“As a Thief in the Night”
by Dan Erickson

Chapter Five
The Gathering: Separatism Shapes a Society

[p.93]Armed with Christ’s restored gospel, as evidenced by modern scripture and a latter-day prophet, Joseph Smith’s followers began to prepare for the Millennium. Less than six months after the church was organized, Smith dictated a revelation to “bring to pass the gathering of mine elect,” providing both a means and a place of escape from the tribulation of the last days.1 To early Mormons this “gathering” was a prelude to the imminent end of the world when “the heaven and earth shall be consumed, and pass away, and there shall be a new heaven and a new earth.”2 The importance of early Mormon gathering as a millennial event cannot be over-emphasized. Joseph Smith declared,

Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations, and where is our religion? We have none; for Without Zion, and a place of deliverance, we must fall; because the time is near when the sun will be darkened, and the moon turn to blood, and the stars fall from [p.94]heaven, and the earth reel to and fro. Then, if this is the case, and if we are not sanctified and gathered to the places God has appointed … we must fall; we cannot stand; we cannot be saved; for God will gather out His Saints from the Gentiles; and then comes desolation and destruction, and none can escape except the pure in heart who are gathered.3

Grant Underwood contends that by concentrating the Saints together for mutual support in preparation for Christ’s return, the gathering became “the pivotal premillennial event in Mormon eschatology.”4

Within Mormon theology of the 1830s-40s, millennialism, separatism, the “New Jerusalem,” and the “gathering” were intertwined.5 The most important sign that the gathering of God’s elect had begun was the coming forth of the Book of Mormon (3 Ne. 21:1-7).6 Although Mormons viewed the new book of scripture as the authoritative voice among conflicting sects of the day, its main mission was to recover the lost remnant of the house of Israel. “The Book of Mormon,” it was told, “has made known who Israel is, upon this continent,” and even before the church’s move to Ohio missionaries were sent to Missouri to preach to the Indians, the presumed descendants of Book of Mormon authors.7

[p.95]But in the fall of 1830 this mission to the “Lamanites” took on a greater role. It became part of the larger plan to prepare a place for the temple of God. The Book of Mormon prophet, Ether, had foretold a New Jerusalem to be “built up upon this land,” implying a physical city to be constructed by the new Israel. The mission to the Indians was full of excitement, for the Saints were told the City of Zion “shall be on the borders of the Lamanites.”8 Oliver Cowdery was to locate the place where the holy city would be built, not just for the Indians, but for the whole world.9

Through the Book of Mormon the New World’s importance was brought forth. Modern revelation identified the location of Zion, and Mormons could now focus on gathering in America. They no longer had to wait for the Jews to repossess ancient Palestine.10 “The city of Zion spoken of by David, in the one hundred and second Psalm,” Smith declared, “will be built upon the land of America.”11 “Righteousness and truth will I cause to sweep the earth as with flood,” God revealed through Smith.12 He further promised “to gather out mine [God’s] elect from the four quarters of the earth, unto a place which I shall prepare, an Holy City, that my people may gird up their loins, and be looking forth for the [p.96]time of my coming; for there shall be my tabernacle, and it shall be called Zion, a New Jerusalem.”13

At the coming of Christ a remnant of the tribe of Joseph, the Indians, would be identified through revelation, learn of their covenanted history from the Book of Mormon, and convert to the restored gospel. And by joining the church, righteous gentiles would be adopted into the House of Israel and receive the blessings of the Abrahamic covenant.14 Mormons saw in Andrew Jackson’s Indian relocation policies God’s hand in gathering the Indians on the nation’s western border.15 The uniqueness of Mormonism’s two gatherings gave the American Indians a previously unprecedented role in the last days, for now part of the gathering of Israel would be that of Indians locating at the site of the New Jerusalem. If gentiles continued in unrighteousness, these latter-day Lamanites would rise from the dust and begin to destroy them “as a young lion among the flocks of sheep” (3 Ne. 20:16).16

Smith’s early revelations regarding the building of a [p.97]city as a prelude to Christ’s advent caused great anticipation and provided much of the incentive for his early followers to uproot their families in pursuit of the millennial dream.17 In the West God assured them a significant legacy awaited, “a land of promise; a land flowing with milk and honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh, and I will give it unto you for the land of your inheritance … And this shall be my covenant with you, ye shall have it for the land of your inheritance, and for the inheritance of your children forever.”18 As Smith later recorded, “the mission to Western Missouri and the gathering of the Saints to that place was the most important subject which then engrossed the attention of the church.”19

To Mormons the City of Zion held two purposes. First, it would be the converging point for the house of Israel in the last days. Second, it would be a refuge from the wicked and from the calamities associated with the coming destruction.

When the God of heaven sent a messenger to proclaim judgement on the old world, he provided an ark for the safety of the righteous: when Sodom was burned, there was Zoar provided for Lot and his family … in the last days, when the Lord brings judgement on the world, there will be a Mount Zion, and a Jerusalem, where there will be deliverance.20

But the revelations also left many unanswered questions. For example, where exactly were they to gather, and what requirements [p.98]would the Lord make prior to the Second Coming?21 For now God decreed through Joseph, “I have a great work laid up in store: For Israel shall be saved,” and the Saints were promised the day would come when the “veil of darkness shall soon be rent” and they would see the Lord’s face.22 In the meantime, through Smith as oracle, the church was commanded to establish a temporary location in Ohio for the righteous in preparation for the true gathering to take place in Zion. The new religion then initiated its first exodus to the Mormon promised land.

The church’s term in Ohio would last seven years. But with the New Jerusalem soon to be built on the borders of Indian country, Kirtland was always viewed as a temporary stop, the first step toward Zion. Though headquartered in the Western Reserve, the Saints’ thoughts continued to center on the New Jerusalem and the Millennium. Here God’s elect primed themselves to become a covenant people, looking for the day when the great temple would receive Christ.23

Four months after Smith relocated the church to Kirtland in May, 1831, missionary Parley Pratt returned from Jackson County, Missouri, with vivid accounts of the land near Indian territory. The following month a revelation commanded Smith and many of the church’s leading elders to journey to Missouri. Here they would unite with Oliver Cowdery who had remained in Independence anxiously awaiting their arrival, believing he had found many “earnestly searching for the truth.”24 That same month the Colesville Saints, having [p.99]relocated in Ohio from New York and living under the communal Law of Consecration, were ejected from their land by a disgruntled participant. Smith now announced they were also to make the 800 mile journey to Missouri.

In mid-July 1831 Smith and his party arrived at Independence where they were to be shown “the land of [their] inheritance.25 Smith proclaimed Missouri set apart by God for the gathering of his people, identified Independence as the center place, and urged them to buy all available property. He announced, “[T]his is the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion.”26 The Colesville group also arrived in July and the Saints proceeded at breakneck pace to build a community. The first cabin was begun in August, a temple site selected, the land dedicated for the gathering, a mercantile house, a printing office and the newspaper the Evening and Morning Star initiated, and a conference held.27 “The City of New Jerusalem,” pronounced Smith, “shall be built, beginning at the temple lot … [and] shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.”28 Thus the physical location for the Mormon kingdom was designated, providing a link between heaven and earth, and Mormons claimed territorial rights [p.100]for their promised “inheritance.” Soon a cultural consciousness emerged.29 With the church scarcely one year old, Mormons began to flock to Jackson County, their “New Jerusalem,” where they would escape the destruction of the last days.

