship of the proletariat and the creation of a

new proletarian state as the instrument of change. (Ibid.)

German Socialism

A major rift between so-called orthodox socialism and communist

socialism occurred in 1875 when the German Social Democratic party

set forth its objective or winning power by taking over control of the

bourgeois state, rather than by overthrowing it. In effect, the German

Social Democratic party became a parliamentary party, aiming at the

assumption of political power by constitutional means.

Fabian Society

In the 1880's a small group of intellectuals set up in England

the Fabian Society, which has had a major influence on the development

of modern orthodox socialism. Fabianism stands "for the evolutionary

conception of socialism...endeavoring by progressive reforms and the

nationalization of industries, to turn the existing state into a 'welfare

state.'" Somewhat on the order of the German Social Democrats,

Fabians aim "at permeating the existing parties with socialistic ideas

[rather] that at creating a definitely socialistic party." They appeal

"to the electorate not as revolutionaries but as constitutional reformers

seeking a peaceful transformation of the system." (Ibid.)

The differences in forms and policies of socialism occur

principally in the manner in which they seek to implement their theories.

They all advocate:

(1) That private ownership of the vital means of production be

abolished and that all such property "pass under some form of

coordinated public control."

(2) That the power of the state be used to achieve their aims.

(3) "That with a change in the control of industry will go a

change in the motives which operate in the industrial system...."

(Ibid.)

So much for the definition of socialism. I have given you these

statements in the words of socialists and scholars, not my words,

so they have had their hearing.

The United Order

Now as to the United Order, and here I will give the words of

the Lord and not my words.

The United Order, the Lord's program for eliminating the

inequalities among men, is based upon the underlying concept that the

earth and all things therein belong to the Lord and that men hold earthly

possessions as stewards accountable to God.

On January 2, 1831, the Lord revealed to the Prophet Joseph

Smith that the Church was under obligation to care for the poor. (See

D&C 38.) Later he said:

"I, the Lord, stretched out the heavens, and built the earth,

...and all things therein are mine. And it is my purpose to provide

for my saints, for all things are mine. But it must needs be done in

mine own way...." (D&C 104:14-16.)

On February 9, 1831, the Lord revealed to the Prophet what his

way was. (see D&C 42.) In his way there were two cardinal principles:

(1) consecration and (2) stewardship.

To enter the United Order, when it was being tried, one

consecrated all his possessions to the Church by a "covenant and a

deed which" could not "be broken." (D&C 42:30.) That is, he completely

divested himself of all of his property by conveying it to the Church.

Having thus voluntarily divested himself of title to all his

property, the consecrator received from the Church a stewardship by a

like conveyance. This stewardship could be more or less than his

original consecration, the object being to make "every man equal

according to his family, according to his circumstances and his wants

and needs." (D&C 51:3.)

This procedure preserved in every man the right to private

ownership and management of his property. At his own option he could

alienate it or keep and operate it and pass it on to his heirs.

The intent was, however, for him to so operate his property as

to produce a living for himself and his dependents. So long as he

remained in the order, he consecrated to the Church the surplus he

produced above the needs and wants of his family. This surplus went

into a storehouse from which stewardship's were given to others and from

which the needs of the poor were supplied.

These divine principles are very simple and easily understood.

A comparison of them with the underlying principles of socialism reveal

similarities and basic differences.

The following are similarities: Both (1) deal with production

and distribution of goods; (2) aim to promote the well-being of men

by eliminating their economic inequalities; (3) envision the elimination

of the selfish motives in private capitalistic industrial system.

Now the differences:

(1) The cornerstone of the United Order is belief in God and

acceptance of him as Lord of the earth and the author of the United

Order.

Socialism, wholly materialistic, is founded in the wisdom of

men and not of God. Although all socialists may not be atheists, none

of them in theory or practice seek the Lord to establish his righteous-

ness.

