Mormonism Survives Persecution and Spreads Through Americas
The translation of the plates was a long and difficult process. Joseph Smith enlisted the aid of Oliver Cowdery to finish the transcription and publication of the Book of Mormon. Publication of the manuscript was especially difficult as the printing press had yet to be invented in England. Manuscripts were copied by hand and distributed slowly through the English colonies. As word spread converts began to trickle in. Believers regarded Joseph Smith as a prophet who received divine revelation from God. Non-believers regarded this as a heretical sect seeking to blaspheme the word of God and corrupt their people. The small but growing community of Mormons encountered hostility wherever they went. Rumors of polygamy and other deviant activities of the Mormons spread rapidly through Williamsburg and Christian mobs soon gathered to drive out the fledgling Mormon community.
Under Joseph Smith, the Latter Day Saints faced several turbulent years moving to new towns north of Williamsburg and being driven away. Yet despite the violence the Mormons continued to grow. As they grew, so did their resolve to defend themselves - through whatever means necessary. No pacifist religious movement, the Mormons fought back through force of arms but were continually beaten back by those who hated what they viewed as this Mormon cult. War broke out between the Christians and the Mormons. The Williamsburg War was the first full-on conflict between groups of Englishmen in the Americas. Many died on either side. Eventually, Joseph Smith himself was jailed in the small village of Carthage (founded, of course, by evacuees from Carthage in Africa). He was charged with treason against King Henry III. Not content to wait for a trial a mob attacked the jail and killed Smith.
His death created a small crisis within the Mormon community. It was clear that they could no longer stay here. It was too dangerous. They had to move on. But who would lead them? Mormon leader, and member of the Quorum of the Twelve, Brigham Young was elected by the Church to replace Joseph Smith as President of the Church of Latter-day Saints. An imposing, beardy man, Brigham Young embarked upon a great northern exodus of the Mormons. They loaded up their women, children, animals and property and made the long journey north, to Georgetown. While a Christian community, the people of Georgetown were more tolerant of the Mormons, indeed many were quite receptive to this new faith. It was here that Brigham Young and his people established a home for their new faith. They constructed a great temple for worship and established a firm hold on the community of Georgetown. Soon Mormons outnumbered Christians in the colony and Brigham Young became governor of the colony.
Under Brigham Young's visionary leadership, the Latter-day Saints spread their new faith throughout the continent. English colonies of Henryton, Cabot and Nova Scotia were soon converted to Mormonism. As they believed that the natives were decedents of the Hebrews, they held them in high regard and successfully worked to convert the Inca, the Americans and all others to their new faith. A new era had dawned.