Mormons are familiar with stories of persecutions in Missouri back in the 1830s. Why were Mormons so persecuted? It turns out that the people of Missouri were concerned that Mormons were trying to start a Slave Rebellion. On the other hand, Joseph Smith was known to be against the abolitionist movement. Could both positions be true? We asked these questions to Dr. Paul Reeve of the University of Utah and he gives his answers which may surprise you. Here are a few excerpts from my interview with Paul.
In today’s world, Mormonism is seen as a predominantly white church, but in Joseph Smith’s day, it was perceived as just the opposite. Mormons were considered so different back then that many scientists and doctors thought a new race was coming from the Great Basin Kingdom. How did outsiders get such strange ideas? Dr. Paul Reeve, professor of history at the University of Utah will help us answer that question.