(2) The United Order is implemented by the voluntary free-will

actions of men, evidenced by a consecration of all their property to the

Church of God.

One time the Prophet Joseph Smith asked a question by the

brethren about the inventories they were taking. His answer was to the

effect, "You don't need to be concerned about the inventories. Unless

a man is willing to consecrate everything he has, he doesn't come into

the United Order." (Documentary History of the Church. Vol 7,pp.412-413.)

On the other hand, socialism is implemented by external force, the power

of the state.

(3) In harmony with church belief, as set forth in the Doctrine

and Covenants, "that no government can exist in peace, except such laws

are framed and held inviolate as will secure to each individual the free

exercise of conscience, the right and control of property" (D&C 134:2),

the United Order is operated upon the principle of private ownership and

individual management.

Thus in both implementation and ownership and management of

property, the United Order preserves to men their God-given agency,

while socialism deprives them of it.

(4) The United Order is non-political. Socialism is political,

both in theory and practice. It is thus exposed to, and riddled by,

the corruption that plagues and finally destroys all political

governments that undertake to abridge man's agency.

(5) A righteous people is a prerequisite to the United Order.

Socialism argues that it as a system will eliminate the evils of the

profit motive.

The United Order exalts the poor and humbles the rich. In the

process both are sanctified. The poor, released from the bondage and

humiliating limitations of poverty, are enabled as free men to rise to

their full potential, both temporally and spiritually. The rich, by

consecration and by imparting of their surplus for the benefit of the

poor, not by constraint but willingly as an act of free will, evidence

that charity for their fellowmen characterized by Mormon as "the pure

love of Christ." (Moro. 7:47.)

No, brethren, socialism is not the United Order. However,

notwithstanding my abhorrence of it, I am persuaded that socialism is

the wave of the present and of the foreseeable future. It has already

taken over or is contending for control in most nations.

"At the end of the year [1964] parties affiliated with the

[socialist] International were in control of the governments of Great

Britain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Israel, and the Malagasy Republic.

They had representatives in coalition cabinets in Austria, Belgium,

Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, and Switzerland, constituted the chief

opposition in France, India, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and

West Germany; and were significant political forces in numerous other

countries. Many parties dominant in governments in Africa, Asia, and

Latin America announced that their aim was a socialist society."

(Encyclopedia Britannica, 1965 Book of the Year, p. 736.)

We here in the United States, in converting our government into

a social welfare state, have ourselves adopted much of socialism.

Specifically, we have to an alarming degree adopted the use of the

power of the state in the control and distribution of the fruits of

industry. We are on notice according to the words of he President,

that we are going much further, for his is quoted as saying:

"We're going to take all the money we think is unnecessarily

being spent and take it from the 'haves' and give it to the 'have nots.'"

(1964 Congressional Record, p.6124, Remarks for the President to a

Group of Leaders of Organizations of Senior Citizens in the Fish Room,

March 24, 1964.)

Socialism takes: United Order gives

That is the spirit of socialism: We're going to take. The spirit

of the United Order is: We're going to give.

We have also gone a long way on the road to public ownership

and management of the vital means of production. In both of these

areas the free agency of Americans have been greatly abridged. Some

argue that we have voluntarily surrendered this power to government.

Be this as it may, the fact remains that the loss of freedom with the

consent of the enslaved, or even at their request, is nonetheless

slavery.

As to the fruits of socialism, we all have our own opinions. I

myself have watched its growth in our own country and observed it in

operation in many other lands. But I have yet to see or hear of its

freeing the hearts of men of selfishness and greed or of its bringing

peace, plenty, or freedom. These things it will never bring, nor will

it do away with idleness and promote "industry, thrift and self-respect,"

for it is founded, in theory and in practice, on force, the principle

of the evil one.

As to the fruits of the United Order I suggest you read Moses

7:16-18 and 4 Nephi 2-3, 15-16. If we had time we could review the

history, what little we know, of Zion in the days of Enoch and about

what happened among the Nephites under those principles of the United

Order in the first two centuries following the time of the Savior.

