Using the name from the cooperative manufacturing effort instituted under Joseph Smith, Young began in February urging each settlement to organize under the "United Order of Enoch." So important was the new movement that Young postponed the April general conference so he could be in Salt Lake City to introduce personally the new system of economic reform. As enthusiasm for the movement grew, many Mormons were rebaptized to indicate their commitment to the order. Church leaders replaced reluctant bishops, and sent envoys to remote areas to deal with foot dragging or problems arising from the order. The church printed broadsides of the "Rules...of the United Order," which were posted in ward meetinghouses, committing members to general moral reform as well as to living the communal order.
By the next fall, some two hundred united orders had been founded at least on paper, among both rural and urban congregations. Yet only here and there was attachment to the program sufficient to sustain the effort beyond the 1874 season. Many never got beyond the stage of electing officers. The disappointing result perhaps could have been predicted. Young was attempting at a stroke to transform a frail but functioning capitalist economy, serving some 80,000 persons into a commonwealth of communes. Aware that some would resist, he specifically ordered that no one be coerced. Moreover, he placed upon the bishop of each congregation the responsibility of determining how far his flock was willing to go in the direction of cooperation and urged bishops not to push them further than they were willing. The result was a bewildering variety of organizations and a good deal of fighting within congregations as to what form their United Order should take. In no instance was the specific form of Smith's earlier Law of Consecration and Stewardship followed.