Mormon Temple

For Allred, who is a direct descendent of the grandfather of LDS founder Joseph Smith, the event was especially meaningful.

"Those of us that are the progeny of those first founders grew up in the west," he says. "This has particular significance because we're finally coming back east."


Smith was born in Vermont, and the church was founded in New England. But since the mass exodus to Utah in 1846, the church has had few adherents in the east until recently.

Mormonism has grown quickly in the Northeast. According to The Boston Globe, there are currently 16,000 Mormons in Massachusetts--a number that has tripled in the last 25 years.

At Harvard, Brinton says, the number of Mormon undergraduates has more than doubled since his first year, to almost 60.

"A lot of Mormons only consider church schools or schools in Utah...A lot of Mormons would be scared to send their kids to Harvard," says Matthew W. Baker '00-'02. "But that's changing as more people graduate with good experiences. The liberal atmosphere may be a bit jarring at times, but in general we think it's a good thing to know what's out there."

With such growth, some students say it has become more difficult to sustain a close sense of community at Harvard.

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