A World Transformed: The Transcontinental Railroad and Utah: Terminology
This exhibit examines historical events from 1865 to 1875 in Utah. Hereafter, we use the terms “Mormon” and “LDS Church” for the people and the religion historically called by those names. We also use the term “gentile” from quotes by ninteenth-century Mormons. Today Utah is a diverse state with many religions and ethnicities. Utah in 1869 was much different. The hardy pioneers of 1847 moved to such a remote area in order to practice their religion without the hostility and constraints imposed by nonmembers. Yet throughout the nineteenth century, and especially after the arrival of the railroad, members of the LDS Church adapted, gradually adopting mainstream practices. The transcontinental railroad transformed Utah by not only providing opportunities to Mormons, but also by diminishing the isolation of the state.
A World Transformed examines the historical events surrounding the completion of the transcontinental railroad between 1865 and 1875 in Utah. Although Utah today is a diverse state with many religions and ethnicities, in 1869 Utah was culturally much different. Mormon pioneers of 1847 moved to the remote Great Salt Lake region in order to practice their religion without the interference of nonmembers. However, from 1847 through the completion of the railroad in 1869, and finally, to the achievement of statehood in 1896, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) continually adapted to the pressures of an expanding American nation. The transcontinental railroad played a pivotal role in this transformation of Utah by diminishing the isolation of the state.
For this exhibit we have used the historical terms Mormon, gentile, and LDS Church.