Hispanics in the Mormon Zion, 1912-1999

978-1-58544-205-8 Paperback
6.12 x 9.25 x 0 in
224 pp. 14 b&w photos., 5 maps.
Pub Date: 01/09/2002


Best First Book on Mormon History. Sponsored by the Mormon History Association. Presented May 2001
As immigrants came to the United States from Mexico, the term "Greater Mexico" was coined to specify the area of their greatest concentration. America's southwest border was soon heavily populated with Mexico's people, culture, and language. In Hispanics in the Mormon Zion, 1912–1999, however, Jorge Iber shows this Greater Mexico was even greater than presumed as he explores the Hispanic population in one of the "whitest" states in the Union—Utah.

By 1997, Hispanics were a notable part of Utah's population as they could be found in all of the state's major cities working in tourist, industrial, and service occupations. Although these characteristics reflect the population trends in other states, Iber centers on those aspects that set Utah's Hispanic comunidad apart from the rest.

Iber focuses on the significance of why many in the Utah Hispanic comunidad are leaving Catholicism for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). He examines how conversion affects the Spanish-speaking population and how these Hispanic believers are affecting the Mormon Church.

Iber also concentrates on the geographic separation of Hispanics in Utah from their Mexican, Latin American, New Mexican, and Coloradoan roots. He examines patterns of Hispanic assimilation and acculturation in a setting which is vastly different from other Western and Southwestern states.

Hispanics in the Mormon Zion, 1912–1999 is an important source for scholars in ethnic studies, American studies, religion, and Western history. Drawing on both oral and written histories collected by the University of Utah and many notable organizations including the American G.I. Forum, SOCIO, Centro de la Familia, the Salt Lake Catholic Diocese, and the LDS Church, Iber has compiled an interesting and informative study of the experience of Hispanics in Utah, which represents "another fragment in the expanding mosaic that is the history of the Spanish-speaking people of the United States.”

Elma Dill Russell Spencer Series in the West and Southwest

Published by Texas A&M University Press