Utah’s Unitarians

The following fascinating letter to the editor was printed in the SLTrib (29 Jul 2011):

Salt Lake City’s First Unitarian Church congratulates This Is The Place Heritage Park for honoring a bevy of religious denominations that made Utah their home in the early years of the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley. We are a little bewildered, however, that Unitarians didn’t make the dance card. When the This Is the Place Monument was first dedicated in 1921, the First Unitarian Church was already celebrating its 30th year in Utah.

Unitarianism figures prominently in Utah history. U.S. President and Unitarian Millard Fillmore appointed Brigham Young as the Utah Territory’s first governor. The town of Fillmore in Millard County places an historical smile on present-day Unitarians.

Unitarian Cyrus Dallin sculpted the Angel Moroni on the LDS Salt Lake Temple, a most identifiable Mormon icon. LDS Church President Wilford Woodruff commissioned Utah-born Dallin in 1891. After completing the assignment, Dallin returned home to Massachusetts and eventually Arlington, Mass., where he was a fully committed Unitarian.

A Copy of Cyrus Dallin's Moroni Which Sits Atop the Salt Lake Temple

In 1996, we felt honored as old neighbors in the community to celebrate Utah’s centennial as one of 12 centennial churches.

Despite the current omission, we still feel this is the place.

Rev. Tom Goldsmith First Unitarian Church

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This entry was posted in Art, mormonism, Religion, utah. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Utah’s Unitarians

  1. roger hansen says:

    Here is all I have learned about the religion of Cyrus Dallin:

    “Born in Springville to Mormon pioneer parents, the angel’s sculptor had strong ties to Utah. But he never identified with Mormonism, perhaps because the LDS church excommunicated his father for supporting non-Mormon political candidates. Members of the Dallin family later converted to Presbyterianism and young Cyrus attended a Presbyterian school.

    As he grew older, Dallin traveled back and forth between his home in Arlington, Mass., and Utah. On his final trip West he was quoted as saying that more than the awards and medals he’d won for his work, his greatest honor was that he had been born in Utah. But he remained fiercely opposed to the faith claims of Mormonism, saying that the LDS religion created too many intermediaries between himself and God. When he finally died in 1943 at the age of 82, a Unitarian minister presided at his funeral.”

    Source: beehivearchive.wordpress.com

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