Organized by Joseph Smith Jr. through revelation from God, the Father and Jesus Christ in 1830, the church had a tumultuous beginning. The LDS Saints experienced much hardship during its initial years and experienced severe persecution. Before settling in the Far West area in 1836, the LDS Saints had been forced to leave their homes on several occasions(often forcibly). First from New York State to Kirtland, Ohio. The Saints were then driven both from Kirtland and Independence, Missouri to their new home in Caldwell (and Daviess) County with Far West being the center and headquarters of the Mormon settlements. The majority settled there during the summer of 1838 and the population at it's peak was approximately 5000.
Unfortunately, the Mormon's stay in Far West would be brief. By the Fall of 1838 tensions between the Mormons and their Non-Mormon neighbors were high. Political and Religious differences between the Saints and the other residents of the county led to conflict and ultimately violence. On October 27th, 1838. Governor Boggs issued an "extermination order" requiring that the Saints either be driven from the state or they would be killed. Mobs burned property and killed Mormon Saints and the State Militia surrounded Far West. Joseph Smith and other leaders were taken prisoner. After months of abuse and torment, the Saints began their exodus from the state in mid February 1839. They had all left by April 20th, 1839, settling in Illinois. Joseph and the others who had been captured. escaped mid April and joined the rest of the Saints in Nauvoo, Illinois.