In 1831, hundreds of Mormons arrived, bought land, cleared farms, and built sturdy log homes. Leader and prophet Joseph Smith, Jr. declared this to be the city of God, also called Zion, placed a marker stone dedicating the site for a temple and drew up a plat for what would be a city of 15,000 to 20,000 residents. Economic, political, religious and cultural differences between the Mormons and Missouri “old settlers” arose and were fanned into flames by the issue of slavery. By 1833, armed conflict broke out, and the Mormons were driven north across the Missouri River, where they settled temporarily. In the winter of 1835, they crossed the Mississippi and established Nauvoo, Illinois. The story of the Mormons in Independence is colorfully reflected through displays, artifacts, a narrated tour and a audio/visual historical presentation in the lower level of the Mormon Visit Center. The upper level explains the beliefs and doctrines of the Mormons, known as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now headquartered in Salt Lake City….