Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Dennis L. Lythgoe Battling the Bureaucracy: Building a Mormon Chapel Excessive multiplication of bureaus results in a bureaucracy, which we may define as any administration in which the need to follow complex procedures impedes effective action. A bureaucrat usually works by fixed routine without exercising intelligent judgment and insists on rigid adherence to rules. The implication drawn from the word bureaucrat or the word bureaucracy is almost always derogatory. Max Weber saw bureaucratization of society as both undesirable and inevitable. As society grows and production increases, increased efficiency requires specialization, resulting in assembly-line techniques. Bureaucracy is efficient because it dehumanizes production, eliminating human error.1 But in an organization dedicated to human needs, the growth of bureaucracy can only be unfortunate because those needs may be disregarded in the scramble to turn out a product. A study of Mormon history supports the view that bureaucracy was practically nonexistent in the early church, which was much less centralized. By contrast, in the twentieth century, bureaucracy has become the norm for church government. One clue is the gradual replacement of the word doctrine by the word program. At least one observer has argued that bureaucracy was not intrinsic to Mormonism and that the use of bureaucratic models for church organization was arbitrary." The constraints governing the building of a chapel symbolize the disadvantages of the church bureaucracy. Such construction today must be done under the supervision of the Building Division, which is housed, along with numerous other divisions, in a $31.5 million, twenty-eight-story structure in Salt Lake City with 566,000 square feet of office space and three levels of underground parking for 1,400 cars. The Church has approximately 6,700 buildings throughout the" world, including meetinghouses, temples, mission homes, visitors centers, welfare facilities, and seminary and institute buildings. In 1979, more than 660 building projects were reported in process in various parts of the world.3 DENNIS L. LYTHGOE, professor of History at Bridgewater State College, near Boston, Massachusetts, received his Ph.D. from the University of Utah. His recent book, Let 'em Holler: A Political Biography of J. Bracken Lee, was published by the Utah Historical Society.