The Missouri Mormon Experience
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of Missouri Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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Introduction: “Persecution in the Most Odious Sense of the Word”
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Parley P. Pratt recalled that the Missouri wind during the winter of 1830- 1831 blew “with a keenness that would almost take the skin off the face.”1 That winter was a particularly brutal one, called by pioneers in western Missouri the “Winter of the Deep Snow.” Contemporaries living in the region claimed...
1. The Missouri Context of Antebellum Mormonism and Its Legacy of Violence
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The Mormon Church’s sojourn in northwestern Missouri in the 1830s is an
interesting story but not a happy one. It reflects poorly at one point or another
on virtually all of the actors involved.
Yet despite its troubles in Missouri, Mormonism has since become America’s most successful indigenous religion. As of May 2007, the Utah-based Church...
2. Reassessing Joseph Smith’s “Appointed Time for the Redemption of Zion”
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In the aftermath of the 1833 expulsion from Zion and for the remainder of the decade, it became Joseph Smith’s prophetic preoccupation to restore his Missouri followers to their temporal properties and spiritual inheritance. Much attention has focused on Smith’s first attempt called “Zion’s Camp” to...
3. Mormonism, Millenarianism, and Missouri
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Christian beliefs about the millennium, its nature, how it will be introduced, or how near it is, have varied considerably over the centuries. Originally, millennialism as an eschatology (a term derived from Greek, meaning, literally, doctrine of the “last things” or “end times”), was an outgrowth of...
4. The Great Temple of the New Jerusalem
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The book of Ezekiel ends with the prophet’s description of the latter-day inheritances of the twelve tribes of Israel in the Holy Land. He indicates that there would be a holy city, forty-five hundred cubits (approximately one and one-third miles) square in which the Lord would be present.1 In the Apocalypse...
5. The Mormon Temple Site at Far West, Caldwell County, Missouri
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Located in Mirabile Township in Caldwell County, Far West, Missouri, was a relatively short-lived Latter-day Saint community, existing from 1836 to 1839. Before this community was established, Jackson County served as the main gathering place from 1831 to 1833. However, in late 1833, violence erupted...
6. “Was This Really Missouri Civilization?” The Haun’s Mill Massacre in Missouri and Mormon History
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The three-month-long “Mormon War” in northwest Missouri during 1838 has been viewed by Mormons and scholars of Mormonism as a trying time in the history of the LDS church. As Alexander Baugh, the eminent scholar of the Missouri period of LDS history, put it, “For a period of three agonizing...
7. But for the Kindness of Strangers: The Columbia, Missouri, Response to the Mormon Prisoners and the Jailbreak of July 4, 1839
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The unkind and unlawful treatment of the Mormons in Missouri in the 1830s has been well documented. Except for the civility and fair hand of Alexander Doniphan, a Whig attorney and a brigadier general in the Missouri state militia in a sea of Jacksonian Democrats in the western counties, the...
8. Lessons Learned: The Nauvoo Legion and What the Mormons Learned Militarily in Missouri
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The story of the Nauvoo Legion begins in Missouri. What began in 1831 with eager anticipation among a people anxious to establish Zion, their New Jerusalem, in Jackson County, Missouri, ended with a solemn proclamation of expulsion in October 1838 by a governor convinced the Mormons had to...
9. Between the Borders: Mormon Transmigration through Missouri, 1838–1868
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The infamous extermination order issued October 27, 1838, by Missouri governor Lilburn W. Boggs caused thousands of Latter-day Saints to flee the state and seek refuge in Illinois.1 Throughout the harsh winter of 1838–1839, many Latter-day Saint families fled eastward (some 150 miles) by carts, wagons...
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Page Count: 208
Illustrations: 10 illus, 3 maps
Publication Year: 2010