Finally being allowed to escape from their unlawful detention, Joseph and his fellow prisoners made their way to Illinois, where the Saints had gathered anew. After enjoying a sweet season of reunion with family and friends, Joseph began preparations for the founding of a city. The land chosen was “literally a wilderness…mostly covered with trees and bushes, and much of it so wet that it was with the utmost difficulty a footman could get through…so [unhealthy], very few could live there; but believing that it might become a [healthy] place by the blessing of heaven to the Saints…I considered it wisdom to make an attempt to build up a city” (History of the Church, Vol. 3, p. 375). And so by channeling the water, a city began to grow from what had been an uninhabitable swamp. It was soon named Nauvoo, a Hebrew term, signifying a beautiful place. A city plat was drawn up, buildings began to appear, streets were leveled, and converts began to pour in from all over. The missionary effort had won many souls, especially in the British Isles. The Nauvoo Legion was formed and a local government was established appointing Joseph Smith as its mayor. The crowning jewel, however, would be the temple that began to rise at the top of the hill to the east. It wasn’t long before Nauvoo rivaled Chicago as the largest city in Illinois—this beautiful city of Joseph—miraculous Nauvoo.
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