“As a Thief in the Night”
by Dan Erickson

Chapter 4
Early Mormon Millennialism

[p.65]America’s religious history has demonstrated an evolution and sometimes a merging of the different aspects of millennialism. In this study I employ a fairly narrow definition. Premillennialists (millenarians) are defined as literalists who emphasized the difference between the profane world and the future kingdom of Christ, awaiting two parousias, two physical resurrections, and two judgements. The first resurrection would be of the faithful where Christ would reign personally on the earth, with the rest of humanity resurrected at the end of a thousand years. Postmillennialists believed the Savior’s return, the resurrection, and the day of judgement would all close the Millennium. Here on earth God’s kingdom would be manifested through the Holy Spirit’s influence over human hearts rather than in a literal return of Christ.1

Joseph Smith’s revelations regarding the imminence of the Second Coming fell carefully into place with the millennial wave of the day.2 Consequently early Mormon eschatology displayed many sides, including the notion that the Saints must build up and establish the kingdom of God on earth. At the same time Mormons admitted the [p.66]Millennium would come without their assistance in the “twinkling of an eye.”3

Due to the restoration emphasis in their religious thought, Mormons could incorporate diverse facets of previous millennial movements, giving their theology the flexibility to avoid fixed events and dates.4 As such, some historians have claimed Mormonism’s beginnings displayed aspects of both pre- and postmillennialism. But the most recent scholarship has demonstrated that apocalyptism was the predominant early Mormon cosmology. Early Mormonism fits closely into Norman Cohn’s model as collective, terrestrial, total, imminent, miraculous, and can be placed clearly in the millenarian camp.5

[p.67]Mormonism publicly announced its preoccupation with Christ’s return in the inclusion of the term “Latter-day Saints” as part of the church’s official name.6 This theme was also symbolized by the tides of its early publications, Evening and Morning Star, Times and Seasons, and Millennial Star, which extensively expounded millennialism.7 Editor William W. Phelps defined the mission of the church’s Independence, Missouri, newspaper (Evening and Morning Star) as warning humankind “that a wicked world may know that Jesus Christ, the Redeemer, who shall come to Zion will [p.68]soon appear.”8 Published in England and edited by Apostle Parley P. Pratt, the Millennial Star reiterated its American counterpart’s role as a “special messa[n]ge[r] to all the nations of earth, in order to prepare all who will harken for the Second Advent of Messiah, which is now near at hand.”9

Early Mormons constantly spoke of the imminence of Christ’s return and scouted for signs of providential anger, judgement, pestilences, tumult, earthquakes, and storms. These were faithfully chronicled as evidences of the coming apocalypse, a “sure sign that the coming of Christ is close at hand.”10 In a recurring column titled “Signs of the Times,” the Evening and Morning Star declared,

We live in a great time; one of the most eventful periods that has ever been; … it is the time when the wicked shall be destroyed; when the earth shall be restored to its former beauty and goodness, and shall yield its increase, when plagues shall be sent to humble the haughty, and bring them, if they will, to a knowledge of God; Yea, it is a time when the wicked can not expect to see the next generation; yea it is that great time, when none shall live in the next generation unless they are pure in heart.11

[p.69]Early Mormon hymn books devoted whole sections to the “Gathering of Israel” and “The Second Coming of Christ,” the Saints looking forward to the time when the wicked “will be swept from the earth.”12

Departing from their postmillennial neighbors who saw God working through humanity to regenerate the world, Latter-day Saints understood only the sinful majority’s future destruction. To Mormons the aspirations of reform movements merely squandered precious time on counterfeit solutions.13 Prominent Mormon Sidney Rigdon declared that “the ignorance of the religious teachers of the day never appeared more glaring in anything than in an attempt to create a Millennium by converting this generation.”14 Part of Rigdon’s disagreement with his former associate, Alexander Campbell, was over a different millennial vision, and many of the Campbellites who joined the Mormon church were those who expected Christ’s speedy literal return.15

[p.70]Joseph Smith’s revelations described the awful calamities which would befall the earth prior to Christ’s return. Plagues of flies, maggots, hailstorms, fires, flesh falling from bones and eyes from sockets were all destined to take place in the last days.16 Rhetorically Latter-day Saints held change could still happen. Modern revelation promised that if “this generation harden not their hearts, I [God] will work a reformation among them,” and Mormons believed it was their duty to preach repentance in the last days. But in reality few believed the world would heed the call.17 As millenarians, Mormons recognized humanity’s perfection would only come with the destruction of the wicked, for “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of man.”18 Smith, blessed by his father that he would continue in office until Christ came, described the mood of his age when he wrote in 1832, “It is a day of strange appearances. Everything indicates something more than meets the eye…. The end is nigh.”19

[p.71]Mormons were consistent in their belief that Christ’s return was imminent. In the early 1830s Book of Mormon scribe Oliver Cowdery concluded the end of the world would arrive in fifteen years. Predicting “there would never be another President of the United States elected,” Martin Harris declared: “[S]oon all temporal and spiritual power would be given over to the prophet Joseph Smith and the Latter Day Saints,” and only those who believed in the Book of Mormon would remain to “see Christ.”20

Apostle George A. Smith recalled that members in the early 1830s believed that not more than “nine or ten years would be sufficient to wind up the whole matter of warning the wicked nations and the gathering of the Saints preparatory to the coming of the [p.72]Messiah.”21 Early Mormon historian John Whitmer acknowledged “there was a tradition among some of the early disciples, that those who obeyed the covenant in the last days, would never die.” 22 Mormon apostle Parley Pratt prophesied that the governments on the American continent would soon be overthrown and that within fifty years no unbelieving gentile would be left.23 On more than one occasion Joseph Smith himself asserted that members of his own generation would yet witness the Second Coming, predicting that the great temple spoken of by the biblical prophet Malachi would be built in America before those now alive would “pass away.”24 No exact date was given but all believed they were “on the eve of the second coming,” living in the generation that would see Christ usher in the Millennium.25

Not only Joseph Smith but devout followers Brigham Young, John Taylor, and Wilford Woodruff were also ardent millennialists who proclaimed and taught it during their successive terms as president of the LDS church.26 Smith, Young, Taylor, and Woodruff were [p.73]the first four presidents of the Mormon church with Woodruffs administration ending near the close of the nineteenth century. Woodruff was particularly apocalyptic.27 Concurring with Joseph Smith who prayed God would hasten the Millennium that “thy church may come forth out of the wilderness,” Woodruff had looked for a church that would “call us out of Babylon … [where the] Sword of God is … soon to fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.”28 Once joined with the Mormons, Woodruff found his millennial anticipations confirmed in a patriarchal blessing under the hands of Patriarch Joseph Smith, Sr.29 Woodruffs blessing promised that he would witness the winding-up scene in the flesh and would “remain on the earth to behold thy Savior Come in the Clouds of heaven.”30 Just as [p.74]John the Baptist had prepared the way for Jesus’ coming, so now was Joseph Smith looked upon as a latter-day voice, crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord.31

