This article needs additional citations for verification . (March 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
The Latter Day Saint movement (also called the LDS movement, LDS restorationist movement, or Smith–Rigdon movement)is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian Restorationist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s.
Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism, called Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with over 2.4 billion followers.
Restorationism is the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a purer and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model."
Joseph Smith Jr. was an American religious leader and founder of Mormonism and the Latter Day Saint movement. When he was 24, Smith published the Book of Mormon. By the time of his death, 14 years later, he had attracted tens of thousands of followers and founded a religion that continues to the present.
Collectively, these churches have over 16 million members,although the vast majority of these—about 98%—belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The predominant theology of the churches in the movement is Mormonism, which sees itself as restoring the early Christian church with additional revelations.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church that is considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, and has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has over 16 million members and 65,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members there as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening.
Mormonism is the predominant religious tradition of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity started by Joseph Smith in Western New York in the 1820s and 30s.
A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, and have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church. Other groups include the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which supports lineal succession of leadership from Smith's descendants, and the more controversial Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which defends the practice of polygamy.
Community of Christ, known from 1872 to 2001 as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS), is an American-based international church with roots in the Latter Day Saint movement. The church reports 250,000 members in 1,100 congregations in 59 countries. The church traces its origins to Joseph Smith's establishment of the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. A group of members including his elder son formally reorganized on April 6, 1860 in the aftermath of the 1844 death of Joseph Smith, forming the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
Protestantism is the second largest form of Christianity with collectively between 800 million and more than 900 million adherents worldwide or nearly 40% of all Christians. It originated with the 16th century Reformation, a movement against what its followers perceived to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church. Protestants reject the Roman Catholic doctrine of papal supremacy and sacraments, but disagree among themselves regarding the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. They emphasize the priesthood of all believers, justification by faith alone rather than also by good works, and the highest authority of the Bible alone in faith and morals. The "five solae" summarise basic theological differences in opposition to the Roman Catholic Church.
The Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, usually referred to as the Remnant Church, is a denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement. The president of the church is Terry W. Patience.
|Part of a series on|
The movement began in western New York during the Second Great Awakening when Smith said that he received visions revealing a new sacred text, the Book of Mormon, which he published in 1830 as a complement to the Bible. Based on the teachings of this book and other revelations, Smith founded a Christian primitivist church, called the "Church of Christ". The Book of Mormon attracted hundreds of early followers, who later became known as "Mormons", "Latter Day Saints", or just "Saints". In 1831, Smith, moved the church headquarters to Kirtland, Ohio, and in 1838 changed its name to the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints".
The Second Great Awakening was a Protestant religious revival during the early 19th century in the United States. The movement began around 1790, gained momentum by 1800 and, after 1820, membership rose rapidly among Baptist and Methodist congregations whose preachers led the movement. It was past its peak by the late 1840s. The Second Great Awakening reflected Romanticism characterized by enthusiasm, emotion, and an appeal to the supernatural. It rejected the skeptical rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment.
The Book of Mormon is a sacred text of the Latter Day Saint movement, which adherents believe contains writings of ancient prophets who lived on the American continent from approximately 2200 BC to AD 421. It was first published in March 1830 by Joseph Smith as The Book of Mormon: An Account Written by the Hand of Mormon upon Plates Taken from the Plates of Nephi.
The Bible is a collection of sacred texts or scriptures. Varying parts of the Bible are considered to be a product of divine inspiration and a record of the relationship between God and humans by Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and Rastafarians.
After the church in Ohio collapsed due to a financial crisis and dissensions, in 1838, Smith and the body of the church moved to Missouri where they were persecuted (see Hauns Mill Massacre) and finally forced to Illinois. After Smith's death in 1844, a succession crisis led to the organization splitting into several groups. The largest of these, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, migrated under the leadership of Brigham Young to the Great Basin (now Utah) and became known for its 19th-century practice of polygamy. The LDS Church officially renounced this practice in 1890, and gradually discontinued it, resulting in the Utah Territory becoming a U.S. state. This change resulted in the formation of a number of small sects who sought to maintain polygamy and other 19th-century doctrines and practices, now referred to as "Mormon fundamentalism".
The Hawn’s Mill Massacre was an event in the history of the Latter Day Saint movement. It occurred on October 30, 1838, when a mob/militia unit from Livingston County, Missouri attacked a Mormon settlement in eastern Caldwell County, Missouri, after the Battle of Crooked River. By far the bloodiest event in the 1838 Mormon War in Missouri, it has long been remembered by the members of the Latter Day Saint movement. While the spelling "Haun" was common when referring to the massacre or the mill where it occurred; the mill's owner used the spelling "Hawn" in legal documents.
Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, and his brother Hyrum Smith were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. The brothers had been in jail awaiting trial when an armed mob of about 200 men stormed the facility, their faces painted black with wet gunpowder. Hyrum was killed first, having been shot in the face. As he fell, Hyrum shouted, "I'm a dead man, Joseph!" After emptying the pistol with which he tried to defend himself, Joseph was then shot several times while trying to escape from a second-story window and fell from that window as he died.
The succession crisis in the Latter Day Saint movement occurred after the death of Joseph Smith, the movement's founder, on June 27, 1844.
Other groups originating within the Latter Day Saint movement followed different paths in Missouri, Illinois, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. For the most part, these groups rejected plural marriage and some of Smith's later teachings. The largest of these, Community of Christ (originally known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"), was formed in Illinois in 1860 by several groups uniting around Smith's son, Joseph Smith III.
Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States. With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. Missouri is bordered by eight states : Iowa to the north, Illinois, Kentucky, and Tennessee to the east, Arkansas to the south, and Oklahoma, Kansas, and Nebraska to the west. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals, and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.
Illinois is a state in the Midwestern and Great Lakes regions of the United States. It has the fifth largest gross domestic product (GDP), the sixth largest population, and the 25th largest land area of all U.S. states. Illinois has been noted as a microcosm of the entire United States. With Chicago in northeastern Illinois, small industrial cities and immense agricultural productivity in the north and center of the state, and natural resources such as coal, timber, and petroleum in the south, Illinois has a diverse economic base, and is a major transportation hub. Chicagoland, Chicago's metropolitan area, encompasses over 65% of the state's population. The Port of Chicago connects the state to international ports via two main routes: from the Great Lakes, via the Saint Lawrence Seaway, to the Atlantic Ocean and from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi River, via the Illinois Waterway to the Illinois River. The Mississippi River, the Ohio River, and the Wabash River form parts of the boundaries of Illinois. For decades, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport has been ranked as one of the world's busiest airports. Illinois has long had a reputation as a bellwether both in social and cultural terms and, through the 1980s, in politics.
Michigan is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state's name, Michigan, originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake". With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation's most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement was Joseph Smith, and to a lesser extent, during the movement's first two years, Oliver Cowdery. Throughout his life, Smith told of an experience he had as a boy having seen God the Father and Jesus Christ as two separate beings, who told him that the true church of Jesus Christ had been lost and would be restored through him, and that he would be given the authority to organize and lead the true Church of Christ. [ citation needed ]Smith and Cowdery also explained that the angels John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John visited them in 1829 and gave them priesthood authority to reestablish the Church of Christ.
The first Latter Day Saint church was formed on April 6, 1830, consisting of a community of believers in the western New York towns of Fayette, Manchester, and Colesville. The church was formally organized under the name of the "Church of Christ". By 1834, the church was referred to as the "Church of the Latter Day Saints" in early church publications,and in 1838 Smith announced that he had received a revelation from God that officially changed the name to the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints".
In 1844, William Law and several other Latter Day Saints in church leadership positions publicly denounced Smith's secret practice of polygamy in the Nauvoo Expositor , and formed their own church. The city council of Nauvoo, Illinois, led by Smith, subsequently had the printing press of the Expositor destroyed. In spite of Smith's later offer to pay damages for destroyed property, critics of Smith and the church considered the destruction heavy-handed. Some called for the Latter Day Saints to be either expelled or destroyed.[ citation needed ]
Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the Assistant President of the Church, were both assassinated by a mob while in a Carthage, Illinois jail, and several bodies within the church claimed to be the senior surviving authority and appointed successors. These various claims resulted in a succession crisis. Many supported Brigham Young, the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles; others Sidney Rigdon, the senior surviving member of the First Presidency. Emma Hale Smith failed to persuade William Marks, the president of the Presiding High Council and a Rigdon supporter, to assume leadership and the surviving members of Smith's immediate family remained unaffiliated with any larger body until 1860, when they formed the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Joseph's eldest son as prophet. These various groups are sometimes referred to under two geographical headings: "Prairie Saints" (those that remained in the Midwest United States); and "Rocky Mountain Saints" (those who followed Young to what would later become the state of Utah).[ citation needed ]
Today, the vast majority (over 98 percent) of Latter Day Saints belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), which reports over 16 million members worldwide.The second-largest denomination is the Missouri-based Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) which reports 197,000 members. Small denominations that trace their origins to Rigdon, James Strang, or other associates of Smith's still exist, and several fundamentalist sects which separated from the Utah LDS Church after it rejected plural marriage in 1890 claim tens of thousands of members.
