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"This massive dissertation, originally over 500 pages in length, is filled with impressive details about the settlement, troubles, and expulsion of the Latter-day Saints from northern Missouri, 1836–1839. Since its approval at BYU in 1965, this doctoral dissertation has remained a standard reference work for serious historians. Carefully written and copiously footnoted, this study draws heavily on timeless primary sources as it probes the leading causes for the Mormon War in Missouri. Rapid colonization and the unique religious teachings and practices of the Latter-day Saints are among the main factors emphasized by Dr. Leland H. Gentry. Shortly after the founding of Kirtland, speculation increased among Church members as to the future location of ""Zion,"" the ""New Jerusalem"" spoken of in the Book of Mormon. A little over a year later, in the course of a visit to the extreme western edge of the American frontier, Joseph Smith was informed by the Lord that he was standing upon the very land ""appointed and consecrated for the gathering of his saints, . . . the land of promise, and the place for the city of Zion."" The urge to get to Zion was strong among the Saints. So intense was the desire of some to settle upon the Land of Promise that they consummated the move in haste and without adequate preparation. Migrating families often found themselves entirely dependent upon the charity of their neighbors. The rapid migrations of so many poor and ill-equipped persons threw the Saints into direct conflict with the older and more established settlers of Missouri. The latter tended to view the rapid influx of Saints as an act designed to secure control of the lands surrounding their homes without legal purchase, a thing far from the heart of any true Saint. Thus while Mormonism had many distinct and unusual features, it had certain elements of affinity with its age. For one thing, it shared the common hope of a perfect society and even inculcated a practical plan for the attainment of the same. It shared the dream of a ""Manifest Destiny"" for America and turned its attention to the great unsettled West early in its history. Finally it recognized the importance of land in frontier economics and set about to secure as much as was practicable."