Mormons are taught from an early age that they are a peculiar people and are persecuted because of it. They are indeed peculiar, however history shows us the reason they were persecuted and driven from state to state is because of their own actions in particular the following:
**The First Extermination Order**
On July 4th 1838, Sidney Rigdon, Apostle and right hand man to Joseph Smith, gave a speech in which he called for the extermination of all non-mormons.
"We take God and all the holy angels to witness this day that we warn all men in the name of Jesus Christ, to come on us no more forever. The men or the set of men that attempts it does so at the expense of their lives. And the mob that comes on us to disturb us, it shall be between us and them a war of extermination, for we will follow them till the last drop of blood is spilled, or else they will have to exterminate us; for we will carry the seat of war to their own houses and their own families, and one part or the other shall be utterly destroyed." Sidney Rigdon.
Being that the Mormons were becoming warmongers, Governor Lilburn Boggs of Missouri issued Executive Order 44, or The Mormon Extermination Order calling for the the Extermination of all Mormons. So they fled to Nauvoo, Brigham Young declared "Elder Rigdon was the PRIME CAUSE OF OUR TROUBLES IN MISSOURI, by his Fourth of July oration." (The statement is from Times and Seasons Volume 5, #18, p. 667, 1844.) http:⁄⁄www.centerplace.org⁄history⁄ts⁄vol5.htm
So, long Story Short! It was the Mormons who issued the threat of extermination first, and that threat was met with an extermination order.
From the Missouri citizens prior to the order. Pretty scathing for 19th century language.
"...We believed them deluded fanatics, or weak and designing knaves, and that they and their pretensions would soon pass away; but in this we were deceived. The arts of a few designing leaders amongst them have thus far succeeded in holding to them together as a society; and since the arrival of the first of them, they have been daily increasing in numbers; and if they had been respectable citizens in society and thus deluded they would have been entitled to our pity rather than to our contempt and hatred; but from their appearance, from their manners, and from their conduct since their coming among us, we have every reason to fear that, with but very few exceptions, they were of the very dregs of that society from which they came, lazy, idle, and vicious."