The Saints’ years in Nauvoo were a time of growth and revelation, as they learned more about temple ordinances and building a community.
D&C 124 contains many specific commandments that can be grouped: to prepare a solemn proclamation, to build a hotel in Nauvoo called the Nauvoo House, to build a temple in Nauvoo, and to reorganize priesthood quorums.
BYU Studies Special Issue on Nauvoo: BYU Studies, Vol. 32, no. 1-2 (1992). These sixteen articles were presented as a special issue on Nauvoo history:
- “Nauvoo—Sunrise and Sunset on the Mississippi,” Gordon B. Hinckley
- “Doctrine and the Temple in Nauvoo,” Larry C. Porter and Milton V. Backman Jr.
- “Introduction to Historic Nauvoo,” Loren C. Dunn
- “The Development of the Joseph Smith Historic Center,” Kenneth E. Stobaugh
- “Nauvoo Stake, Priesthood Quorums, and the Church’s First Wards,” William G. Hartley
- “William W. Phelps’s Service in Nauvoo as Joseph Smith’s Political Clerk,” Bruce A. Van Orden
- “Nauvoo Observed,” William Mulder
- “The Mormon Experience in the Wisconsin Pineries, 1841–1845,” Dennis Rowley
- “Conflict in the Countryside: The Mormon Settlement at Macedonia, Illinois,” Susan Sessions Rugh
- “Benjamin Franklin Johnson in Nauvoo: Friend, Confidant, and Defender of the Prophet,” E. Dale LeBaron
- “Crime and Punishment in Mormon Nauvoo, 1839–1846,” Kenneth W. Godfrey
- “From Assassination to Expulsion: Two Years of Distrust, Hostility, and Violence,” Marshall Hamilton
- “The City of Joseph in Focus: The Use and Abuse of Historic Photographs,” Richard N. Holzapfel and T. Jeffrey Cottle
- “Mapping Historic Nauvoo,” MeLinda Evans Jeffress
- “Lucy Mack Smith Speaks to the Nauvoo Saints,” Ronald W. Walker
“Transforming Swampland into Nauvoo, the City Beautiful: A Civil Engineering Perspective,” Kyle M. Rollins, Richard D. Smith, M. Brett Borup, and E. James Nelson, BYU Studies, Vol. 45, no. 3
The Saints began settling in Nauvoo, Illinois, on the banks of the Mississippi River, in 1839. They found the area uninhabitable due to standing water, dense underbrush, and mosquitoes. The Saints successfully drained lowlands and diverted runoff from higher ground, allowing buildings and gardens to be installed. A team of engineering faculty of Brigham Young University studied soil, topography, extant ditches, and historical records to reconstruct the design and methods the Saints used to drain Nauvoo. Their report includes ample maps and graphics to explain how the Saints were able to transform the swampy land into a beautiful city.
Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, A People of Promise, Glen M. Leonard
This 800-page book thoroughly covers the Mormon presence in Nauvoo. “The unfolding of temple doctrines to a gathered people during the seven-year Nauvoo period attracts our attention…. The common thread is the Saints’ search for places of refuge where they could unite in a quest for inner spiritual peace. In Nauvoo, they found the peace they were seeking when they entered the House of the Lord,” writes Glen Leonard. “Because of the complex nature of reminiscences, this history draws mostly from documentary evidence from the Nauvoo period.” This book lets the Saints speak for themselves.