Although initially disappointed with Independence’s frontier crudeness, and put off by the Missourians whom Smith called degraded and lean in intellect, Mormons envisioned 1831 western Missouri as their “promised land.”30 “It was to them like some limitless paradise, these immense alternating stretches of open, rolling prairie and densely wooded water courses, as compared with the closed-in heavily wooded hill country from which they had come.”31 While Smith had little knowledge of the western frontier, Missouri conformed with the belief that Indians would assist in building the “New Jerusalem.” Understanding “the Lord is making short [His] work,” Mormons believed mass Indian conversions would follow the church’s move, thereby aiding their growth.32 With the Book of Mormon prophesying of Indians returning to the true faith, events began leading to their logical millennial climax.33

After less than a month, on 8 August 1831 Smith announced a revelation commanding him to return to Ohio.34 By the time of his departure from Independence, a Mormon settlement was flourish-[p.101]ing, with more arriving daily. Once reunited with the Kirtland Saints, Smith had to subdue the enthusiastic desire to gather in Missouri and command, by revelation, key individuals to remain in Ohio.35 As Apostle Orson Pratt later commented, many Kirtland Saints believed “Christ would come immediately … [they] felt exceedingly anxious to have him come … and this anxiety overcame them.”36 The church was now gathering in two main settlements, Kirtland and Independence, separated by 800 miles of wilderess.37

In general the first Mormon settlers were ill prepared for life on the Missouri frontier, and soon Mormons and Missourians were on a collision course. When many dislocated Saints were sent to Independence, “Zion” became a sanctuary for the Mormon downtrodden and poor.38 Mormonism’s communal economic society, the Law of Consecration, was instituted to a greater extent in Jackson County than in Kirtland, further heightening Mormon/non-Mormon differences. A collective identity emerged among members, and Mormon separateness created antagonism and an opposing group mentality on the part of the old settlers as well. This sentiment was expressed by a local citizen who noted, “[T]he very materials of which the [Mormon] society is composed must at length produce an explosion.”39

[p.102]But it was the Saints’ self-righteousness and implied superiority that raised hatred among non-Mormons. Anti-Mormons understood Mormon either/or rhetoric and exclusiveness. Even before Joseph Smith’s first arrival, Jackson County had been identified as “the land of your [the Mormons’] enemies.”40 Mormon belief consigned all Missouri citizens, except the Saints, as unworthy to live in Jackson County. They defiantly believed the Lord would deliver the land of Zion into their hands and “consecrate the riches of the gentiles, unto my people.”41 Pre-Mormon Missouri settlements were merely in the way. It was but a matter of time until all Jackson County would belong to the Saints.42

The Book of Mormon had also foretold how the Indians would be a tool in God’s hand to destroy the gentiles who reject the restored gospel of the latter days (3 Ne. 21:12-13, 16:15, 20:16-17; see also Micah 5:8). Annihilation would be literal and total with all people and cities destroyed except those of the covenant. This pro-Indian rhetoric, the immediacy of the Mormon mission to the Indians, a perceived allegiance between the two, and the threat of a Mormon-led Indian uprising antagonized and frightened whites on the fringe of civilization’s western border.43

[p.103]Missouri citizens believed Mormons would provoke Indians to violence against the old settlers and use force if necessary to take their lands. They also feared incitement of a slave revolt. The Mormon migration to Missouri fell into the context of pre-existing suspicions between people from slave and free states which fed Mormon-gentile conflict.44

Missourians distrusted Mormons who, as Northerners, drew immediate suspicions from slave-holders regarding their attitude towards “free Negroes.”45 When in July 1833 Evening and Morning Star editor W. W. Phelps deliberated the merits of bringing to Missouri converts from “Free people of color,” he furnished Missourians with added grounds for denouncing the new religion.46 “As to slaves,” he wrote, “In connection with the wonderful events of this age, much is doing towards abolishing slavery.”47 Accompanied by continual migration, Mormon openness towards possible recruitment of Negroes solidified non-Mormon opposition.

Despite an attempt to clear up any misunderstanding, the damage had been done.48 Missouri citizens saw a Mormon alliance with either Indians or Negroes as a threat to their safety.49 And if these two did not happen, through immigration Mormons would shortly outnumber old settlers and exercise political control over Missouri lands.50 The 1830 census showed 2,823 citizens in Jackson County with surrounding counties populated less sparsely.51 With Mormon [p.105]population in Jackson County increasing from 300 in May 1832 to 1,200 in July 1833, the rapid growth of a solidified Mormon community reinforced Mormon confidence and exacerbated non-Mormon fears.52

“Zion” never became a land of peace. Established Missouri citizens opposed Mormon domination and began devising ways to rid themselves of the Mormon problem.53 It was a combination of these primary causes-religious differences, claim to the land of Zion, and Mormon sentiments towards Indians and Negroes—which led to non-Mormon animosity, enmity, and group consciousness.54

In July 1833 Jackson County citizens convened to address the “fanatics” of the “sect of pretended Christians,” resolving that Mormon immigration must cease and that all Mormon residents must pledge to leave the county with due haste. Demanding that the church’s newspaper and all Mormon-owned enterprises close down immediately, the old settlers committed themselves to shut down by force those who failed to comply.55 Soon the conflict erupted into armed violence.56 When Independence Mormons were overtaken by a mob, their press destroyed and type scattered, their leaders tarred [p.106]and feathered and threatened with death, the Saints fled Jackson County.57 Despite their hopes, the Saints were driven from their promised land and forced to gather in northwestern Missouri in Clay County.58

Now expelled from “Zion,” the Saints’ eschatology continued nonetheless to exhibit the importance of gathering to Missouri. They maintained that religious persecution was the cause of their problems and that soon Christ would aid in redeeming their “inheritance.”59 From Kirtland on 10 December 1833 Joseph Smith wrote to Missouri advising members they must suffer affliction to be worthy of the blessings to follow, that “it is better that you should die … than that you give up the Land of Zion.”60 Seeing their expulsion from Jackson County as the first step in the breakdown of American democracy, Smith a week later received a revelation that the church should remain steadfast and continue to reclaim their homes and property. First, the Saints should appeal to judges, then the governor, and, if necessary, the president of the United States. If no redress was obtained, God promised his “fury would vex the nation.”61

[p.107]In a final attempt to “redeem” Zion, on 24 February 1834 God commanded the Saints to raise 500 volunteers and restore their Jackson County inheritance “by power … and my presence shall be with you even in avenging me of mine enemies.”62 Three months later in May 1834 Smith initiated a quasi-military rescue attempt labeled “Zion’s Camp.” Summoning as many male members as possible, Parley Pratt described their purpose as “carrying some supplies to the afflicted and persecuted Saints in Missouri, and to reinforce and strengthen them; and, if possible, to influence the Governor of the State to callout sufficient additional force to cooperate in restoring to them their rights.”63 Zion’s Camp only reinforced the important role Jackson County played in Mormonism’s millennial hope.

From its inception this loosely disguised band provoked fear and outrage among non-Mormons who saw in its army-like character Mormon designs to return to Missouri “by force of arms.”64 From Liberty, Missouri, William W. Phelps reported gentile sentiments: “The crisis has come,” he wrote, and “all that will not take up arms with the mob and prepare to fight the ‘Mormons,’ have to leave Jackson county.”65 Convinced that a militia escort from Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin was forthcoming, the Saints were unaware of the intense violence which continued to erupt in Missouri. By the end of April Missourians had burned to the ground nearly all 170 buildings owned by Mormons.66 Dunklin sought to mediate a nego-[p.108]tiated settlement and avoid at all costs involving state troops in open warfare. No doubt Missouri officials understood that without a standing army Mormon repossession of Jackson County lands represented a temporary solution, and once the militia was withdrawn the area would again break into civil war. When the governor’s hoped-for militia reinforcements• never materialized, any realistic LDS prospect of marching into Independence disappeared.67

Traveling over 600 miles in thirty days, the “army of Israel”’s close quarters naturally led to interpersonal conflict and dissension that later reared its head in Kirtland.68 Yet the detachment continued marching through Missouri and on 19 June camped on a plain above the Little and Big Fishing rivers, ten miles northeast of Liberty, the Clay County seat. Missourians prepared to attack on the night of 19 June when a massive rainstorm thwarted their planned offensive. With the Missourians’ numerical superiority, the storm saved the Mormon expedition from destruction. When the rivers rose 30-40 feet, preventing either side from crossing, the Saints saw God’s hand shielding them, just as he had protected the Hebrews from Pharaoh’s armies.69 Smith began to see the futility of his designs and on 22 June read a revelation chastising expedition members for their lack of charity. Shifting the blame to the Saints themselves, Smith declared that Zion’s redemption must be delayed “for a little season.”70

While they camped on the banks of Fishing River in eastern [p.109]Missouri, cholera struck on 22 June and swept through the company with a fury.71 The disease became God’s instrument of judgement. When the cholera attacks ceased, some sixty-eight participants had been stricken, of whom thirteen had died, including the prophet’s cousin, Jessie J. Smith.72 The combination of the refusal of Governor Dunklin to send a militia contingency, the near-battle of 19 June, the Fishing River revelation, and the cholera epidemic all convinced Smith that the expedition’s aims were unattainable, and on 30 June he dismissed members to return home. Before returning to Ohio, Smith summoned the Clay County Saints and organized a high council, as he had in Kirtland, to administer church affairs in Missouri.73

In one sense the expedition has been viewed as successful since from the camp’s stalwarts Smith chose his “First Seventy Elders of Israel” and Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Members of the campaign who remained faithful were also among those who would lead thechurch to the Great Basin.74 But in reality the expedition’s futility [p.109]dampened Mormon hope in a millennial deliverance. Although Smith explained the cholera epidemic and Zion’s Camp’s debacle as God’s “scourge … in consequence of the[ir] fractious and unruly spirits,” from a practical viewpoint the disaster of Zion’s Camp, seen as failed prophesy, eroded Smith’s institutional strength. It led to internal discord and weakened an already diminished level of public sympathy for the Saints.75 Understood as a military invasion by an army of retribution, Zion’s Camp gave further support to Missourians’ claims that the Saints would use violence to overpower the gentiles.76

For some six years there remained two gathering places, Ohio and Missouri—albeit in Missouri the Saints were forced to gather outside Jackson County. Yet Mormon preoccupation with the location of the New Jerusalem refused to cease. Given its eschatological significance, the Zion Joseph Smith had prophesied maintained a special place in the Saints’ hearts. In August 1834 Smith instructed the church’s governing body in Missouri, Zion’s high council, to purchase land around Jackson County in anticipation of reoccupying the region. Smith even identified the date of repossession—11 September 1836.77

[p.111]But viewing Mormon gathering and kingdom building as a kind of imperialism, Clay County citizens by 1836 were demanding that Mormons leave their county as well.78 In mid-summer mass meetings were held in Liberty where old settlers protested Mormon immigration, pro-Indian and abolitionist sentiments, and cultural incompatibility. Admitting that their initial hospitality was based on the assumption that Clay County was to be a temporary asylum, and that a Mormon majority in their midst would not be tolerated, the permanent citizens now demanded an immediate Mormon exodus.79 With the Saints forced to flee Clay County, the Missouri legislature created a new county, Caldwell County, in Northwestern Missouri as a Mormon refuge. Here the Saints started over once more, in Far West, to build the city based on Smith’s map of Zion.80

With the failure of Zion’s Camp Smith returned to a hostile Kirtland, where his leadership was openly challenged.81 He placed himself on trial before the church’s Kirtland high council for alleged misconduct during the Zion’s Camp campaign.82 When the high council sustained him, Smith then moved to consolidate church leadership and, for stability purposes, change its nature from charis-[p.112]matic to structural.83 Although he had received a revelation in 1829 instructing him to choose twelve disciples (apostles), with dissension widespread now was the time to consolidate and streamline ecclesiastic power.84 Accordingly, to augment the existing Ohio and Missouri high councils, Smith ordained apostles and seventies to provide authoritative institutionalism with himself at the head.85 The apostles were then blessed in preparation for their millennial mission to gather in the elect of God, with many of the newly-ordained oracles promised that they would remain “in the flesh” to witness Christ usher in his millennial kingdom.86

One mission of the gathering was to have the faithful stand in holy places while awaiting the coming of the “Holy One of Israel.” That meant leaving Babylon and uniting with God’s people, building his kingdom.87 Considering the ongoing trouble from outsiders in Missouri and insiders in Kirtland, the Saints required a unifying purpose. At this point erecting a temple took on additional importance.88 Although moderate in proportion, the structure’s comple-[p.113]tion was the result of dedication, cooperation, and sacrifice in the face of the new movement’s already strained resources. But it helped resolve the church’s internal discord.89

At the temple’s March 1836 dedication, millennial anticipation and Zion’s “redemption” remained themes, and many members interpreted divine manifestations and rejuvenation as a sign that the spiritual endowment necessary to restore their Missouri inheritance had arrived.90 In dualist language Smith’s dedicatory prayer proclaimed if any people “shall smite this people, thou wilt smite them—thou wilt fight for thy people as thou didst in the day of battle, that they may be delivered from the hands of their enemies.”91 The following month a special committee was initiated to raise funds to purchase Missouri land.92

Subsequently, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery received visions from Christ and many biblical prophets in their new temple. Israel by blood and by adoption began to be called home. Moses’s appearance confirmed that the gathering of Israel had commenced. “The keys of this dispensation,” Smith was promised, “are committed into your hands; and by this ye may know that the great and dreadful day of the Lord is near, even at the doors.”93 Passing the torch from the ancient patriarchs to Joseph Smith was no longer figurative. As a modern Moses, Smith was to lead the people as a chosen nation, his kingdom-building endeavors to include [p.114]planning, colonizing, promoting, and financing, living in but not of the world, gathering the repentant to Zion’s bosom.94 The temple ceremony initiated in Kirtland further linked the Saints to the spirit world, supporting a continued millennial world view.95

The move to Ohio had been the first attempt to live as a distinct community separate from the world, and as missionaries were sent forth their message was to gather to Kirtland.96 Mormons saw material prosperity as a sign of God’s pleasure as the Book of Mormon had promised, and church members’ apparent economic success verified their hope of a “promised land” in the West.97 But with the influx of Mormons to a central location, Ohioans also began to fear Mormon numbers who, by 1835, controlled the Kirtland township, and again anti-Mormon activity began to threaten the Saints.

