Understanding the history of education within The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is essential in order to comprehend the full history of the Church, its people and culture. As the records of the Church have continued to be explored, members and non- members alike have been enriched by the lives of the early saints. Historians have made wonderful progress to provide the common reader with access to the records and history of the Church. However, there is still a substantial amount of research to be performed. One major gap in the research can be found during the Nauvoo period. Although various authors have written about different aspects of education in Nauvoo there is yet to be a work that considers all facets of learning. The purpose of this paper is to explore comprehensive education in Nauvoo from public to private and elementary to university. Understanding education in Nauvoo will enhance our comprehension of the doctrine of education embraced by the Latter- day Saints, the remarkable and rapid progress they made, the uniqueness of their efforts, and how the ground work they laid influences current education policies in the Church. It has been said that those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Perhaps in learning the lessons from Nauvoo’s history of education steps can be taken to improve modern American educational policies and practices.
This work will also closely study education in Nauvoo with the similarities and differences from the surrounding schools of the day. This paper is not a comprehensive telling of the history in Nauvoo. Rather it is intended to be the starting place for further questions and research.