‘Mormon Land’: A deeper look at #DezNat tweeters — who they are, what they want, and why people should, or should not, fear them

Researcher notes that they don’t all share the same views, save for their zeal in defending the LDS Church, but she worries some of violent words could turn into actions.

A screenshot of a Twitter post under the hashtag #DezNat, dated Feb. 5, 2020.

In 2018, John Paul Bellum came up with a Twitter hashtag, #DezNat, which stands for Deseret Nation, to help like-minded conservatives within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints find one another on social media.

Bellum said he was hoping to rally members willing to defend the faith, its leaders, its history, its doctrines and especially its teachings on the family — all of which he saw as under attack online.

Since then, #DezNat has been used in hundreds of thousands of tweets, including some with memes threatening violence toward perceived critics.

On this week’s podcast, researcher Mary Ann Clements, who has tracked and written about #DezNat for the Latter-day Saint blog Wheat & Tares, discusses this internet movement, its origins, its purposes, its evolution, its ideas about race, its place in online Mormon culture, the fears some of the posts engender, and the LDS Church’s response to these messages.

Listen here: