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Nauvoo Illinois Temple

The New Nauvoo Illinois Temple
The newly rebuilt Nauvoo Illinois Temple.

Joseph Smith and many of his followers made the trek to Commerce, Illinois, a scattered community on the banks of the Mississippi. Joseph Smith changed the name of the settlement to Nauvoo, and they proceeded to build a town, which became very prosperous and was at one point the second largest city in Illinois. They began construction on a temple, which was to be a very beautiful structure indeed.

The new Nauvoo Illinois Temple
The original temple was built in the 1840's
and was abandoned shortly after it was finished.
The exterior of the new temple is nearly identical to the old one.

As time passed, the people roundabout became upset with Smith and his followers, eventually killing Smith. Upon Smith's death, the Latter Day Saints organization shattered, with many different groups going to different places. One group went to Bear Island, Michigan, and established a colony there, which was eventually disbanded by the Michigan militia. Many of the Smith family and their followers went back to Independence, Missouri, and re-established what they considered to be Joseph Smith's original church. By far the largest group followed Brigham Young to Utah.

The Sun Stone and other LDS Symbols
The Sun Stone and other LDS symbols

The Nauvoo Temple was abondoned soon after it was finished. Some time later a fire consumed the interior. A few years later a wall collapsed. Eventually the building was demolished. But the site of Nauvoo remained a Mormon shrine.

Brigham Young's Nauvoo house(?)
Brigham Young's house

Joseph Smith's Nauvoo House (The Homestead)Graves of Joseph Smith and his primary wife
The Homestead, the home of Joseph and Emma Smith. On the right are their graves.

A few years ago the LDS church decided to rebuild the temple, which is now (2002) complete. It is almost identical to the original temple on the outside; some of the interior also retains its former appearence. The old part of Nauvoo has been restored and is an interesting place to visit.

Old NauvooOld Nauvoo

Old NauvooOld Nauvoo

©D.L. Mark 1997-2003

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