History of the Church Series | BYU Studies

History of the Church Series

Sunrise and Sunset on the Mississippi
August 16, 2017
History of the Church Series
Nauvoo—Sunrise and Sunset on the Mississippi
Gordon B. Hinckley

Nauvoo did not grow in ragtail fashion as did so many cities in early America. It rose like the sunrise, planned from the beginning; then it faded like the sunset after a short day. The season of its glory lasted only from 1839 to 1846. In February 1839, while the Saints were refugees in Quincy and their prophet was a prisoner in Liberty Jail, they first received the friendly attention of Dr. Isaac Galland, who owned considerable property at Commerce and from whom they later made significant land purchases. Seven years from that February, the first group of their people abandoned Nauvoo and began the long journey that would bring them to the mountain valleys of the West. Ever since the Prophet named the place Nauvoo, we have spoken of it as Nauvoo the Beautiful. It is beautiful.