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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : If only the Mormon pioneers could see Vegas now. » If only the Mormon pioneers could see Vegas now.

If only the Mormon pioneers could see Vegas now.

Susan M - February 7, 2008

Well, technically, I guess they can.

I wonder what they think of it?

I just returned from a trip there for a trade show my husband had to attend. I went along to visit some cool hiking spots and brought a bunch of cameras along.

Vegas is weird. I think one of the things I like about it is how it’s so upfront about its vice. Gambling? Sex? Alcohol? They have it all, and in spades. Seedy underbelly? No way! We wear our seediness proudly on our face.

Smoke Shop

We couldn’t help but laugh at the giant billboards for Adult Mega Superstores. (Hey, who doesn’t like to buy in bulk!)

Mostly I think of it as a wasteland. Or maybe I should say, a land of waste. Just think of how much energy could be saved by simply turning off the lights in Vegas. We could save the environment! (My husband was quick to point out that the world’s economy would also fail, but still.)

The glamorous side of Vegas

I fully understand the appeal of gambling. I think I could easily be one of those welfare moms who spend their food stamps on lotto tickets. (I can say this because I’m related to one of those welfare moms.) Until I look at it this way: basically, you’re sitting in a chair just handing someone your money. For nothing.



Fortunately, the strip is not all there is to Vegas. There’s the Liberace Museum. The Atomic Testing Museum.

The Valley of Fire:

In the Valley of Fire


Lonely tree

Ancient petroglyphs:

Kilroy was here

And lots of other stuff I didn’t have time to explore.

I kind of like how in Vegas, all the good stuff is beneath the surface.


  1. Not all the good stuff is beneath the surface. World class restaurants, amazing shows.

    But much of it is. Amazing chinese, mongolian, korean, thai, filipino and other ethnic food is available just off the strip (spring mtn and Valley view).

    Next time – check out the springs preserve, an amazing desert demonstration garden, historical museum and interpretive site. Red rock, Hoover dam.

    Of course you can always go see the remaining mormon colonies, or better yet, the destroyed colony of st. david, which was flooded by the building of hoover dam, but is now uncovered due to the drought.

    Comment by Ola Senor — February 8, 2008 @ 8:59 am

  2. I’ve noticed the contrast between the Las Vegas Temple, and the worldly temples on the strip.


    Comment by Mark Hansen — February 8, 2008 @ 11:00 am

  3. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Las Vegas is the ultimate expression of free agency. You can indulge in almost every vice there is. Or not. Nearly everything in Las Vegas is available in any large city in America. It just isn’t as upfront about it.

    I was in town for the NAB convention a few years back. I had to pick up a gift so I went to the Deseret Book in Green Valley (there are I think 5 Deseret Book stores in Las Vegas). I got into a conversation with the clerk at the register. He worried about the things that are mentioned above, but he also said “I would never live anywhere else. My family has been here for nearly 100 years. We have our Zion in the midst of Babylon”. Interesting.

    Drew Carey: “Las Vegas is everything that’s right with America. You can do whatever you want, 24 hours a day. They’ve effectively legalized everything there. You don’t have to gamble if you don’t want to. There’s tons of churches in Vegas, too: You’ll see a church right next to a casino. But a lot of people like gambling, so they make money off it. Nobody forces you to put money in a machine and pull the handle. But the fact is they allow it. Nevada’s one of the most conservative states in the Union, but you can do what you want in Vegas and nobody judges you.”

    Amen, Brother Carey. Amen.

    Comment by Phouchg — February 8, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

  4. I served my mission in Vegas. I have to say that there are a lot of good things going on there. The church is very strong.

    But the slogan, “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is offensive to me, and I would think it would be offensive to anyone with a moral compass. If I lived there, I’d be tempted to move just becuase of that slogan.

    And yes, the contrast between the strip and the temple is striking, and intentional I believe, since the temple has a distant view of the lights of the strip. It’s reminiscent of Lehi’s vision of the tree of life.

    Comment by Mike L. — February 9, 2008 @ 6:20 am

  5. I’d say Vegas is honest about itself. Every other city is just as sinful. Vegas has the chutzpah to admit it and live with it.

    I’m late to the discussion, but living in Vegas gives me an interest (and a bias).

    Comment by Jonathan Blake — February 14, 2008 @ 5:22 pm

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