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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
Though written by a faithful Mormon, this account of his denomination's early sojourn in Illinois (1839-1846) doesn't gloss over its unattractive, even bizarre, features. The "prophet" Joseph Smith, while charismatic, was also a petty tyrant with grandiose delusions. On the basis of a militia commission, he fancied himself the highest ranking officer in the U.S. army, who would be called on to lead the country's forces if war should break out. He also sought to expel Missouri from the Union for its mistreatment of his followers and mounted a campaign for the Presidency that did well in a poll of Mississippi riverboat passengers. Most notorious were his endorsement of polygamy and suppression of dissent within the Mormon ranks. The welcome originally extended to his sect by the "gentiles" turned to fear and mistrust. The reaction against Smith's state-within-a-state was inexcusably violent, but the author shows why it was neither surprising nor completely unjustified. After reciprocal acts of terrorism by Mormons and their enemies, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum gave themselves up to the authorities. On June 27, 1844, a mob stormed the jail where they were held and killed them both. Within the year, the Mormon community, reorganized under the leadership of Brigham Young, a more capable executive than the self-indulgent Smith, had abandoned Nauvoo and their just-completed Temple, embarking on the trek that would take them to a desert refuge in Utah. LDS adherents will find in this book an inspiring story of martyrdom. To the rest of us, it offers a clear view of what made early Mormonism both dynamic and persecuted.
Review: Nightfall at NauvooUser Review - Goodreads
A person reading this novel, by the grandson of LDS President John Taylor, will learn more factual history of Nauvoo than though reading almost any other volume of Mormon history. For what it is worth ...
Nauvoo the Beautiful
Elder Smith Goes to Washington
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