What If They’d Put Nauvoo in Iowa?

John Hamerchurch, Culture, geography, history, Mormon, Mormons, polygamy, temple 27 Comments

Alternate history title

Nauvoo was a mistake. At the close of the Missouri Mormon War in the winter of 1838-39, the Saints crossed the icy Mississippi. The people of Quincy, Illinois, were aghast at their condition and opened their hearts and their homes to the refugees. A new gathering place needed to be planted and the church soon found a hopeful location upriver from Quincy — approximately at the border between Illinois, Missouri and the Iowa Territory.

The bulk of the land the church purchased was in Iowa, but the relatively small tract in Illinois included the plats of the failed town of Commerce. Soon, Stakes were founded on both sides of the River. Commerce was renamed Nauvoo and the Iowa settlement was called Zarahemla — named for the most important city in the Book of Mormon.

Nauvoo was in Hancock County, an established area with a significant non-Mormon population that included the reasonable sized towns of Warsaw and Carthage. As with the church’s experience in Kirtland, it would be difficult and expensive for poor church members to gather to the area and buy farmland (and conflict with existing “old settlers” was almost inevitable). Iowa, by contrast, was wide open. For an industrious, agricultural people, land was the key ingredient to fuel a successful settlement. With hindsight, it’s very clear that Zarahemla should have become the church’s headquarters. Nauvoo was a mistake.

Unfortunately for Joseph Smith and the Saints, the Illinoians were seductively generous. Anxious to court the Saints for their own political gains, state Democrats and Whigs offered Joseph and his people every inducement they could wish for. Within a handful of years, Nauvoo grew to become a major town, while Zarahemla never got off the ground.

It might just as easily have gone the other way. If so, how would history change? Let me propose an alternate timeline.

• 1842 Headquarters of the Mormon Church and home to Joseph Smith, Zarahemla becomes the largest city in Iowa Territory.

• 1845 Iowa’s statehood negotiations threaten to collapse over a so-called “spiritual wife” scandal, allegedly involving Zarahemla Mayor (and church President) General Joseph Smith. Smith averts the crisis by publicly renouncing the practice and expelling guilty members from the church, including former confidant, Brigham Young.

• 1846 nearly 20,000 of Iowa Territory’s 90,000 residents are Mormon, making the Saints the decisive voting block in the convention. Smith’s successful maneuvers see Zarahemla made the state capital, while a non-Mormon is elected the state’s first governor.

• 1847 Dedication of the Zarahemla temple.

• 1851 California and New Mexico admitted to the Union, while Idaho, Kansas, Dakota, and Utah Territories created as part of the “Compromise of 1851.” Some Mormons take part in the settlement of Dakota, but none of the other western territories.

• 1854 Joseph Smith elected 4th governor of Iowa as a Democrat. He is turned out of office in the Republican revolution of 1858.

• 1861 Missouri becomes the only border state to join the Confederacy. Mormon Iowa and Missouri replay old grudges in some of the most bitter local militia skirmishes of the war.

• 1867 Joseph Smith begins to ordain women as deaconesses, teachers, priestesses and high priestesses.

• 1869 Sidney Rigdon dropped from the First Presidency, in favor of Joseph Smith III. Transcontinental railroad routed through Zarahemla.

• 1879 Joseph Smith dies of natural causes. Joseph III ordained in his place by Parley P. Pratt, President of the Quorum of Twelve and by First Presidency Counselor Amasa M. Lyman.

Alternate timeline map 2008

In history after Joseph Smith’s death, things continue along the changed timelines for Mormonism, Iowa and the West. The Mormon Church follows the trajectory from highly peculiar to essentially moderate. Its expansion in the US is stunted, but this is more than made up for numerically overseas. By 2008, the church claims 25 million members worldwide, although this number includes only 2 million in the US (half of which are in Iowa). The largest proportion of the membership is in Africa, followed by Latin America.

Happy ever might have been?  Or might not?  What do you think?