As I recently reminded my wife of the moratorium on the United

Order, which the Lord placed in 1834 (D&C 105:34), that socialism is

taking over in the nations and that its expressed aims will surely fail,

she spiritedly put to me the question: "Well, then, what would you

suggest, that we just sit on our hands in despair and do nothing?"

Perhaps similar questions have occurred to you. The answer is, "No, by

no means!" We have much to do, and fortunately for us the Lord has

definitely prescribed the course we should follow with respect to

socialism and the United Order.

He has told us that in preparation for the restoration of the

gospel, he himself established the Constitution of the United States,

and he has plainly told us why he established it. I hope I can get

this point over to you. He said he established the Constitution to

preserve to men their free agency, because the whole gospel of Jesus

Christ presupposes man's untrammeled exercise of free agency. Man is

in the earth to be tested. The issue as to whether he succeeds or

fails will be determined by how he uses his agency. His whole future,

through all eternity, is at stake. Abridge man's agency, and the whole

purpose of his mortality is thwarted. Without it, the Lord says, there

is no existence. (See D&C 93:30.) The Lord so valued our agency that

he designed and dictated "the laws and constitution" required to guarantee

it. This he explained in the revelation in which he instructed the

Prophet Joseph Smith to appeal for help.

"According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I

have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights

and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

"That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining

to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him,

that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

"And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of

this land by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very

purpose...." (D&C 101:77-78, 80.)

Previously he had said:

"And now, verily I say unto you concerning the laws of the land,

it is my will that my people should observe to do all things whatsoever

I command them.

"And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting

that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs

to all mankind and is justifiable before me.

"Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my

church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the

land [the test of its constitutionality in the words of the Lord here

is whether it preserves man's agency];

"And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less

than this cometh of evil.

"I, the Lord God, make you free therefore ye are free indeed;

and the law [that is, constitutional law] also maketh you free.

"Nevertheless, when the wicked rule the people mourn.

"Wherefore, honest men and wise men should be sought for

diligently, and good men and wise men ye should observe to uphold;

otherwise whatsoever is less cometh of evil." (D&C 98: 4-10

These scriptures declare the Constitution to be a divine

document. They tell us that "according to just and holy principles,"

the Constitution and the law of the land which supports the "Principle

of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind,

and is justifiable before" God; that, "as pertaining to [the] law of man

whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil." They remind us

that the Lord has made us free and that laws that are constitutional

will also make us free.

Right at this point, almost as if he were warning us against

what is happening today, the Lord said: "Nevertheless, when the wicked

rule the people mourn." Then, that we might know with certainty what

we should do about it", he concluded: "Wherefor, honest men and wise

men should be sought for diligently, and good men and wise men ye should

observe to uphold...."

In this context this instruction, according to my interpretation,

can only mean that we should seek diligently for and support men to

represent us in government who are "wise" enough to understand

freedom -- as provided for in the Constitution and as implemented in the

United Order -- and who are honest enough and good enough to fight to

preserve it.

"...if we are to live as a Church, and progress, and have the

right to worship as we are worshipping here today, we must have the

great guarantees that are set up by our Constitution. There is no other

way in which we can secure these guarantees." (Conference Report, October

1942, pp. 58-59.)

Now, not forgetting our duty to eschew socialism and support the

just and holy principles of the Constitution, as directed by the Lord,

I shall conclude these remarks with a few comments concerning what we

should be do about the United Order.

The final words of the Lord in suspending the order were: "And

let those commandments which I have given concerning Zion and her

law be executed and fulfilled, after her redemption." (D&C 105:34.)

