The Mormon Take-over of Nauvoo is Proceeding According to Plan

July 30, 2004 | 29 comments
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Honestly, I don’t have anything to say about this article, except that 1) it’s a nice little bit of slice-of-life reporting, 2) doesn’t get anything egregiously wrong so far as I can tell (which is always a relief), and 3) isn’t telling us anything that couldn’t have been predicted the moment the Nauvoo temple was announced. What I want to know is: why is the Mormon take-over of Kirtland going so sluggishly by comparison? We should be running that place by now. But no, we haven’t even bought the original temple back yet! Don’t tell me that the native sons and daughters of rural northeastern Ohio are so much more defiant of Mormon goodwill, savvy, and up-front cash than are the disgruntled locals of western Illinois. (And it’s not like the Community of Christ couldn’t use the dough.) Somebody better get their priorities straight. Yeah, I know what you’re all saying: “Oooh, but Brother Fox, we have to recapture Nauvoo first, it’s where we had our first and greatest trial by fire, it’s the homeland we left behind, it’s the Mormon Disneyland.” Well hey, we Kirtland-era Mormon partisans don’t have to take that kind of crap. Hear me now: the 1832 church was way cooler than the 1842 church. I want my restored Kirtland temple, and want it now! Maybe I’ll include a pointed note to President Hinckley in my tithing envelope next month. I’m sure that’ll get things moving.

I am really in a strange mood today.

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29 Responses to The Mormon Take-over of Nauvoo is Proceeding According to Plan

  1. clark on July 30, 2004 at 3:00 pm

    I thought the real interesting buyups were Independence and Adam-ondi-Ahman.

  2. D. Fletcher on July 30, 2004 at 3:01 pm

    Don’t get me started on what’s completely wrong about rebuilding the Nauvoo temple. I’m sure there are threads upon threads about this. Part of the power of a historic building is evidence of the history. That temple had more power burned to the ground than it has as a modern museum.

    But Kirtland! My greatest spiritual experience was in Kirtland. I toured the building on a rainy afternoon, with only my father and the RLDS tourguide, so we were allowed to touch things and go places not on the usual tour. “These windows were glazed by Brigham Young. This foundation was dug by Hyrum Smith” etc.

    Later, I played a concert of my sacred works in the space.

    I can’t praise these experiences enough, and I think it would be a shame if the Church got hold of that building. It would become a visitors center, Uggh.

  3. BTD Greg on July 30, 2004 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t want to get you started, but personally, I think rebuilding the Nauvoo Temple is one of the coolest things the Church has ever done.

  4. Adam Greenwood on July 30, 2004 at 3:11 pm

    I hear the pointed note has a lot more effect if you forget to include the tithing in the envelope. Who experiences the effects and what their nature is I leave to your discretion. :)

  5. Measure on July 30, 2004 at 3:35 pm

    Heh… RLDS tour guides and the Kirtland Temple. Anybody read Prophet of Death?

  6. Karen on July 30, 2004 at 3:39 pm

    Russell, my parents just got back from a mission to Kirtland. One goal of the church there is to continue to build a good relationship with the Community of Christ. The biggest obstacle to that relationship? Tactless Mormon tourists who showed up at the temple saying things like: “Hey, we hear you have no money…why don’t you sell the temple to our Church.” So thanks for fanning the fire! :o)

    FYI, the Community of Christ has been very generous in allowing Mormon groups and groups of missionaries use the temple for meetings. They see it as their mission to preserve the building for all the people in the “faith-groups” started by Joseph Smith.

  7. clark on July 30, 2004 at 3:39 pm

    “Part of the power of a historic building is evidence of the history. That temple had more power burned to the ground than it has as a modern museum.”

    I strongly disagree. While the millenialist ferver of Mormonism has certainly tempered in the days since Wilford Woodruff and especially since the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is still a part of our make up. I think most experienced Mormons long for the return to Missouri and the building of the temple. While we all recognize Utah as Zion, we recognize that it is not the ultimate historical Zion we eagerly await. There is still that sense that we are, as the Jews were for thousands of years, in a diaspora.

    The rebuilding of the Nauvoo temple is really part of that dream. It is the undoing of that scattering away from our sacred lands. Keeping the temple burnt shows that we are still in that “us” vs. “them” age when our aspirations were frustrated. Rebuilding it is a powerful symbol, much like Israel in 1948 was or the empty tomb was for the reality of Christ’s resurrection. It is a symbol that what was done is being undone.

