“When Joseph Smith was incarcerated in Liberty Jail, with no prospect of release, an extermination order had been issued against the Saints. This made it necessary for Brigham Young to organize the Saints to move them from Missouri. The migration from Missouri in February of 1839 caused many to complain that the Lord had forsaken His people. Some of the Church members questioned the wisdom of once again gathering the Saints together in one location.”Crossing the Mississippi and pausing in some of the smaller communities along its banks proved to be a respite necessary for the membership to receive new direction from their leaders. The Prophet Joseph Smith wrote from Liberty Jail, encouraging the Saints not to scatter but to gather together, then build from centers of strength.”In April of that year, Joseph and Hyrum and their fellow prisoners were allowed to escape from the jail in Missouri. They arrived in Quincy, Illinois, on the 22nd day of April of 1839. The Prophet immediately went to work to find a place to gather the Saints. He found a spot on the banks of the Mississippi River that looked like it had promise. He named the city Nauvoo, meaning ‘beautiful,’ but at that time it was anything but beautiful. It was a swampy peninsula that had not been drained. Out of the swamp-infested land rose a city that could truly be called beautiful.”The first homes in Nauvoo were huts, tents, and a few abandoned buildings. Then the Saints started to build log cabins. As time and capital would allow, framed buildings were erected, and, still later, more substantial brick buildings were built.”The Prophet had a design to build a community of Saints. He had three major objectives: first, economic; second, educational; and third, spiritual.”Topic:
L. Tom Perry, “Building a Community of Saints,” Ensign, May 2001, 36

Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail

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