Conforming to the role of millenarian prophet, Joseph Smith condemned the society around him. His view of the world and of established religion’s state of apostasy fed the new movement’s millennialism. “The world,” Smith said, “has had a fair trial for six thousand years; the Lord will try the seventh thousand Himself.”32 As the seer of the coming millennium, he believed that contemporary mainstream America was ripe with iniquity, on the verge of destruction.33 Although America was still a promised land, choice above all others, editor William Phelps saw the country fulfilling its destiny just as the Nephites of old had done. Soon wars would be at the nation’s door, with pestilence, famine, earthquakes, and other disasters acting as signs that the Lord was warning the wicked of his imminent return.34

[p.75]Apostle Parley Pratt foresaw the destiny of American society if it rejected the restored gospel: “[they] shall be cut off from among the people… This destruction includes an utter overthrow, and desolation of all our cities, Forest, Strong Holds—and entire annihilation of our race, except such as embrace the covenant, and are numbered with Israel.”35 In 1832 Smith received a revelation specifically warning New York, Albany, and Boston of the “desolation and utter abolishment” awaiting them if they rejected the gospel.36 Ten years later Mormon elder Freeman Nickerson published a renewed admonition to Boston inhabitants warning them of “the destruction which will take place in this generation that is now on earth,” advising them what to do to survive “the day of the second coming of Christ.”37

Believing that only the restored church represented true freedom as envisioned by the Founding Fathers, Mormons saw their relationship with the gentiles as a struggle between good and evil, light and darkness. The flaws of the U.S. Constitution emphasized that only during a millennial kingdom could liberty remain. When America, the world’s last great hope, began to flounder in disbelief and corruption, the Saints would know the Millennium was nigh.38

Early Mormon millennialism is exemplified by Joseph Smith’s so-called “Revelation and Prophecy on War” dictated on 25 December 1832 in Kirtland, Ohio. Describing the devastating forces that would strike the wicked—famine, plague, earthquakes, thunder, and lightening—Smith then prophesied that a “rebellion” beginning in [p.76]South Carolina would occur.39 This revelation, received at the height of the 1832 nullification crisis, proclaimed an intensified “voice of warning” to the world.

Against the backdrop of the tariffs of 1828 and 1832, on 24 November 1832 South Carolina passed legislation aimed specifically at nullifying federal tariff laws beginning 1 February 1833. When President Andrew Jackson gained congressional authority to crush the rebellion and hold South Carolina in line, by force if necessary, anxieties grew that a national crisis was at hand.40 Twelve miles from the Mormon stronghold of Kirtland, Eber D. Howe’s Painesville Telegraph predicted “civil war” was near and perhaps “our national existence is at an end.”41 Four days later Joseph Smith prophesied

Verily thus saith the Lord, concerning the wars that will shortly come to pass, beginning at the rebellion of South Carolina, which will eventually terminate in the death and misery of many souls. The days will come that war will be poured out upon all nations, beginning against the Northern States, … and thus war shall be poured out upon all nations…. after many days, slaves shall rise up against their Masters, who shall be marshalled and disciplined for war; And it shall come to pass also, that the remnants who are left on the land will marshall themselves, and shall become exceeding angry, and shall vex the Gentiles with a sore vexation; and thus, with the sword, [p.77]and by bloodshed, the inhabitants of the earth shall … feel the wrath, and indignation and chastening hand of an Almighty God, until the consumption decreed, hath made a full end of all nations; that the cry of the Saints, and of the blood of the Saints, shall cease to come up into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth, from the earth, to be avenged of their enemies. Wherefore, stand ye in holy place, and be not moved, until the day of the Lord come; for behold it cometh quickly, saith the Lord.42

Less than two weeks following the “civil war prophecy,” Smith penned a letter to Rochester, New York, newspaper editor N. C. Saxton, announcing, “I am prepared to say by the authority of Jesus Christ, that not many years shall pass away before the United States shall present such a scene of bloodshed as has not a parallel in the hystory [sic] of our nation.”43 Employing standard millenarian imagery, Smith continued,

pestalance hail famine and earthquake will sweep the wicked of this generation from the face of this Land … I declare unto you the warning which the Lord has commanded me to declare unto this generation … the hour of his Judgement is come…. For there are those now living upon the earth whose eyes shall not be closed in death until they see all these things which I have spoken fulfilled.44

Following Smith’s lead, William W. Phelps understood the “dissolution of South Carolina from the Union” to be a sign that the Millennium would soon arrive.45

[p.78]The national crisis was avoided when Congress met in January 1833 to discuss lowering the tariff and South Carolina suspended its nullification ordinance. In the early 1830s both Phelps and Frederick G. Williams included Smith’s prophecy in their own compilations of revelations.46 Yet in 1835 when Smith began to assemble the church’s revelations for publication, the nullification crisis had subsided and he chose not to include the prophecy in the Doctrine and Covenants. The “civil war prophecy” was not published for church members generally until 1851, seven years after Smith’s death, following renewed national anxiety over the 1850 compromise.47 While Mormon tradition holds that this prophecy was fulfilled in the American Civil War, in the church’s history Joseph Smith identified the nullification crisis as the background for the revelation.48 As Richard Howard and [p.79]Anthony Hutchinson have pointed out, contemporary Saints downplayed the possible Civil War rhetoric only after the crisis had subsided, believing the Union’s division was a prelude to the apocalypse soon to sweep the earth.49

A decade later, as part of a myriad of instruction and scripture clarification to a handful of close associates, Smith reported that the catalyst for the great tribulation prior to the Second Coming would be American slavery. “I prophecy in the Name of the Lord God,” he declared, “that the commencement of bloodshed as preparatory to the coming of the Son of Man will commence in South Carolina. (It probably may come through the slave trade[.]) This the voice declared to me while I was praying earnestly on the subject 25 December 1832.”50 The revised prophecy followed Smith’s recounting of a 9 March 1843 dream, interpreted by Orson Hyde without comment, that the “Government of these United States, … will be invaded by a foreign foe, probably England. [The] U.S. government will call on Gen[eral] Smith to defend probably all this western territory and offer him any amount of men he shall desire and put them under his command.”51

[p.79Although Smith’s prediction was not immediately fulfilled, subsequent Mormon persecution in Missouri further fed the Saints’ yearnings for justice and vindication, anticipating divine retribution upon the United States. Apostle Wilford Woodruff chided the nation for driving the Saints “from place to place,” and lamented its destiny:

O America … From this time forth perplexity shall rest upon the nation, confusion reign in thy government wisdom righteousness & truth will depart from thy senator &rulers, Discord &folly shall sit in thy congress & senate. Thy shame shall be known among the nations of the Earth. They pride shall be humbled in the dust & thy haughtiness laid low. The heads of they rulers shall be cut off & lade in the Dust.

