From what I've heard, when the Mormons left Illinois in 1846 they hadn't decided where exactly they were going to settle. Did they have some choices they were looking at? Did they have a route they were planning to take?

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    We have a pretty good Mormon following on Christianity.Se. (I'm not one, but we all stick together.). If you don't get a great answer here, you may want to trying asking there as well. May 6 '12 at 2:16
  • When you downvote, it's good to leave a comment explaining why. This helps people ask better questions, and it's simply courteous.
    – Joe
    May 12 '12 at 20:13
  • I know, I know. Of all the freakin territories to pick, they went to a barren desert in the middle of nowhere. I guess it could have been worse, like the craters of the moon or something. Sep 19 '14 at 19:05

They were trying to leave the United States, plain and simple. The nation of Deseret was specifically to be in a territory, so as to avoid the federal government and be a safe haven after the massacre in Navoo.

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    And perhaps somewhere their leaders would be able to practise polygamy i.e. outside the borders of the USA. Sarah Barringer in The Mormon Question (2002) goes into detail on the legal processes surrounding Mormon polygamy.
    – WS2
    Apr 5 '15 at 9:00

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