March 20, 2020

Episode 199 – Lawful Dissent


On this episode, we discuss the Law family. William, his wife Jane, and his brother Wilson, converted to the church in the mid-1830s and moved to the burgeoning city of Nauvoo in 1839. From that point forward, William and Jane were elevated to high-ranking levels of Mormon and city leadership. Joseph Smith and William Law became good friends and coworkers in Nauvoo government and military duties. But, something changed. By late 1843, William began to bristle about how much political influence Joseph Smith was gaining. By January of 1844, William was dropped from the Presidency of the church (Jo’s left-hand man). William, Jane, and Wilson Law eventually became looped together with the dissenter movement within the kingdom. They finally chose to act and formed their own sect of Mormonism in Nauvoo, collected affidavits of those wronged by the Nauvoo leadership and Joseph Smith, and established an adversarial printing press. The Higbees, the Fosters, and the Laws establishing this rival church and expose printing press would catalyze a sequence of events which would lead to the deaths of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.


History of Hancock County by Thomas Gregg

History of Illinois by Thomas Ford

William Law Biography

Wilson Law Biography

JS Reflections and Blessings

An Interview with William Law

William Law, Nauvoo Dissenter by Lyndon Cook

JS 1844 journal

Show links:

Twitter @NakedMormonism
Music by Jason Comeau
Show Artwork
Legal Counsel