But the church in Ohio broke up more from internal than external conflicts.98 Kirtland saw the first schism in the young church between those who viewed Mormonism as part of American religious pluralism and others who envisioned the creation of a separate community both spiritually and temporally.99 With the religion’s growth, its influence over a convert’s life grew until all aspects fell [p.115]under the church’s domain. To some faithful members this posed no problem, but to traditional Americans the church’s usurpation of individual rights was unacceptable.100

Beginning with the conjecture by some that the failure of Zion’s Camp was the result of false prophecy, members increasingly questioned Smith’s leadership and prophetic ability. This quickly escalated into issues involving infringement of individual church members’ rights.101 Complicated by the intertwining of spiritual and temporal affairs, an environment of mistrust soon developed.102 The church’s ongoing financial difficulty was not resolved by the establishment in Kirtland of a general store, a sawmill, or tannery, all of which only floundered.103 Through land speculation the church’s debts were mounting and leaders decided to pool resources into a chartered bank which could issue paper money and ease their hardship. When the state legislature denied the bank a charter, Smith circumvented legal barriers by forming the “Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company.” He then began to issue notes, script in the form of “mutual stock association” bonds, in hopes that the notes would circulate as currency.104

No doubt the faithful believed a bank sponsored by the Lord’s mouthpiece must succeed and become, as Wilford Woodruff hoped, “the greatest of all institutions on EARTH.”105 Had not Joseph Smith been blessed by prophecy “that in a short time the Lord would arrange his providences in a merciful manner and send us assistance to deliver us from debt and bondage[?]”106 When an inflated Kirtland economy, based solely on paper money, began to spiral out of control, speculation, debt, and the bank’s failure devastated the city’s fortune. The Kirtland Safety Society’s collapse fed disillusionment with Smith’s leadership, and in the summer of 1837 Smith was arrested numerous times on debt default charges.107 Faced with massive rebellion and threat of further arrests, in January 1838 Smith and Sidney Rigdon fled their Ohio creditors for Far West, Missouri. The Kirtland temple, printing press, and other church property were left to the dissenters.108 [p.117]When hundreds of Saints followed, Kirtland, as a gathering place, was finished.109

But the same themes—isolationism and separatism—condemned the Saints in Far West.110 Through continued migration nearly 5,000 Mormons lived in Caldwell County, and from there the Missouri Saints had expanded into three other counties, Daviess, Carroll, and Ray, with a total Mormon population of nearly 15,000.111 Two thousand farms had sprung up over the four-county region and the Saints began to realize their societal hope.112 But as their phenomenal growth persisted, they soon threatened to dominate all western Missouri. When Smith relocated from Ohio, renewed anti-Mormonism arose.113

By 1838 Mormon defense mechanisms had been honed by harassment and flight. For nearly a decade a millennial vision had been central to Mormon theology, with the gathering out of Babylon a common theme. In the safety of their own society, they hoped to assemble the righteous and await the destruction of the wicked.114 [p.118]But previous persecution now moved the Saints to a militant defense against further abuse, and a willingness to resist force with force.115

Renewing a heritage of militancy that was initiated with Zion’s Camp, in June 1838 a clandestine vigilante band was formed, known as the Sons of Dan or “Danites.” Their purpose was to provide security from outside aggression and internal dissent, “to be the means, in the hands of God, of bringing forth the millennial kingdom.”116

Although they were gathering “for safety against the day of wrath which Is to be poured out without mixture upon this generation,” the Saints were no longer willing to wait for judgement on the wicked.117 As James Davidson points out, at times like those “the temptation [grows] to bring down judgement future and apply it to the present.”118 From this point on, any who discredited Smith’s leadership was harassed and either withdrew or was excommunicated from the church. This included a number of prominent church leaders such as John and David Whitmer, William McLellin, Martin Harris, Frederick G. Williams, Oliver Cowdery, Orson [p.119]Hyde, and William W. Phelps119 But purging dissenters only intensified the church’s separateness, moving its members farther away from the cultural mainstream.120

The Saints’ prosperity in northwestern Missouri had led to confidence and a sense of security. New opposition now fed their mindset, with Mormons believing they would soon be led to victory.121 When threatened again with mob violence, church orator Sidney Rigdon defiantly challenged the Missourians.122 With militant, millennial zeal, he declared:

We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day, that we warn all men in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. For from this hour, we will bear it no more, our rights shall no more be trampled on with impunity. The man or the set of men, who attempts it, does it at the expense of their lives. And that mob that comes on us to disturb us; it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of their blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us, for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses, and their own families, and one party or the other shall be utterly destroyed.123

Rigdon’s sentiments were not aberration, and the following month Smith declared publicly that “we are absolutely determined no longer [p.120]to bear [mobbings], come life or come death, for to be mobbed any more without taking vengeance, we will not.”124

Smith’s and Rigdon’s remarks enraged an already aroused Missourian contempt which soon erupted into open warfare.125 With the sanction of Governor Lilburn W. Boggs’s infamous October 1838 extermination order, a flurry of violence ravaged the countryside. When senior church leaders surrendered and were held under guard, rather than continue in armed resistance, the church agreed to leave the state.126 Summarizing the paradox of Mormon expulsion from Missouri, Grant Underwood concluded: “Never again in the nineteenth century would the Saints return en masse to their Missouri Zion, the site originally and ironically designated for their ‘defense and refuge.’”127

With hopes of grandeur, Mormons moved to Missouri believing they were to abide in harmony on the land of their inheritance. Although only a wilderness, Missouri would soon blossom to “become the joy of the world,” with the Saints to “assist in enlarging her borders; and stretching forth the curtains of her habitations.”128 “They are gathering from the North, and from the South, from the East, and from [the] West unto Zion,” Smith noted. These events [p.121]were but preparatory to the Second Coming.129 But their millennial dream turned into a nightmare. Four times in less than a decade they were driven from their sanctuaries. When the Saints were asked once again to sacrifice their homes, apocalyptic imagery provided strength and encouragement in the face of despair.130 Only within millenarian theology, where good will ultimately triumph over evil, could the Saints finally take refuge.

