There was once a shepherd-boy who kept his flock at a little distance from the village. Once he thought he would play a trick on the villagers and have some fun at their expense. So he ran toward the village crying out, with all his might,-- ... Read more of THE BOY WHO CRIED "WOLF!" at Children Stories.caInformational Site Network Informational
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    Mormonism.ca - Story Of

IN MISSOURI

A State Of Civil War
After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Beginning Of Active Hostilities
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Even More On The History Of Mormonism
Even More On The Religious Puzzle
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Fruitless Negotiations With The Jackson County People
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
History Of Mormonism
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
In Clay Caldwell And Daviess Counties
Introductory Remarks
Last Days At Kirtland
More On Mormonism Social Puzzle
More On The History Of Mormonism
More On The Religious Puzzle
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Mormonism The Political Puzzle
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Notes On The History Of Mormonism
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Radical Dissensions In The Church - Origin Of The Danites - Tithing
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion From Jackson County The Army Of Zion
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Political Puzzle
The Political Puzzle Continued
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Religious Puzzle
The Religious Puzzle Notes
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Social And Society Puzzle
The Social Puzzle
The Social Puzzle Notes
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts


The Story Of The Mormons

After Smith's Death - Rigdon's Last Days
After The War
Attitude Of The Mormons During The Southern Rebellion
Blood Atonement
Brigham Young
Brigham Young's Death - His Character
Brigham Young's Despotism
Colonel Kane's Mission
Early Political History
Eastern Visitors To Salt Lake City - Unpunished Murderers
Facility Of Human Belief
First Announcement Of The Golden Bible
From The Mississippi To The Missouri
From The Rockies To Salt Lake Valley
Gentile Irruption And Mormon Schism
Gifts Of Tongues And Miracles
Growth Of The Church
How Joseph Smith Became A Money-digger
Mormon Treatment Of Federal Officers
Nauvoo After The Exodus
Organization Of The Church
Preparations For The Long March
Progress Of The Settlement
Public Announcement Of The Doctrine Of Polygamy
Renewed Trouble For The Mormons - The Burnings
Rivalries Over The Succession
Sidney Rigdon
Smith A Candidate For President Of The United States
Smith's Falling Out With Bennett And Higbee
Smith's Ohio Business Enterprises
Smith's Picture Of Himself As Autocrat
Social Aspects Of Polygamy
Social Conditions In Nauvoo
Some Church-inspired Murders
The Building Up Of The City - Foreign Proselyting
The Camps On The Missouri
The Different Accounts Of The Revelation Of The Bible
The Evacuation Of Nauvoo - The Last Mormon War
The Everlasting Gospel
The Expulsion Of The Mormons
The Fight Against Polygamy - Statehood
The Final Expulsion From The State
The First Converts At Kirtland
The Following Companies - Last Days On The Missouri
The Foreign Immigration To Utah
The Founding Of Salt Lake City
The Hand-cart Tragedy
The Institution Of Polygamy
The Last Years Of Brigham Young
The Mormon Battalion
The Mormon Bible
The Mormon Purpose
The Mormon War
The Mormonism Of To-day
The Mormons In Politics - Missouri Requisitions For Smith
The Mormons' Beliefs And Doctrines Church Government
The Mountain Meadows Massacre
The Murder Of The Prophet - His Character
The Nauvoo City Government - Temple And Other Buildings
The Peace Commission
The Pioneer Trip Across The Plains
The Reception Of The Mormons
The Reformation
The Settlement Of Nauvoo
The Smith Family
The Spaulding Manuscript
The Suppression Of The Expositor
The Territorial Government - Judge Brocchus's Experience
The Witnesses To The Plates
Translation And Publication Of The Bible
Uprising Of The Non-mormons Smith's Arrest
Wild Vagaries Of The Converts



The Directions To The Saints About Their Zion








The state of Missouri, to which the story of the Mormons is now
transferred, was, at the time of its admission to the Union, in
1821, called "a promontory of civilization into an ocean of
savagery." Wild Indian tribes occupied the practically unexplored
region beyond its western boundary, and its own western counties
were thinly settled. Jackson County, which in 1900 had 195,193
inhabitants, had a population of 2823 by the census of 1830, and
neighboring counties not so many. It was not until 1830 that the
first cabin of a white man was built in Daviess County. All this
territory had been released from Indian ownership by treaty only
a few years when the first Mormons arrived there.

