“That [Mormonism] will succeed in establishing Zion, in building the holy city, in gathering out the righteous from all lands and preparing them to meet the Lord when He comes in His Glory, no faithful Latter-day Saint doubts. To this end it aims to institute what is known as the United Order, a communal system inaugurated by the Prophet Joseph Smith as early as February 1831, but which owing to the Church’s frequent migration and other causes has never been fully established. The purpose of the Order is to make the members of the Church equal and united in all things, spiritual and temporal, to banish pride, poverty, and iniquity, and to introduce a condition of things that will prepare the pure in heart for the advent of the world’s Redeemer.”
— LDS President Lorenzo Snow
Practically unheard of until the 1990s, today many employees advocate their desire to take their spiritual or religious values to the job. I’m not simply talking about Adventists who are not willing to work on Saturdays because it’s their sabbath. Or, in other cases, as a firm acquires new divisions and diversifies portfolios, some Catholics refuse to do new defense work because of their church’s social teachings.
But what is occurring now is that workers want to conduct Bible studies for 30 minutes a day on the job, perhaps. Or Muslims expect to stop the assembly line so they can put down their rugs and bow to Mecca several times during a shift. The World Bank, one of the largest and most powerful corporations on earth, now supports a number of its professional staff who have launched the “Spiritual Unfoldment Society,” a group that meets weekly to discuss their spiritual values and the bank’s global policies.
In the past decade, I’ve been invited to speak at several conferences on “Spirituality at Work,” to share my LDS faith traditions, especially as they apply in corporations. Below you may take a look at my publications in this area, as well as websites with links to articles, projects, events, and new institutions that are increasingly recognizing the need workers have to integrate their spiritual selves with their labor or professional work.
Archbishop John Rucyahana of Rwanda’s Anglican Church at the Kigali Genocide Memorial
“A Mormon View on Happiness,” Chapter in Global Perspective on Friendship & Happiness. Vernon Press Series in Sociology, Wilmington, DE, 2018, pp. 149-159.
“Third World Pioneering: What is at the Heart of our Efforts?” Sons of Utah Pioneers, Maple Mountain Chapter, Mapleton, Utah, 2018.
“Restoring All Things: The Managerial and Economic Views of Early Mormon Leaders,” Brigham Young Magazine, November 1995.
“Practicing What We Preach: Ministering Charity Globally,” By Common Consent, December 24, 2019.
“The Social & Economic Teachings of Mormonism: Social Justice is Alive & Well,” Sunstone Symposium, Weber State University, August 6, 2011.
“What More Can We All Do?,” at LDS International Conference “The Lord’s Way,” April 7, 2014.
“Where Were You During The War On Poverty?,” The LDS Messenger and Advocate, January 31, 2014
“Mormon Scholars Testify,” September 24, 2010, 4 pp.
“Consecration & Stewardship: Latter-day Saints & Unemployment,” A presentation to the Provo, Utah community, May 17, 2010.
“The Fourth LDS Church Mission: To Practice ‘Pure Religion’,” The Millennial Star, December 31, 2009.
“Mormonism, Labor Relations, and Work,” Labor and Employment Relations Journal, Special Religion and Work Symposium, Perspectives on Work, Summer/Fall 2008, pp. 46-48.
“Private Humanitarian Initiatives & International Perceptions of the Church,” International Society Proceedings, November 2008, pp. 31-37.
“Culture Change & the 1978 Priesthood Revelation: Memoir of a (Somewhat) Radical White Mormon,” Millennial Star, June, 2008, 7pp.
“Thoughts on the Priesthood Ban, Racism,” Essay in By Common Consent, 2008, 5 pp.
“A Dialogue on Liberation Theology and Mormonism,” Chapter in Mormonism in Dialogue with Contemporary Christian Theologies, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 2007, pp. 211-250.
Working Toward Zion: Principles of the United Order for the Modern World, Aspen Books, with James W. Lucas, 484 pp.
“Change the World: A Call to Action,” By Common Consent, December 2006, 9 pp.
Radical Mormons & Civic Engagement: Becoming LDS Community Change Agents, Los Angeles, CA: Catalyst Press, 2006, 165 pp.
“What would Jesus Buy?,” The Collegiate Post, (Special Issue on Globalization), November 2005.
“Latter-day Saints and Liberation Theologians: Co-Laborers in the War on Poverty,” 20th Century Christian Theologies and Mormon Thought. SUNY Press, 2006 (in press).
United for Zion: Principles for Uniting the Saints to Eliminate Poverty, (Orem, UT: Unitus Publications) 2000, (with J. Grenny and T.K. Manwaring), 160 pp.
“A Mormon Perspective on Business and Economics,” Chapter in Stewart W. Herman (ed.), Spiritual Goods: Religious Traditions and the Practice of Business. (Bowling Green, OH: Bowling Green State University Press Philosophy Documentation Center) 2000, pp. 133-154.
“Joseph Smith’s United Order: A Non-Communalistic Interpretation and Brigham Young’s United Order: A Contextual Interpretation,” In Brigham Young University Studies, Vol. 30, No. 4, 1996, pp. 228-231 (books reviewed).
“The Socio-Economics of Zion,” Chapter in The Book of Mormon: 4 Nephi to Moroni. Edited by Monte S. Nyman & Charles D. Tate, Jr., Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1994, pp. 337-352.
“Third World Strategies Toward Zion,” Sunstone, Vol. 14, No. 5, October 1990, pp. 13-23.
“Brave New Bureaucracy,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 20, No. 3, Fall 1987, pp. 25-36.
“Building Zion,” Harvest Magazine: Interview with Warner Woodworth, October 2000.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not enough for every man’s greed.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
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Center for Spirituality at Work
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Buddhism at work
“The country cannot afford to be materially rich and spiritually poor.”
—– John F. Kennedy