From High Hopes to Despair: The Missouri Period, 1831–39
Missouri, Early Church History, Zion, Jackson County
The Missouri period is considered one of the darkest eras in the story of the latter-day Church. During 1831–39, the Latter-day Saints’ hopes of a Zion community in Jackson County were dashed by misunderstandings, animosity, and mob action, culminating in the confiscation and destruction of property, and expulsion of some 8,000 to 10,000 Latter-day Saints by order of the state’s chief executive. In the pages of many history books, discussion of the Missouri “Mormon episode” consists of only a few pages and footnotes. But to Latter-day Saints, the scenes that transpired on Missouri soil—principally in Jackson, Clay, Ray, Carroll, Caldwell, Daviess, and Livingston Counties—continue to be a significant part of the Church’s spiritual heritage. As we study the Doctrine and Covenants and Church history this year, it is beneficial to have a perspective on those early years.
Original Publication Citation
“From High Hopes to Despair: The Missouri Period, 1831–39,” Ensign 31, no. 7 (July 2001): 44–55.
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Baugh, Alexander L., "From High Hopes to Despair: The Missouri Period, 1831–39" (2001). Faculty Publications. 3722.
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Church History and Doctrine