After the death of Joseph Smith, Kirtland was abandoned by the members of the Church. In 1846, Church leaders met to discuss the sale of the Kirtland temple, not only to gain funds for the westward migration, but also because they considered the possibility that they might one day "return and redeem their inheritances" and that the sale of the temple would better secure it from wrongful claims, mobs, and fire better than for the church to retain ownership. So it seems it was never the intention of the LDS Church to completely abandon the hope of once again possessing their first temple. In 1879, the RLDS Church filed a court petition to establish itself as the legal title holder to the Kirtland Temple. Although named as defendants, neither the Utah-based LDS Church nor John Taylor were represented in the Ohio court. The authors suggest possible reasons why the LDS Church would absent itself from this case. First, to fight the petition would have resulted in an unreasonable expense. The temple itself was worth relatively little and the LDS Church had no means of maintaining the building if they won the petition. Second, the LDS Church may have been distracted by other concerns. The filing of the suit coincided with the period that the Utah Saints were experiencing extreme persecution for polygamy. This "virtually ensured a judgment in favor of the RLDS Church, which repudiated the practice." Third, adverse possession made the case of ownership essentially moot. Fourth, as the body of the Church was now in the Great Basin, the ownership of the Kirtland temple was no longer vital to the "building up of the Kingdom." And fifth, it is possible that LDS Church was never given proper notification of the suit as required by law. The authors state that each of these factors could have contributed to the fact that the LDS Church did not participate in the litigation that ultimately transferred ownership of the Kirtland Temple to the RLDS Church.