_________

Notes:

1. A Book of Commandments for the Government of the Church of Christ, Organized According to Law, on the 6th of Apri 4 1830 (Zion [Independence], MO: W.W. Phelps and Co., 1833), 61; Evening and Morning Star 1 (Sept. 1832); F. Mark McKiernan and Roger D. Launius, An Early Latter Day Saint History: The Book of John Whitmer, Kept by Commandment (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1980), 81-83.

2. Book of Commandments, 63.

3. Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 vols., 2nd ed. rev., introduction and notes by B. H. Roberts (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1974-76), 2:52.

4. Grant Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993), 29. Underwood argues that just as the Rapture provided late-nineteenth-century dispensationalists with an escape for the righteous, so “the Mormon doctrine of the ‘gathering’ served to provide a means of escape from much of the anticipated tribulation of the last days.”

5. Book of Commandments, 76-78, 80-82, 85-87, 90-92, 98-100, 104-11, 152-54.

6. Millennial Star 1 (Aug. 1840): 75; Times and Seasons 2 (Mar. 1841): 351.

7. Smith, History of the Church, 2:358; Ronald W. Walker, “Seeking the ‘Remnant’: The Native American During the Joseph Smith Period,” Journal of Mormon History 19 (Spring 1993): 1-9; Ronald E. Romig, “The Lamanite Mission,” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 14 (1994): 25-33; Parley P. Pratt, The Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt (1938; reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1979), 54-56; 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), 1:173-74.

8. See Ether 13:4•6, 13:8-10; Rev. 2:21; Book of Commandments, 67-68. See also Richard L. Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1984), 169.

9. Book of Commandments, 8-9,

10. Times and Seasons 3 (1 Mar. 1842): 710. See also Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism. 29-31.

11. Smith, History of the Church, 1:315; Dean C. Jessee, comp. and ed., The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1984), 273.

12. Smith, History of the Church, 1:138.

13. Ibid.

14. 3 Ne. 21:21-24; Doctrine and Covenants of the Church 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), 247-50; Edward Partridge to Dear Friends and Neighbors, 31 Aug. 1833, in Messenger and Advocate 1 (Jan. 1835): 56-61. See also Rex Eugene Cooper, Promises Made to the Fathers: Mormon Covenant Organizations (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990), 81.

15. 3 Ne. 21:22-24; Evening and Morning Star I (Jan. 1833); ibid. 1 (Sept. 1832); ibid. 1 (Dec. 1832); 54; Smith, History of the Church, 1:358-62; Parley P. Pratt, A Voice of Warning … (New York: W. Sanford, 1837), 185-91. Later disappointment with the Indian removal policy is found in Times and Seasons 6 (Mar. 1845): 829-30, which emphasized “God, not man” will bring to pass the restoration of the Lamanites’ inheritance. See also Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 66, 80-83; Grant Underwood, “Seminal Versus Sesquicentennial Saints: A Look at Mormon Millennialism,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14 (Spring 1981): 39.

16. See also Kenneth H. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty: Mormons in America, 1830-1846 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989), 37-38.

17. 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, 62; Steven L. Olsen, “Zion: The Structure of a Theological Revolution.” Sunstone 6 (Nov.-Dec. 1981): 22.

18. Book of Commandments, 82. No doubt Mormons understood the parallel between the new church and the pledge given to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon who also obtained in America “a land of promise, a land which is choice above all other lands … Yea, the Lord hath covenanted this land unto me, and to my children forever” (2 Ne. 1:5).

19. Smith, History of the Church, 1:182.

20. Evening and Morning Star 2 (Jan. 1834): 126.

21. Smith, History of the Church, 2:52-53. See also Bushman, Joseph Smith and the Beginnings of Mormonism, 170-71.

22. Book of Commandments, 83, 81.

23. 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), 43; William Mulder, “Mormonism’s ‘Gathering’: An American Doctrine with a Difference,” Church History 23 (Sept. 1954): 254; James B. Allen and Glen M. Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1976), 93.

24. Oliver Cowdery to Our Dear Beloved Brethren, 7 May 1831, in Romig, “The Lamanite Mission,” 31; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 77-78; Phillip R. Legg, Oliver Cowdery: The Elusive Second Elder of the Restoration (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1989), 59-60; Donna Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1977), 134.

25. Book of Commandments, 127.

26. Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., 154; Smith, History of the Church, 1:189-90.

27. McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 79-80; Mulder, “Mormonism’s ‘Gathering,’“ 255.

28. Smith, History of the Church, 1:288; Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., 89. In June 1833 Smith would outline and forward to Missouri specific plans for the building of the city and temple. See Smith, History of the Church, 1:357-62; Richard H. Jackson, “The Mormon Village: Genesis and Antecedents of the City of Zion Plan,” Brigham Young University Studies 17 (Winter 1977): 223-40.

29. Olsen, “Zion: The Structure of a Theological Revolution,” 23; Richard T. Hughes and C. Leonard Allen, Illusions of Innocence: Protestant Primitivism in America, 1630-1875 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 147.

30. Smith, History of the Church, 1:189.

31. Roberts, A Comprehensive History of the Church, 1:260; Smith, History of the Church, 1:197-98.

32. “The Gathering,” The Evening and Morning Star 1 (Nov. 1832): 45-46; Robert Kent Fielding, “The Growth of the Mormon Church in Kirtland, Ohio,” Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1957, 48-55.

33. Fawn M. Brodie, No Man Knows My History: The Life of Joseph Smith, The Mormon Prophet 2d enl. rev. ed. (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985), 121; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 86-87.

34. Book of Commandments, 142; Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 137.

35. Book of Commandments, 159; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 31-32.

36. Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. (Liverpool, Eng.: F.D. Richards, 1855-86), 3:17, 20 May 1855. See also Charles C. Rich, ibid., 19:161, 11 Nov. 1877; George A. Smith, ibid., 9:346, 11 May 1862.

37. Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 137.

38. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 89. See Smith, History of the Church, 1:381-82.

39. B. Pixley to the Christian Watchman, 12 Oct. 1832, in William Mulder and A. Russell Mortensen, eds., Among the Mormons: Historic Accounts by Contemporary Observers (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1967), 75; Val Dan MacMurray and Perry H. Cunningham. “Mormons and Gentiles: A Study in Conflict and Persistence,” in Ethnic Conflicts and Power: A Cross National Perspective, eds. Donald E. Gelfand and Russell D. Lee (New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1973), 208-209; J. F. C. Harrison, The Second Coming: Popular Millenarianism, 1780-1850 (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1979), 180; 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). 16-17; Romig, “The Lamanite Mission,” 30; Thomas F. O’Dea, The Mormons (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1957), 43.

40. Book of Commandments, 127; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 43.

41. Book of Commandments, 93. See also Messenger and Advocate 1 (Jan. 1835): 58; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 46.