The white settler's house was a log hut, generally with a dirt
floor, a mudplastered chimney, and a window without glass, a
board or quilt serving to close it in time of storm or severe
cold. A fireplace, with a skillet and kettle, supplied the place
of a well-equipped stove. Corn was the principal grain food, and
wild game supplied most of the meat. The wild animals furnished
clothing as well as food; for the pioneers could not afford to
pay from 15 to 25 cents a yard for calico, and from 25 to 75
cents for gingham.* Some persons indulged in homespun cloth for
Sunday and festal occasions, but the common outside garments were
made of dressed deerskins. Parley P. Pratt, in his autobiography,
speaks of passing through a settlement where "some families were
entirely dressed in skins, without any other clothing, including
ladies young and old."

* "When the merchants sold a calico or gingham dress pattern they
threw in their profit by giving a spool of thread (two hundred
yards), hooks and eyes and lining. In the thread business,
however, it was only a few years after that thirty and fifty yard
spools took the place of the two hundred yards."--"History of
Daviess County", p. 161.


The pioneer agriculturist of those days not only lacked the
transportation facilities and improved agricultural appliances
which have assisted the developers of the Northwest, but they did
not even understand the nature and capability of the soil. The
newcomers in western Missouri looked on the rich prairie land as
worthless, and they almost invariably directed their course to
the timber, where the soil was more easily broken up, and
material for buildings was available. The first attempts to
plough the prairie sod were very primitive. David Dailey made the
first trial in Jackson County with what was called a "barshear
plough" (drawn by from four to eight yokes of oxen), the "shear"
of which was fastened to the beam. This cut the sod in one
direction pretty well, but when he began to cross-furrow, the sod
piled up in front of the plough and stopped his progress.
Determined to see what the soil would grow, he cut holes in the
sod with an axe, and in these dropped his seed. The first sod was
broken in Daviess County in 1834, with a plough made to order,
"to see what the prairies amounted to in the way of raising a
crop." Such was the country toward which the first Mormon
missionaries turned their faces.

We have seen that the first intimation in the Mormon records of a
movement to the West was found in Smith's order to Oliver Cowdery
in 1830 to go and establish the church among the Lamanites
(Indians), and that Rigdon expected that the church would remain
in Ohio, when he wrote to his flock from Palmyra. The four
original missionaries--Cowdery, P. P. Pratt, Peter Whitmer, and
Peterson--did not stop long in Kirtland, but, taking with them
Frederick G. Williams, they pushed on westward to Sandusky,
Cincinnati, and St. Louis, preaching to some Indians on the way,
until they reached Independence, Jackson County, Missouri, early
in 1831. That county forms a part of the western border of the
state, and from 1832, until the railroad took the place of wagon
trains, Independence was the eastern terminus of the famous Santa
Fe trail, and the point of departure for many companies destined
both for Oregon and California. Pratt, describing their journey
west of St. Louis, says: "We travelled on foot some three hundred
miles, through vast prairies and through trackless wilds of snow;
no beaten road, houses few and far between. We travelled for
whole days, from morning till night, without a house or fire. We
carried on our backs our changes of clothing, several books, and
corn bread and raw pork."*

* "Autobiography of P. P. Pratt," p. 54.


The sole idea of these pioneers seemed to be to preach to the
Indians. Arriving at Independence, Whitmer and Peterson went to
work to support themselves as tailors, while Cowdery and Pratt
crossed the border into the Indian country. The latter, however,
were at once pronounced by the federal officers there to be
violators of the law which forbade the settlement of white men
among the Indians, and they returned to Independence, and
preached thereabout during the winter. Early in February the four
decided that Pratt should return to Kirtland and make a report,
and he did so, travelling partly on foot, partly on horseback,
and partly by steamer.

