In 1838, Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs issued the "Order of Extermination" that ordered the killing or removal of Mormons residing in Missouri—initiating an exodus of Latter-day Saints. Though there seems to be no historical evidence that Missouri carried out these threats, the order spurred Mormons to leave the state in search of friendlier territory.
Over time, the Order of Extermination has become a symbol of violence and discrimination against Mormons, resulting in a distortion of what historical evidence suggests actually happened: emigration and eventual prosperity, not mass extermination, from 1838 to 1869.
Fred E. Woods sheds new light on this 30-year period of Mormon history on Sunday, May 17, at 2 p.m. at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St. His presentation will reveal that Mormons used Missouri as an outfitting post to travel west by wagon to their promised land—in spite of the Order of Extermination—until the arrival of the transcontinental railroad.
Woods is associate professor of church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University, where he currently holds the Richard L. Evans Chair for Religious Understanding.
This presentation is part of the Missouri Valley Speakers Series, a program of the Missouri Valley Special Collections at the Central Library. The series is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Admission is free. Click here  or call 816.701.3407 to RSVP. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage located at 10th and Baltimore.