Why did the Mormons move further west in their search for a home?

The short answer is that the Mormons kept moving in an attempt to find somewhere they could live in peace. Despite various reasons raised by non-Mormons for their moves, the Saints declared that the PRIMARY reason for the need to uproot and move were mounting persecutions of various kinds, including literal slaughter and burnings of homes and properties, although other circumstances regarding each move were slightly different.

  1. The Mormons moved first from from Palmyra, New York to Kirtland, Ohio.
  2. The Mormons abandoned Kirtland AFTER ONLY A SHORT TIME. MOST OF THE MORMONS HAD MOVED TO MISSOURI (SEE BELOW) WHILE KIRTLAND WAS STILL AN ACTIVE SETTLEMENT. A LOCAL RECESSION WAS THE REASON FOR LEAVING THE AREA. THE CHURCH HAD FORMED A LOCAL BANK, OF WHICH Joseph Smith WAS AN OFFICER, AND IT WAS ONE OF SEVERAL WHICH WAS BROUGHT DOWN BY THE CHANGE IN THE ECONOMY.
  3. WHILE STILL LIVING IN Kirtland, they established a second center in Independence, Missouri. THERE WERE POLITICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE MAINLY NEW ENGLANDER MORMONS AND THE MAINLY SOUTHERN MISSOURIANS WHICH LED TO MOB VIOLENCE. AT ONE POINT A COUNTY WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY FOR MORMONS IN ORDER TO REDUCE THE POLITICAL FALLOUT FROM A THE ALL-MORMON VOTE. MOB VIOLENCE BEGAN AGAIN IN THE NEW COUNTY. THE GOVERNOR, ACTING ON FALSE REPORTS OF A MORMON REVOLT, ISSUED AN ORDER TO EXPEL ALL MORMONS FROM THE STATE OR EXTERMINATE THEM. THIS WAS THE DEAD OF WINTER AND THEY CROSSED EAST INTO ILLINOIS.
  4. From Missouri the Mormons established a new center in Nauvoo, Illinois. WHEN MOB VIOLENCE, SIMILAR TO THAT IN MISSOURI, BEGAN AGAIN SEVERAL SCOUTING PARTIES WERE SENT WEST TO CONSIDER A NEW LOCATION. MAINLY THIS WAS CAUSED BY EXCOMMUNICATED MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH AND OPPOSITION TO THE NEW TEMPLE ORDINANCES AND PLURAL MARRIAGE. JOSEPH SMITH WAS MARTYRED DURING THIS PERIOD. AFTER THE death OF Joseph Smith MOB VIOLENCE BECAME MORE EXTREME AND THE CHURCH LEADERS FOLLOWED UP ON THE PRIOR EFFORT TO MOVE WEST WITHOUT THE BENEFIT OF THE SCOUTING REPORT.
  5. ALTHOUGH NOT ACTUALLY ENACTED, AT ONE POINT THE CHURCH CONSIDERED ANOTHER MOVE SOUTH INTO MEXICO. THIS WAS JUST AFTER THE CHURCH HAD BEGUN TO SUCCESSFULLY FARM THE DESERT BASIN. HOWEVER THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AGAIN ACTING ON BAD INFORMATION, SENT AN ARMY TO PUT DOWN THE MORMON REVOLT. WHILE THE CHURCH WAS READY TO LEAVE THEIR NEW DESERT AND MOVE AGAIN, COMMON SENSE PREVAILED AND THE ARMY FOUND THE "REVOLT" DID NOT ACTUALLY EXIST.