Amanda Hendrix-KomotoJan 3, 2023
Religion, Race, and Family in the American West and the Pacific
University of Nebraska Press 2022
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has always been globally situated, argues Montana State history professor Amanda Hendrix-Komoto in Imperial Zions: Religion, Race, and Family in the American West and the Pacific (U Nebraska, 2022). Through mission work, polygamous marriage, and extensive kinship networks, LDS members sought to create Zions - holy Mormon spaces - throughout the world through relationships with Indigenous people from the Intermountain West to Tahiti and the Hawai'ian islands. This process found both successful conversions, as well as pain and violence, since despite LDS insistence that they offered an alternative to American settler colonialism, often church members could be just as imperially-minded as their non-Mormon peers. Nonetheless, Hendrix-Komoto argues that the history of Indigenous people and the LDS Church is complex, and cannot be understood without placing a uniquely Mormon idea of the family at the very center.