The Assassination of Joseph Smith

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Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, whether considered heretic or prophet, affected many American lives. As the founder of one of the few truly American religions, his death, classified as murder or justice, created a sound dent in United States history. The events leading to, during, and after his assassination not only affect members of the Mormon church, but they also affect the face of the United States today.

Before his assassination, the Mormon leader, Joseph Smith, faced many struggles for his beliefs. Born on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont, Smith lived fourteen years before his first intuition to start the new church. 'In 1820, at the age of fourteen, Joseph was supposed to have experienced what came to be known as his 'first' vision.'(Persuitte 21) After this he began his writing of the Book of Mormon. After this vision his life was supposedly interrupted two more times by God before he finished the Book of Mormon and created the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 1830.

After the creation of the new religion, Joseph and his followers were chased around the United States by non-Mormon people. The Church began in New York on April 6, 1830. It moved to Kirtland, Ohio, and it split to include a second location at Jackson County, Missouri in 1831. Followers in Jackson were kicked to Clay County in 1833 and to Caldwell County in 1836. Joseph's followers at his home in Kirtland were rejoined with the Missouri followers when they were forced to flee to Caldwell as well. Finally in 1839 after brief imprisonment and a battle with Governor Boggs in Missouri, Smith moved his base to Nauvoo, Illinois. It was a town established by Joseph for the Mormons to have...