These few years in Nauvoo were a wonderful time for the Church. Joseph was said to be feeling better and happier than ever before. This alone must have brought a welcomed sense of security to the Saints. And yet, it was not to last. Heber C. Kimball, well known for his prophetic gift said shortly after coming to the area: “It is a very pretty place, but not a long abiding home for the Saints” (Orson F. Whitney, The Life of Heber C. Kimball, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1992, p. 256-57). Joseph, himself, had prophesied some time earlier that the Saints would go on to the Rocky Mountains, and there become a mighty people. It was only a matter of time till a chain of events would erode the Zionistic climate the Saints had here enjoyed. There was an attempted kidnapping of the prophet; one of Joseph’s counselors in the First Presidency along with some of his former friends turned against him; neighboring towns became enraged by dishonest reports from the enemies of the Church, till eventually the Mormons lost favor with once kind and generous Illinois. Joseph had to go into hiding, and finally began planning to go ahead with a few men to the Rocky Mountains. However, upon hearing of it, some of the Saints voiced the opinion that his leaving was a sign of cowardice, to which he frankly replied, “If my life is of no value to my friends it is of none to myself” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 549). He submissively returned to Nauvoo to face what he felt was his certain death.
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