Early Mormon History
During the early 19th century, a revival movement called The Second Great Awakening was sweeping the nation. One particular area in western New York became known as the “Burned Over District”. The area had been so heavily evangelized and saturated with revival that no fuel (unconverted souls) was left to burn (in other words, convert). Many religious and socialist experiments (utopian) sprung from that area – the Shakers, Oneida Society, Millerites (later Seventh Day Adventist) and Latter Day Saints (Mormons). Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, lived in the Burned Over District and was influenced as were many others by the revival.
In 1831, Mormons began to move west into Ohio and Missouri, and in 1840 a new colony was established in Nauvoo, Illinois. For many years the Mormons had faced opposition to their religion, even engaging in armed conflicts. When Joseph Smith moved to Nauvoo he again experienced anti-Mormon sentiment. In 1844 he was arrested, and while in jail a vigilante mob killed him on June 27, 1844.
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