Further implementation of the order must therefore await the

redemption of Zion. Here Zion means Jackson County, Missouri. When

Zion is redeemed, as it most certainly shall be, it will be redeemed

under a government and by a people strictly observing those "just and

holy principles" of the Constitution that accord men their God-given

right to private property. If, in the meantime, socialism takes over

in America, it will have to be displaced, if need by, by the power of

God, because the United Order can never function under socialism or

"the welfare state," for the good and sufficient reason that the

principles upon which socialism and the United Order are conceived and

operated are inimical.

In the meantime, while we await the redemption of Zion and the

earth and the establishment of the United Order, we as bears of the

priesthood should strictly by the principles of the United Order insofar

as they are embodied in present church practices, such as the fast

offering, tithing, and the welfare activities. Through these practices

we could as individuals, if we were of a mind to do so, implement in our

own lives all the basic principles of the United Order.

As you will recall, the principles underlying the United Order

are consecration and stewardships and then the contribution of surpluses

into the bishop's storehouse. When the law of tithing was instituted

four years after the United Order experiment was suspended, the Lord

required the people to put "all their surplus property...into the hands

of the bishop" (D&C 119:4.) This law, still in force, implements to a

degree at least the United Order principle of stewardships, for it

leaves in the hands of each person the ownership and management of the

property from which he produces the needs of himself and family.

Furthermore to use again the words of President Clark:

"...in lieu of residue and surplus which were accumulated and

built up under the United Order, we, today, have our fast offerings,

our Welfare donations, and our tithing all of which may be devoted to

the care of the poor, as well as for the carrying on of the activities

and business of the Church."

"What prohibits us from giving as much in fast offerings as we

would have given in surpluses under the United Order? Nothing but our

own limitations.

"Furthermore, we had under the United Order a bishop's

storehouse in which were collected the materials from which to supply

the needs and the wants of the poor. We have a bishop's storehouse

under the Welfare Plan, used for the same purpose....

"We have now under the Welfare Plan all over the Church,...land

projects...farmed for the benefit of the poor....

"Thus...in many of its great essentials, we have, [in] the

Welfare Plan...the broad essentials of the United Order. Furthermore,

having in mind the assistance which is being given from time to time...

to help set people up in business or in farming, we have a plan which

is not essentially unlike that which was in the United Order when the

poor were given portions from the common fund."

It is apparent that when the principles of tithing and the fast

are properly observed and the Welfare Plan gets fully developed and

wholly into operation, "we shall not be so very far from carrying out

the great fundamentals of the United Order." (Conference Report, October

1942, pp. 51-58.)

The only limitation on you and me is within ourselves.

A Prayer:

And now in line with these remarks, for three things I pray:

(1) That the Lord will somehow quicken our understanding of the

difference between socialism and the United Order and give us a vivid

awareness of the awful portent of those differences.

(2) The we will develop the understanding, the desire, and the

courage born of the Spirit, to eschew socialism and to support and

sustain, in the manner revealed and as interpreted by the Lord, those

just and holy principles embodied in the Constitution of the United States

for the protection of all flesh, in the exercise of their God-given agency.

(3) That through faithful observance of the principles of

tithing, the fast, and the welfare program, we will prepare ourselves to

redeem Zion and ultimately live the United Order, in the name of Jesus

Christ. Amen.

We live in perilous times, a time in which our liberty hangs in the balance, so while my post may get the thread closed for being too political, there seemed to be some political undertones here (in light of past threads) but this is important that this be on the record.
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Are you trying to say that Brigham Young was a believer in Socialism? If so you are wrong. I think Brigham got the honey Bee symbol from the Book of Mormon (Ether 2:3)

As for socialism there is a statement already made by many Apostles and Prophets that the United Order is not Socialism or Communism, no I am not quoting President Benson,

The following is from Elder Marion G. Romney:We live in perilous times, a time in which our liberty hangs in the balance, so while my post may get the thread closed for being too political, there seemed to be some political undertones here (in light of past threads) but this is important that this be on the record.

