History of Orderville: The town where the Saints practiced consecration
Orderville is a small town in Utah that Brigham Young, then-president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, established in 1875
Orderville is a small town in Utah that Brigham Young, then president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, established in 1875.
The town lived what was called the United Order, which came about due to direction from prophets and scripture. The church defines it as, “An organization through which the Saints in the early days of the restored Church sought to live the law of consecration. Individuals shared property, goods, and profits, receiving these things according to their wants and needs.”
The town was established for that purpose and people in the town lived communally for several years. On June 1, 1877, Howard Orson Spencer wrote to Charles N. Carroll about the town. Carroll was inquiring about whether he could live in the town. According to Utah Historical Quarterly, Spencer said, “You likely understand we eat together and it takes good people to live in the United Order.”
Spencer was referring to how the members of the town ate together at a hall. Orderville established farms, dairies and other businesses necessary for living. Leonard Arrington, a Latter-day Saint historian, described how the establishment of this town helped people to live a more robust and fulfilling life. Other nearby United Order communities included Kanab and St. George.
After a decade, Orderville ceased living consecration in a formal way. According to the Town of Orderville website, after the town ceased living consecration, the economy deteriorated.
The Town of Orderville website said, “In 1885 central church leaders, eager to reduce the range of federal complaints against Mormon peculiarities (the government was hostile to Mormon economic as well as marital practices), counseled the members to disband the Order, which they agreed reluctantly to do. They retained community ownership of the tannery, woolen mill, and sheep ranch until 1889 and finally let the corporation lapse in 1904.”
After the dissolution of the United Order, Orderville became a small farming town. According to Britannica, “The village has survived as a small farming community in the Virgin River’s Long Valley,” and remains a small town today.