Comments 27

  1. Hamesy…:-) (I have found a new British nickname for you)

    Great post for a thinking and talking point. I really liked it. Nonetheless upon review I find a few things as being rather questionable. The timeline supposes the transfer of power to Joseph Smith the 3rd and the Missouri thesis. I am fond of the latter but they are both dialectic in nature depending on one’s historical interpretations.

    Your interpretative timeline is fascinating though. It really makes one wonder and think…what if?

  2. Very cool. I love alternative history games and have had fun imagining a few Deseret-oriented alternative histories but I haven’t done this relating back to the Nauvoo period.

    Why the 1869 date for JSIII?

    Also, I didn’t think that your conception of JS dismissing BY over polygamy to be very accurate. BY sincerely did not want to practice polygamy. If JS had jettisoned the principle early on, BY would have been more than happy to support that and comply. I think your alternative history could still have BY succeeding JS (you can create any way you wish for that to happen). It would certainly feel more accurate to believing readers anyway, since they believe that God wanted BY as JS’s successor to the specific exclusion of SR and other pretenders to the position. An alternative history that took this possibility into account would be stronger. Perhaps an Iowa BY, absent the scars of being driven out of Nauvoo, would have been a very different but still powerful leader.

  3. This is simply fantastic! I love alternative history. You do a much better job than the unimaginative Harry Turtledove at depicting the likely turns Mormon history would take, John.

    As a Utah Latter-day Saint I see no problem with a “Young Joseph” presidency. Asserting that this does not sit well with believers today is strange, as the sons of Joseph were given a warm welcome when they came to Utah to speak and proselyte in the 1860s. It was always one of Brigham’s fears that the Smith family would seek to displace him, as the sons of Joseph, unlike Emma, remained popular with the Saints. I see no contradiction either with Joseph ordaining his sons apostles. It was exactly what Brigham did!

    The only stretch for me in your timeline is that Sidney Rigdon stayed in Church offices so long. From reading his biography, I would have thought whatever brain fever he suffered from would have rendered him unfit well before 1860!

    Finally, does this mean my Scandinavian great-grandparents would have had a shorter train ride to Zion after their conversion? I am trying to imagine what a Midwest Mormon Diaspora would look like. Would my grandparents have moved to Chicago in the agricultural depression of the 1920s to look for work instead of Los Angeles? Would St. Peter in Minnesota have been the Boise of your alternate universe? And why did you call it St. Peter? Did the Catholics get a hold of it?

  4. This is fascinating. I can follow it along pretty well, except for a few details that don’t jibe with my understanding of Joseph Smith’s and Brigham Young’s character and teachings, as well as my understanding of the political dynamics of American life in the 19th century. Also, I think John Nilsson’s right about Sidney Rigdon. He was never quite himself again after the tarring and feathering. He became quite erratic. But then again, I’m no expert, and this is a lot of fun. Would the Church be larger now if this alternate history had taken place? It’s possible, but I’m not so sure.

  5. I think this alternative timeline is just not feasable considering the underlining reasons history unfolded the way it did. First, Joseph Smith might have lived longer, but ultimately I think Nauvoo in Iowa was not far enough to keep from hostilities. The Saints would have moved West to Utah perhaps a decade later rather than sooner, but they would have moved. Assuming that a large group of Saints would have remained in Iowa during the Civil War, I think the war would have brought a massacre that made Hawns Mill look line “an incident.” The South would have taken the Mormons out almost from the start and with ferocity.

    As for Joseph Smith living longer, I think the Mormon theology would have become even more radical than what it was during the Brigham Young years. What that might mean as a practical matter or what that radicalism would have consisted of I have no clue. Also, I think the Brigham Young vs. Joseph Smith III battle over leadership would have been more intense. There might have been a much more equal number to a split that geography and forced exile kept to a minimum.

    Where you get your numbers I have no idea. I imagine the number of coverts would have remained basically the same as today, although my “large split over authority” idea might actually reduce the numbers.

