Doctrine and Covenants 125: Zarahemla, Iowa

Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Student Study Guide, (2005), 143–144


Zarahemla, Iowa
How did a city in Iowa receive the Book of Mormon name of Zarahemla? Where is it located, and why did the Lord speak to the Saints living there? “Not all of the Saints who were driven from Missouri found refuge in Illinois. Some settled across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo, in Iowa. The revelation [Doctrine and Covenants 125] came in response to a question about whether they should remain in Iowa or gather to the Illinois side. One of the first to suggest that the Saints locate in Iowa was Dr. Isaac Galland, the man who had sold the land on which Nauvoo was built. Elder Joseph Fielding Smith wrote that ‘Mr. Galland in a communication to David W. Rogers, suggested that the Saints locate in Iowa, which was a territory; for he thought they would be more likely to receive protection from mobs under the jurisdiction ofthe United States, than they would be in a state of the Union, “where murder, rapine and robbery are admirable (!) traits in the character of a demagogue; and where the greatest villains often reach the highest offices.” He also wrote to Governor Robert Lucas of Iowa, who had known the “Mormon” people in Ohio, and who spoke very highly of them as good citizens.’ (Essentials in Church History,p. 220.)” (Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual,311).

Understanding the Scriptures

Doctrine and Covenants 125

Territory(v. 1)A part of the United States that was not yet a state 
Essaying(v. 2)Attempting, trying 

Doctrine and Covenants 125:3–4—Zarahemla and Nashville

Some of the Saints who fled from Missouri settled on the west side of the Mississippi River around the villages of Montrose and Nashville, Iowa. The Church purchased about 20,000 acres in that area, and the Lord commanded a city named Zarahemla to be built there. When the Saints arrived in 1839, the population of Lee County, Iowa, where these towns were located, was 2,839. By 1846 the population had grown to 12,860. When the Saints left for the west in 1846, these settlements were abandoned and no longer exist.

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you studyDoctrine and Covenants 125.

Activity A iconDraw a Map

Using the information inDoctrine and Covenants 125and the maps in the back of the triple combination, draw a map in your notebook that shows Jackson County, Missouri; Nauvoo, Illinois; and Montrose, Iowa. How far did the Saints travel from Missouri to the Nauvoo and Montrose areas?