It shall be a vexation to understand the report of the Sorrow pain & wo that Shall come upon thee by Sword, fire, tempest, Earthquakes, & pestilence from the hand of God. Even these things shall come upon thee untill thy government is broken up &thou art destroyed as a nation from under Heaven.52

The apocalyptic spirit penetrated all aspects of early Mormon life, including missionary work. According to future church president John Taylor, modern revelation commanded the church to dearly set forth the desolation of abomination to fall upon the world in the last days.53 Apostle Orson Hyde wrote in his missionary tract, A Timely Warning to the People of England,

[p.81]The time has come for him [the Lord] to set his hand the second and last time to gather the remnants of Israel; and with them the fulness of the Gentiles—to establish permanant peace on Earth for one thousand years…. As John was sent before the face of the Lord to prepare the way for his coming. even so has the Lord now sent forth his servants for the last time, to labour in his vineyard at the eleventh hour, to prepare the way for his second coming.54

Raising the apocalyptic alarm defined the Latter-day Saints’ charge to “warn the wicked and to gather the elect.”55 Living on the eve of the Millennium, the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” would not dawn until the elect “shall all have come from one end of heaven to the other, and not one [is] left in all nations … under heaven, and then and not until then will Christ come.”56 As such, missionary work was the worldwide recruitment of obedient gentiles who would heed the call. Those who came to the gospel by faith and baptism would become God’s chosen people, accomplishing the gathering necessary to precede the Lord’s day of judgement.57 Those who rejected the message must yield to “the judgements of God [which will] sweep you from the face of the earth.”58

Although missionaries were sent to the eastern states and Canada, the greatest success came from the British Isles, achieving what one author called “the most spectacular harvest of souls since Wesley’s time.”59 In less than a decade over 54,000 British converts [p.82]joined the Mormon church; by 1870 Mormons had baptized 100,000 people in England.60 Most English-Mormon converts came from cities and the urban working class, mainly manufacturers and mechanics, those disturbed by secularization and sectarian conflict, much like Joseph Smith’s American followers in the 1820s-30s.61 Whether in America or England, a certain type of “seeker” found Mormonism’s themes—emphasis on the last days, the restoration of Israel (including ideas about American Indians), the need for prophets, and separating the righteous from the wicked—a persuasive theology.62 Professing the restored gospel with a doomsday trumpet, missionaries patterned their voice of warning after biblical prophets, centering on the imminence of Christ’s reign and the destruction of the wicked.63

By exhorting millennialism, Mormon missionaries in England had great success among those who awaited Christ’s return, converts hoping for and experiencing the charismatic gifts of the Spirit that British millenarians believed would accompany the last days.64 Eng-[p.83]lish audiences heard Mormon apostle Heber C. Kimball declare that he “would not suffer death before Christ’s second coming, and prophesy that within ten or fifteen years the sea between Liverpool and America would dry up.”65 “Under the spirit of prophecy,” Apostle Wilford Woodruff told British converts they would remain on earth “until the coming of Christ.”66 Parley Pratt even wrote to Queen Victoria that the Lord was soon to establish “a new and universal Kingdom, under the immediate administration of the Messiah and his [Latter-day] Saints.”67 Soon the elevation of the righteous and the “destruction of the gentiles” would unite the Saints with their returning Savior.68

Much early Mormon energy and momentum derived from the Saints’ sense of being God’s chosen people, living in the final era of history. Yet preparing for the “last days,” and transforming a society, [p.84]was not easy or conventional. As such, proselyting and withdrawal were used as alternate strategies for survival and sustaining members’ commitment, some adherents gaining strength by converting non-believers, others by separating themselves from the “wicked.” Consequently Mormons attempted to maintain a balance between separation from and engagement with secular society.69 Merging secular with religious themes, aspirations of an earthly utopia fostered Mormon millennialism’s separatist tendencies.

With early converts coming from dislocated backgrounds, a search for economic stability was natural. No doubt Sidney Rigdon’s previous communitarian experience influenced early Mormon thought. Months before Rigdon’s conversion to Mormonism, he had established a small “family commonwealth” near Kirtland, and it was his desire to implement a communal order that led to his conflict and eventual break with Alexander Campbell.70 As an example of righteousness, the Saints looked to communitarian sentiments in both the book of Acts (4:32) and the Book of Mormon (4 Ne. 3) where disciples held “all things common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.”71 In February 1831 Joseph Smith dictated a revelation known as the “Law of Consecration,” or “United Order,” commanding Ohio converts to live “the more perfect law of the Lord.”72 Not just avoiding sin but actively participating in the pursuit of perfection is what would prepare men and women for the soon-to-be Millennium.73 This new economic system, what one author [p.85]termed a combination of “Yorker independence with Rigdonite communism,” would bring order from the chaos of America’s individualistic-capitalist economic structure.74

Based on the principle that the earth belongs to the Lord, with men serving as stewards, members were to “consecrate” their property to the church which would then in turn allocate the land and goods to families based on need. As Leonard Arrington observed, eighty-eight of Smith’s 112 published revelations dealt with economic matters.75 Placing economics on par with religion, the Law of Consecration was not mere piety but involved specific programs leading to society’s perfection, raising members’ commitment to their new religion.76 The Law of Consecration served many functions, but specifically it provided, through religious dictum, motivation for the Ohio Saints to accommodate poor Mormons who had abandoned their New York homes and followed the young prophet to Ohio. The principle also allowed the church to accumulate the necessary funds to build meetinghouses, purchase printing presses, and in general support the movement’s religious purposes.77

[p.86]The new economic theology fell into place with revelations received as early as September 1830 in which Smith pronounced, in the name of the Lord, that “all things unto me are spiritual, and not at any time have I given unto you a law which is temporal.”78 Here Mormon communalism merged with folk religious tradition to draw no clear distinction between matter and spirit, all aspects of the physical world corresponding to the spiritual realm.79 Philosophically Mormons were following in the footsteps of other utopian communities which attempted to separate themselves from society and radically alter traditional norms regarding property.80

Smith’s first attempt to implement the United Order came in Ohio in an effort to facilitate assimilation of destitute converts who had migrated as a group from Colesville, New York. But when Ohio land-owners backed out of the plan, the Colesville Saints were called to settle Jackson County, Missouri, where Smith declared the “New Jerusalem” would be built. In July 1831 Smith personally led the Colesville Saints to Missouri. Subsequent to the Mormon arrival, [p.87]within two years the United Order assisted almost 1,200 settlers to assemble around Independence.81

The merging of temporal and spiritual realms would eventually lead to internal dissent, but at its inception Smith’s economic system was based on belief in an imminent millennium. While the Saints were still forced to struggle economically, as a community their sacrifice and hardships were now for the kingdom of God. The Law of Consecration would be the instrument to restructure the economic institution of Smith’s followers, as well as a model for the rest of society when the Savior returned. Divested of greed and selfishness, an ideal community of cooperation and unity would be organized to prepare for the Parousia, and the Saints would be ready to administer Christ’s Kingdom at the commencement of his millennial reign.

