Periodicals; Mormons; Religious thought; Philosophy and religion
Independent national quarterly established to express Mormon culture and examine the relevance of religion to secular life. It is edited by Mormons who wish to bring their faith into dialogue with human experience as a whole and to foster artistic and scholarly achievement based on their cultural heritage. The journal encourages a variety of viewpoints; although every effort is made to insure accurate scholarship and responsible judgment, the views expressed are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of the Mormon Church or of the editors.
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Johnson, G. Wesley
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THE MORMONS IN EARLY ILLINOIS: AN INTRODUCTION The Illinois period of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints commenced eight years after the founding of the Church in Fayette, New York on April 6, 1830, by Joseph Smith. From New York the Church spread westward into northern Ohio and western Missouri. During the early 1830's, the headquarters of the Church was in Kirtland, Ohio. Due to internal difficulties, apostasy, and persecution, members of the Church in this area eventually joined the other main center of the Church in Missouri. Mormons had been in Missouri as early as 1831, where they centered around Independence in Jackson County. As in Ohio, they had difficulty with their neighbors and were driven from Jackson County in November, 1833, to settle across the Missouri River in Clay County. Under pressure they left Clay County in the summer of 1836 for the uninhabited north half of Clay County, which was soon organized into the "Mormon County" of Cald-well. There Church headquarters were established at a place called Far West. The area around Far West built up quickly. To this new center of Church activities came the Ohio Mormons (in 1838), as well as many from Canada and the eastern United States who had joined the Church through missionary activity. This sudden influx created new conflicts, and mobs, motivated primarily by political, economic, and religious reasons, again plundered the Mormons, who prepared for defense; a near state of civil war existed. On October 27, 1838, the Governor of Missouri, Lilburn Boggs, signed the "Extermination Order" which read in part, ". . . the Mormons must be treated as enemies and must be exterminated or driven from the state if necessary for the public peace. . . ." Church leaders were imprisoned and the rest of the Church membership had the choice of denying their faith and making peace with the mobs, or of fleeing the state. Thousands sought asylum in the state of Illinois and in Iowa Territory. Many spent the winter of 1838-39, and the spring of 1839, in and around Quincy, Illinois, whose citizens were sympathetic toward the destitute Mormons. Finally on April 16, 1839, Joseph Smith and other leaders of the Church were allowed to escape from their prison in Liberty, Missouri, and joined the members of the Church at Quincy. Shortly after his arrival there, Joseph Smith purchased land at Commerce, Illinois. The first purchase was made