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Book review: 'Mormonism and the Making of a British Zion' illustrates history of LDS Church in Great Britain

"MORMONISM AND THE MAKING OF A BRITISH ZION," by Matthew Lyman Rasmussen, University of Utah Press, $39.95, 286 pages (nf)

Mormon missionaries first arrived in Britain in the late 1830s. Soon thereafter, thousands and thousands of British converts made the lengthy trek to Utah and became a major part of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Utah native Matthew Lyman Rasmussen explores the history of the LDS Church in Great Britain with "Mormonism and the Making of a British Zion."

Rasmussen, a graduate of the University of Utah and Lancaster University in England, explores how that Mormon immigration to America nearly affected the LDS Church's presence in England. With so many gone, church membership suffered such a decline that things appeared to be close to total collapse. In the end, though, Mormonism experienced a major resurgence over time and continues to survive in the present day. Writing about its staying power, Rasmussen went over the many struggles the religion has endured in Britain and how it has managed to bounce back through the years.

"Mormonism and the Making of a British Zion" chronicles the LDS Church in Britain in a fresh and detailed way. The author starts with the establishment of the British Mission in 1837 and continues to 1998, the year the Preston England Temple was dedicated. An interesting study in the introduction, decline and resurgence of British Mormonism, "Mormonism and the Making of a British Zion" is a worthwhile read and an enduring tribute to the Saints of Britain.

Ryan Curtis is a proud seventh-generation Utahn and also writes for Utah Political Capitol and In his spare time, he enjoys doing family history research and listening to '70s and '80s music. You can contact him at