29. "Building the Kingdom of God in Nauvoo, Illinois" | BYU Studies

29. "Building the Kingdom of God in Nauvoo, Illinois"

Studying the history of the Church in Nauvoo reveals that it was a place of growth and revelation but also dissension and challenge.

BYU Studies Special Issue on Nauvoo History: BYU Studies Vol. 32, no. 1-2 (1992). These sixteen articles were presented as a special issue on Nauvoo:

More resources:

"Nauvoo," Glen M. Leonard, Encyclopedia of Mormonism

A brief description of how Nauvoo was developed, how it grew, the main events and revelations that happened there, and what life was like for residents.

"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

Mormons 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 Mormons were able to transform the swampy land into a beautiful city.

Additional resource:

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.