Mormons reenact the 1846 Exodus from Nauvoo

Reenactment the 1846 Exodus from Nauvoo / KHQA's Melissa Shriver

Hundreds of Latter-day Saints gathered in Nauvoo to re-enact the Mormon exodus from Nauvoo back on February 4, 1846. That was the night thousands of Mormans left their homes and crossed the frozen Mississippi to escape religious persecution. They eventually made their way to Utah.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' reenacts of the Exodus of Brigham Young and the Mormon people who became pioneers every year.

There were more than 100 participants who walked or rode in a horse-drawn carriage following "The Trail of Hope" to the edge of the Mississippi River where there was a memorial service at the river bank.

Most of the people who walked wore name tags listing the names of their ancestors who made the journey.

Decendants say this journey means a lot to them and their faith.

Click here to read more about the Exodus from Nauvoo from the Gospel Library on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints website.

Although there is much controversy surrounding the Church's exit from the Midwest, one participant said it's sad that the Mormons were run out of Illinois because of theri religious beliefs, even though the United States was founded on the principles of freedom of religion. Even through the persecution, Mormons continued their love of country and continued to follow their faith.

In the month of February 1846, approximately 3,000 people crossed the Mississippi River and through the rest of that year approximately 50,000 Mormon pioneers made the journey to Salt Lake City, Utah.

Under Brigham Young's direction, the uncivilized country was irrigated and cultivated, and over 360 settlements were founded throughout the Western states of Utah, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, and California.

In 1999, plans were unveiled to rebuild the historic Nauvoo Temple which was destroyed by fire in 1848. The new Temple was dedicated in 2002. Read more about that history here.

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