“This Earth Was Once a Garden Place”: Millennial Utopianism in Nineteenth-Century Mormon Poetry

in Religion and the Arts
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Abstract

In preparation for Christ’s Second Coming, nineteenth-century Mormons worked tirelessly to build Zion, a holy city where they could weather the latter-days and plan for the Millennium. Among those who contributed their talents to Zion were poets who set their millennial longing in verse. Their body of work shows how early Mormons drew upon the Bible, new Mormon doctrines, and existing poetic forms to create a literary complement to the developing Mormon eschatology. It also shows how the Mormon concept of Zion evolved over time as historical circumstances necessitated doctrinal adaptations that affected the way Mormons envisioned their earthly haven.

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