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As this volume opens, it is a time of great sadness and of uncertainty. Having lost their beloved prophet, the Saints witness a series of power plays by those who would use the opportunity to further their own interests. It is not long, however, before the Lord's purposes are made apparent and the Twelve take their rightful position as leaders of the Church, with Brigham Young at their head. For a time, an uneasy peace seems to prevail in Illinois, but then the Nauvoo Charter is revoked, anti-Mormon hatred is again inflamed by those involved in the Prophet's death, mobs burn homes in small Mormon settlements, and eventually the Saints again find themselves faced with the threat of violent expulsion unless they agree to leave the state. The situation promises to divide the Steeds. Who among them will go west and who will stay? What will Joshua's and Melissa's part-member families do? This installment in the series contains not only its share of fascinating real-life history, but also a number of plot twists involving the Steeds that will keep readers engaged from beginning to end. The story of their lives underscores the prophetic nature of Joseph Smith's words that, indeed, no unhallowed hand can stop the work.
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