Illinois Nauvoo Mission

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A historic engraving of Nauvoo.

We are still collecting information on the Illinois Nauvoo Mission. If you served in this mission and are willing to share your experiences with us, please contact us at

The Church

The Illinois Nauvoo Mission is unique in that it covers only the areas of Nauvoo and Carthage. Nauvoo was the central hub of the Church during Joseph Smith’s lifetime, while Carthage marks the location of the prison where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred. Today, many properties in these areas are owned by the Church. Missionaries serve as guides for the visitor’s centers and other historic sites in these locations. Nauvoo is also home to a few wards and the reconstructed Nauvoo Illinois Temple.

The Nauvoo Illinois Temple. Photo cc by-sa 2.5 by Ryan Ballantyne at Wikimedia Commons.


Missionaries serving in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission will be exposed to plenty of Midwestern cuisine. Beef and sweet corn are very common in the region, as well as loose-meat sandwiches (a type of sandwich made with ground beef and onions). The food of the region could be described as “typical American,” though missionaries may be exposed to more regional dishes such as catfish as well.

A loose-meat sandwich. Photo cc by 2.0 by Cindy Funk at Wikimedia Commons.


Transportation needs within the mission are minimal, since the mission area only covers historic Nauvoo and Church-owned properties in Carthage, though vehicles are available for missionaries to get around.


A popular yearly event is the Nauvoo Pageant, which is performed each year in July and early August. This popular event tells of the life of Joseph Smith, including the construction of Nauvoo. The pageant is also accompanied by the Nauvoo Country Fair, an event that features historical 1840s games and activities for the entire family. Smaller performances also take place during the day during this period.

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Additional Info

The Nauvoo Historic District is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The area is rich in Church History, and several locations of interest to Church members and other visitors are part of the mission. Some of the more popular sites include the Red Brick Store, the Joseph Smith homestead, the Brigham Young home, and the Mansion House. Carthage Jail (which is also part of the mission) is another popular destination.

The Red Brick Store.

The monument at Carthage Jail.

Flag of Illinois Nauvoo Mission


United States
President Larry W. Gibbons

PO Box 215
Nauvoo IL 62354-0215
United States

About 3,700
LDS, other Christian
Summers are hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching the upper 80s Fahrenheit. Rain and thunderstorms are common. Winters are colder, and snow occurs regularly.
Nauvoo, Carthage


Straight from the Illinois Nauvoo Mission:

*What items were hard to get or not available?

*What did you eat the most of?
“Sea food.”

“Beef and corn.”

*What is the craziest thing you ate?

*What was most surprising about the culture?
“The wildlife in the area: deer, squirrels, fox, many birds because of the flyway, geese, red cardinals. Birds came in large flocks. It was a delight!”

“People that were not LDS but came to the Visitor Center were mostly friendly and interested to hear what we had to say.”

What advice would you give to someone going to the Illinois Nauvoo Mission?

“Bring warm clothing for the Winter–expect to be very busy, but the busyness is OH! so worth it and gives so many memories, and it goes too fast”

“Be prepared for the humidity in Nauvoo if you have never been there or if you have never lived where it’s humid.”

“Keep the Spirit and know that some people have a long history and don’t get over things easily and live it like it was yesterday.”

*What do you wish you had known before you served?
“Expect to know much more just by being there in the very spot most of the Restoration of the Gospel took place.”

“That no matter what you hear, your experience is going to be different than anyone else’s and will be uniquely your own.”

*Other comments?
“Being the first convert in my family, it was the best mission to be on to learn about the Gospel, to feel the Spirit, see the big picture, and now have a much stronger testimony that I cherish. This was a chance of a lifetime, and I could not be more grateful to my Father in Heaven for this opportunity.”

**Did you serve in the Illinois Nauvoo Mission? If so we would love to hear your advice and your stories! Please contact us at**