  8. Geoff B on July 30, 2004 at 3:41 pm

    For what it’s worth, I agree with BTD Greg about the Nauvoo temple. I’ve recently been to Palmyra and Far West, and I had a brother serve a mission in Kirtland (although I haven’t been there yet). My impression is that the Church does an excellent job with community relations and Church history. Where else in the world do you get nice, helpful missionary couples giving you personalized one-on-one tours for free? It sent chills up and down my spine to see that the Palmyra temple was built on the land that the Smith family once owned. I haven’t been to Nauvoo yet, but from what I’ve heard the Church handles that site with the same grace and good community relations. It is worth noting that I come from a small town, and small town people including myself are always endlessly lamenting any change at all in their communities. It comes with the territory.

  9. Nate Oman on July 30, 2004 at 4:09 pm

    A couple of points:

    1. After a year working on the 8th Circuit, Missouri still strikes me as a pretty screwed up place. Also, I find Jackson County hot, muggy, and geographically boring. I would much rather think of Utah as a center place. Better skiing.

    2. The 2003 MHA Meeting at Kirtland ended with a devotional in the Kirtland Temple that was very cool. For what it is worth, the Church has put a huge amount of money and effort into restoring other Mormon sites at Kirtland, and — with all due respect to D.’s visitor-center dissing — the LDS interpretation and restoration is much better than the CofC restoration and interpretation.

  10. Nate Oman on July 30, 2004 at 4:16 pm

    Note: The article does get the chronology of the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo and the destruction of the temple wrong, suggesting that the temple was destroyed prior to the Mormon abondonment of Nauvoo.

  11. Rob on July 30, 2004 at 4:49 pm

    we all recognize Utah as Zion

    Whoa, Nelly! Don’t even get me started on this one! Urbanization on the Wasatch Front looks much more like SoCal than the City of Enoch. Some folks refer to this as the Californication of Utah. And what’s up with all the colored reader-board billboards? While I love Utah, I wouldn’t want it confused with the society envisioned by the prophets.

  12. danithew on July 30, 2004 at 4:50 pm

    Harrumph. This discussion was supposed to have taken place at Wump Blog yesterday. :)

    No big deal though.

  13. Robert Wilkey on July 30, 2004 at 5:04 pm

    While attending the University of Iowa, the Iowa City Wards had numerous occasions to assist with the building and eventually, the dedication of the Nauvoo Temple. From my personal observations, the Church has gone to great lengths to insure that the local community hasn’t been too adversely affected by the increased tourism to the area. As I recall, in the early stages of the temple construction, parking was very difficult given that the downtown area had never been designed for so much traffic. The church accommodated by constructing a fairly good size parking lot next to the Temple. In terms of the down-town economics though, I think the locals, in particular the mom and pop stores have some legitimate complaints. Especially since stores such as Subway and a really nice LDS book and gift store have moved in since the completion of the Temple.

  14. Russell Arben Fox on July 30, 2004 at 5:09 pm

    My profoundest apologies to the Wump Blog collective: I didn’t notice their discussion of the NYT article until it was pointed out to me. For those who can’t get enough of talk about the reconquest of Nauvoo, go here.

  15. danithew on July 30, 2004 at 5:19 pm

    Ah, I probably shouldn’t have groused. It’s an interesting article. It’s fun being called a “collective” though. :)

    You will be assimilated!

  16. Chris Grant on July 31, 2004 at 12:54 am

    D. Fletcher wrote: “Don’t get me started on what’s completely wrong about rebuilding the Nauvoo temple. I’m sure there are threads upon threads about this. Part of the power of a historic building is evidence of the history.”

    The story of the first Nauvoo Temple and its destruction is important because of what it teaches us and how it changes our lives. Whether the Temple actually existed and whether its destruction was an actual historical event is unimportant, as is, therefore, evidence for that historicity. ;-)

  17. gunner on July 31, 2004 at 1:18 am

    I think the article is a good example of an issue that some may not see. I was raised in a southern branch(Kentucky). Jokes about Utah Mormons were common, and sometimes very truthful. An attitude of “dealing with the colonials” caused a lot of friction and some lost members. Just because some people do not feel that a “Haj” to temple square is needed to define there lifes did not go over good with some Utah Mormons. Desiring to go to local schools and not BYU shocked some.
    The article quotes Samual Park about why there seems to be some bad feelings in the area. His reply is the ultimate definition of why there is a Utah Mormon vs the rest mentality(The rest is Non-Utah Mormons and most of the world it seems).

