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In the early 20th century, the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now known as Community of Christ), headquartered in Independence, Missouri, began to acquire property in Nauvoo. At the World Conference of 1917, the Church passed a resolution to protect the historic sites in Nauvoo, particularly those of the Smith family. This was the beginning of the restoration of Mormon-era Nauvoo.

In 1937 Wilford C. Wood purchased the lot where the Nauvoo Temple once stood, This purchase, donated to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, began interest for the Salt Lake City, Utah- based church. In 1954, J. LeRoy Kimball purchased the home of his great-grandparents, Heber C. and Vilate Kimball, and was met by excited visitors while privately restoring it. Kimball approached the Utah church, businessmen, and historians, and gathered this committee in 1962 to form Nauvoo Restoration

Incorporated (it was absorbed by the Church in 2011).

By 1999, there were 36 historic sites to tour. That year, Gordon B. Hinckley announced the reconstruction of the Nauvoo Temple by the Utah church. The new temple was dedicated June 27, 2002.

The Nauvoo Historical Society, Nauvoo Discovery Inc., Tomb of Joseph Museum, and iDig Nauvoo have joined the cause in discovering, funding, and providing expertise to preserve and restore Nauvoo’s history. On March 5, 2024, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced the purchase of Community of Christ sites in Nauvoo, transferring ownership of the Joseph Smith family properties.

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