10 February 2015

On This Day: Mormons move west

Today Salt Lake City and the Mormons – that is, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints – are synonymous with one another. However the Mormons were actually founded in New York! It was On This Day in 1846 that they began their migration to Utah, which was not under control of the United States at that time. 

Joseph Smith founded the Church in New York in 1830. He professed to be a prophet of God. The Church also accepted polygamy. These two beliefs caused much friction in New York and in 1839 Smith moved the Church to Nauvoo, MO. He found even more friction there and finally he and his brother were murdered in June 1844. Brigham Young succeeded him and on 10 February 1846 made the decision to move west to Utah, which was not a US territory at that time. It was still part of the Mexican controlled land. 

Utah was not to be the refuge Young anticipated exactly. It became a US territory in 1848. Young died in 1877. 

Today genealogists worldwide are familiar with the Church, which is known for its attention to family history and record preservation. That is, to be quite honest, the main aspect of the Church that I personally am aware of; however, click HERE to read more of the Church and its teachings.



On This Day is a prompt I started this month to further explore historical events.


© Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman, 2015
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.