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Problems of Mormons as they settled in the West


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The Mormons had problems like everyone else, when they set off for a new life in the West - as well as extra ones because they were Mormons. They were not deterred though, and overcame their difficulties with great energy.

Problems and solutions on the journey West

On their trek to the Great Salt Lake the Mormons faced many problems, all of which they had to overcome:

Four key problems


Poorly prepared

In Spring 1846, mobs looted Mormons' workshops, forcing them to leave Nauvoo before they were ready for their long trek to Salt Lake.
Brigham Young (Mormon leader) sent advance 'pioneers' ahead, to plant crops, build houses, set up staging posts for the travellers.

The journey

The Mormons faced a journey of 2,250km, which made them 'weary and footsore'. They endured 'stormy weather' in winter; and 'excessive heat' in summer.
No solution, Mormons had to 'endure'.


On the journey 15,000 Mormons faced accidents, breakdowns, mouldy food, fever, lack of medical facilities, Native American attacks.
Young taught Mormons how to manage a wagon train, and how to defend themselves against attack at night.

Faint hearts

Some Mormons preferred Oregon. Another suggested California, and said 'nobody on earth' would want to live at Salt Lake.
Young said: "If there is a place on this earth that nobody wants, that's the place I'm looking for."


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