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Mar 3rd 2007

Anti-Mormon

This article was recently submitted to all-encompassingly for publication. It is one of a series of informational posts intended to address widely-held misconceptions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. –Admin

Almost from the time Joseph Smith left the grove of trees after his First Vision, he faced persecution. Almost since the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), there have been anti-Mormon sentiments.

For his beliefs and actions, Joseph was hounded and hunted and thrown in jail multiple times before finally being murdered on June 27, 1844, but he wasn’t alone in his trials.

In October 1838, an anti-Mormon mob fell upon Smith Humphrey, pillaged his Missouri home, burned it, and ordered him to leave the area. He did, but not long afterward another mob abducted him, took four hundred dollars in cash from his wagon and a thousand dollars worth of goods, and then drove him out of the state. Experiences such as this happened again and again in the early days of the Mormon Church. The Mormons received brutal treatment almost constantly.

At one point, the Governor of Missouri, Lilburn W. Boggs, issued an extermination order for all Mormons. This order, which allowed for the killing of any Mormon on sight, was actually on the books of Missouri until 1976, when it was finally rescinded by Governor Bond, who wrote:

Expressing on behalf of all Missourians our deep regret for the injustice and undue suffering which was caused by this 1838 order, I hereby rescind Executive Order No. 44 dated October 27, 1838, issued by Governor Lilburn W. Boggs

We cannot help asking: “Why were the Mormons so severely persecuted?” We do not know all the reasons, of course, but through revelations to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord has told us:

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good; And thus he has laid a cunning plan, thinking to destroy the work of God.”

There are still misunderstandings and anti-Mormon sentiments, but now they are usually not as violently carried out as they once were. Many people still protest and give out anti- Mormon literature at the many LDS pageants held each year around the United States to celebrate the history of the church, as well as at dedications of Mormon temples, but they are usually peaceful in their dealings with the people in attendance.

The Church’s goal is to bring everyone unto Christ, and be tolerant of those with different beliefs. Maybe at some future time, there will be no more misunderstandings and we can all live in peace with each other.

Other Links:

  • Anti-Mormonism
  • Mormon History
  • Out of Mormonism
  • —————————
    1 History of the Church, 4:62
    2 D&C 10:20, 23

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