Utah is perhaps best know for the young men and women it sends out in white oxfords and names tags called missionaries. These religious missions are partially responsible for nineteen percent of Utah residents speaking a second language compared to the national fifteen percent. As well only seven percent of Utahns are not proficient in english while twenty one percent of the national populations fails in english proficiency. Missionaries sent overseas learn the language of the country where they serve.  Over one hundred and twenty languages are spoken in u\Utah and one in twelve Utahns is an immigrant. One of the largest growing populations and languages in Utah is Tongan. This may be accredited to the large number of missions sent to Tonga-Samoa. No doubt the LDS church has an huge influence on the demographics and culture of Utah. Still only sixty three percent of Utahns are mormon of that forty three are considered active members. However republicans hold a eighty six to eighteen majority in the Utah legislator, eighty eight of the representatives are active members of the church and only one of the vast majority of republicans is not mormon. It’s clear that this is not a proportional representation of Utah’s population. The church has taken strong stances on a number of controversial issues and the politicians in Utah are greatly influenced by their faith. Sen. Jim Dabakis was recorded saying “I find a lot of my colleagues perceive that their church would act this way, and therefore they would need to act this way,”  It appears even on issues that the church does not involve itself  the values and opinions of the church still influence law makers. When the church does become involved it can make a big difference. Dabakis remembers struggling to pass a law preventing housing discrimination to the LGBTQ community until the LDS church publicly backed it. Utah legislature has remained predominantly republican and LDS over the years even as numbers of churchgoers and republicans has declined. Whether you find yourself on the same side of the isle as the church or not it cannot be denied that the LDS church an influence over Utah politics that greatly misrepresents its residence.

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October 19, 2017 3:44 pm

Hi Missy,
Utah does have problems with the church but I belive that gerrymandering is the bigger issue then the morman church because the reson the church has such a strong grip is gerrymandering. The senators have figured out ways to split up uposing views into small fractions and make it imposible to become succesful at voting for what they beleive in. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2015/03/01/this-is-the-best-explanation-of-gerrymandering-you-will-ever-see/?utm_term=.9eb41f479114 this article is very good at explaining how this works and why it is so effective for one group to stay in power for so long.
thanks, Simon

October 19, 2017 3:26 pm

Missy, my girl. This is a very interesting post and growing up in Utah I have thought the same sort of things about how the LDS religion influences Utah as a whole. I liked how many links and facts that you included in your post. It is very interesting to the whole topic. I never knew that Utah is above average ins speaking of foreign language due to the mormon missionaries. I agree with everything that you said in this post. The Mormon faith has a huge impact on everything around us. Do you think that this a good thing or a bad thing? How do you think that this influences the state as a whole? https://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-harrison/the-lds-church-and-utah-p_b_9278128.html I found this interesting article on all the different aspects of life that Mormonism can affect. Great post!!

October 18, 2017 2:31 pm

Missy this is an awesome post! You shared numerous links which helped me understand the information you were writing about. You brought up some points I had never thought about! For example, the fact that Utah is above average in speaking of foreign languages due to the mormon missions is very interesting. I strongly agree what you are saying in this post. The Mormon faith has had a massive impact on Utah, especially politics, and I can’t imagine what this place would be like without them. Another thing I agree with is, “One of the largest growing populations and languages in Utah is Tongan.” When traveling to different states I notice a substantial difference in numbers of the Tongan/Samoan communities. I agree that this is an effect of our many missionaries sent to their islands. One issue I have heard about in the world of Utah politics is that the church is too closely tied with our state and local government. I found this interesting article going more in depth on this topic that I think would help add useful information to your post. Thanks for sharing this great post!

October 18, 2017 5:05 am

Melissa, as a Utah citizen myself I definitely see what your saying, and Im always a sucker for hard facts and statics so no argument there. I did however wonder why the large influx of Tongan background people. The mormon concentrations is quite high here, you cant turn your head without seeing a mormon chapel. I myself am not mormon but it has influenced Utah a lot, like you said our legislature is majority republican and I think their decisions are heavily influenced by their faith. my question is is this a bad thing? what are the pros and cons of this influence in Utah. heres an article (http://archive.sltrib.com/article.php?id=5403049&itype=CMSID). please get back to me on this.

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