Mormon studies, divine intervention, Zion's Camp Expedition, pioneers
On February 23, 1834, Joseph Smith attended a high council meeting in Kirtland, Ohio, and heard Lyman Wight and Parley P. Pratt explain how over a thousand members of the Church of Christ—now The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—had been violently ejected from their homes in Jackson County, Missouri. The Saints had been forced to leave the county—which had been previously identified by revelation as Zion—by irate Missouri citizens who saw Church members and their beliefs as a political and ideological threat. Hearing this report, Smith arose from his seat and declared “that he was going to Zion to assist in redeeming it.” He asked for volunteers to join him. That same day, a revelation instructed Smith to recruit up to five hundred men to march to Missouri. Church leaders planned that upon reaching the state, the group would contact Missouri governor Daniel Dunklin and request that he call out the state militia to escort Church members back to their Jackson County lands. The members of the march—which would become known as the Camp of Israel, paralleling the name given to the children of Israel in Exodus 14:19, and still later as Zion’s Camp—would then remain in Jackson County as a protective force so that mobs could not drive the Saints from their lands again.
Godfrey, Matthew C.
""We Believe the Hand of the Lord Is in It": Memories of Divine Intervention in the Zion's Camp Expedition,"
BYU Studies Quarterly: Vol. 56:
4, Article 6.
Available at: https://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/byusq/vol56/iss4/6