42. Robert Flanders, “To Transform History: Early Mormon Culture and the Concept of Time and Space,” Church History 40 (Mar. 1971): 114; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 88-90.

43. Frederick G. Williams to the Missouri Saints, 10 Oct. 1833, in Smith, History of the Church, 1:419; Joseph Smith to William W. Phelps, 31 July 1832, in Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 247; Walker, “Seeking the ‘Remnant’: The Native American During the Joseph Smith Period,” 14; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 80-81; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 37-38; O’Dea, The Mormons, 22. 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), 145-46, 197, where he talks of Mormon-Indian conspiracy against the U.S. This conspiracy logic was also expressed by American Indian agents. See John King to John Chambers, 14 July 1843, in Ronald W. Walker, “Seeking the ‘Remnant’: The Native American During the Joseph Smith Period,” 27. See Millennial Star 2 July 1841): 43 and Messenger and Advocate 2 (Aug. 1836): 357, where the Saints try to deflect any thought of a Mormon-Indian joint venture in Missouri.

44. Editor W. W. Phelps commented that the Missourians “hate Yankees worse than snakes.” Phelps to Canadaigua (New York) Ontario Phoenix, 23 July 1831, in Richard Lloyd Anderson, “Jackson County in Early Mormon Descriptions,” Missouri Historical Review 65 (Apr. 1971): 276. Richard S. Van Wagoner contends the slave issue has been overplayed. See Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon: A Portrait of Religious Excess (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994), 145.

45. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 88-91.

46. “Free People of Color,” Evening and Morning Star 2 July 1833): 109. See also Loy Otis Banks, “The Evening and Morning Star,” Missouri Historical Review 43 (July 1949): 326.

47. Evening and Morning Star 2 July 1833): 111. Joseph Smith’s 1832 prophecy on war had suggested a slave uprising would accompany the apocalyptic events of the Second Coming by prophesying, “And it shall come to pass, after many days, slaves shall rise up against their masters, who shall be marshalled for war,” See previous chapter; also Newell G. Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1981), 17.

48. On 16 July 1833 a follow-up Star Extra handbill was issued, adamantly stating “that our intention was not only to stop free people of color from emigrating to this state, but to prevent them from being admitted as members. See Star Extra, reprinted in Times and Seasons 6 (Mar. 1845): 818, and Smith, History of the Church, 1:378-79. In a specific reference to the Evening and Morning Star, both John Whitmer and Parley Pratt quoted a declaration written by Jackson County citizens that condemned the Mormons for publishing “an article inviting free negroes and mulattoes from other States, to become Mormons, and remove and settle among us.” See McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 90; Parley P. Pratt, History of the Late Persecution Inflicted By the State of Missouri Upon the Mormons (Detroit: Dawson and Bates, Printers, 1839), reprinted in Clark V. Johnson, ed., Mormon Redress Petitions: Documents of the 1833-1838 Missouri Conflict (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992), 62. A copy of the declaration is given in the Evening and Morning Star 2 (Dec. 1833): 114. See also Banks, “The Evening and Morning Star,” 327; Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 17-18; Lester E. Bush, Jr., “Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine: An Overview,” in Neither White nor Black, eds. Lester E. Bush, Jr., and Armand L. Mauss (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1984), 54-55.

49. Smith, History of the Church, 1:431.

50. Evening and Morning Star 2 (Dec. 1833): 114; Richard L. Bushman, “Mormon Persecutions in Missouri, 1833,” Brigham Young University Studies 3 (Autumn 1960): 11-20; Warren A. Jennings, “Factors in the Destruction of the Mormon Press in Missouri, 1833,” Utah Historical Quarterly 35 (Winter 1967): 57-76; Warren A. Jennings, “Isaac McCoy and the Mormons,” Missouri Historical Review 61 (Oct. 1966): 64-66.

51. Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 135.

52. D. Brent Collette, “In Search of Zion: A Description of Early Mormon Millennial Utopianism as Revealed Through the Life of Edward Partridge,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1977, 3, 64; Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 28n18. Total Jackson County population in 1832 was only 5,071. See also “The Gathering,” Evening and Morning Star 1 (Nov. 1832).

53. John Whitmer reports Missouri citizens met as early as March 1832, less than a year after the Saints’ arrival, to discuss ways to rid Jackson County of Mormons. See McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 86.

54. Ephraim Edward Ericksen, The Psychological and Ethical Aspects of Mormon Group Life (1922; reprint, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1975), 19; Warren A. Jennings, “The City in the Garden: Social Conflict in Jackson County, Missouri,” in The Restoration Movement: Essays in Mormon History, rev. ed., eds. F. Mark McKiernan, Alma R. Blair, and Paul M. Edwards (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1992), 103-104.

55. Western Monitor, 2 Aug. 1833, in Smith, History of the Church, 1:395-99; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 89-90.

56. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 85-93.

57. Jennings, “Factors in the Destruction of the Mormon Press in Missouri, 1833,” 69-73.

58. McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 91-96; Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 33; Allen and Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, 81-90. Unaware of the extent of the violence, Smith was planning for the New Jerusalem and on 25 June 1833 sent to the Saints in Missouri a proposed City of Zion plot map. See Jackson, “The Mormon Village,” 223-40.

59. See Brigham Young’s interview with Horace Greely in 1859 where Young could only explain hatred of the Mormons as that “afforded by the crucifiction of Christ and the kindred treatment of God’s ministers, prophets and saints of all ages.” New York Daily Tribune, 20 Aug. 1859, in R. Laurence Moore, Religious Outsiders and the Making of Americans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986), 214n18.

60. Joseph Smith to E. Partridge et a., 10 Dec. 1833, in Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 310.

61. Smith, History of the Church, 1:463; Doctrine and Covenants, 1835 ed., 239. A copy of this revelation was sent to the governor of Missouri and President Andrew Jackson. See Millennial Star 3 July 1840): 65.

62. Smith, History of the Church, 2:37-38. See also Ronald W. Walker, “Sheaves Bucklers and the State: Mormon Leaders Respond to the Dilemmas of War,” Sunstone 7 July-Aug. 1982): 44.

63. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley P. Pratt, 114.

64. Columbia Missouri Intelligencer, 7 June 1834, in Peter Crawley and Richard L. Anderson, “The Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” Brigham Young University Studies 14 (Summer 1974): 413: Painesville Telegraph, 9 May 1834: Roger D. Launius, Zion’s Camp: Expedition to Missouri, 1834 (Independence, MO: Herald Publishing House, 1984), 49-50,62-65; Ronald W. Walker, “Sheaves Bucklers and the State,” 44.

65. W. W. Phelps to editors, I May 1834, Evening and Morning Star 2 (May 1834): 160; Smith, History of the Church, 2:61-62.

66. McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 106-11; Smith, History of the Church, 2:88-89; Crawley and Anderson, “The Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” 413: Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 177-78.

