Deseret (Book of Mormon)
Deseret (i//) (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" meant "honeybee" 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). LDS scholar Hugh Nibley (extending the work of Egyptologist Sir Alan Gardiner) suggested an etymology by associating the word "Deseret" with the ancient Egyptian dsrt, a term referring to the "bee crown" of the Lower Kingdom.
State of Deseret
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 taught his followers that they should be productive and self-sufficient, a trait he had perceived in honeybees. Utah Territory petitioned for statehood as the State of Deseret in 1849–50, 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 LDS Church. Instead, the federal government created Utah Territory, the name of which was derived from the resident Ute Indians meaning "People of the Mountains". In 1896, Utah Territory gained statehood as Utah.
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. The Salt Lake Bees are a minor league baseball team representing Utah in the Pacific Coast League. Named after the original Salt Lake Bees (PCL, 1915–26), they were formally known as the Buzz (1994–2000) and the Stingers (2001–05). "Deseret" appears twice on the Utah stone located on the 220-foot landing of the Washington Monument.
Various businesses and organizations use "Deseret" as part of their name, particularly those that have connections to the LDS Church. Examples include:
- Deseret alphabet—a non-Latin phonetic alphabet developed in the mid-19th century by the board of regents of the University of Deseret (University of Utah) under the direction of Brigham Young.
- Deseret Book—the world's largest LDS bookstore chain
- Deseret First Credit Union—formerly known as the LDS Church Employees Credit Union
- Deseret Industries—a Utah-based thrift store
- Deseret News—Utah's second-largest daily newspaper.
- Deseret Ranch in Florida—a large cattle ranch in the United States
- lds.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), IPA-ified from «dĕz-a-rĕt´»
- "Book of Mormon Reference in the Book of Ether, Chapter 2, Verse 3".
- "On the Etymology of Deseret". by Kevin L. Barney BCC Papers 1/2. Retrieved 2009-01-13. External link in
- "A Brief Survey of Ancient Near Eastern Beekeeping". by Ronan James Head FARMS Review 20/1. Retrieved 2009-01-13. External link in
- Gardiner, Alan (1982). Egyptian Grammar (3rd ed.). Oxford. pp. 73–74.
- Nibley, Hugh (1955). Lehi in the Desert, The World of the Jaredites. Salt Lake City, UT: Bookcraft. pp. 177–178.
- Poll, Richard D. (1994), "Deseret", in Powell, Allan Kent, Utah History Encyclopedia, Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, ISBN 0874804256, OCLC 30473917
- "Quick Facts about Utah's history and land". Utah.gov. Retrieved 2009-01-05.
- 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
- 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