A Firefly World
All through the Alliance there are those that follow the Shepherds of The Book. The Book is old and came from many Great Teachers of the Past that walked The Earth that Was.
On Deseret, the Grand Flock follows the Orange Book (a variation of The Great Book, which has an emphasis on one of the more common chapters and that teacher. The Grand Flock takes its lead from The Great Shepherd and the Council of Elders. The Great Shepherd, who is in New Deseret City is currently one Primus Bosh. He is the third man who has taken that title since the Grand Flock has come to Deseret.
Here every village has a stark white steepled church that everyone attends every Seventh Day. They follow the tenets of The Orange Book, which includes many lifestyle elements that are practical on a outer world. Bound in the "Word of Wisdom" is a health code: requiring abstinence from alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, black tea, and recreational drugs). Members must also obey the law of chastity (the Church’s code for modesty and allowable forms of sexuality). In general, members must obey the law of the country in which they live and visit, although there have been notable exceptions. The Church discourages gambling in all forms, including lotteries. Church members are encouraged to live self-sufficiently and avoid unnecessary debt.
The Followers of the Great Shepherd do have some bizzare practices to the outside eye, and even to most who follow The Book. This include, but not limited to plural marriage, a requirement to be self sufficient (has 2 years worth of store), avoidance of any personal debt (both monetarily and socially), and spend time when they are not among the Faithful, doing The Mission - i.e. spreading the faith.
This is not a place to violate the Law. Penalties are draconically harsh if you get caught, and everyone is wary of those "not of The Flock".
Church members, which are 99.99% of the population, who commit what are considered serious violations of the standards of the Church (defined as, without limitation, "attempted murder, rape, sexual abuse, spouse abuse, intentional serious physical injury of others, adultery, fornication, homosexual relations, deliberate abandonment of family responsibilities, robbery, burglary, theft, embezzlement, sale of illegal drugs, fraud, perjury, and false swearing") may be subject to Church disciplinary action, up to and frequently including excommunication and the death penalty. Sometimes that penalty is immediate, sometimes it is slow. Being shunned, keeps them from all "civlized places" on Deseret. Thus it leaves them alone in the wilds of a relatively inhospitable planet.
You could imagine what happens to Outsiders.
Everyone is welcome to attend the public meetings of the Church, whether or not they adhere to the Church’s lifestyle code.
There are seven actual cities on Deseret. They seem to be much like a city on Earth that Was’s 1880s. Each one has a large and grand white Temple - Cathedral and grand plaza in the near center of town. There are roads that link all those cities but one. The one not linked is on the western continent. It is linked by steam ships over the shallow salt oceans.
The planet is fairly arid on the surface. There is deep water here, accessible by a well. Where there is a well, there is a town or farm. Where there is not, there is salt or sand. The temperatures range from awfully hot to awfully cold each day. There is only rain/ snow in the high elevations.