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Mormon Historical

   Orville M. Allen
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"History to Nauvoo"

The Mormon church was founded in 1830 in upstate New York.  Joseph Smith under divine instruction organized the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in a small log-cabin.  When persecutions started, Joseph led church members to Kirtland, Ohio.*

Not long after arriving in Kirtland, church headquarters was established in Jackson County, Missouri (Independence).*

Soon local residents in Jackson County started a new wave of persecution that continued until the Mormons moved north into Illinois.  The persecution was so extreme that government got involved when the Governor of Missouri issued an 'Extermination Order' requiring the State Militia to either drive the Mormons out of Missouri or exterminate them.

In the middle of Winter, they were expelled from their lands, without compensation for homes or property.  The saints gathered at a desolate area in Illinois on the eastern side of the Mississippi River.  A place that no one else cared for provided a safe haven from persecution but not from mosquitoes and disease when grounds thawed to reveal the forsaken swamp they had camped on.

Be as it may, the hearty Mormons would make something out of the area, and started to drain the swamp, build cabins, plant crops, re-establish the church headquarters, and gather other members of their faith.  Soon businesses started, commerce followed amongst the Mormons, and they felt safe from persecution.  The city was named Nauvoo, meaning beautiful city.*  It rivaled in size to Chicago at the time.  What had brought them there seemed inexplicable but it only strengthened their faith.  Peaceful and content, the Mormons started work on a temple.  Finally, they had a place they had built with their own hands; a home, a peaceful and beautiful place they were proud of.

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