Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)

5-2010

Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis

Degree Title

Master of Arts in History

Department

History

Major Advisor

Jill Gill, Ph.D.

Abstract

The Mormons, who prefer to be called members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, tried to build a nation during the Civil War. In 1832, their prophet, Joseph Smith, prophesized that a war between the Northern and Southern states had been pre-ordained because of the Gentiles’ sins against the Saints. Mormons thought this war would be the beginning of the end times. They believed the Civil War would cause the ruin of all nations—except for the Mormon nation of Zion. Mormons held fast to the promise that God would protect their land. Early members tried to build Zion, but angry anti-Mormon mobs chased them from their fledgling communities. During the Civil War, however, non-Mormons had little time to worry about the Saints. Mormons took full advantage of the lack of scrutiny and concentrated on building the perfect society for Christ’s return. After the Civil War, the federal government again turned its attention to the Mormons and polygamy, but the Mormons fortified themselves while the nation warred. The Saints withstood the federal onslaught for close to twenty years because of their growth during the Civil War.

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