Chapter 53

Trouble in Nauvoo

“Chapter 53: Trouble in Nauvoo: May–August 1842,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 191–93


men building in Nauvoo

Thousands of Saints went to live in Nauvoo. They built a beautiful city and started to build a temple.

John C. Bennett

The Saints chose John C. Bennett to be the mayor of Nauvoo. At first he was a good mayor, but then he began to do bad things and turned against Joseph Smith.

people meeting together

The people in Nauvoo wanted to have a special holiday, with the soldiers of the Nauvoo Legion marching in a parade.

John C. Bennett speaking to soldiers

John Bennett decided that the soldiers should have a mock battle. That meant it would be a pretend battle, not a real one.

John C. Bennett speaking to Joseph

Mr. Bennett asked Joseph Smith to lead one group of soldiers in the battle, but Joseph wouldn’t do it. The Holy Ghost had told Joseph that John Bennett was planning to use the battle to have him killed. John Bennett was angry.

Joseph becoming new mayor

Because John Bennett had turned against the Prophet and done other bad things, he was excommunicated from the Church and was no longer the mayor of Nauvoo. Joseph Smith became the new mayor.

John C. Bennett angry

John Bennett became bitter. He left Nauvoo and began to say and write bad things about Joseph Smith and the Church. He also got other people to join him.

Joseph envisioning the Saints in Rocky Mountains

Joseph Smith told some of the men of the Church that the Saints would have more trouble. Someday they would have to leave Nauvoo. Joseph foresaw that they would go to the Rocky Mountains and build cities there. They would obey God and become a strong people.