  6. Post

    John F (#3): My proposition for Brigham Young has nothing to do with Brigham’s willingness to comply and everything to do with Joseph’s propensity to use scapegoats to evade personal scandals. J.C. Bennett was absolutely willing to comply with whatever Joseph demanded when he was made a scapegoat for Joseph’s own practice of plural marriage in 1842. It was only after Joseph decided there would be no reconciliation that Bennett launched his famous expose. Brigham then took Bennett’s place as the leading courtier in Joseph’s inner (secret practices) court. He was less brilliant than Bennett, but much more discreet. However, I am very confident that Brigham was on the same path as Joseph’s other favorites: Oliver Cowdery, Sidney Rigdon, Sampson Avard, etc. (As to why Sidney didn’t get expelled earlier in this timeline — I think his history 1839-44 shows that he was willing to keep quiet and publicly knuckle under to anything Joseph wanted. He can’t get scapegoated because he’s not involved. He’s essentially on the rolls, but not participating meaningfully.)

    I think Brigham’s succession is hard to imagine outside the timeframe when it happened. Are LDS members determinists who believe that Brigham Young would have been the 2nd church president no matter what happened? If Joseph had died on the return trip from Zion’s Camp, shortly after ordaining David Whitmer to succeed him if anything happened, wouldn’t a person imagine Whitmer might take over instead of Brigham (as yet unordained as 3rd oldest member of the 12)?

    Regardless of what happened to Brigham in my Zarahemla timeline, I think that Joseph would have favored his son’s succession if he’d lived long enough to allow for an orderly transition. (In regular history, if Brigham had been able in Utah, he also would have preferred his son to succeed him instead of John Taylor.) I waited until 1869 because I imagined that after Joseph’s distractions with state politics and the Civil War, he would consider his own mortality and legacy and begin to imagine the church and the world after his death.

  7. I enjoy alternative history games as well. Thanks for another thoughtful post, John.

    The one flaw I see in the argument is that it places all the blame for Joseph’s tragic demise at the hands of the Illinoisians (is that the right term?). My understanding of Joseph Smith leads me to believe that he was destined to die young: he pushed the envelope in every area of his life. The Joseph Smith of RSR was a man careening headlong toward a climactic end. He lived his life like a Roman Candle. I don’t see him just growing old, telling stories about pigeons and choo-choo trains.

  8. Post

    Stephen W (#1): My only recourse is to dub you Stevo in response. I love alternate history speculation too, but yes it’s highly speculative.

    John N (#3): Yes, your Scandinavian ancestors still had to cross the ocean to New Orleans and then travel up river to Iowa. They settled in the agricultural wonderland and became prosperous farmers near Manti, Iowa (present day Des Moines). However, they lacked that defining trek across the Plains that helped merge them into a Mormon ethnicity and they continued to live around Gentiles. When their children had Jack Mormon tendencies, rediscovering religion often led their descendents to become Protestants, which is why the North American church is so much smaller.

    Without a Mormon population along the Wasatch range, Congress was willing to admit Utah (actually a greater Nevada), centered around the silver mining area near Reno. A pattern developed which allowed larger states to be admitted earlier. In a bid to keep the enlarged Minnesota territory upon statehood, the residents of the city of St. Peter were able to successfully argue for a capital further into the interior of the state than unlucky St. Paul. The planned capitals of Oklahoma City, Great Bend and Lincoln City (our Rapid City, South Dakota) made similarly successful bids.

  9. An interesting thought experiment. Besides causing that I would not have been born as me (for which I am immensely grateful that Nauvoo was not in Lee County, Iowa), I can name at least one important religious event that would *not* have occurred if this alternate history had come to pass as you describe. The birth of the General Conference Mennonite Church (now merged into the the denomination Mennonite USA) took place in Lee County Iowa not many years after the Saints left. Even as Nauvoo was first being built, Mennonites from the Palatinate were establishing roots in Iowa (indeed, the violence that surrounded the Mormons impacted their tight-knit society, as someone rumored to have been Mormon killed their newly-arrived pastor the night before his first service… they had to send away to Ohio and Germany for a new pastor, thus bringing my ancestors there). Subsequent events related with this group include the arrival of hard red winter wheat in Kansas (which contributed greatly to the development of the central US as the bread basket of the world).