    “There’s a certain fear that our presence here is a tad too dominant,” Mr. Park said. “But we’re a peaceful group. We obey rules. Maybe the good example is irritating.”

    “good example is irritating”??? The members who move into the area, if he is an example, seems to think they are there to save the savages. I have talked to my wife and other family members about this line and they agree that his attitude is a symptom of a lot larger problem. While I use the term Utah Mormon, I really mean the whole, BIC, Pioneer stock mentality. My family is pure blood redneck from the mines of Kentucky. 8 generations in the mines. I would also have a lot of anger towards any group that moved in, then defined themselves as “good examples” and seemingly looked down on the ignorant savages.

    All bad grammer the result of goofing off in school

  18. john fowles on July 31, 2004 at 1:28 am

    It is astounding to me the animosity that the mere quality of being a “Mormon” will incite in many people. For example, from the NYT article, Mayor Thomas J. Wilson said he had decided to step down in April after 12 years in office, partly because he disapproves of the ways Nauvoo is changing. Mr. Wilson predicted that the day would come when Nauvoo would have a Mormon mayor and a Mormon-dominated City Council. Well, what exactly would be so wrong with that? If the majority of people in a town are LDS, what’s wrong with having an LDS mayor? So it would constitute a change from the way it’s been since the Latter-day Saints were driven out of Nauvoo by a rabid population. I can understand that a handful of old timers would lament the change in their small town. That is only natural. Unfortunately, the fact that it is the bad Mormons who are moving in, rather than say, a huge group of Hell’s Angels or a new crack house, merely aggravates things. It seems counter-intuitive that these people aren’t glad that their property is now worth a lot more than it ever has.

    As for the former Nauvoo mayor’s disapproval of the prospect of LDS city council members and an LDS mayor–just look at SLC. The non- and anti-Mormons have taken it over and never pass up an opportunity to express how difficult it is to live with the aweful Mormons. At least if the Latter-day Saints “take over” Nauvoo by having Latter-day Saints on the city council or in the mayor’s office, they won’t be bringing religious bigotry with them, as does the woman from the Christian Center whom the NYT articles quotes. I’m glad to hear her pronouncement that if Latter-day Saints follow Joseph Smith they aren’t following God or the Bible. She sure seems to know what she’s talking about; no reason to doubt her credibility, is there?

  19. john fowles on July 31, 2004 at 1:36 am

    Gunner: when he said that the good example is irritating to the people of Nauvoo and that is the reason for their dissatisfaction is actually right on point. I assume it is downright annoying to them to have a wholesome group like the Latter-day Saints move in, people who don’t have any need for bars or alcohol. The Nauvoo native in the article said that a course of action against this wholesome influence would be to open a strip club next to the temple. And although the city council is currently blocking attempts to build the housing facility refered to in the article, I’m sure that it wouldn’t hesitate to authorize a strip club right next to the temple. They might even be willing to change the zoning code to accommodate the plan. And somehow, the bigger problem is with the Church and the very natural effect it has on an area of attracting like-thinking people? If the natives of Nauvoo are so intolerant as to see an influx of Latter-day Saints back into a city that they settled and were forced out of, then they don’t deserve any sympathy.

  20. john fowles on July 31, 2004 at 1:40 am

    That last sentence should have read, If the natives of Nauvoo are so intolerant as to see an influx of Latter-day Saints back into a city that they settled and were forced out of as a negative thing, then they don’t deserve any sympathy.

    I wrote that because I’m starting to tire of sympathizing with bigots and of making an effort to be sensitive to other people’s feelings and concerns when they never reciprocate, even to the smallest degree.

  21. D. Fletcher on July 31, 2004 at 2:00 am

    Chris Grant wrote:

    The story of the first Nauvoo Temple and its destruction is important because of what it teaches us and how it changes our lives. Whether the Temple actually existed and whether its destruction was an actual historical event is unimportant, as is, therefore, evidence for that historicity.

    Touché.

  22. gunner on July 31, 2004 at 2:37 am

    Before a building is built in many areas a environmental impact study is done. They see if there is a way to do it without impacting the environment.
    So land prices go up. Good? Now their taxes(based on land value) double and they have to sell. Who is buying? The new people who has made the taxes got up on his land in the first place.
    So members get on all the boards and decide to change the liquer laws for example. So the drink a man is used to having after work now requires him to get a membership in a club, or not at all if enough good members vote to make the county dry. Most members would vote for that. Right?