67. Launius, Zion’s Camp, 108-15; Crawley and Anderson, “The Political and Social Realities of Zion’s Camp,” 416-18.

68. Times and Seasons 6 (4 Feb. 1845): 788-89; 6 (1 Jan. 1846): 1076; John Henry Evans, Joseph Smith: An American Prophet (1933; reprint, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1989), 117-18; Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 173-74,180-84; Backman, The Heavens Resound, 187-89.

69. Times and Seasons 6 (15 Feb. 1845): 803; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 114-15; Pratt, Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, 116; Smith, History of the Church, 2:105.

70. Smith, History of the Church, 2:108-109; The Reed Peck Manuscript (Salt Lake City: Utah Lighthouse Ministry, n.d.), 3.

71. Robert T. Divett, “His Chastening Rod: Cholera Epidemics and the Mormons,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 12 (Fall 1979): 10-11; Warren A. Jennings, “The Army of Israel Marches into Missouri,” Missouri Historical Review 62 (Jan. 1968): 133.

72. Divett, “His Chastening Rod,” 12.

73. Donald Q. Cannon and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., Far West Record: Minutes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1830-1844 (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1983),70, 3 July 1834; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 118; Scott G. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal 1833-1898, 9 vols. (Midvale, UT: Signature Books, 1983-85), 1:13, 3July 1834; Launius, Zion’s Camp, 14445.

74. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:118, 3 Jan. 1837; Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 13:158, 12 Dec. 1869; Brigham Young, ibid. 10:20, 6 Oct. 1862; Smith, History of the Church, 2:xxii-xxiv, 2:182, 201-202; Launius, Zion’s Camp, 166-67; Gregory A. Prince, Power From On High: The Development of Mormon Priesthood (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1995), 25, 75-76; Dan Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1988), 202; D. Michael Quinn, “The Mormon Succession Crisis of 1844,” Brigham Young University Studies 16 (Winter 1976): 187-223; Backman, The Heavens Resound, 199-200.

75. Smith, History of the Church, 2:80; Times and Seasons 6 (1 Feb. 1845): 788; Painesville Telegraph, 15 Feb. 1838; Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:12, 26 Apr.-3 July 1834; Pratt, Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, 116. E. D. Howe compared Zion’s Camp to Cervantes’ Knight of La Mancha. See Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 163. See also Marvin S. Hill, “Cultural Crisis in the Mormon Kingdom: A Reconsideration of the Causes of Kirtland Dissent,” Church History 49 (Sept. 1980): 287-89.

76. Evening and Morning Star 2 (July 1834): 176. After destruction of the printing press in Independence, a new press was purchased and the Evening and Morning Star was published in Kirtland, Ohio.

77. Joseph Smith to Edward Partridge et. al., 16 Aug. 1834, in Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 330; Smith, History of the Church, 2:145; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 102; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 200. Continued reliance on the designated date of Zion’s repossession is seen in Scott H. Faulring, 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), 42-43, 29 Oct. 1835. Wilford Woodruff was promised in his ordination as a “Seventy” that he would “stand upon Mount Zion in the flesh in Jackson County Missouri at the Cumming of Christ.” See Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1: 119, 3 Jan. 1837.

78. Messenger and Advocate 2 (Aug. 1836): 353-64; Smith, History of the Church, 2:448-62. See also Flanders, “To Transform History,” 115; Bringhurst, Saints, Slaves, and Blacks, 22.

79. Richard Lloyd Anderson, “Atchison’s Letters and the Causes of Mormon Expulsion from Missouri,” Brigham Young University Studies 26 (Summer 1986): 11; Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 206.

80. Allen and Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, 104-107; O’Dea, The Mormons, 45.

81. Backman, The Heavens Resound, 197; Hill, “Cultural Crisis in the Mormon Kingdom,” 288-89.

82. Howe, Mormonism Unvailed, 163; Smith, History of the Church, 2:142-44. An account of the trial is given in ibid., 250-60.

83. John G. Gager, Kingdom and Community: The Social World of Early Christianity (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1975), 67; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 202.

84. Book of Commandments, 37-38; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 140.

85. Smith, History of the Church, 2: 180-204. Individuals called as “seventies” were to become traveling missionaries under the direction of the twelve apostles. See ibid., 2:201-202; D. Michael Quinn, “The Evolution of the Presiding Quorums of the LDS Church,” Journal of Mormon History 1 (1974): 31-32; Prince, Power From On High, 22-27, 75-78.

86. The selection and blessing of the twelve apostles is found in Smith, History of the Church, 2: 180-200. The official account omits the millennial promises which can be found in “History of Joseph Smith,” Millennial Star 15 (26 Mar. 1853): 206-208, and ibid., 15 (2 Apr. 1853): 209-13. See also Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge: The Mormon Flight from American Pluralism (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989),47; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 203, 212n119.

87. Mulder, “Mormonism’s ‘Gathering,’”250.

88. Danny L. Jorgensen, “Dissent and Schism in the Early Church: Explaining Mormon Fissiparousness,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 28 (Fall 1995): 28.

89. Smith, History of the Church, 2:167; George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, 11:11, 15 Nov. 1864; Allen and Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, 98-99; Hill, Quest for Refuge, 51.

90. Messenger and Advocate 2 (Mar. 1836): 273-88; Smith, History of the Church, 2:112-13, 2:431-34; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 128-29; Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1981), 109:47, 51-52,58; 105:9-13; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 200.

91. Messenger and Advocate 2 (Mar. 1836): 278.

92. Smith, History of the Church, 2:434; Vogel, Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism, 201.

93. Smith, History of the Church, 2:435-36.

94. Flanders, “To Transform History,” 113.

95. Lauritz G. Peterson, “The Kirtland Temple,” Brigham Young University Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 403-404; Thomas G. Alexander, “Between Revivalism and the Social Gospel: The Latter-day Saint Social Advisory Committee, 1916-1922,” Brigham Young University Studies 23 (Winter 1983): 23.

96. Backman, The Heavens Resound, 132-33.

97. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:122, 17 Jan. 1837. R. Kent Fielding contends Mormon economic success at Kirtland was an illusion with the gathering of Saints to Ohio generating economic activity which “merely created a city without providing a[n economic] reason for its existence.” See Fielding, “The Mormon Economy in Kirtland, Ohio,” Utah Historical Quarterly 27 (Oct. 1959): 343.

98. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 63-71.

99. Klaus J. Hansen, Mormonism and the American Experience (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981), 123-36.

100. Marvin S. Hill, Quest for Refuge, 60-63.

101. Messenger and Advocate 3 July 1837): 535-41; Elders’ Journal (July 1838): 33-83; Smith, History of the Church, 3:1; Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 107; Gordon D. Pollock, In Search of Security: The Mormons and the Kingdom Of God on Earth, 1830-1844 (New York: Garland Publishing, 1989), 34-35.

102. Smith, History of the Church, 2:487-88. See also Hill, “Cultural Crisis in the Mormon Kingdom,” 291-94.

103. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 19-20; Messenger and Advocate 2 (Sept. 1836): 379; Smith, History of the Church, 2:54.

