Nauvoo, Illinois (1839-1844)
(Art by David H. Smith
Courtesy Community of Christ archives)
Joseph Smith and the others escaped from their imprisonment and arrived in Quincy in April 1839. Joseph immediately set about making arrangements for the church to build yet another community. He purchased land on the banks of the Mississippi River, land that was swampy and full of malaria-infected mosquitoes. They drained the land and began building the city they called Nauvoo, "beautiful place."
Even as the city was developing, the missionary emphasis continued. Members of the Council of Twelve, known as apostles, traveled to Australia, South America, continental Europe, and some of the Pacific Islands. Those who were converted often emigrated to Nauvoo, causing it to increase from 5,000 in 1839 to more than 12,000 in 1846.
The persecutions of the past were not forgotten in Nauvoo. In response to what they saw as the failure of the judicial and political systems to protect them, church leaders negotiated a unique city charter, allowing the city to become almost independent. Joseph Smith headed the municipal system, having the power to issue writs of habeas corpus which were often used to protect Nauvoo’s leading citizens (and church members) from harassment by law enforcement agents of other states. The city government was a mayor-council form, and most of the leaders were members of the church. Nauvoo, like other communities, had a community militia. But where other community militias were part of the state militia, Nauvoo’s was separate and mostly independent.
Another development within the church focused on "special" knowledge. Secret councils and groups began to shape the church and the community. New doctrines began to develop, doctrines that would ultimately lead into the development of temple rituals. Political groups organized to petition for recovery of losses from mob actions and to support Joseph Smith’s decision to run for the presidency of the United States.
While some of these activities were acceptable, others raised questions among church members. A group who were opposed to some of these actions banded together to publish a newspaper, The Nauvoo Expositor
, dedicated to exposing the wrongs of church leaders. Only one issue of the paper appeared, because three days later, the Nauvoo City Council passed an ordinance against the paper, and the press was destroyed.
(Community of Christ archives)
Joseph and Hyrum Smith, along with other church leaders, were imprisoned in Carthage, Illinois, to wait a hearing on charges growing out of the destruction. Although they had been promised protection by the Illinois governor, a mob was able to break through into the jail. On June 27, 1844, the Smith brothers were Source :http://www.cofchrist.org/history/nauvoo.asp