Date: April 07, 2016 09:30PM
This post is an addendum to this one:http://exmormon.org/phorum/read.php?2,1763474,1763545#msg-1763545
In that post, I had written:
"Smith and Rigdon were really just empire-seekers. They wanted the land in Missouri so they could build an agriculture-based financial empire. Fort Leavenworth was across the river in Kansas, and Smith and Rigdon hoped to get rich on Army supply contracts. Their preaching of building a 'New Jerusalem' and 'Zion' were just a front for their secret land-and-money-grabbing scheme."
The church, of course, teaches that western Missouri was the location of the ancient Garden of Eden, and that it was to become the Latter-day "Zion," with a magnificent temple built there. I recently retrieved from my attic the book "The 1838 Mormon War In Missouri" by Stephen LeSueur, which provides further detail on Smith's and Rigdon's true intentions for wanting to settle in, and take over, western Missouri:
"Northern Missouri's Platte country, only recently annexed by the state, had previously served as a government relocation center for American Indians. In 1830 Congress assigned the Sacs, Foxes, Iowas, and a number of other tribes two million acres of choice land east of the Missouri River, bordering Missouri's northwestern boundaries. Local settlers complained loudly; not only did they object to having the Indians located so closely to their borders, but they also coveted the country's fertile valleys and prairies, and they wanted the easy access to the Missouri River those lands would provide. In addition, Fort Leavenworth lay directly across the Missouri River, the garrison's six hundred soldiers and the numerous Indian tribes nearby providing an abundant market for Missouri produce and labor. The temptation proved too much for Missouri settlers, and by 1835 more than two hundred families had settled on Indian lands. The endless complaints from Missouri's congressmen---Sen. Thomas H. Benton labeled the Indians a 'useless and dangerous population'; Sen. Lewis F. Linn warned that the illegal white settlers could not be removed without violence---finally persuaded the federal government to move the Indians across the Missouri River. Land-hungry settlers from Missouri's western counties immediately swarmed to the new area when it was officially attached to the state in 1837...
"The rapid influx of Mormons alarmed the older settlers, especially those who had purchased land or town lots in areas they hoped to develop into prosperous communities. [Mormon bishop] John Corrill reported that the Mormon settlement at Diahman 'stirred up the people of Davies in some degree, [because] they saw that if this town was built up rapidly it would injure Gallatin, their county seat....' In addition, once the Saints moved into a neighborhood, property values would decline because non-Mormons refused to settle there...
"The developing Mormon enterprises also threatened to displace established merchants and businesses, especially in their trade with Fort Leavenworth. The garrison, located just thirty miles west of Caldwell County, purchased supplies not only for itself, but also for the numerous Indian tribes whose reservations surrounded the fort. Local settlers considered the fort's presence a godsend because of the great wealth it brought to the region. Leavenworth's vast market also caught the notice of Mormon leaders, who published enthusiastic reports of the large quantities of goods and grains purchased---and the high prices paid---at the fort. By early October the Mormons' newly organized cooperative firms began bidding for government contracts. The increased competition was not welcomed by the non-Mormon citizens. Consequently, while some merchants viewed the burgeoning Mormon population as an opportunity for increased business, others feared their investments in their farms and towns would be wiped out by the new Mormon communities." (Lesueur, pp. 21, 34-35.)
So we see that the Mormons' troubles in Missouri weren't the product of "religious persecution," but rather was a land-and-money war between competing factions. About 12,000 Mormons moved into the area en masse and tried to squeeze out
the settlers who had already been there for years. Smith and Rigdon concocted the idea that the area was "Adam-ondi-Ahman" and "Zion" in order to induce their disciples to move there and provide the manpower for their planned agricultural-based financial empire. The Missourians retaliated and booted the Mormons out.
And now you know the rest of the story.