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Deseret (Book of Mormon)

 

Deseret (Book of Mormon)

Deseret ([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

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 taught his followers that they should be productive and self-sufficient, a trait he had perceived in honeybees.[5] 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".[6][7] 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.[8] 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.

Other uses

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

References

  1. ^ lds.org: "Book of Mormon Pronunciation Guide" (retrieved 2012-02-25), -ified from «dĕz-a-rĕt´»
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