Early next spring when nearly all the Saints had left, the mob set fire to the deserted homes. One of the brethren reported that two hundred and three dwellings and one grist mill were destroyed.
Topics.—1. Contrast between present conditions and past. 2. Mobbing continued. 3. Saints driven from Jackson county.
[Illustration: Map of Missouri and Illinois]
Questions and Review.—1. What experiences did the Latter-day Saint boys and girls of Jackson county pass through? (Read the story, “Grandmother’s Rocking Chair,” in the Contributor, Vol. 11, page 242.) 2. What happened in November, 1833? 3. What is the state militia? 4. Why was the Jackson county militia raised? 5. What happened after the brethren had given up their arms? 6. Tell about the scene on the banks of the Missouri river. 7. Where is Clay county? 8. What happened in the spring of 1834?
In the spring of 1834 Parley P. Pratt and Lyman Wight were sent as messengers from the Saints in Clay county to Kirtland to tell the Prophet what had happened and to ask for further advice. Joseph, you may be sure, was very grieved to hear about the sufferings of the Saints, and he enquired of the Lord what should be done. In answer, a revelation was given instructing Joseph to gather the young and middle aged men of the Church and organize them into a company which was to march to Missouri to bring aid to the Saints and to assist them to again get possession of their homes. Five hundred men were to be obtained, but one hundred would do if no more could be raised.
Accordingly, Joseph and seven other brethren went two and two through the various branches in the east asking for means and volunteers for this mission.
New Portage, a village about sixty miles south-west from Kirtland was selected as a gathering place, and from this point on the 8th of May, 1834, one hundred and fifty men started for Missouri. They were organized in regular army order, having officers to see that everything on the march was done properly. Joseph was the leader.
The distance from Kirtland to Missouri is one thousand miles. That long journey was not an easy one. The wagons were heavily loaded, and as the roads were poor there was very little riding. Often the men would have to help drag the loads over the bad places. Every Sunday the camp rested and held meetings. Sometimes the people, suspecting they were “Mormons” would annoy them, so that guards had to be placed around the camp. People were also curious to know what this strange company of men was and where it was going. Spies followed the company for many miles. There were some boys in camp, and the inquisitive people thought it an easy matter to find out everything from the boys.
“My boy, where are you from?” they would ask.
“From the east,” was the answer.