    Or in other words, there are many consequences to the events associated with the Latter-day Saints. Some we are more familiar with than others. But it may be the smaller differences that matter most.

  10. Excellent piece, John. I love the idea that for one small decision, the whole course of events could have been very different.

    Now, if someone has a Delorean we can use, I know a way to actually make this happen! 🙂 🙂

  11. Post

    Mormonmagmeister (#4): Would the church be larger? This scenario imagines a church that is technically larger in worldwide numbers, but is effectively smaller at its center. The smaller center results from a general mellowing of the church as Joseph ages and as Mormons find ways to peacefully interact with their neighbors. The members prosper, but effective retention is lessened. Internationally, however, the Zarahemla church had many fewer strikes against it going into Africa and Brazil in the early 20th century. A series of revelations during and after the Civil War left the church with an appealing legacy of racial tolerance. Like the Moravians who converted huge numbers of adherents in Tanzania, the 20th century saw the Zarahemla church realize much earlier growth in Africa. However, the disparity in numbers has meant the international church is somewhat less centralized and is necessarily more self-supporting.

    Jettboy (#5): Interesting counterpoints, but I have the opposite take. I think that Iowa is actually far enough away. Far West was actually far enough away. If Joseph had waited until Far West was as established as Nauvoo became, the Missourians would never have driven the Mormons from the state. The CSA would hardly take notice of Mormons; they are concentrating on Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The border skirmishes I am foreseeing between Iowa and Missouri are much more akin to the “bleeding Kansas” conflagrations than to Sherman’s march and the buring of Atlanta in reverse.

    In terms of Joseph’s direction — was he going to get more and more theologically wild and out of the mainstream?

    Equality (#7): Was Joseph a rough stone rolling in a progression that was inevitably self-destructive? Or, was it possible that he would experience a maturing moment and his innovations would plateau or even follow the line of a bell curve and return mainstream?

    I think there’s reason to imagine that Joseph was maturing and as he set down roots, his leadership could become more seasoned and stable. Todd Compton has suggested that Joseph may have renounced polygamy and other secret practices, per testimony of contemporaries, buttressed by the fact that he seems to have ceased to take additional plural wives in the final 6 months of his life. I’m suggesting an 1845 liminal moment for Joseph, when this transition changes his life’s trajectory.

  12. Post

    Coffinberry (#9): Fear not! The General Conference Mennonite Church occurred on schedule, but it was in Winona County, Minnesota.

    But I absolutely agree with you and Jeff (#10) and everyone who’s commented — the fun in these speculations is how one little detail is essential to how everything fits together. And every little change could have had wildly unexpected consequences.

  13. All this would have caused my 2nd great grandparents (immigrants from Scotland in the 1860s, who were shocked to learn of plural marriage on their arrival) to remain within the majority LDS church, rather than joining the RLDS. They would still have settled in Des Moines, but likely not have subsequently moved into Kansas, where much of the RLDS family still resides. Their son, my great grandfather, may never have married a devout Christian Scientist, and his descendants, including me, would likely have been born in the LDS church (rather than me being a “first” generation convert). While I still may have gone to law school in Illinois, I likely would not have subsequently moved to Nauvoo, helped rebuild the temple, and operated a law practice for six years there. However, I would have been more likely to be in the alternate-universe Mormon corridor, with greater population numbers, rather than in rural Nauvoo. My interaction with a more urban population during those pivotal years may have moved me more quickly along certain life decisions, causing me to leave the LDS church earlier than 2006.

