Mormon Reformation

The Mormon reformation was a spiritual movement that began in Utah in the mid 1850s. Under the direction of Brigham Young, the church of ladder day saints was changed massively. The reformation led to many of the practices connected to the Mormon religion (legitimately or illegitimately) such as blood atonement and polygamy and being missionary. Not only did this help shape the public perception of the Mormon church, it also changed the relationship inside of the church. Many members felt as if they were apart of a spiritual family. The Mormon Reformation happened in a time when a lot of the nation was changing, with the Mormons moving west, everything was volatile, and the Mormons followed suit by changing themselves.

Brigham Young, an important person in the history of Mormonism, and the leader of the Mormon Reformation.
The modern perception of Mormonism has changed quite a bit thanks to Brigham Young and the Mormon Reformation. This picture shows contrast.

Primary Source

"While speaking the other day to the people, I observed that “the race was not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong,” neither riches to men of wisdom. I happened to cast my eyes upon Ira Ames, who was sitting in the congregation, I knew he had been in the Church a considerable length of time, I have been personally acquainted with him for twenty years."

A Discourse by President Brigham Young, Delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, June 13th, 1852.

This discourse by Young shows the family atmosphere that was created within the church. Young says "I have been personally acquainted with him for twenty years." having the leader of the church walk around and know many of the church members is important to accomplishing what Young wished to accomplish.


It is important to know the main leader of the Reformation Movement, Brigham Young. Knowing the broad goal and focus of the movement is important because it will allow one to understand how the reformation effected not only the Mormon church, but religion in general in the years to come. Brigham Young was upset with the church and its lackluster practices so he decided to change the church into a far more strict religion. This had great effects on much of the U.S and its religious landscape, for instance Brigham Young's ideas of family and unity are found all over Christianity. It also led to the building of Brigham Young University. It is important to be able to connect this to past events such as Martin Luther and The Reformation.

5 Questions

1.Examine and Explain Young's reasons for the reformation.

2.Relate the Mormon Reformation to a past event.

3.Explain the change this reformation had on religions in years to come.

4.State what the reformation accomplished.

5.Name 3 important people to the Mormon Reformation.

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