all, “Sports in Zion: Mormon Recreation, 1890-1940”
2003 | ISBN-10: 0252028570, 0252076362 | 240 pages | PDF | 2 MB
If a religion cannot attract and instruct young people, it will struggle to survive, which is why recreational programs were second only to theological questions in the development of twentieth-century Mormonism. While scholars have paid much attention to the Latter-day Saints’ religious history, “Sports in Zion” is the first in-depth study of the central role sports and leisure played in shaping the modern Mormon religion. With rapid industrialization and urbanization, the half-century that began in 1890 saw vast changes in American society.In this book, Richard Ian Kimball explores how Mormon leaders tapped the potential of using recreation programs to ameliorate the problems of the city and inculcate morals and values in LDS youth. As well as promoting sports as a means of physical and spiritual excellence, Progressive Era Mormons established a variety of institutions such as the Deseret Gym
and camps for girls and boys, all designed to compete with more ‘worldly’ attractions and to socialize adolescents into the faith. Kimball employs a wealth of source material including periodicals, diaries, journals, personal papers, and institutional records to illuminate this hitherto underexplored aspect of the LDS church. In addition to uncovering the historical roots of many Mormon institutions still visible “Sports in Zion” is a detailed look at the broader functions of recreation in society.
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