Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Senior Honors Thesis

Department or School

History and Philosophy


The Mormon Church has attracted many new members to its religion since its inception and has grown into a world religion. However, the Shakers only have a few remaining members, and the Oneida Perfectionists have none. By examining the founding figures’ personality traits, each community’s sexual attitudes and key rituals, and especially their recruitment methods, I will demonstrate why the Mormons have attracted so many more followers than the other two utopian communities, and why people have found the attitudes and rituals of the Mormon Church to be more attractive. In other words, I will show why the Mormons were much more successful at recruiting new members.