When the founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith (Vincent Price), is murdered, Brigham Young (Dean Jagger) takes over and leads his people west to Utah to escape persecution. Henry Hathaway's drama focuses on two of Young's people (Tyrone Power and Linda Darnell) as they endure the hardships of crossing the Rocky Mountains.
Tyrone Power stars as Jonathan Kent, a faithful follower of the renowned Mormon leader, Brigham Young. After the Mormons suffer constant persecution for their beliefs, the reluctant Brigham Young decides to lead the congregation out of Illinois. En route, the charismatic preacher falls ill, allowing his rival Angus Duncan -- who from the start opposed the trip -- to persuade the followers to proceed to California, where the gold rush had begun. While crossing the mountains of Utah, however, Young awakens from his delirium and announces that he's had a vision, and that Utah's great Salt Lake shall be their home. But this new land proves inhospitable, and the Mormons suffer a harrowing winter and an infestation of crickets in the spring. It seems only a miracle will help them survive.
Additional cast: Frederick Burton (Mr. Webb); Chief Big Tree (Big Elk); Davidson Clark (Johnson); Dick Rich (Mob Leader); and Ralph Dunn (Jury Foreman).