Bright Lights in the Desert explores the history of how members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Las Vegas have improved the regions’ neighborhoods, inspired educational institutions, brought integrity to the marketplace, and provided wholesome entertainment and cultural refinement. The LDS influence has helped shape the metropolitan city because of its members’ focus on family values and community service.
Woods discusses how, through their beliefs and work ethics, they have impacted the growth of the area from the time of their first efforts to establish a mission in 1855 through the present day. Bright Lights in the Desert reveals Las Vegas as more than just a tourist destination and shows the LDS community’s commitment to making it a place of deep religious faith and devotion to family.
“Woods’s book will be very popular with members of the LDS community, and with nonmembers who want to know more about the area and region’s history. We have long needed a solid, thorough history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in southern Nevada and this book deserves that description.”
—Michael S. Green, associate professor of history, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, author of Nevada: A History of the Silver State
“Woods addresses an important part of Las Vegas history that has not received adequate attention. The book contributes to our understanding of the city’s development.”
—Jonathan Foster, professor of history, Great Basin College, and author of Stigma Cities: The Reputation and History of Birmingham, San Francisco, and Las Vegas