As early as March, 1830, Smith had conceived the idea (or some
one else for him) of a gathering of the elect "unto one place" to
prepare for the day of desolation (Sec. 29). In October, 1830,
the four pioneers were commanded to start "into the wilderness
among the Lamanites," and on January 2, 1831, while Rigdon was
visiting Smith in New York State, another "revelation" (Sec. 38)
described the land of promise as "a land flowing with milk and
honey, upon which there shall be no curse when the Lord cometh."
This land they and their children were to possess, both "while
the earth shall stand, and again in eternity." A "revelation"
(Sec. 45), dated March 7, 1831, at Kirtland, called on the
faithful to assemble and visit the Western countries, where they
were promised an inheritance, to be called "the New Jerusalem, a
land of peace, a city of refuge, a place of safety for the saints
of most High God." These things they were to "keep from going
abroad into the world" for the present.

The manner in which the elect were told by "revelation" that they
should possess their land of promise has a most important bearing
on the justification of the opposition which the Missourians soon
manifested toward their new neighbors. In one of these
"revelations," dated Kirtland, February, 1831 (Sec. 42), Christ
is represented as saying, "I will consecrate the riches of the
Gentiles unto my people which are of the house of Israel."
Another, in the following June (Sec. 52), which directed Smith's

and Rigdon's trip, promised the elect, "If ye are faithful ye
shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land in
Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, WHICH IS NOW THE
LAND OF YOUR ENEMIES." Another, given while Smith was in
Missouri, in August, 1831 (Sec. 59), promised to those "who have
come up into this land with an eye single to My glory," that
"they shall inherit the earth," and "shall receive for their
reward the good things of the earth." On the same date the Saints
were told that they should "open their hearts even to purchase
the whole region of country as soon as time will permit,...lest
they receive none inheritance save it be by the shedding of
blood." It seems to have been thought wise to add to this last
statement, after the return of the party to Ohio, and a
"revelation" dated August, 1831 (Sec. 63), was given out, stating
that the land of Zion could be obtained only "by purchase or by
blood," and "as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies
are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city."

* Tullidge, in his "History of Salt Lake City" (1886), defining
the early Mormon view of their land rights, after quoting Brigham
Young's declaration to the first arrivals in Salt Lake Valley,
that he (or the church) had "no land to sell," but "every man
should have his land measured out to him for city and family
purposes," says: "Young could with absolute propriety give the
above utterances on the land question. In the early days of the
church they applied to land not only owned by the United States,
but within the boundaries of states of the Union." After quoting
from the above-cited "revelation" the words "save they be by the
shedding of blood," he explains, "The latter clause of the
quotation signifies that the Mormon prophet foresaw that, unless
his disciples purchased 'this whole region of country' of the
unpopulated Far West of that period, the land question held
between them and anti-Mormons would lead to the shedding of
blood, and that they would be in jeopardy of losing their
inheritance; and this was realized."

As to their obligation to pay for any of the "good things"
purchased of their enemies, a "revelation" dated September 11,
1831 (the month after the return from Missouri), gave this
advice:--

"Behold it is said in my laws, or forbidden, to get in debt to
thine enemies;

"But behold it is not said at any time, that the Lord should not
take when he pleased, and pay as seemeth him good.

"Wherefore as ye are agents, and ye are on the Lord's errand; and
whatever ye do according to the will of the Lord, it is the
Lord's business, and it is the Lord's business to provide for his
Saints in these last days, that they may obtain an inheritance in
the land of Zion."--"Book of Commandments," Chap. 65.

In the modern version of this "revelation" to be found in Sec. 64
of the "Doctrine and Covenants," the latter part of this
declaration is changed to read, "And he hath set you to provide
for his saints in these last days," etc.

So eager were the Saints to occupy their land of Zion, when the
movement started, that the word of "revelation" was employed to
give warning against a hasty rush to the new possessions, and to
establish a certain supervision of the emigration by the Bishop
and other agents of the church. Notwithstanding this, the rush
soon became embarrassing to the church authorities in Missouri,
and a modified view of the Lord's promise was thus stated in the
Evening and Morning Star of July, 1832, "Although the Lord has
said that it is his business to provide for the Saints in these
last days, he is not BOUND to do so unless we observe his sayings
and keep them." Saints in the East were warned against giving
away their property before moving, and urged not to come to
Missouri without some means, and to bring with them cattle and
improved breeds of sheep and hogs, with necessary seeds.





Next: Smith's First Visits To Missouri Founding The City And The Temple

Previous: Last Days At Kirtland



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