From Mormonism’s beginnings in the 19th century, founder Joseph Smith felt a strong responsibility to care for his burgeoning flock of mostly poor farmers and religious seekers. Waves of immigrant converts came from parts of the East Coast and Europe to form what they hoped would be a new Zion society.
More than a quarter of what Smith said were divine revelations contained in the faith’s Doctrine and Covenants relate to economics, according to Warner Woodworth, emeritus professor of organizational behavior at Brigham Young University. And they were all about communitarian economics — equality and care for those in need.
Woodworth has spent his decadeslong career urging members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to “follow the prophet” on his drive toward utopian communities. It is what he argued in his first book, “Working Toward Zion: Principles of the United Order in the Modern World” and is central to his just published, “Radiant Mormonism: Using Our Faith in Christ to Power World-Changing Service.”
On this week’s show, Woodworth talks about his book, these principles, how they changed his approach to Christmas and why it truly is “more blessed to give than to receive.”