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Title: The emergence and development of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Staffordshire, 1839-1870
Author: Morris, David Michael
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Chichester
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis analyses the emergence, development and subsequent decline of the LDS Church in Staffordshire between 1839 and 1870 as an original contribution to nineteenth–century British regional and religious history. I begin by examining the origins of the US Mormon Mission to Britain and a social historical study of the Staffordshire religious and industrial landscape. In order to recover the hidden voices of Staffordshire Mormon converts, I have constructed a unique Staffordshire Mormon Database for the purposes of this thesis containing over 1,900 records. This is drawn upon throughout, providing the primary quantitative evidence for this fascinating yet neglected new religious movement. From the data I explore the demographic composition of Staffordshire Mormonism using a more precise definition of class than has been the case previously, whilst also considering gender and age variables of Mormon converts. Subsequent chapters explore the qualitative dimensions of the conversion experience as a dynamic rather than event–based process, the demands of Church membership and commitment, the formal and informal institutional structure of the LDS Church and the hazards of emigration to the US in order to illuminate a number of key questions around which the thesis has been structured: Who were the Staffordshire Mormons? What was it about the Mormon message that appealed to the impoverished men and women of the newly industrialised Midlands? What was the nature of religious authority in the Mormon faith and in what ways did the formal Church administration adapt and respond to shifting urban contexts? Mormonism declined as rapidly as it had grown; this thesis investigates this little–known working–class religious movement and the lives of those Mormon men and women of Staffordshire who, against much personal, social and physical opposition, strived for what they regarded as a better future for themselves and their families.
Supervisor: Morgan, Sue Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available