    So they see themselve being forced out, their lifestyle changed because of someones else beliefs. I can see their anger with no problem.
    What does the local church leader say? “Maybe the good example is irritating.” The poor people did not even know they were leading lifes that were bad examples. How sad for them. (pardon the intended sarcasm)
    I would be irritated also. They most likely took the worst part of a whole conversation from the man to quote him for the story. But what he said shows the nature of the new people verses the old folks.
    I have a lot of trouble seeing anything but lack of respect for the locals in his comment, the same thing that the locals now show towards the church with the whole strip club comment.

    This conflict will only get worse. Remember that the early conflict in the area occured when the church moved in with large numbers.
    History and anger does repeat itself.

  23. john fowles on July 31, 2004 at 2:56 am

    Gunner, would you be irritated if a bunch anti-Mormons moved into SLC, took over the boards and the mayor’s office, and made bigotry part of the program there? Oh wait, that already happened. Are Latter-day Saints in SLC as justified to find this irritating as the locals in Nauvoo? Or are they to be criticized as intolerant for finding this irritating? Somehow, it seems to me that Latter-day Saints will rarely find sympathy where the Nauvoo locals (just to use them as an example for this type of thing) will easily find sympathy at facing an influx of Latter-day Saints.

    Take small towns all over Idaho and Utah for example. Do you have any sympathy with the fact that their entire cultures have been changed over the last fifty or more years by move-ins who don’t share their religious or cultural values? Or are you one of those that jeers and says that the problem is with the Latter-day Saints not being willing to “accept” others with different views, so they shouldn’t complain that their towns are changing?

  24. gunner on July 31, 2004 at 8:06 am

    “Latter-day Saints will rarely find sympathy where the Nauvoo locals (just to use them as an example for this type of thing) will easily find sympathy at facing an influx of Latter-day Saints.”
    The crux of what I am trying to say is that the mission presidents quote is making it hard to feel sorry for the members there who are facing local irritation. When someone approaches a problem with such a self righteous nature then yes, I will not feel sympathy for them.

    Your question
    Gunner, would you be irritated if a bunch anti-Mormons moved into SLC, took over the boards and the mayor’s office, and made bigotry part of the program there? Oh wait, that already happened.

    I would answer that the members have experienced the other side of the issue and should not do what has been done to them. But they are doing exactly what has been done to them in SLC. So I have to empathize with the locals.

  25. Russell Arben Fox on July 31, 2004 at 11:34 am

    As a self-described communitarian, I suppose I ought to supplement or qualify my original post somewhat, if only to take the snarky edge off, and to make it clear what my position is vis-a-vis Mormon carpert-baggers.

    Karen, I hope that the tongue-in-cheek quality of what I wrote was fairly clear. I’m not interested in making things more difficult for either the Community of Christ in Kirtland, or for the members of our church (both tourists and those in an official capacity) who work with them there. Heaven knows there’s more than enough baggage to work through in that regard already. That said, I’m not willing to pretend that I don’t long to see the few remaining properties in the Community’s possession (especially those in the Kirtland area) under LDS control, because frankly I just don’t see the Community as capable of summoning up the resources (financial, intellectual, or spiritual) to make those locations a part of an affective religious narrative. It’d be one thing if the Community were a robust, alternative strand of Joseph Smith’s restored Christianity–but it isn’t; it has become a relatively weak Protestant church that has divorced itself from much of its own distinctiveness. As readers of this blog know, I’m not an enemy of American Protestantism; I think we are closer to, and can and should learn more from, that tradition than most Mormons realize. But if the fate of certain properties comes down to specific questions of assets and claims (both material and doctrinal), then I can’t help but think that the triumph of our church over its historical rivals is both inevitable and a good thing, and may as well be expedited to whatever extent possible.

