A Miracle

“Even though the Prophet was haggard, pale, and penniless after his long confinement [in Liberty Jail], it did not take him long to make his leadership felt. He found a swamp where the Mississippi makes a horseshoe bend. It was practically deserted; there were only a half-dozen houses. It was a place in which nobody seemed to have a great interest. The owners of this mosquito-infested swamp were happy to sell the land to the penniless Saints for promissory notes, payable over a term of years. ” ‘Characteristic of the Prophet, he renamed the place to meet his desires. Not what it was, but what, with the faith and work of man, the region might become—”Nauvoo, the City Beautiful” ‘ (William E. Berrett, The Restored Church, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1965, p. 149). “The faith of the Prophet rallied the people, and a special zeal seldom witnessed in all of man’s history swept over this people. ‘That deep and abiding strength was to change a swamp into a great city; miserable shelters into splendid houses; penniless people to the most prosperous citizens of Illinois. That missionary zeal was to carry the gospel into many lands and double the membership of the Church. And all of this in the short time of five years! ” ‘What a program. And what an accomplishment! A people stripped of all earthly possessions, money, homes, factories, lands, rebuilt in five short years, a city-state which was the envy of long-settled communities’ (Berrett, The Restored Church, p. 150). A miracle had occurred!”

L. Tom Perry, “Nauvoo—A Demonstration of Faith,” Ensign, May 1980, 74

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