Brigham wanted to leave the US because the US Government refused to help the church get reparations from the state of Missouri for its abuses. Brigham viewed the civil war as punishment for neglecting the church.
Heber C Kimball even told an Atlantic reporter that after the men had killed each other back east the women would come west to seek help from the church. Yes he was delusional enough to think that way.
Of course the war was horrible especially in the south. In the north people got rich off the war profits. I used to live in a fabulous restored Victorian home built in the late 1860’s from war profits in upstate New York.
They weren’t running to the Mormons for help they were living pretty damn good in new homes. Post war New York was quite the place.
The civil war is probably why the church still exists. If that war didn’t happen, Brigham probably would have suffered the same fate as James Strang. Mormonism was never liked by patriotic Americans because it’s a theocracy. It was viewed as being unconstitutional. Add in polygamy, the handcart disaster and the Mountain Meadows Massacre and you have a real menace that needs to go.
It was the greed of the gold rush and the civil war why the church survived. The theocracy basically got stampeded into becoming a corporation out of necessity. Now the challenge is if the church leadership and members continue to feel they need each other. The church is independently wealthy now. It doesn’t need the members. Many members feel they no longer need the church.
Now CIS instructors are saying having a faith crisis is part of your spiritual journey. The reason they say this is the church never admits failure. So holding onto the rod has been replaced to you let go and learn more from your fall. Strange times in Clown World.
Young formed his own country. No nation officially recognized it but he did it. That right there shows how delusional he was. Maybe if the US didn't win the Mexican American War the Mexicans would come up to Deseret and Deseret could have its Alamo like Texas did.
Well Brigham's delusion lasted because Deseret became part of the US and the gold rush of 49 and the Civil War were greater concerns than Brigham Young. By the time the US Government decided to do something about the polygamy Brigham was dead. John Taylor had all the fun of having the US Marshalls after him.
But Brigham did well settling the alkaline shit hole. If he went farther west he would have clashed with the gold rushers and the Oregon settlers. If he didn't move far enough west it would have been Missouri and Illinois all over again. Brigham picked the area nobody wanted but due to snow pack in the mountains it still could be settled and farmed.