Although willing to take advantage of Mormon numbers to obtain political power and influence, in the 1830s the church still hoped for deliverance through God’s destruction of the wicked rather than through earthly political victory.82 Yet the idea that a political kingdom may be necessary to usher in Christ’s reign soon developed, based on Mormon confidence that they would one day rule the entire world. Instilled with great hope for the future, Latter-day Saint grandeur was envisioned within the new church’s first year. “We were maturing plans fourteen years ago,” acknowledged Sidney Rigdon, to prepare the church for

people coming as doves to the window; and that nations would flock unto it…. in the year 1830 I met the whole Church of Christ in a little old log-house about 20 feet square, near Waterloo, N.Y., and we began to talk about the kingdom of God as if we had the world at our command. We talked with great confidence, and talked big things…. We began to talk like men in authority and power.83

As literalists, Mormons expected unequivocal fulfillment of [p.88]apocalyptic prophecy and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth. The desire for political power came from a hope that human efforts might hasten the Millennium by preparing the way for the Lord.84 Believing they were “laying the foundation of a kingdom that shall last forever,” the Saints looked forward to the Millennium where they would finally govern.85 Rigdon declared “when God sets up a system of salvation, He sets up a system of government … that shall rule over temporal and spiritual affairs.”86 But by intertwining the future millennial kingdom with the temporal kingdom of the here and now, Mormons blurred the distinction between what should happen prior to and during the millennial reign.87

As a “peculiar people,” isolated from gentile society, converts left the uncertainty of religious confusion and were put to work building the kingdom.88 Bustling with energy and enthusiasm, Mormons saw not their own struggles but the vision of the coming kingdom of God, developing a sense of community where burdens are shared. With the Millennium just around the corner, Mormon life was a daily routine of sermons, church meetings, ordinance ceremonies, and mission calls.89 As religious and secular pursuits combined, building [p.89]a kingdom based on righteous principles required further separation from the world.90

By reversing the American notion of the separation of church and state, Mormonism established a community that completely over-saw all aspects of private life. But the cost of this economic/societal security was high, a complete abdication of individual decision-making and total absorption into Mormon society.91 When asked, “Will everybody be damned but Mormons?” Joseph Smith answered, “Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent and work righteousness.”92 Not only did this belief system set boundaries, it invited conflict and hostility, particularly as the group was seen as aggressive and expanding.93 By isolating themselves from the outside world, Mormons ironically provoked confrontation.

While Mormons believed their “gathering” was to separate themselves from corruption, non-Mormons held the Saints’ exclusivity placed them on the periphery of society. Most non-Mormons could and would take offense from the Mormons’ view of outsiders as the prophesied “Babylon,” to be destroyed at Christ’s return, and understood the term “gentile” was pejorative.94 Ohio newspaper editor [p.90]E. D. Howe viewed Mormon seclusion as a controlled environment which Smith maintained to prohibit debate. Howe believed that Smith sent members to Missouri to continue their lives as a “distinct” people when their contact with the outside community began to shake their faith.95

As millennial rhetoric and hope increased, so did non-Mormon hostility.96 But anti-Mormonism only confirmed Mormon belief in the truthfulness of their message. Their theology prepared them, as God’s children, for persecution. They viewed their trials no differently than those endured by righteous martyrs of all ages.97 Living in the last days, Mormons knew their suffering would end and be replaced by the millennial bliss shortly to come. The Lord’s judgement would be swift, delivering his saints from the hands of their enemies.98

Mormonism’s vision of America’s destiny created a unique form of millennial hope where the building of a physical City of Zion within the borders of the United States and the gathering of the elect merged into a wondrous design to prepare the world for Christ.99 Zion was a specific place the Lord had designated as “a defense and for a refuge from the storm, and from wrath, when it shall be poured out without mixture upon the whole Earth.”100

Whether preaching the gospel, condemning contemporary society, building a righteous earthly kingdom, or implementing economic communal principles, millennialism dominated all aspects of early [p.91]Mormon theology. In their millennial world view, Mormons many times shifted their strategy. Sometimes they acted, as one writer has termed, like “arrogant empire builders, dreaming of theocratic rule over a vice-ridden world.” While at other times they wanted to be left alone to live quiet lives, separated from non-Mormon society, seeking solace in the hope of Christ’s imminent return and in the fellowship of the gathering.101

Like Puritans before them, Mormons believed the execution of God’s plan required work, and Mormon kingdom building was ultimately tied to millennial aspirations, attempting to create a theocracy based on what Klaus Hansen calls dreams of “not only a religious but a social, economic, and political millennium.”102 The church could not be passive and just sit and wait; it had a work to do. The New Jerusalem was to be built where the righteous would gather, and the Saints were to actively seek out God’s “elect” from among the world’s meek and poor.

As a “new Israel,” the Mormon sense of tribal loyalty and self-identity differed from mainstream America’s religious pluraiism.103 Physical exclusivity further alienated non-Mormon society. Urging all to “embrace the everlasting covenant,” Joseph Smith warned humankind to “flee to Zion before the overflowing scourge overtakes you.”104 The world would have two choices: join the restored gospel and be adopted into Israel or be destroyed. Mormon missionaries would call in the elect, and converted gentiles would be gathered to the City of Zion for refuge pending the imminent and cataclysmic return of the Savior. Here the Saints would be safe until Christ’s millennial reign would allow the gospel to flow to the rest of humanity.105

__________

Notes:

1. Robert G. Clouse, ed., The Meaning of the Millennium: Four Views (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1977), 7.

2. Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 170.

3. A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized According to Law, on the 6th of April, 1830 (Zion [Independence], MO: W.W. Phelps and Co., 1833), 3-6; Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), xx.

4. Louis G. Reinwand, “An Interpretive Study of Mormon Millennialism During the Nineteenth Century with Emphasis on Millennial Developments in Utah,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1971, 33, 67. At least twice, in 1835 and 1843, Smith indicated the millennium would arrive in 1890-91. Apparently failing to dampen Mormon apocalyptism in the 1830s-40s, these prophesies would later take on increased importance during the anti-polygamy campaign of the 1870s and 1880s.