    John, I really think you’re overreacting here, or at the very least reading your own perceptions and experiences into a story which doesn’t support them. Where’s the anti-Mormon “intolerance” you speak of in that article? A joke about building a strip club, thus presumably obliging faithful Mormons to buy up the property and making the owners a nice profit? A chamber of commerce stonewalling a huge residential construction project? If that’s “bigotry,” then we all must be bigots, because you’ve set the bar very low. All I see in that article is crankiness and suspicion, which in many ways are the flip side of important virtues (say, affection and protectiveness for one’s particular place). You find those qualities–for better and for worse–in every place where persons are settled (indeed, as some of Gordon’s comments on the Utah Mormons thread reveal, it captures pretty well the reaction of, say, Wisconsin Mormons to interlopers in Sunday School as well). The mayor’s reaction to the influx of Mormons seems perfectly reasonable to me: he’s spent 12 years serving a small, aging, farming community on the Mississippi shore–maybe he’s lived his whole life there–and now it’s becoming a different town, one he doesn’t feel the same connection to any longer. Bitterness, maybe? If he didn’t have any such feelings, than that would suggest he never really cared much for his town in the first place.

    The real question is, how people act on those feelings, and to what degree they are justified in doing so. I’m not an absolute populist, but generally speaking I’m supportive of communities’ attempts to structure and preserve their own affairs; I’m not sure self-government means much if one is always potentially subject to the interventions of others (whether economic, legal, or political). I don’t know much about the recent history of small towns in Utah and southern Idaho, but I would hope (and expect) that these communities have attempted to keep their local culture and polities intact as they’ve been flooded by non-Mormon refugees from southern California; I certainly would be supportive of their attempts to do so. (Incidentally, I’m willing to extend this defense of particular cultural preferences a fair way up the communal ladder; I’ve no problem with Utah’s liquor laws, for example, and don’t think it’s impossible for whole nations to think in terms of a concrete self-understanding.) By the same token, I think we Mormons are often properly on the other side of things. I wasn’t troubled by that one Boston suburb that gave the church such hell of over building a temple with a spire on top–I mean, after all, it’s their town. Certainly, if abuse or inconsistency or serious injustice is taking place, one should and must complain. But basically, I’ll usually side with the locals.

    However, often the newcomers become the locals, and then the question changes. (This is why immigration is a complicated and divisive issue for communitarians.) No doubt a lot of small Mormon towns you mention simply aren’t small Mormon towns any longer; since they let the non-Mormon Californians move in (or, give laws in the United States, couldn’t stop them, again for better and for worse), now those folks need to be included and respected in any talk about what that town in all “about.” This is the dilemma for Nauvoo. It’s small enough that there’s little the locals can do–even if there was a consensus in favor of such, which there probably isn’t–to erect barriers to the eventual socio-economic transformation of their town; realistically speaking the writing was probably on the wall as far back as the 1970s, when the church began to pore money into the restoration of old buildings and Nauvoo accommodated itself to Mormon tourist traffic. (Or maybe earlier: there had been interest in rebuilding Nauvoo expressed by wealthy and well-connected Mormons are far back as the 1930s.) Salt Lake City is a divided city; that may cause a lot of contention and hand-wringing, but it’s a social fact that our church can’t and shouldn’t ignore (which has some lessons for how the whole Main Street thing was handled from the beginning, but that’s a different can of worms). Similarly, Nauvoo is going to become a Mormon town. With any luck, it’ll become such without much resentment. But to expect long-time residents to not have, at the very least, conflicted and bittersweet feelings about the Mormon transformation? I think that is to ignore the complicated and difficult place community plays in human life.

    Sorry to go on at such length. Reading this thread made me realize that I’d made light of an issue that I’ve actually thought about and care about a lot, and I didn’t want to give the wrong impression.

  26. Nate Oman on July 31, 2004 at 12:47 pm

    Russell: I am affraid that you are romanticizing opposition to the Boston temple. (But then you are a communitarian, right, so I suppose romaticization is a built in ideological problem ;->)

    There was a certain amount of opposition to building the temple by the community as a whole. Much of that was simply based on misunderstandings and fears. The Church, especially the LOCAL members, were able to put most of those fears to rest. (In particular, the bishop of the Belmont Ward is an unually charming and diplomatic man and a long-time resident. He is also my wife’s cousin, so I am a bit biased here.) Ultimately, the local governing bodies approved the the entire temple, although admittedly a smaller one than originally planned. The steeple variance was then challenged in court by a local crank, who lost at both the trial court level and the SJC. The only reason he won at the intermediate appellate level is because the case was assigned to a very newly appointed (as in a couple of weeks) judge who does not seem to have had a good grasp of Massachusetts local government law. To put things in good communitarian (and slighly xenophobic) terms, the opposition to the temple steeple was an attempt by cranks in the minority to involve powerful outsiders to overturn the deliberative concensus of the community. If collective choice isn’t a warrant for steamrolling over cranky dissenters, what good is communitarianism anyway? ;->

  27. john fowles on July 31, 2004 at 2:12 pm

    Fair enough Russell. I just tend to balk at the double standard that often seems to accompany these types of issues. On the one hand, we are supposed to be critical of Mormons who come in, become the majority, and then as such direct public affairs according to their belief system (to the extent that is legal in U.S. society). On the other hand, we are supposed to be critical of Mormons when they try to preserve their own local customs against non-Mormon “invaders.” What was okay for the non-Mormon locals to do is not okay for Mormon locals to do.

