“Due to persecutions in the state of Missouri, the Saints moved about two hundred miles to the northeast, across the Mississippi River, and into Illinois, where they found more favorable conditions. Eventually, the Saints purchased land near the undeveloped city of Commerce. This land was virtually swamp wilderness with only a few simple buildings. The Saints drained the land and established homes. Joseph Smith moved his family into a small log home. The city name of Commerce was changed to Nauvoo, after the Hebrew word for ‘beautiful’” (The Guide to the Scriptures, “Nauvoo, Illinois (USA),” 173–74).
The Prophet Joseph Smith recorded several sections of the Doctrine and Covenants in Nauvoo (D&C 124–29, 132), including the command to build a temple there (D&C 124:26–27). And it was in Nauvoo that Elder John Taylor, then a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, documented his witness to the martyrdom of the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum (D&C 135).
The Saints built the Nauvoo Temple, organized wards and stakes of Zion, organized the Relief Society, and began ordinances for the dead before being driven from their homes in 1846. As a result of that persecution, under the direction of President Brigham Young, they left the area and made their way west.
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