Upon fleeing New York, Smith and his people landed in Kirtland, Ohio. For six years they flourished there. A year after arriving, Smith had a revelation from God to build a temple. That was just the start. Smith claimed to receive 65 revelations during construction.
He managed to oversee the project with a small group of impoverished followers. Church members donated labor and materials like glass and pottery used for making stucco. Soaring to 110 feet, it was reverently dedicated in 1836.
The First Detractors of ‘The Book’
Smith rose to prominence in western New York where he grew up as a farmer. This is where he acquired his first flock of followers. But by 1831, his LDS converts were already feeling the burn of their prophet’s critics.
The ridicule of anti-Mormon sentiment marked the onset of the Mormon church’s slow crawl westward, riddled of course with conflicts like the war in Missouri. Ultimately destined for Salt Lake City, the modern church has proliferated abundantly ever since.
Smith was Tarred and Feathered in Kirtland
Anti-Mormon tensions were high in Kirtland, Ohio. On March 24, 1832, Smith and at least one of his church counselors were at Smith’s home looking over his child who wasn't very well.
It was late at night and an angry mob attacked and snatched the two men. At the time, Smith was in the process of erecting a temple on the Kirtland settlement.
Why the City of Zion Temple was Never Built
During the temple-construction days of the Kirtland church, plans to build a sprawling compound of temples in the city of Zion were developing. Smith received a revelation in 1831 for building an “everlasting inheritance.” In 1833 the master plan was underway.
It intended Jackson County, Missouri to host 24 temples and accommodate 20,000 people. Why didn’t it happen? Once again, Mormons were chased out. Missouri citizens expelled the LDS from the city.
Running for President Sealed his Fate
Already considered a lightning rod for his beliefs, running for president brought Smith even more negative attention. He exasperated this situation attempting to shut down his dissenters. A group of disgruntled former Latter-day Saints published the “Nauvoo Expositor,” a newspaper criticizing his leadership. Smith fired back.
As the leader of Nauvoo, he ordered the destruction of the press and he sent out the militia to enforce it. This unabashedly anti-democratic abuse of power would not go unchecked. He was charged with treason and conspiracy, along with his brother Hyrum.