104. Messenger and Advocate 3 (Mar. 1837): 475-77; Smith, History of the Church, 2:467-73; Dean A. Dudley, “Bank Born of Revelation: The Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company.” Journal of Economic History 30 (Dec. 1970): 848-53; Scott H. Partridge, “The Failure of the Kirtland Safety Society.” Brigham Young University Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 437-54; Fielding, “The Mormon Economy in Kirtland, Ohio,” 831-56; D. Paul Sampson and Larry T. Wimmer, “The Kirtland Safety Society: The Stock Ledger Book and the Bank Failure,” Brigham Young University Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 427-36; Marvin S. Hill, C. Keith Rooker, and Larry T. Wimmer, “The Kirtland Economy Revisited: A Market Critique of Sectarian Economics,” Brigham Young University Studies 17 (Summer 1977): 391-475; Dale W. Adams, “Chartering the Kirtland Bank,” Brigham Young University Studies 23 (Fall 1983): 467-82; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 182-87.

105. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:120, 6 Jan. 1837. See also ibid., 1:134, 6 Apr. 1837; Messenger and Advocate 3 (Jan. 1837): 443; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 184.

106. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 30-31, 30 Nov. 1834. See also Jessee, The Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 137, 30 Nov. 1834; Hill, “Cultural Crisis in the Mormon Kingdom: A Reconsideration of the Causes of Kirtland Dissent,” 289-90.

107. See Hill, Wimmer, and Rooker, “The Kirtland Economy Revisited,” 420-23, which lists seventeen separate instances where Smith is listed as defendant. See also Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:147, 28 May 1837; ibid., 1:124-25, 19 Feb. 1837; Smith, History of the Church, 2:487-93; Hill, Joseph Smith: The First Mormon, 213. Brigham Young would subsequently place the blame for the financial disaster on Sidney Rigdon. See Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 182-83. Years later church leaders maintained it was unscrupulous apostates’ actions which led to the bank’s failure. See George A. Smith, Journal of Discourses, 11:11, 15 Nov. 1864.

108. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 192-93; Smith, History of the Church, 3:1-2; Karl Keller, ed, “‘I Never Knew a Time When I Did Not Know Joseph Smith’: A Son’s Record of the Life and Testimony of Sidney Rigdon,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 1 (Winter 1966): 28-30; Eliza R. Snow Smith, Biography and Family Record of Lorenzo Snow (Salt Lake City: Deseret News Co., 1884), 20-24; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 159; The Reed Peck Manuscript, 5; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 203-204; Max H. Parkin, “Kirtland, a Stronghold for the Kingdom,” The Restoration Movement, 88.

109. Davis Bitton, “The Waning of Mormon Kirtland,” Brigham Young University Studies 12 (Summer 1972): 455-64.

110. See the continued command to gather with the Saints at Far West as “peace shall soon be taken from the earth,” in Elders’ Journal 1 (Nov. 1837): 28.

111. Wayne J. Lewis, “Mormon Land Ownership as a Factor in Evaluating the Extent of Mormon Settlements and Influence in Missouri, 1831-1841,” M.A. thesis, Brigham Young University, 1981, 72-74.

112. Allen and Leonard, The Story of the Latter-day Saints, 107.

113. Stephen C. LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1987), 28, 246.

114. Dean C. Jessee and David J. Whittaker, “The Last Months of Mormonism in Missouri: The Albert Perry Rockwood Journal,” Brigham Young University Studies 28 (Winter 1988): 5-41.

115. Smith, History of the Church, 2:432.

116. Sampson Avard, in Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 251; Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 198, 22 July 1838; McKiernan and Launius, The Book of John Whitmer, 163-66; David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ (Richmond, MO: n.p., 1887), 27-28; Stephen C. LeSueur, “The Danites Reconsidered: Were They Vigilantes or Just the Mormon Version of the Elks Club?” John Whitmer Historical Association Journal 14 (1994): 35-51; Leland H. Gentry, “The Danite Band of 1838,” Brigham Young University Studies 14 (Summer 1974): 421•50; LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 43-47; Hansen, Quest for Empire, 49; Launius, Zion’s Camp, 171; D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1994), 93-99.

117. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 193. See ibid., 210, 1 Sept. 1838, where Smith asserts the purpose of the gathering is so that “the brethren may be together in the hour of the coming of the Son of Man.”

118. James West Davidson, The Logic of Millennial Thought: Eighteenth-Century New England (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1977), 294; Grant Underwood, “Millenarianism and the Early Mormon Mind,” Journal of Mormon History 9 (1982): 48.

119. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 187; Kenney, Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 1:339-40, 25-26 June 1839; Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Causes of Mormon Non-Mormon Conflict in Hancock County, Illinois, 1839-1846,” Ph.D. diss., Brigham Young University, 1967, 11: Backman, The Heavens Resound, 328; Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 187, 214-15: Hill, Quest for Refuge, 63, 74-76, 96.

120. Winn, Exiles in a Land of Liberty, 128.

121. See David Patten’s remarks in Elders’ Journal (May 1838): 42; Hill, Quest for Refuge, 77-79.

122. Van Wagoner, Sidney Rigdon, 220-22.

123. Peter Crawley, “Two Rare Missouri Documents,” <em>Brigham Young University Studies</em> 14 (Summer 1974): 527; Pratt, <em>Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt</em>, 173. Publication of Rigdon’s address by a Liberty, Missouri, newspaper is documented in Faulring, <em>An American Prophet’s Record</em>, 199, 1-3 Aug. 1838.</p> <p>124.<a name=”> Elders’ Journal 1 (Aug. 1838): 54. See also Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 210-11, 1 Sept. 1838; F. Mark McKiernan, “Mormonism on the Defensive: Far West, 1838-1839,” in The Restoration Movement, 120.

124. Elder’s Journal 1 Aug (1838): 54. See also Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 210-11, 1 Sept. 1838; F. Mark McKiernan, “Mormonism on the Defensive: Far West, 1838-1839,” in The Restoration Movement, 120.

125. In later years, when trying to discredit Rigdon, church leaders admitted Rigdon’s public remarks at Far West outraged the Missourians. See Times and Seasons 5 (1 Oct. 1844): 667; 5 (15 Sept. 1844): 651; 5 (1 Nov. 1844): 698. See also Gentry, “The Danite Band of 1838,” 423-24; Stephen C. LeSueur, “‘High Treason and Murder’: The Examination of Mormon Prisoners at Richmond Missouri. in November 1838.” Brigham Young University Studies 26 (Spring 1986): 2-30; Walker, “Sheaves, Bucklers and the State,” 44; Hill, Quest for Refuge, 79.

126. Pratt, Autobiography of Parley Parker Pratt, 186; Smith, History of the Church, 4:34, 3:202; The Reed Peck Manuscript, 27; LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, 131.

127. Underwood, The Millenarian World of Early Mormonism, 34.

128. “The Gathering,” The Evening and Morning Star 1 (Nov. 1832).

129. Faulring, An American Prophet’s Record, 193.

130. Stephen J. Stein, “Signs of the Times: The Theological Foundations of Early Mormon Apocalyptic,” Sunstone 8 Jan.-Apr. 1983): 65.