Establishing a Home in the West
How oft when they [Saints] have met together . . . has the spirit of revelation rested upon them, and the future been opened to their view in all its beauty.
Joseph, the Prophet, and his brother Hyrum were dead. Chaos reigned in the State of Illinois. Anti-Mormons called for the extermination of the Saints from the area. False accusations about the Saints hung over Nauvoo like an impending storm. Several groups sprang up, trying to usurp the leadership of the Church. Sidney Rigdon wanted to call himself the ‘guardian’ of the Church. Brigham Young addressed the Saints, telling them that the Twelve Apostles should lead the Church. After much preaching and discussion, and through prayerful consideration, the Saints voted to follow the Twelve.
Because of the constant persecution, the Saints knew they would be forced to leave Nauvoo for the west. Even as they built their wagons and packed their supplies, they continued to work on the temple. John worried the Saints would be unable to finish it before being driven from the state. On June 18, 1845 he wrote in his journal, “I dreamt that I stood by the temple and . . . saw that it was finished . . . and rejoiced.” This dream answered John’s prayers and relieved his fears about the temple. Heavenly Father would help them complete it. As soon as the building could be occupied, the Twelve worked day and night to give everyone an opportunity to receive the temple blessings that had been revealed to Joseph Smith. The Saints were eager for these gifts from God, and gratitude filled their hearts as they received this endowment from on high.