5. Although labeling the movement a “uniquely American form of millenarianism,” Ernest Lee Tuveson also sees Joseph Smith’s idea of eternal progress as the epitome of the idea of natural progress. See Tuveson, Redeemer Nation: The Idea of America’s Millennial Role (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1968), 34nll, 175-76, 186. Ernest R. Sandeen contends Mormon millennialism was mixed. Even though Mormons believed the destruction of the world was near, they still labored to gather in the elect and build a New Jerusalem in America. See Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism, 1800-1930 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970), 12-14, 23, 48. Works which hold Mormonism vacillated between pre-and postmillennialism include Klaus J. Hansen, Quest for Empire: The Political Kingdom of God and the Council of Fifty in Mormon History (Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1970), 20-21; Klaus J. Hansen, Mormonism and the American Experience (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 118; Reinwand, “An Interpretive Study of Mormon Millennialism,” 11-12,4748; Keith E. Norman “How Long, a Lord? The Delay of the Parousia in Mormonism,” Sunstone 8 (Jan.-Apr. 1983): 49-58; David E. Smith, “Millenarian Scholarship in America,” American Quarterly 17 (Fall 1965): 542; Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 170; J[ohn]. F. C. Harrison, The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism, 1780-1850 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1979), 176-92. Grant Underwood contends that “even though the Saints urged human efforts to build the kingdom, or were mission minded, or occasionally waned in the enthusiasm for the imminence of paradisiacal glory, these attitudes do not warrant changing the classification of Mormons as premillennialists.” See Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 6•8, 24-41. See also Malcolm R. Thorp, review of The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism, 1780-1850, by J. F. C. Harrison, Brigham Young University Studies 21 (Fall 1981): 534-36; Dan Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1988), 181-205.

6. The church’s official name evolved from The Church of Christ (April 1830) to The Church of the Latter Day Saints (May 1834) to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (April 1838). See James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), 47.

7. These newspapers were the equivalents of the Harbingers and Watchmen prevalent among other contemporary sects. See William Mulder, “Mormonism’s ‘Gathering’: An American Doctrine with a Difference,” Church History 23 (Sept. 1954): 256; Stephen J. Stein, “Signs of the Times: The Theological Foundations of Early Mormon Apocalyptic,” Sunstone 8 (Jan.-Apr. 1983): 59-65; Reinwand, “An Interpretive Study of Mormon Millennialism,” 13.

8. Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., 2d ed. rev., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974-76), I: 259; Evening and Morning Star 1 (June 1832). See also Times and Seasons 5 (15 Aug. 1844): 610; 1 (Nov. 1839): I; Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool, Eng.: F. D. Richards, 1855- 6), 9:346; Loy Otis Banks, “The Evening and Morning Star,” Missouri Historical Review 43 (July 1949): 319-33.

9. Millennial Star I (May 1840): 1; Alan K. Parrish, “Beginnings of the Millennial Star: Journal of the Mission to Great Britain,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: British Isles, ed. Donald Q. Cannon (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1990), 133-49.

10. Scott. H. Faulring, ed., An American Prophet’s Record: The Diaries And Journals of Joseph Smith (1987; reprint, Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1989), 14; Smith, History of the Church, 1:439; 2:464; 4:201-203, 381; Harrison, The Second Coming, 181.

11. Evening and Morning Star, Feb. 1833. Other examples include “Foreign News,” Evening and Morning Star 1 July 1832): 14; “The Judgments of God,” 1 (Oct. 1832): 37; “The Gathering,” 1 (Nov. 1832): 45-46; “Another ‘Shower of Flesh And Blood’ In Our Own Neighborhood,” Times and Seasons 2 (15 Nov. 1841): 587; “Full Particulars of the Wonderful Sights Seen By the Pilot Of The William Penn In The Sky On Tuesday Night, March 21,” 4 (Apr. 1843): 149-50; “History of Joseph Smith,” 6 (15 Dec. 1845): 1060.

12. Smith, History of the Church, 2:324; Mulder, “Mormonism’s ‘Gathering,’’’ 260-61n8. See also Evening and Morning Star 1 (May 1833): 96.

13. Michael Barkun. Crucible of the Millennium: The Burned-Over District Of New York in the 1840s (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 1986), 17.

14. Evening and Morning Star 2 June 1834): 163. See also Messenger and Advocate 3 (Nov. 1836): 401-404. For examples of Oliver Cowdery’s criticism of postmillennialism, see Evening and Morning Star 2 (Apr. 1834): 145; 2 (May 1834): 153; 2 June 1834): 163. For other nineteenth-century premillennialists, such as William Miller’s followers, who showed little interest in the reform measures of the 18305, see Whitney R. Cross, The Burned-over District: The Social and Intellectual History of Enthusiastic Religion in Western New York, 1800-1850 (Ithaca: Cornell University, 1950), 235.

15. Richard S. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994), 50-55; Milton V. Backman, Jr., The Heavens Resound: A History of the Latter-day Saints in Ohio, 1830-1838 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983), 15; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 26-28. Just months before Mormon missionaries arrived in Ohio, Rigdon preached that something important was to occur “in the near future, and Rigdon interpreted Mormonism to be the extraordinary thing he expected, believing the restoration of the gospel was a sign the Millennium was near. See Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 50-55. Non-Mormons in Ohio were aware of the early Latter-day Saints’ belief in the imminence of the Millennium. See Robert Richardson, ed., Memoirs of Alexander Campbell, 2 vols. (1868-70; reprint, Cincinnati: Standard Publishing Co., 1913), 2:345-47; Alanson Wilcox, A History of the Disciples of Christ in Ohio (Cincinnati: Standard Publishing, 1918), 125. From December 1835 to May 1836 Rigdon produced a fourteen-article series on the Millennium which criticized postmillennialism. See Evening and Morning Star 2 (Dec. 1833): 117; 2 (Jan 1834): 126; 2 (June 1834): 163. For Alexander Campbell’s postmillennial eschatology, see Hiram J. Lester, “Alexander Campbell’s Millennial Program,” Discipliana 48 (Fall 1988): 35-39; Richard T. Hughes, “The Apocalyptic Origins of the Churches of Christ and the Triumph of Modernism,” Religion and American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation 2 (Summer 1992): 181-214.

16. Book of Commandments, 63. See also Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 170.

17. Book of Commandments, 11.

18. Evening and Morning Star 2 (July 1834): 169. See also 2 (June 1834): 163.

19. Smith, History of the Church, 1:281, 323; 2:32. Examples of the concern Mormonism had with these things include: ibid., 1:176n, 316; 2:447-48,464; 3:67, 286, 390; 4:201-203, 381, 401, 414; 5:301, 336; 6:516, 560; Scott G. Kenney, ed., Wilford Woodruffs Journal, 1833-1898, 9 vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983-85), 1:123, 25 Jan. 1837; 1:491-92, 12 Aug. 1840; Parley P. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt (1938; reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979), 44; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 9:231, 13 July 1855; Orson Pratt, ibid., 3:17, 20 May 1855; Charles C. Rich, ibid., 19:161, II Nov. 1877.

