When the Saints Fled America

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Episode 40: When the Saints Fled America
Gerrit Dirkmaat
September 2021

Although some Latter-day Saints fly American flags on July 24th to celebrate settling in the Rocky Mountains, the irony is that the pioneer Saints were desperately trying to flee the USA. After years of being persecuted, Church leaders concluded that the existing US government would not protect their civil and religious rights as a minority group, and the Saints decided to leave. In this fascinating episode, Dr. Gerrit Dirkmaat shares his research on this history, along with lessons learned for today.


“Safely ‘Beyond the Limits of the United States’: The Mormon Expulsion and US Expansion,” in Inventing Destiny: Cultural Explorations of US Expansion (University Press of Kansas, 2019).

The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal About Mormon History (RSC, 2017)

Click here to learn more about professor Gerrit Dirkmaat