Missouri


Missouri

Top Left:  Adam-ondi-Ahman

Three years before he died, Adam called his righteous posterity into this valley and bestowed on them his last blessing (D&C 107:53–56). In 1838 Adam-ondi-Ahman was the location of a settlement of between 500 and 1,000 Latter-day Saints. The Saints abandoned this settlement when they were expelled from Missouri. Before Christ’s Second Coming in glory, Adam and his righteous posterity, which includes Saints of all dispensations, will again assemble in this valley to meet with the Savior (Dan. 7:9–10, 13–14; D&C 27; 107:53–57; 116).

Top Right:  Liberty Jail

Joseph Smith was unjustly confined in Liberty Jail from December 1838 to April 1839 along with several other Church leaders. Joseph suffered helplessly, knowing that the Latter-day Saints were being driven from Missouri under an “extermination order” from the governor. The Prophet and his companions were imprisoned in a rough stone dungeon measuring 14 by 14 feet, with a ceiling just over 6 feet high. Only two small barred windows allowed light and air into the cell. The six prisoners suffered from winter weather, filthy conditions, hunger, and sickness.

While in Liberty Jail, the Prophet wrote letters to his family and the Saints. His correspondence contains some of the most poignant revelation found in scripture. In this miserable jail, Joseph learned that his sufferings were still not comparable to those of the Savior, as the Spirit whispered to him: “The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?” He was taught that in the end “all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”1

In early April 1839, Joseph and the other prisoners were allowed to escape, and they fled to safety in Illinois.

The jail was eventually torn down, though some of the dungeon floor and walls remained. The property was purchased for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1939. President Joseph Fielding Smith dedicated a partial reconstruction of the jail housed within a visitors’ center in 1963.

Bottom Left:  Far West Temple Site

The settlement of Far West, Missouri, became the home for 3,000 to 5,000 Saints who sought refuge from persecution in Jackson and Clay Counties. In 1838 the Lord commanded the Saints to build a temple here (see D&C 115:7–8). Mob persecution prevented them from doing so. On October 31 of that year, the Prophet Joseph Smith and other Church leaders were arrested and, after a committing trial in Richmond, imprisoned in Liberty Jail. During the winter of 1838–39, the Latter-day Saints were driven from Far West and other sites in Missouri and relocated in Illinois.

Significant Events: A temple site was dedicated and the cornerstones were laid. Seven revelations published in the Doctrine and Covenants were received (sections 113–15; 117–20). Joseph F. Smith, the sixth President of the Church, was born November 13, 1838, in Far West. Far West served briefly as the headquarters of the Church under the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Bottom Right:  Independence Visitors’ Center

A discovery of Church sites in Missouri begins at the Independence Visitors’ Center. This center honors the past and the present, with exhibits depicting experiences of Mormon settlers in Missouri between 1831 and 1839, as well as exhibits on the importance of families, messages from modern prophets, and the Book of Mormon.