20. Painesville Telegraph 2 (16 Nov. 1830): 3; 2 (15 Mar. 1831); Ohio Star I (9 Dec. 1830): 2; Albert Chandler to William A. Linn, 22. Dec. 1898, in William Alexander Linn, The Story of the Mormons (1902; reprint, New York: Russell and Russell, 1963), 48-49, Chandler was an apprentice in the book-binding operation of Egbert B. Grandin and in 1830 helped to collate and stitch the first edition of the Book of Mormon. Martin Harris is also quoted as predicting that “Within four years from September 1832, there will not be one wicked person left in the United States; that the righteous will be gathered to Zion, [Missouri,] and that there will be no President over these United States after that time. …I do hereby assert and declare that in four years from the date hereof, every sectarian and religious denomination in the United States, shall be broken down, and every Christian shall be gathered unto the Mormonites, and the rest of the human race shall perish.” See E[ber]. D. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed: or A Faithful Account of that Singular Imposition and Delusion, from Its Rise to the Present Time (Painesville, OH: E. D. Howe, 1834), 14. See also Max H. Parkin, “The Nature and Cause Of Internal and External Conflict of the Mormons in Ohio Between 1830 and 1838,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1966, 53-54.

21. George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, 9:346, 11 May 1862. See also Charles C. Rich, ibid., 19:161, 11 Nov. 1877; Joseph Young, ibid., 9:231, 13 July 1855.

22. F. Mark McKiernan and Roger D. Launius, eds., An Early Latter Day Saint History: The Book of John Whitmer, Kept by Commandment (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1980), 45; Backman, The Heavens Resound, 59. Some members went so far in the belief that they would “never die” that they refused to call a physician. See Wayne Sentinel, 18 Apr. 1832; Painesville Telegraph, 5 Apr. 1831.

23. Parley P. Pratt, Mormonism Unveiled … (New York: Orson Pratt and Elijah Fordham, 1838), 15.

24. Smith, History of the Church, 1:316, 5:336; Messenger and Advocate 2 (Oct. 1835): 206; John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith: An American Prophet (1933; reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989),81; “Levi Haucock Journal,” June 1831, in Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 188.

25. Messenger and Advocate 1 (Jan. 1835): 58; Evening and Morning Star 2 (June 1834): 162.

26. Examples include John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 10:146-48, 6 Apr. 1863; Wilford Woodruff, ibid., 18:113-14, 12 Sept. 1875; Brigham Young, ibid., 19:4-5, 29 Apr. 1877; Wilford Woodruff, ibid., 25:11, 6 Jan. 1884; B[righam]. H. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (1930; reprint, Provo, UT; Brigham Young University Press, 1965), 5:136. See also Thomas G. Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth: The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff, a Mormon Prophet (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1991), 16; Reinwand, “An Interpretive Study of Mormon Millennialism,” 58.

27. Woodruff’s millennialism is so pervasive that a recent abridged version of his journal was titled Waiting for World’s End. See Susan Staker, ed., Waiting for World’s End: The Diaries of Wilford Woodruff (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1993).

28. Wilford Woodruff to Aphek Woodruff, 15 Mar. 1834, in Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, 22.

29. As part of Mormonism’s restoration of Old Testament theology, tying modern Israel to ancient rites, the church introduced blessings mirroring Old Testament patriarchs who blessed their children. See Gen. 28:4, 49:1-28. Joseph Smith’s father was ordained to the office of patriarch in December 1834. See Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:387; William James Mortimer, “Patriarchal Blessings,” in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 5 vols., ed. Daniel H. Ludlow (New York: Macmillan Publishing Company, 1992), 3:1066-1067. See also John Taylor, “Patriarchal,” Times and Seasons 6 (1 June 1845): 920-22.

30. Kenney, Wilford Woodruffs Journal, 1:142-43, 15 Apr. 1837. Woodruff’s belief in this promise apparently did not wane. Thirteen years later he recopied this blessing into his journal on the day his father Aphek Woodruff received his patriarchal blessing. See ibid., 3: 583- 88, 20 Dec. 1850. At least sixty-one other early Saints including Hyrum Smith, Orson Pratt, Lyman Johnson, Heber C. Kimball, William Smith, and Orson Hyde were told in patriarchal blessings they would “stand upon the Earth when the Savior makes his appearance” and live during “the Millennial Reign.” See Irene M. Bates, “Patriarchal Blessings and the Routinization of Charisma,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 26 (Fall 1993): 9-10, 21; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 154; “Caroline Barnes Crosby Journal,” 21 Feb. 1836, in Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 197-98.

31. Timothy L. Smith, “The Book of Mormon in a Biblical Culture,” Journal of Mormon History 7 (1980): 19; Parley P. Pratt, A Voice of Warning… (New York: W. Sanford, 1837), 96-99.

32. Smith, History of the Church, 5:64.

33. Dean C. Jessee, compo and ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984), 270-72; Harrison, The Second Coming, 183; Thomas F. O’Dea, The Mormon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 27; Kenneth H. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 39.

34. Evening and Morning Star 1 (Mar. 1833). See also Messenger and Advocate, Feb. 1837; Wilford Woodruff to Axmon and Thompson Woodruff, 29 Nov. 1834, in Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, 33; Book of Commandments, 48:57; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 49, 78-79.

35. Pratt, Mormonism Unveiled, 15.

36. Doctrine and Covenants of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God, comps., Joseph Smith, Junior. Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, and Frederick G. Williams (Kirtland, OH: F.G. Williams and Co., 1835), 95; Smith, History of the Church, 1:294-95.

37. Dollar Weekly Bostonian as reprinted in Times and Seasons 3 (16 May 1842): 798; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 188-89. Alongside the report of a destructive fire in Albany in 1848, the Millennial Star reprinted Smith’s 1832 prophecy. See Millennial Star 10 (15 Sept. 1848): 286-87. In Utah Wilford Woodruff continued to prophecy of the destruction of these cities. See Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 6:421-23, 22 Aug. 1868.

38. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 37, 185-86.

39. The Pearl of Great Price: Being a Choice Selection from the Revelations, Translations, and Narrations of Joseph Smith (Liverpool, Eng.: F.D. Richards, 1851), 35; Richard P. Howard, “Christmas Day, 1832: Joseph Smith Responds to the Nullification Crisis,” Saints Herald 116 (May 1969): 54; Lyndon W. Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith: A Historical and Biographical Commentary of the Doctrine and Covenants (1981; reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1985), 180; Backman, The Heavens Resound, 226-28.

40. Richard E. Ellis, The Union at Risk: Jacksonian Democracy, States’ Rights and the Nullification Crisis (New York: Oxford University Press, 1987); William W. Freehling, Prelude to Civil War: The Nullification Controversy in South Carolina, 1816-1836 (New York: Harper and Row, 1965); Robert V. Remini, The Life of Andrew Jackson (1988; reprint, New York: Penguin Books, 1990), 233-51.

