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Four years later its population was about 15,000, and a large Mormon temple had been built, but internal dissensions arose, "gentile" hostility was aroused, the charter of Nauvoo was revoked in 1845, two of the leaders, Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, were killed at Carthage, the county-seat, by a mob, and in 1846 the sect was driven from the state.
Political intrigue, claims of independence from the state, as well as charges of polygamy and lawless conduct, aroused such intense opposition to the sect that in 1844 a civil war broke out in Hancock county which resulted in the murder of Joseph Smith and the removal of the Mormons from Illinois in 1846.
In 1847 Brigham Young had succeeded Joseph Smith as president of the Mormons, and he held that position of veritable dictator until his death (1877); John Taylor succeeded him, and Wilford Woodruff in 1890 was chosen head of the organization; then Lorenzo Snow was president in 1898-1901, and Joseph Fielding Smith was elected in 1901.
The first government was purely ecclesiastical, the city being a "stake of Zion" under a president; "Father" Joseph Smith was the first president.
Special Features Basic Beliefs offers a succinct introduction to the church, including founder Joseph Smith 's personal account of his visions.