Deseret (Book of Mormon)

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Deseret (Listeni/dɛz.əˈrɛt./[1]) (Deseret: 𐐔𐐯𐑅𐐨𐑉𐐯𐐻) is a term derived from the Book of Mormon, a scripture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and other Latter Day Saint groups. According to the Book of Mormon, "deseret"[2][3] meant "honeybee"[4] in the language of the Jaredites, a group believed by Mormons to have been led to the Americas during the time of the construction of the Tower of Babel (see Ether 2:3).

State of Deseret[edit]

Main article: State of Deseret
The provisional 1849 boundaries of the State of Deseret, named after the word for honeybees in the Book of Mormon. The area of the Utah Territory as organized in 1850 is shaded in pink.

Deseret was proposed as a name for the U.S. state of Utah. Brigham Young—governor of Utah Territory from 1850 to 1858 and president of the LDS Church from 1847 to 1877—favored the name as a symbol of industry. Young thought his followers should be productive and self-sufficient, a trait he had perceived in honeybees.[5] The LDS-organized territory petitioned for statehood as the State of Deseret in 1849–1850, but the petition was rejected by the U.S. Congress because of the vast size of the relatively unpopulated area that was controlled exclusively by the Church. Later attempts at statehood used the federally recognized Utah Territory name instead, which was derived from the resident Ute Indians meaning "People of the Mountains".[6][7]

Some vestiges of the name survive. For example, the state symbol of Utah is a beehive; this emblem is represented on both the state seal, state flag, and marker shields for state highways. The state nickname is the "Beehive State" and the honeybee is Utah's official state insect.[8] Deseret appears twice on the Utah stone located on the 220-foot landing of the Washington Monument.

Other uses[edit]

Various businesses and organizations use "Deseret" as part of their name, particularly those that have connections to the LDS Church. Examples include:

References[edit]

  1. ^ LDS.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «dĕz-a-rĕt´»
  2. ^ "Book of Mormon Reference in the Book of Ether, Chapter 2, Verse 3". 
  3. ^ "On the Etymology of Deseret". by Kevin L. Barney BCC Papers 1/2. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  4. ^ "A Brief Survey of Ancient Near Eastern Beekeeping". by Ronan James Head FARMS Review 20/1. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  5. ^ Poll, Richard D. (1994), "Deseret", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  6. ^ "Quick Facts about Utah's history and land". Utah.gov. Retrieved 2009-01-05. 
  7. ^ Lyman, Edward Leo (1994), "Statehood for Utah", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917 
  8. ^ Thatcher, Linda (1994), "Utah State Symbols", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917