I suggest you read Staker's book. The beehive was a very popular symbol for worker unions and coops. To ignore this fact is to leave one's head in the sand... err... beehive.

To make it easy for you, Amazon has it at 34% off.

Heck, to make it even easier for you, PM me your email and I'll send you a pdf of the page.

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socialism is more closely in line with the United Order than capitalism.

but for a few things socialism would be the United Order.

a system founded wholly upon

"me first" (basic premise of capitalism);

"I am not going to contribute unless I get exclusive rights" (this is stated by just about every 'creator' or researcher; most particularly with the Human Genome Project, companies cried and cried about not contributing to research unless they could get exclusive rights which is turn means excessive prices, price fixing, or other illegal practices i.e. DeBeers),

"a sucker is born every minute" (P. T. Barnum);

deceitful or fear based marketing (baby products, h2oconcepts.com , robot attach insurance, activia, or go to a an electronics store and ask an employee to explain if there is difference between HDMI cables - there generally isn't)

or

"produce something they [the consumer] have to throw away" (this was told to the man who created the shaving razor that was used by the US soldiers in WWI"

is no more close to a United Order than socialism or communism. I find it very interesting in a vain attempt to not be a "socialist" or "commie" the US has embraced some of the most selfish and evil aspects of humanity for their economic system. Don't be suprised when you learn the whore of babylon is largely in your own homes, cities, work place, business model.

though no system on earth is perfect nor any where near approaching it, the United Order will be or was a mash-up of socialist ideals and private property ownership

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Owenite? Nah. I'd say he was influenced more directly by Freemasonry in this regard.

That has been my understanding of it. Then again, I haven't read the book. I hope to once I am able to lay down some money for it.

I did read E. Cecil McGavin's Mormonism and Masonry.

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Are you trying to say that Brigham Young was a believer in Socialism?

I believe he is trying to understand 19th-century Mormonism in its cultural and social context, which Romney's mid 20th-century view has no bearing on. Romney could very well be correct, but this doesn't answer the question as to whether or not Young was influenced by surrounding movements. How about we try putting our political sensitivities aside? (And this is coming from a conservative libertarian)

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Owenite? Nah. I'd say he was influenced more directly by Freemasonry in this regard.

Staker addressed this question in the footnote to the selection that David Bokovoy quoted. Here from Staker, p. 42, footnote 15:

The bee skep later became an important symbol in Latter-day Saint communities in the Rocky Mountains. Although the beehive also resonated with ideas espoused by the Freemasons, early Latter-day Saints had a broader and deeper exposure to the skep as a symbol of industry and harmony through Robert Owen. Tens of thousands of English workers who followed Owen organized themselves under the beehive during the early 1840s as a symbol of their efforts to shape collective labor. Brigham Young and other early LDS who preached of a new social order in English working communities saw this symbol almost everywhere they looked on building, banner, and brochure. These missionaries baptized thousands of converts who knew the symbol well from having organized and worked under it in Britain. When these same missionaries and British converts collectively chose a beehive as an important symbol of their community in early Utah, they did not identify its source. Members may have drawn from Brigham Young's childhood hometown, Freemasonry, or British labor reform for the initial image of a beehive that they then reworked into a symbol for their attempts to build a Christian utopian society; however, it is clear that thousands of British immigrants to Utah and their neighbors who had served missions in the British Isles would have primarily recognized the symbol as a representation of Owenite community building and cooperative effort before reshaping it for their own purposes.

I just happened to have read that chapter last night, and so far I agree with nackhadlow's assessment that the book is fantastic.

-S.Ferreira

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Only if you turn it into such.

David,

Thanks for these chewy little nuggets of cultural/religious anthropology. I thoroughly enjoy them. I now have another book on my list to read.

Notice a few posts before mine.

socialism is more closely in line with the United Order than capitalism.

but for a few things socialism would be the United Order.

And Lightbearers post. I didn't do anything of the sort.