41. Painesville Telegraph, 21 Dec. 1832.

42. The Pearl of Great Price, 35; Smith, History of the Church, 1;301-302.

43. Joseph Smith to N. C. Saxton, 4 Jan. 1833, in Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 273.

44. Ibid., 273-74. When Smith observed his letter had appeared in the newspaper in an abbreviated form, he wrote to Saxton a second time urging publication of his letter in its entirety. See Joseph Smith to N. C. Saxton, 12 Feb. 1833, in ibid., 275-76. The published portion of Smith’s letter appeared in the American Revivalist, and Rochester Observer, 2 Feb. 1833. See Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 188, 207n42. See also Smith, History of the Church, 1;312-16.

45. Evening and Morning Star l (Jan. 1833). See also Max H. Parkin, “Mormon Political Involvement in Ohio,” Brigham Young University Studies 9 (Summer 1969): 485-86.

46. Williams recorded the prophecy in a bound volume titled “Kirtland Revelations,” and Phelps’s copy is in Book “B” of the “Book of Commandments, Laws, and Covenants,” both of which are held in the archives of the historical department of the LDS church. See Earl E. Olson, “The Chronology of the Ohio Revelations,” Brigham Young University Studies 11 (Summer 1971): 333-35, 347.

47. The “prophecy on war” was first published unofficially in 1851 in England by the president of the Mormon English mission, Franklin D. Richards, as part of The Pearl of Great Price, but was not included in the Doctrine and Covenants until the 1876 edition. See Rodney Turner, “Franklin D. Richards and the Pearl of Great Price,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: British Isles, ed., Donald Q. Cannon (Provo, UT: Brigham Young University, 1990), 177-91. In 1860 Brigham Young explained that the deletion of this prophesy from the Doctrine and Covenants published in 1835 was intentional because, although true, it was “not wisdom to publish it to the world.” See Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:58, 29 May 1860. In the 1860s and 1870s apostles Orson Pratt and Wilford Woodruff claimed they promulgated this prophecy in the 1830s. See Pratt, ibid., 17:319, 28 Feb. 1875; Pratt, ibid., 13:135, 10 Apr. 1870; Pratt, ibid., 18: 224-25,26 Aug. 1876; Pratt, ibid., 18:340, 25 Feb. 1877; Woodruff, ibid_, 14:2, 1 Jan. 1871; Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 318, sec. 87 n3; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 189•90; Newell G. Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), 17, 28nn 15-17.

48. Smith, History of the Church, 1:301.

49. Howard, “Christmas Day 1832: Joseph Smith Responds to the Nullification Crisis,” 54; Anthony A. Hutchinson, “Prophetic Foreknowledge: Hope and Fulfillment in an Inspired Community,” Sunstone 11 (July 1987): 16-17. See also Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 208048.

50. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 340, 2 Apr. 1843; Joseph Smith Diary, by Willard Richards, in Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, comps. and eds., The Words of Joseph Smith: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph (1980 reprint; Orem, UT: Grandin Book Co” 1991), 172, 2 Apr. 1843, emphasis mine; George D. Smith, ed., An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1991), 97, 2 Apr. 1843. This prophecy is found in the Doctrine and Covenants (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981), 130:12-13. Section 130 was first published in the Deseret News, 9 July 1856. See Cook, The Revelations of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 291.

51. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 340, 2 Apr. 1843; Smith, An Intimate Chronicle, 97, 2 Apr. 1843. See also Hutchinson, “Prophetic Fore-knowledge: Hope and Fulfillment in an Inspired Community,” 17. Smith’s revised prophecy was first canonized in section 130 of the 1876 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants. The 1876 editor, Orson Pratt, included section 130 under the direction of Brigham Young. See Robert J. Woodford, “The Historical Development of the Doctrine and Covenants,” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1974, 70, 75-76, 1710.

52. Kenney, Wilford Woodruffs Journal, 2:4344, 12 Feb. 1841. See also Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 389-407; Smith, History of the Church, 6:116.

53. John Taylor, The Government of God (Liverpool, Eng.: S.W. Richards, n.d.). Examples include Elden J. Watson, ed., The Orson Pratt Journals (Salt Lake City: Elden Jay Watson, 1975), 22-24,31,40, 78; Jan Shipps and John W. Welch, eds., The Journals of William E. McLellin, 1831-1836 (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 1994), 62, 65, 80, 85, 143.

54. Orson Hyde, in James B. Allen, Trials of Discipleship: The Story of William Clayton, A Mormon (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1987), 6-7.

55. “Kirtland Council Minute Book,” 174, in Grant Underwood, “Millenarianism and the Early Mormon Mind,” Journal of Mormon History 9 (1982): 48. See also Times and Seasons 2 (July 1841): 461.

56. Messenger and Advocate 3 (Nov. 1836): 404.

57. Smith, “The Book of Mormon in a Biblical Culture,” 12; Barbara McFarlane Higdon, “The Role of Preaching in the Early Latter Day Saint Church, 1830-1846,” Ph.D. diss., University of Missouri, 1961.

58. Messenger and Advocate 1 (Jan 1835): 61.

59. W[alter]. H. G. Armytage, Heavens Below: Utopian Experiments in England, 1560-1960 (Toronto: Toronto University Press, 1961), 260.

60. M. Hanlin Cannon, “Migration of English Mormons to America,” American Historical Review 52 (Apr. 1947): 441; Armytage, Heavens Below, 268.

61. James B. Allen and Malcolm. R. Thorp, “The Mission of the Twelve to England, 1840-41: Mormon Apostles and the Working Classes,” Brigham Young University Studies, 15 (Summer 1975): 499-526; James B. Allen and Thomas G. Alexander, eds., Manchester Mormons: The Journal of William Clayton, 1840-1842 (Santa Barbara, CA: Peregrine Smith, 1974), 20-31; Marvin S. Hill, “The Rise of Mormonism in the Burned-over District: Another View,” New York History, Oct. 1980, 416-19.

62. Harrison, The Second Coming, 190-205, 217; Allen, Trials of Discipleship, 23-24.

63. Book of Commandments, 15; Underwood, “Millenarianism and the Early Mormon Mind,” 49-50; Letter from Warren Parrish in Smith, History of the Church, 2:447-48.

64. Smith, “The Book of Mormon in a Biblical Culture,” 7; Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth, 90; Armytage, Heavens Below, 268; James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, and David J. Whittaker, Men with a Mission: 1837-1841, The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1992), 86-88, 259; Malcolm R. Thorp, “The Religious Backgrounds of Mormon Converts in Britain, 1837-52,” Journal of Mormon History 4 (1977): 53. Although Thorp contends millennialism was not as important as “primitive simplicity,” he notes Parley Pratt’s highly millennial tract A Voice of Warning was “mentioned almost as often as the Book of Mormon in influencing conversion.” Ibid., 63. Kenneth Winn calls Pratt’s A Voice of Warning “the greatest proselyting tract in Mormon history.” See Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 49. Grant Underwood sees A Voice of Warning, the most reprinted work aside from the Book of Mormon, as the premiere eschatological work of early Mormon thought. See Underwood, “Early Mormon Perceptions of Contemporary America: 1830-1846,” Brigham Young University Studies 26 (Summer 1986): 28. See also Peter Crawley, “Parley P. Pratt: Father of Mormon Pamphleteering,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 15 (Autumn 1982): 13-26; David J. Whittaker, “Early Mormon Pamphleteering,” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1982.

