ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mormons No Strangers to Intolerance and Persecution

Updated on September 27, 2011

The Beautiful State of Utah

When one thinks of early Utah history, often times the images of Brigham Young and the Mormon Church come to mind, and for good reason. These two principals played a great part in forming the history of the state of Utah. This was back when Utah was not actually even a state but a territory, known as Utah Territory. In fact, in its first proposal for statehood the name on the petition was, the State of Deseret, symbolizing industry and harmony. Now the name Utah is forever etched in history meaning, "Tops of the Mountians." But, I am getting a bit ahead of myself, so let me take you back a little bit further...

The history of the Mormon settlements in the United States are varied depending on who you choose to listen to, or what history book you choose to read, but I will attempt to combine the parts of history I feel to be the most correct.

The Mormons and Jackson County Missouri

One of the first Mormon gathering places was that of Jackson County Missouri.

For several reasons the Mormons did not seem to become a welcome addition to the populace that inhabited the place at the time. Jackson County Missouri was considered the very edge of civilization, and so the “roughest of characters” were the kind of resident to be found there. Usually, they were running away from something, mostly the law. The Mormons fit the running category as well, but they were running away from persecution.

The Mormons felt that Jackson County could offer the best spot possible where they could settle separated from the rest of the world so they could worship as they believed without persecution. This was not the case at all.

The Mormons Posed A Politcal Threat

The Missourians hated the Mormons for several reasons, but some of the most prominent ones had to do with the fact that they presented a political opposition to those already inhabiting the area. They were mostly “easterners” with a different view on the upcoming issues of “southern” idealism, mainly the opposition of slavery. The Mormons came in such a big group that the people who lived there originally thought they would hold political domination over the issues that required a vote. This is one of the reasons the people of Missouri tried to withhold the vote from the Mormons at that time.

The Mormons didn't mix well with the Missourians

Another reason for the hatred that was expressed is based on religious beliefs. Reverend Finis Ewing who was a preacher in the surrounding area labeled the Mormons as “the common enemy of mankind.” The beliefs that the Mormons practiced included the desire for industry and thrift, this did not mix well with the populace of drifters that resided there.

Separation Caused Division for Mormons and Missourians

The Mormons may have brought some of the misery they incurred upon themselves to some degree. They became a separatist group, not wanting to "mix" in with the townspeople. They wanted to be separate because their beliefs and standards were different from those whom they lived among. This caused a bitterness and division, between the two groups mostly because they chose buy and sell primarily amongst themselves, hindering the commerce in the area. The Mormons also had made it known that the surrounding area had been pronounced the area “Zion”, a place for the gathering of the righteous, by Joseph Smith the Mormon prophet. This obviously didn’t go over big for those who did not believe in the same way.

This arrangement of living resulted in a great display of mob violence. The people of Jackson County held a council on July 20, 1833, wherein 500 of the townsmen voted to remove the Mormons from Jackson County, “peaceable if we can...forcibly if we must!”

Mormons Were Driven From Missouri to Illinois

In a nutshell the Mormons were illegally driven from Jackson County Missouri, to Clay County Missouri where they were “peacefully asked to leave” a little over a year later.

The state of Missouri then organized a new county where they decided to put the Mormons so that they would not be a problem to others and developed a nearby county called Caldwell County. This is the county in which the Mormons established the city of Far West. Here in Far West they gathered by the droves, which presented the same political problems as before. The people of Missouri thought that the Mormons would vote in a block vote and so decided to prevent them from doing so. This erupted in violence again as the Missouri governor issued the famous “extermination order” which allowed the legal extermination of the Mormons, and they were driven again by mob violence in the dead of winter to Quincy, Illinois.

The Mormon Temple In Nauvoo

The Mormons Made Nauvoo From Swampland

Quincy, Illinois was just a temporary resting place until the Mormons could find a place to resettle, so in the spring they purchased a piece of swampland across the Mississippi River from Quincy and proceeded to make of it their beautiful Nauvoo. It was in Nauvoo that they were again persecuted and, in fact, their beloved prophet Joseph Smith was martyred as a further result of the mob violence that seemed to follow them where ever they went.

The Mormon Journey Begins

Brigham Young Led The Mormons To Utah

Without their prophet to guide them the affairs of the church fell under the direction of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles with Brigham Young as president. It was here once again they were forced to leave their beautiful city of Nauvoo in the dead of winter and find a place of refuge in the west. After months of cross country migration Utah became the final resting place for the Mormons.

The Mormon Journey Continued To Utah

Utah, The Place For The Mormons

As the wagon train carrying Brigham Young reached the top of what is now known as Emigration Canyon he prophetically stated, “This is the Place.” That was July 24, 1847. It was here in modern day Salt Lake City that the Mormons would use their motto of “Industry and Harmony” to make the “Desert Blossom as a Rose.”

Utah, This Is The Place

Utah History Involves Mormon History

So, as you can see, telling the history of the state of Utah is not to be done without mention of Brigham Young, The Mormon Church and the faithful Mormon pioneers, who walked with “faith in every footstep.” They played a pivotal role in the history of the United States, as well as in the history of the church.

In the face of persecution they pressed forward looking for a refuge among the mountains of the west. Utah was the refuge they sought. Here they lived undisturbed by persecution and mobs for about 10 years, in fact Brigham Young stated, "Give us ten years of peace and we will ask no odds of the United States."

It was ten years to the exact day, that riders came into Emigration Canyon during the annual Pioneer Day Celebration on July 24th, which marked the arrival of the Mormons into Utah, to announce the advancement of troops from the United States Army to war against the Mormons of Utah. This war was know as the Utah war, and is often called the "bloodless war." In my opinion however, that title is not correct. There was blood shed as a result of that war, and it was shed at Mountain Meadows.

Which I will write about in the next Hub of this series....


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)