Establishing a Refuge in Deseret

Church History in the Fulness of Times Teacher Manual, (2001), 54


  1. 1.

    The settling of the Salt Lake Valley tested the faith and loyalty of the Latter-day Saints.

  2. 2.

    Civil government was established in the Great Basin as an important aspect of maintaining order.

  3. 3.

    The leaders of the Church continued to stress the importance of Latter-day Saints gathering to the Salt Lake Valley.

  4. 4.

    Missionary efforts intensified as new missions opened throughout the world.

    Student Manual and Scripture Sources

  • Student manual, chapter 27, pp. 337–51.

    Suggested Approaches

  • Involve the students by asking how the faith and loyalty of the Latter-day Saints were tested during their first few years in the Salt Lake Valley. You could mention the following challenges: Indian threats, shortage of food, early deaths, predatory animals that threatened livestock, mice, bedbugs, and leaky and uncomfortable living quarters.

  • Lead a discussion on what political, social, economic, and religious challenges faced the Saints as they began settling Utah. What special characteristics of the people and their faith enabled them to succeed under trying circumstances?

    Theme Sources

  • Comprehensive History of the Church, 3:330–413.

  • Readings in LDS Church History, 2:311–26.

    Additional Sources

  • Richard H. Jackson, “The Mormon Village: Genesis and Antecedents of the City of Zion Plan,” Brigham Young University Studies, Winter 1977, pp. 223–40.

    Puts into historical perspective the Prophet Joseph Smith’s plan for the city of Zion and its impact on the layout of Latter-day Saint communities in the Great Basin.

  • Eleanor Knowles, “Ogden, Utah’s Oldest Settlement,” Ensign, Jan. 1972, pp. 23–25.

    A brief history of Ogden before the arrival of the Latter-day Saints.

  • William Hartley, “Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Summer 1970, pp. 224–39.

    A historian’s perspective on the problem of the crickets and the coming of the sea gulls. The author draws on diaries and journals to show the feelings of the Saints during the cricket plague.