65. Armytage, Heavens Below, 260.

66. Kenney, Wilford Woodruffs Journal, 1:411, 26 Jan. 1840.

67. Parley P. Pratt to Her Gracious Majesty, Queen Victoria (Manchester, Eng., 1841), 5, in Hansen, Quest for Empire, 4. Other examples are found in Stanley B. Kimball, ed., On the Potter’s Wheel: The Diaries of Heber C. Kimball (Salt Lake City: Signature Books in association with Smith Research Associates, 1987), 8, 22 July 1837; Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:411, 26 Jan. 1840; 1:502-504, 30 Aug. 1840; 1:540, 24 Oct. 1840.

68. Smith, An Intimate Chronicle, 43, 6 Apr. 1840.

69. John G. Gager, “Early Mormonism and Early Christianity: Some Parallels and Their Consequences for the Study of New Religions,” Journal of Mormon History 9 (1982): 56; Barkun, Crucible of the Millennium, 48, 89; Reinwand, “An Interpretive Study of Mormon Millennialism,” 32.

70. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 49-51; Donna Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1977), 121.

71. See also Evening and Morning Star, Aug. 1831.

72. Smith, History of the Church, 1:146-47: Book of Commandments, 89-96; Backman, The Heavens Resound, 15; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 79-89.

73. Leonard J. Arrington, Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L. May, Building the City of God: Community and Cooperation Among the Mormons (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), 2- 3.

74. O’Dea, The Mormons, 41-42.

75. Leonard J. Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom: An Economic History of the Latter-Day Saints, 1830•1900 (1958; reprint, University of Nebraska Press, 1966), 6.

76. Arrington, Fox, and May, Building the City of God, 2-3; Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom, 5. Later, in Utah, Brigham Young candidly declared, “We cannot talk about spiritual things without connecting with them temporal things, neither can we talk about temporal things without connecting spiritual things with them. They are inseparably connected…. We, as Latter-day Saints, really expect, look for and we will not be satisfied with anything short of being governed and controlled by the word of the Lord in all our acts, both spiritual and temporal. If we do not live for this, we do not live to be one with Christ.” See Young, Journal of Discourses, 10:329, 22-29 June 1864.

77. Arrington, Fox, and May, Building the City of God, 15-20; Leonard J. Arrington, “Early Mormon Communitarianism: The Law of Consecration and Stewardship,” Western Humanities Review 7 (Autumn 1953): 341-369; Lyndon W. Cook, Joseph Smith and the Law of Consecration (Provo, UT: Grandin Book Co., 1985).

78. Evening and Morning Star I (Sept. 1832): 2; Book of Commandments, 65.

79. Harrison, The Second Coming, 40, 183; O’Dea, The Mormons, 27; Harold Bloom, The American Religion: The Emergence of the Post-Christian Nation (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1992), 110.

80. Barkun, Crucible of the Millennium, 63-64. In order to clarify to non-Mormons who associated Smith’s new economic order with groups who abided by common stock tenets, W. W. Phelps and Joseph Smith both published articles attempting to differentiate Mormon communal principles from those of contemporary communitarian societies such as the Shakers, Harmonists, and Ephratists. See Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 129; Messenger and Advocate 2 (Dec. 1835): 230; Elders’ Journal July 1838): 43; Arrington, Fox, and May, Building the City of God, 25, 433n36. For a discussion of other contemporary utopian groups established in Missouri, see H. Roger Grant, “Missouri’s Utopian Communities,” Missouri Historical Review 56 (Oct. 1971): 20-48.

81. Arrington, Fox, and May, Building the City of God, 22.

82. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 79-80.

83. Sidney Rigdon, in Smith, History of the Church, 6:288-90. See also Nathan O. Hatch, The Democratization of American Christianity (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977), 187-89.

84. Smith, “The Book of Mormon in a Biblical Culture,” 17-19. See also Pratt, A Voice of Warning, 9-49, 106-108; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 1:203, 6 Apr. 1852; Marvin S. Hill contends the Saints understood they were to rule politically prior to the advent of the Millennium. See Hill, “The Shaping of the Mormon Mind in New England and New York,” Brigham Young University Studies 9 (Spring 1969): 369.

85. John Taylor, in Smith, History of the Church, 6:293.

86. Smith, History of the Church, 6:292.

87. Hill, Quest for Refuge, xvi-xviii; Hansen, Quest for Empire, 20-21; Quincy Whig; 17 Oct. 1840, in William Mulder and A. Russell Mortensen, eds., Among the Mormons: Historic Accounts by Contemporary Observers (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), 115.

88. Harrison, The Second Coming, 176-80.

89. Robert Kent Fielding, “The Growth of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio,” Ph.D., diss., Indiana University, 1957, 153-56; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 54-55.

90. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 56.

91. Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 2d ed. (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 41-43.

92. Elders’ Journal 1 July 1838): 42. See also Times and Seasons I (Nov. 1839): 10; 4 (Feb. 1843): 106; Grant Underwood “‘Saved or Damned’: Tracing a Persistent Protestantism in Early Mormon Thought,” Brigham Young University Studies 25 (Summer 1985): 85-103; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 42.

93. Lawrence Foster, “Cults in Conflict: New Religious Movements and the Mainstream Religious Tradition in America,” in Uncivil Religions: Interreligious Hostility in America, eds. Robert N. Bellah and Frederick E. Greenspahn (New York: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1987), 190. For boundary maintenance, see Kai Erickson, Wayward Puritans: A Study in Sociological Deviance (New York: John Wiley, 1966), 3-29.

94. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 64. For reaction to Mormon self-righteousness, see Hill, “The Shaping of the Mormon Mind in New England and New York,” 358, and Underwood, “‘Saved or Damned,’” 85-103.

95. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 126; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 72.

96. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 75.

97. See Messenger and Advocate, Mar. 1837; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 74-75.

98. Book of Commandments, 19.

99. Robert Flanders, “To Transform History: Early Mormon Culture and the Concept of Time and Space,” Church History 40 (Mar. 1971): 108-117; Gordon S. Wood, “Evangelical America and Early Mormonism,” New York History 61 (Oct. 1980): 386; Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 170.

100. Elders’ Journal 4 (Aug. 1838): 52.

101. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 182.

102. Hansen, Mormonism and the American Experience, 121-22; Gustav H. Blanke and Karen Lynn, “‘God’s Base of Operations’: Mormon Variations on the American Sense of Mission,” Brigham Young University Studies 20 (Fall 1979): 83-92.

103. Foster, “Cults in Conflict,” 193.

104. Smith, History of the Church, 1:315-16.

105. Ibid., 1:127, 315-16; 2:52.