Utah's History

By Thomas G. Alexander; Eugene E. Campbell et al. | Go to book overview

Chapter 10
The Mormon Gathering

Gustive O. Larson

The founding of Utah, as noted in earlier chapters, resulted from the Mormon concept of building an earthly Kingdom of God in the Great Basin. The mission of the Mormons, as outlined by their early leaders, was to gather "scattered Israel" preparatory to Christ's personal rule on earth. In the performance of this mission, more than 100,000 men, women, and children were recruited, organized, and brought to Utah from the Eastern States, Europe, and the islands of the Pacific during the territorial period. Most of them were Britons, Scandinavians, and Germans, whose emigration was assisted by a unique Mormon enterprise--the Perpetual Emigrating Fund Company.


The "Gathering"

The gathering began when: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was born in 1830. The message of "the Restoration" was carried by dedicated missionaries out of western New York and Ohio into every state of the Union, to Canada, and finally in 1837 to Great Britain. Within eight months of their arrival in England, Heber C. Kimball and his associates baptized 2,000 converts. The Mormon apostles enjoyed continued success, and 5,000 converts sailed from Liverpool to join the Nauvoo congregation before its exodus to the West.

The Chartist Petition of 1838 sheds light on the enthusiastic response of the poor in Great Britain to the message of the missionaries from America. In demanding that the working class be given a voice in the government, the petitioners complained of oppressive taxes and overwhelming suffering:

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