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The word Deseret comes from the Book of Mormon, where it is mentioned in Ether 2:3:

And they did also carry with them Deseret, which, by interpretation, is a honey bee.

Early members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who emigrated to what would later become Utah adopted the distinctive name as a way to focus on the communal and beneficial traits common to colonies of bees--industry, thrift, and cooperation. The first name proposed by Mormon leaders for what would later become Utah was the State of Deseret, and the name was used in a wide variety of economic and social ventures. In 1852, for instance, Brigham Young announced the development of the Deseret Alphabet, and the Deseret News was the first newspaper published by the Saints in Salt Lake City. Other examples include Deseret Book Company (a large LDS book publisher) and Deseret Industries (a rehabilitative service operating a series of thrift stores in areas with large LDS populations).