    I see now that you do not share this sentiment; that you, unlike so many others, are tolerant of Latter-day Saint attempts to preserve their local self-definition at the same time that you accept Nauvoo locals’ discontents with Mormon outsiders. And that is a consistent position. However, I don’t think my initial incredulity is necessarily an overreaction.

    You mentioned the Main Street issue in downtown SLC. For comparison, take the suburban resistance against building the Dallas temple. Under your model, that was okay because Mormons were “outsiders” there to the locals (never mind the seven or so stakes in Dallas at the time). Were Latter-day Saints justified under the same theory in their actions with regards to keeping bigots off of Main Street?

  28. Russell Arben Fox on July 31, 2004 at 6:32 pm

    Nate and John:

    1) I confess that I know very little about the Boston temple dispute. To the extent that the opposition to the spire was generated by one or two cranks using the law to make trouble for an arrangement that already had the consensus support of the community, then yes, I’d agree with you: a communitarian attitude would have obliged the trouble-makers to shut up and move along. No communitarian conception can afford to be strictly majoritarian (that way lies Calhounian madness), but I’d like to think that it does take the principle of popular majoritarianism, as embodied through local decisionmaking arrangements, more seriously than liberal legalism does.

    2) I also know very little about the Dallas situation as it existed back in the 1980s. To a great extent, my argument assumes that any legitimate defense of local arrangements (economic, religious, political, etc.) has to follow from an articulation of a positive concern for such. If Dallas had been a homey little evangelical Christian paradise that the Mormons wanted to build a temple in because, I don’t know, it was a nice central location, I think I could see the point of the locals being upset. As it was, somehow I suspect that any reasonable interpretation of Dallas’s “identity” wouldn’t have suggested a city whose whole reason for being would have collapsed with the arrival of anyone who wasn’t Southern Baptist.

    In other words, you’re both right: communal values and rhetoric often get manipulated by cranks who just don’t like something or somebody. That’s reason be suspicious, but not an excuse to dismiss it out of hand.

  29. Nick on August 2, 2004 at 11:17 am

    Gunner – I can see some of your points, but I don’t think the Nauvoo situation is an analog to the Utah/Non-Utah split that happens in your typical “mission field” ward, which I’ve experience in wards where I grew up.

    I grew up in Jackson County, Missouri (which we often refer to specifically as Kansas City, Independence, etc). My ancestors didn’t cross the plains; they were members of the reorganized church and converted in the 1920s. I was in a religion class at BYU and they were talking about Independence once. A student expressed surprise that there were any members there at all, and she asked the teacher what they were doing. He said “oh, they farm…” We farm? I thought. We commute to our jobs in the city, like everyone else does. So I do understand your frustration w/ the ignorance you get sometimes.

    Still, I think that as a Mormon (and a Utah-educated Mormon), I have to “own” Utah; and I find a great many things to like about it–particularly the way that the irrigated grass smells in the afternoon. It’s also nice not to have to “represent” all the time. So, although I may think that there aren’t enough new ideas in Utah culture and that folks could loosen up a little bit and not be any worse for it, I’m proud of us, collectively, for having a capital for the Lord’s kingdom–that’s how I think of it.

    What bothers me about the Nauvoo polemic is that these folks are getting into the prime time with their religious bigotry, and that’s what it is. Oh, it gets framed in terms of “these people are from Utah and they drive up the real estate”. What if I moved there from Des Moines or Washington, DC? Then, there’s nothing to the argument but “we don’t like Mormons.” Which thing I find revolting in this day and age. Folks could at least have the courtesy to hide their bigotry.

    I’m always glad when I read this kind of thing that I’m not there because I don’t think I would be very charitable to these whiny NIMBY people. I’d tell them that they should be glad they’re getting inflated prices for the land their ancestors thieved.