  14. I strongly doubt that Joseph would have abandoned Plural Marriage entirely. For one thing, one can’t just walk away from a wife or significant other without consequence. Those sisters advised of the angel with flaming sword wouldn’t be likely to shrug it off. Furthermore, the whole centre piece of work for the dead, et cetera was focused on a larger justification of the practice.

    Am I correct with my recollection that Joseph had proposed releasing Sydney in 1841-2 but was rejected by common consent? I don’t think that Joseph was entirely at liberty to dispose of someone so popular until any mental defect was clear to the entire church.

  15. I think Joseph was headed on a very self destructive course, fueled by real persecution but also self-induced delusions of grandeur. I just can’t imagine the Plural Marriage issue cooling off in the way you describe– unless of course he finally would have been successfully castrated first. However, I can imagine him favoring a successor other than Young.

    I don’t believe The Principal came from God, but I believe that others who practiced it believed it was. The vitriol that men like John Taylor carried toward Christians both fueled theological and cultural separation from the mainstream, and also the perpetuation of plural marriage– that it was a more moral course than monogamy. I think such vitriol was fueled by more than the Carthage murders, though certainly notched up a level by way of it.

    Fun speculative question, though. Personally, I’ve always liked to think what would have become of Mormonism had the Saints continued on to Northern California or Oregon.

  16. I remember reading that the Church attempted to purchase or otherwise obtain Vancouver Island from the Hudson Bay Company before settling on the Utah Basin. That would be an interesting set up.

  17. It’s interesting to consider the impact that the Latter-day Saint movement had on the development of the west. That alternate 2008 map spells it out quite clearly.

  18. I love alternate histories as well, such as Orson Scott Card’s “Pastwatch.”

    A few questions/observations:

    1. I seem to recall that the Mormons negotiated a pretty sweet deal for their charter in Illinois. Do you think that had anything to do with why they chose Illinois (a bona fide state), over Iowa (still just a “territory”)? In other words, was it more advantageous politically for the Mormons to be located in a state than in a territory? It would seem so to me, based on our subsequent history as a mere territory in Utah before statehood.

    2. “Nauvoo was a mistake.” Not if you accept the premise that (1) Mormons were being guided by God and (2) God wanted the Mormons driven West out into the middle of nowhere so they could be spared the ravages of the civil war. Your timeline has the Mormons of Iowa duking it out with the Missourians. How many Mormons would have been left over had the Mormons been heavily involved in the Civil War? Would the Church really have grown more in numbers if a tenth, quarter, third, or half its men been killed in the Civil War?

    3. You left out the part where Joseph lives to be 85 and the Second Coming occurs. 🙂

  19. Perhaps the best result is that Zarahemla University, not facing difficulties in recruiting African-American players, becomes a five-time NCAA basketball champion.

    Seriously, interesting thoughts, John. I don’t think the move to Iowa would have made all that much difference. There were still plenty of non-Mormons to clash with and the Iowa histories are replete with Mormon-bashing. One of the most virulent anti-Mormons around was Montrose postmaster David Kilbourne, who repeatedly wrote to Missouri Governor Thomas Reynolds trying to get Joseph Smith extradited to Missouri. On October 16, 1845, a committee of leading Iowa citizens signed a letter published in the newspapers claiming that “wherever the Mormons go and grow strong, there spring up dissensions and violence between them and other citizens.” The letter appealed to other citizens to “exercise your moral influence . . . and induce the Mormons to seek another place of abode.” Out of this effort came a resolution in Lee County decreeing that the Mormons must be expelled, “peaceably if possible, forcibly, if necessary.” Sound familiar?

    It seems to me your real point is, how would things have been different if Joseph Smith had not been murdered? You could just as easily have asked, how would things have been different if Governor Ford had personally stayed in Carthage on July 27, 1844, instead of going to Nauvoo and sending a messenger to head off the Warsaw militia? I agree with you that things would likely have turned out quite a bit differently, though perhaps not as drastically as you envision. Joseph had certainly considered leading the Church to the Rocky Mountains before he died, and he had already proven he was not averse to changing the headquarters of the Church. I’m not convinced that things would have been materially less violent in Iowa.

