This is Scripture Roundtable 33 from The Interpreter Foundation, in which we discuss Doctrine & Covenants Gospel Doctrine Lesson #29, “Building the Kingdom of God in Nauvoo, Illinois,” focusing on D&C 124, and 126, bringing in various insights to help us better understand the scriptures. These roundtables will generally follow the 2013 Gospel Doctrine schedule of scriptures, a few weeks ahead of time.
Some of the interesting discussion in this roundtable includes:
At 2,500 men under arms, the Nauvoo Legion was the largest military force in the western United States, and second only to the United States Army (8,500 men) in the entire country.
Of the 18,000 British converts who joined the Church between 1840 and 1846, about 4,700 immigrated to Nauvoo. One in three Nauvoo residents was a British convert immigrant.
John Taylor wanted to call the women’s organization the Female Benevolent Society. Emma Smith expressed her belief that it be called the Relief Society because “We are going to do something extraordinary…we expect extraordinary occasions and pressing calls.”
Joseph Smith’s decision to send many of his most loyal associates to England was counterintuitive, seemingly foolish, yet, arguably, it saved the Church. Certainly it marked the culture of Mormonism in indelible ways.
The Mormonism that entered into Nauvoo was, in many ways, a Protestant-like faith that had an extra book. Nauvoo is crucial because much that is distinctive in the Latter-day Saint form of Christianity developed during the Church’s relatively brief sojourn there.
Many of the old leaders dropped away before Nauvoo, and a new group — notably Brigham Young and the Council of the Twelve — came to the fore.