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Posted 24 Feb 2001   For week ended June 11, 2000
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News about Mormons, Mormonism,
and the LDS Church
Sent on Mormon-News: 14Jun00

Summarized by Rosemary Pollock

Beehive Still Buzzing for LDS, Utah
Salt Lake Tribune 10Jun00 A1
By Peggy Fletcher Stack: Salt Lake Tribune

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -- The LDS Museum of Church History and Art in Salt Lake City will exhibit "The Beehive Image: Symbol of Industry and Cooperation," until November 12. The exhibit includes 307 items, everything from business signs, banners, coins, books and jewelry spanning 170 years of church history. From the 19th century to the newly built Conference Center, the symbol expresses the Mormon virtue of industry and cooperative action.

Mark Twain wrote in "Roughing It," after his 19th-century visit to Utah, that the "Golden Beehive" was a perfect crest for the down-to-earth Mormons: "simple, unostentatious, and it fitted like a glove." In 1915, the church created a "Beehive" program for girls age 12 and older. It was modeled after the Boy Scouts and the girls worked hard to achieve the ranks of "Building in the Hive," "Gatherer of Honey" and "Keeper of Bees."

Hal Cannon wrote in a catalog for a 1980 exhibit entitled, "The Grand Beehive," that the bee was "at once a docile provider of sweetness and a stinging enemy." "The bee is a genius architecure. The colony is capable of expansion; new colonies are organized regularly," he wrote.

In Greek literature, the god Zeus suggested bees could foretell the future. In the Koran, the Prophet Mohammed said God spoke directly to the bee. Even the philosopher Aristotle concluded that the honeybee, unlike wasps or hornets, must be of divine origin.

The early Utah, colonies called themselves "Deseret" seeking isolation to pursue religious freedom. "The Mormon's, suffering from what amounted to paranoia, treasured the idea that they were safe from both the outside world and their own new environment, and the beehive was a metaphor for this self-sufficiency," Cannon wrote.


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