    But speculating is fun.

  20. Quix,

    “Fun speculative question, though. Personally, I’ve always liked to think what would have become of Mormonism had the Saints continued on to Northern California or Oregon”

    Imagine San Francisco as a Mormon town now as it was after the Brooklyn landed. It would be a very different place than it is now. Oh my heck.

  21. Post

    Hey Morris! (#21) Yes, you’re exactly right — and now that you summarize it so well, it’s obvious to me that a title such as “What if Joseph Hadn’t Been Martyred?” would have been a lot more provocative.

    I probably have two central negative outcomes that I’m pondering how to avoid: (1) How can we avoid Joseph’s martyrdom, and (2) How can we avoid getting driven out of Illinois?

    Obviously, for the second question, you won’t get driven out of a place, if you never go there. More seriously, I’ve felt that the Saints were driven from northwestern Missouri and Nauvoo for two factors: (i) the Mormons weren’t sufficiently rooted during the conflicts, and (ii) leaving was always on the table. In Missouri, I’ve always felt that the more important factor was insufficient rooting prior to Mormon expansion. In more-established Nauvoo, I think that the Mormons always had the idea that they might leave and so their enemies were always going to hold out for that outcome. Why compromise, if one of the options is that we can get rid of you altogether?

    My first solution to the above problems was to think — if only the Mormons had gone from Far West to Council Bluffs / Omaha instead of Nauvoo! I really think that would have been far enough away at the time to set down the same kind of roots in the Midwest that we established in the Great Basin. The problem is a move to Omaha in 1838-39 would have been almost as impractical / impossible as the move to the Great Basin was in 1846. The Saints in Council Bluffs would have been dependent on their enemies in Missouri for riverboat shipments to supply them — which happened at Winter Quarters in the 1840s, but was less of an option in the immediate aftermath of the Missouri Mormon War. Also, the Council Bluffs area wasn’t open to settlement and everyone who was anyone in the whole church leadership was imprisoned — how could the Saints move forward instead of back?

    So my next thought was — what about the other side of Iowa? I agree with you that there may have been too many Iowans by 1846 to have any different outcome. However, most of them would have just gotten there too, just like the Mormons. If the Gentiles had the same level of rootedness as the Saints, would the Saints have been driven out? I don’t know if a Mormon presence in Iowa from 1839-1845 would be sufficient build up to prevent a forced exodus, but I think it’s conceivable — and, as you say, it’s fun to speculate.

  22. Post

    Hi Ricercar (#14-15): Plural marriage under Joseph was a big deal, but it wasn’t yet the institution that it became in Utah. It was a secret and it was a scandal. None of the wives were wives in the later Utah sense of living in the household openly as plural wives. Other leaders did abandon plural wives and then deny that it had ever taken place. Examples include Alpheus Cutler (although you shouldn’t mention that to the Cutlerites today) and William Smith. The Danites were a big part of the northwestern Missouri experience and Joseph was intimately involved, but he later renounced the Danite society and pretended he had nothing to do with it. I think that could have happened with plural marriage.

    I do think that unless church leaders renounced plural marriage, they would have been driven out eventually or occupied militarily in a situation like the South during reconstruction. So, part of avoiding the martydom and exodus require abandoning polygamy early enough.

    Just-for-Quix (#17) and Jeff (#22): That’s fun speculation too. I think that if Brigham Young had pressed onward to Vancouver Island, Mormons would have their own country today.

    Nick (#13): Yes, there would never have been an RLDS church. There would have been many reform Mormon churches, of course. Hinkelites, Whitmerites, Lawites, Gladdenites, and others — but they would have been hard pressed to join together without some unifying factor to rally around.

  23. Post

    Andrew (#20): To answer your questions in reverse order, (3) yes, that would be another alternate history, relying on different premises.

