By October 1838, conflict between Mormons and non-Mormons in northwest Missouri had reached a fever pitch. Armed aggressions against the Saints had placed them in an awful predicament. If they turned the other cheek they would be mobbed and driven as had been proved out in De Witt, but if they fought in defense of their rights, families, and property, they risked the loss of good will among those not sympathetic to the mob, and the anger of the entire state would be arrayed against them. And again, they would likely still lose their homes and property. Both the Book of Mormon and the revelations of the Doctrine and Covenants revealed not only were they justified in fighting in defense of their families and homes, but it was their sacred duty. Looking back, they had lost property in New York, Ohio, and in other parts of Missouri. The question—after all we have endured do we at last stand and fight for what is ours or do we walk away?
Artwork by Kelly Donovon