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Mormons in Mexico

David Seckler answers Dwight Peterson's question about Mormons in Mexico: "The move by Mormons to Mexico had absolutely nothing to do with the Civil War, and nothing to do with fleeing persecution, other than the fact that the Mormons had first fled west in the 1840's to avoid being murdered and burned out by mobs of enemies. (In 1838, the governor of Missouri even went so far as to issue an extermination order: "The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace.") The establishment of "colonias" in Northern Mexico was part of Brigham Young's plan to create Mormon (better, LDS) communities from Southern Canada to Northern Mexico. Today, this string of communities, often called the "Mormon Belt," runs from Southern Alberta down through Idaho, Utah, and Arizona, and on into Northern Mexico. In the end, if memory serves me, Brigham Young established more than 300 communities. He was a great colonizer. To address another point raised, or intimated, by Mr. Peterson, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (originally nicknamed "Mormons" by the enemies of the church) was staunchly opposed to slavery".

As for George Romney, governor of Michigan, John Hart says: " The Romneys still live in the predominately Mormon community of Colonia Juarez, Chihuahua, the Stake in that part of Mexico; 5,000 people live there. It is located some 18 miles west of Casas Grandes in a beautiful valley filled with apple orchards. There are now 3 million Mormons in Mexico and they have a goal of 30 million by 2020. Their missionaries are literally everywhere. There were also still some of the Hatch family at Colonia Juarez just a few years ago". RH: I suppose this is a reference to the family of Orrin Hatch.

Ronald Hilton - 11/6/02