When the Great Salt Lake valley was originally chosen as a destination for the Saints, it was part of the Republic of Mexico. Mormon Pioneers entered and settled the valley in July of 1947.
Santa Anna was pretty tolerant of the Mormons for two reasons. (1) Because he had too much trouble on his hands with the Republic of Texas getting some expansionist ideas, and Californians (then Mexican citizens) preparing to revolt. He felt that the Mormons were a good buffer. (2) He was pretty certain that the Mormons felt no great friendship for the American government, at the time, because of all of the persecution they had suffered there without receiving any protection.
in the US-Mexican war (1846-1848), but it would be some time after the war ended, when the territories, west from Texas west to California, were annexed into the United States.
It nearly came to be that the Mormons founded, like Texas, an independent Republic of Deseret
. It would likely have extended beyond the current borders of Utah. But that wasn't to be.
How would things be now, if that had actually happened? For instance, "Theocracy" is almost a dirty-word in this age and political climate, but wouldn't that be an accurate description of Deseret, if it had actually come about?
(x-posted in moculture