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Illinois Delegation to Apologize to Mormons

Joseph Smith, Jr. (image from Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints)
Joseph Smith, Jr. (image from Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints)


Salt Lake City, UT – A delegation from Illinois is in Utah today (Wednesday) to meet with state and Mormon Church officials.

They're going to express official regret for expelling more than 10,000 members of the church from the western Illinois city of Nauvoo in 1846.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn is leading the delegation; he'll also express regret for the 1844 murder of Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr.

"I don't think it's going to be a day of resentment or bitterness or recrimination," Quinn said Tuesday. "I think it's actually an opportunity for reconciliation."

The Illinois House approved a resolution last week expressing regret for the violence and expulsion of Mormons from Nauvoo.

Quinn calls what happened to the Mormons a "religious hate crime."

The Mormon church's founder, Joseph Smith, and his followers, settled in Nauvoo in Hancock County in the 1830s.

But those with different beliefs clashed with the Mormons, which led to the murders of Smith and his brother.

Quinn says the Mormons' story is rarely discussed in state history and he thinks that should change.

An official statement from the Latter Day Saints calls the state's gesture "thoughtful."