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This is the third post on Richard L. Bushman’s Mormonism: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2008). [See Part 1 and Part 2.] In Chapter Three, Bushman reviews the several meanings of the term “Zion” in LDS doctrine and thinking.

The Pew Forum recently issued a detailed summary of survey information about Mormons gathered as part of a much larger survey of religious life in the United States. It is a very readable summary, noting that Mormons comprise 1.7% of adults in the US; 35% of Mormon adults live in Utah and 13% live in California; Mormons are more likely to be married and more likely to be a college graduate than a member of the general population; and so forth.

July 24th is a state holiday in Utah, designated Pioneer Day. It commemorates the entry of the first wagon train of Mormons into the Salt Lake Valley in the summer of 1847. They came down Emigration Canyon, somewhat north of the present I-80 corridor which comes down Parley’s Canyon. Brigham Young was part of that first company to enter the valley. Due to sickness, he was a couple of days behind the lead group of wagons. By the time he entered the valley, crops were already being planted and water diverted for irrigation.