    (2) I presume that Jesus’s atonement was as foreordained and necessary as Adam’s fall, but was Joseph’s martyrdom in the same category? Could the generation of the 1830s and 1840s — Saints and Gentiles alike — have done something differently to avoid the martyrdom without upsetting the plan of salvation?

    Isn’t it possible for God-led people to make mistakes? Moses was led by God, but mistakes meant that God had to extend Israel’s stay in the wilderness and prevent Moses himself from entering Canaan.

    In terms of growth — despite the overall numbers I proposed above, having fewer North American numbers means that the effective church is smaller. I know that in the eyes of God and humanity, the worth of all souls is great and (I presume) equal. However, from a purely institutional standpoint of a centralized church rooted either in the mountain west or Midwestern US, the usefulness of distant, economically challenged individuals is effectively less than that of core membership.

    (1) The territory business affects Federal oversight. Mormons would never be the majority in Iowa, and I think the Federal government could not have resisted Iowa statehood for the Gentile majority, the way it resisted Utah statehood. The deal the Illinoians gave the Mormons was sweet, yes. And I presume Iowa from 1839-41 would have had the same motives — influx of settlers drove up land prices; Mormon block voting effected political interests, etc. The difference I’m suggesting is that the Iowans, unlike the Illinoians, were hardly more rooted than the Mormons. The influx of Gentile and Mormon settlers would have been nearly simultaneous. Would that have allowed the Mormons to establish a strong enough foundation to resist being driven out? That’s the question I’m speculating about here.

  24. Hmmm…interesting to say the least.

    Zarahemla would have made for a much more Mormon-Friendly atmosphere, and probably would have changed the Church’s history in ways we can’t even fathom…Abandoning plural marriage entirely though: Never. Or at least not until probably around the same time it ended up happening anyways.

    I’m glad it worked out the way it did though; that City of Joseph Pageant is really great :o)

  25. If Joseph had not been martyred, then Hyrum would also have presumably lived a long life and retained his position as Assistant President of the Church and he would likely have raised a greater posterity, including children possibly with his plural wives (although I do not know for sure whether the women he married were of childbearing age). “When Joseph Smith introduced plural marriage to him, Hyrum at first opposed the idea, but when converted to the principle, he became one of its staunchest advocates.” (http://www.lightplanet.com/mormons/people/hyrum_smith.html)
    This would have complicated the 1845 renouncement of the practice, and it is doubtful that Joseph would have ever expelled Hyrum as a guilty member. If Hyrum outlived Joseph (if Joseph was, as some mentioned, destined to die young), then he would likely have become the president of the church and then later been faced with the issue of succession and possibly with the role of JSIII.

  26. Wow, this is really quite impressive. Very “outside the envelope” thinking process. But, seriously quite impressive.

    However, you are missing some very important information. First, Mormons owned slaves and were actually forced to migrate en-mass out of New York and Ohio because they owned slaves. They were actually visited by abolitionists in Kirtland in 1836. And, that’s the real reason for a lost of the conflict between Mormons and non-Mormons in those areas. Second, Joseph Smith had always planned that the Mormons would have their own Country, ala “Deseret”, which Brigham Young founded in the Mexican territories after the Mormons were forced out of Illinois. I bet you didn’t know that Joseph was actually arrested for Treason against the United States in 1844 after he proclaimed himself King of Zion and declared America part of his Kingdom of Zion (also he condecended to run for the office of President because he was already “King of Zion”).

    There’s actually much more…..Oh, by the way, Mormons are still trying to overthrow the Government of the United States and were not only involved in all three terrorist events, but Mormon infiltrated the Bush White House and tried to arrange for Dick Cheney (whose wife is Mormon and whose son works in Salt Lake) to be the new “Unitary Commander” after declaring martial law after a terrorist event (that is orchestrated by Mormon extremeists)

    No kidding this is all true – http://WWW.MORMONZEITGEIST.COM

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