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Staker addressed this question in the footnote to the selection that David Bokovoy quoted. Here from Staker, p. 42, footnote 15:

I just happened to have read that chapter last night, and so far I agree with nackhadlow's assessment that the book is fantastic.

-S.Ferreira

Very interesting. It probably resonated in a number of ways.

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but for a few things socialism would be the United Order

A few big things. But as you alluded to, no secular economic system will match the Law of Consecration. Without God at the head and a covenant moral binding, there is no way.

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I agree with all those who have spoken highly of this book. I guess I've been out of the academic loop because I hadn't heard anything about this publication until I saw it the Kirtland temple bookstore. Alas, I bought it at full price, but was unable to put it down. It' not only very informative, but I found Staker's prose very engaging.

I've been very impressed with Kofford Books.

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Ugh, not another socialism vs capitalism thread.

Nope. Another "Bokovoy Special" thread. There have been a lot lately. Basically the premise of them all is that church doctrine is really rooted in the same ideologies as modern leftist ideology. Yawn. Wake me up when seminary is over.

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Here is, I think, and interesting tie between Brigham Young's experience in industrial England among the poor laborers and the notion of industrious bees/Deseret. In a letter to Orson Pratt in 1857 reporting on a trip north and east of Salt Lake City, Brigham wrote:

We saw enough to satisfy us, had we hitherto been ignorant of the fact, that the world is not yet overpeopled. And, there are thousands of acres of good arable and pasture land where thousands of honest and industrious poor now immured in factories and other civilized prisons, could sustain themselves and thrive as industrious bees of Deseret's hive, breathing a pure and wholesome air, free to do all the good they can to the human family and to themselves.
quoted in L.J.Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 175.

Notice he wants them to be not just of any hive but "of Deseret's hive," one that had come together to be industrious under covenant with God.

I can't discount the Freemasonic influence. And not being a Mason, I don't know the symbolism and language they ascribe to the beehive.

Yet I find this relationship with Owen and organized labor interesting too and think it deserves a good looking into.

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I do not doubt that the LDS beehive symbol could have been (and probably was) influenced by such symbols found with the Owenites or Masons. It certainly was not from the Book of Mormon, but the word "Deseret" is almost certainly from the Book of Mormon.

I am not sure if David was also asking if the Owenites could have influenced patterns in the United Order. That order predated Brigham's rise to influence in the Church and was the product of revelation.

There have been many socialist endeavors throughout history, but none of them were able to remain purely socialist and remain viable, mainly because of human greed. The United Order was no exception. But while casual similarities can be recognized between the structure and ideals of the United Order and the Owenites, or many other socialist experiments, it is not a given that the United Order setup was influenced by any of those. Of course, if one believes that all the parts and parcels making up the whole of the LDS church have a naturalist origin, then those similarities have to be more than casual.

Glenn

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Here is, I think, and interesting tie between Brigham Young's experience in industrial England among the poor laborers and the notion of industrious bees/Deseret. In a letter to Orson Pratt in 1857 reporting on a trip north and east of Salt Lake City, Brigham wrote:

quoted in L.J.Arrington, Brigham Young: American Moses, p. 175.

Notice he wants them to be not just of any hive but "of Deseret's hive," one that had come together to be industrious under covenant with God.

I can't discount the Freemasonic influence. And not being a Mason, I don't know the symbolism and language they ascribe to the beehive.

Yet I find this relationship with Owen and organized labor interesting too and think it deserves a good looking into.

Excellent find, thanks so much! Interesting that the Deseret News (Oct. 11, 1881) described the symbol of the beehive in this way: "The hive and honey bees form our communal coat of arms

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Excellent thread.

I don't see why Brigham would not adopt a symbol associated with goals and ideals similar to the ones he wanted for the new Mormon territory. Especially if it was tied into the BoM.

BTW, I'll send you a message, I have an idea on the law of consecration I want to run by you.

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