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Church History Vol. 3 Chapter 1 Page 1


1 DURING the fourteen years from April, 1830, to the death of Joseph and Hyrum Smith in 1844, the church had an unprecedented growth. Notwithstanding the severe ordeals of persecution and internal dissensions, the driving of its members from place to place and from State to State, attended with the destruction of life and property, the ministry had canvassed the United States and the Canadas quite thoroughly, and had extended their labors to Europe, where thousands had received their message.

At the time of the martyrdom the numerical strength of the church was variously estimated at 160,000 to 200,000. Joseph Smith, in 1844, wrote a statement published by I. Daniel Rupp, in which he said that 150,000 "might still be short of the truth." On May 18 of the same year, in writing to Henry Clay, he estimated the number to be removed in case the church should seek another location, at 200,000.

Governor Ford in his "History of Illinois," page 359, gives the number at about 200,000, and states parenthetically that Mormon statistics made it 500,000. Where he saw such statistics we do not know. Of those composing the church it is estimated that there were about 30,000 in Nauvoo and vicinity. The church in America had received accessions from foreign nations, not including Canada and other British provinces in America, of over

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