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Saints Under SiegeThe Texas State Raid on the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints$
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Stuart A. Wright and James T. Richardson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780814795286

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814795286.001.0001

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Reader Responses to the Yearning for Zion Ranch Raid and Its Aftermath on the Websites of the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News

Reader Responses to the Yearning for Zion Ranch Raid and Its Aftermath on the Websites of the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News

Chapter:
(p.107) 4 Reader Responses to the Yearning for Zion Ranch Raid and Its Aftermath on the Websites of the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News
Source:
Saints Under Siege
Author(s):

Michael William Hamilton

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814795286.003.0005

This chapter examines reader responses to regional news coverage of the Texas state raid on the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints (FLDS) at the Yearning for Zion Ranch by focusing on two Utah newspapers, the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News. It begins by providing a historical background on the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret News before outlining the reasons why both newspapers are highly sensitive to polygamy issues arising from the historical doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and its founder, Joseph Smith. It then explores how the LDS and the people of Utah interpret and frame polygamy in light of their own history, sacred experience, and collective identity. It suggests that plural marriage or celestial marriage, or simply “the Principle,” developed in defiance of mainstream American social and religious mores, and that its complex history—and the continuing imprint of polygamy on Utah—is part of a backstory of the newspaper readers' reaction to the Yearning for Zion Ranch raid.

Keywords:   news coverage, state raid, Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Yearning for Zion Ranch, Utah, Salt Lake Tribune, Deseret News, polygamy, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, newspaper readers

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