Historically, the different denominations within the Latter Day Saint movement have been hostile towards or dismissive of one another; this is largely because each group claims to be the sole legitimate continuation of the one true church established by Smith in 1830.[ citation needed ]
Latter Day Saints adopt a definition of "saint" that all members of the church are considered "Saints". [ citation needed ]The term "latter day" distinguishes between biblical saints and modern saints who "live in the latter days".
The Latter Day Saint movement classifies itself within Christianity, but as a distinct restored dispensation. Latter Day Saints hold that a Great Apostasy began in Christianity not long after the ascension of Jesus Christ,marked with the corruption of Christian doctrine by Greek and other philosophies, and followers dividing into different ideological groups. Additionally, Latter Day Saints claim the martyrdom of the apostles led to a loss of priesthood authority to administer the church and its ordinances.
According to Latter Day Saint churches, God re-established the early Christian church as found in the New Testament through Joseph Smith. [ citation needed ]In particular, Latter Day Saints believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, and John the Baptist appeared to Smith and others and bestowed various priesthood authorities on them. Thus, Smith and his successors are considered modern prophets who receive revelation from God to guide the church.
Most members of Latter Day Saint churches are adherents to Mormonism, a theology based on Joseph Smith's later teachings and further developed by Brigham Young, James Strang and others who claimed to be Smith's successors. The term "Mormon" derives from the Book of Mormon, and most of these adherents refer to themselves as Latter Day Saints or Mormons. Mormonism and Christianity have a complex theological, historical, and sociological relationship. Mormons express the doctrines of Mormonism using standard biblical terminology, and claim to have similar views about the nature of Jesus' atonement, resurrection, and Second Coming as traditional Christianity. Nevertheless, Mormons agree with non-Mormons that their view of God is significantly different from the trinitarian view of the Nicene Creed of the 4th century.
Mormons consider the Bible as scripture and have also adopted additional scriptures. Mormons not only practice baptism and celebrate the eucharist but also participate in religious rituals not practiced in traditional Christianity. Although the various branches of Christianity have diverse views about the nature of salvation, the Mormon view is particularly distinct.[ citation needed ]
Focusing on differences, some Christians consider Mormonism "non-Christian"; members of the LDS Church, focusing on similarities, are offended at being so characterized.Mormons do not accept non-Mormon baptism. Mormons regularly proselytize individuals actually or nominally within the Christian tradition, and some Christians, especially evangelicals, proselytize Mormons. The LDS Church has a formal missionary program with nearly 70,000 missionaries, 15 training centers worldwide, and 407 missions worldwide. A prominent scholarly view is that Mormonism is a form of Christianity, but is distinct enough from traditional Christianity so as to form a new religious tradition, much as Christianity has roots in but is a distinct religion from Judaism.
The Mormonism that originated with Smith in the 1820s shared strong similarities with some elements of 19th-century Protestant Christianity including the necessity of baptism, emphasis on family, and central doctrine on Christ as a means to salvation. However, beginning with his accounts of the First Vision in the 1830s and 1840s, Smith—who said that Christ had told him not to join any existing church—departed significantly from traditional Christianity, claiming all churches of his day were part of a Great Apostasy that had lost the authority to direct Christ's church. Mormonism does not characterize itself as a Protestant religion, as Smith taught that he had received revelation direct from Christ to restore his original church. Mormons believe that God, through Smith and his successors, restored these truths and doctrinal clarifications, and, initiating a new heavenly dispensation, restored the original church and Christianity taught by Jesus. For example, Smith rejected the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity as of one body and substance, with no "body, parts, or passions", and instead taught that the Godhead included God, the Eternal Father, also known as Elohim; his only-begotten son in the flesh, Jesus Christ, also known as Jehovah, the savior and redeemer of the world; and the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit, an individual personage of spirit whose influence can be felt in many places at once. Further, Smith taught that the essence of all humans is co-eternal with God and that humans, as the spirit offspring of God the Father, have the potential to become like God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), the largest Mormon denomination, while acknowledging its differences with mainstream Christianity, often focuses on its commonalities, which are many, the most important of which is that Christ is the savior of the world and that he suffered for the world's sins so that the penitent can return to live in heaven.[ citation needed ]
A small fraction of Latter Day Saints, most notably those within Community of Christ, the second largest Latter Day Saint denomination, follow a traditional Protestant theology. Community of Christ views God in trinitarian terms, and reject the distinctive theological developments they believe to have been developed later in Mormonism.[ citation needed ]
Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity, initiated by Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the Mormons followed Brigham Young to what would become the Utah Territory. Today, most Mormons are understood to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Other Mormons may be independently religious, secular and non-practicing, or belong to another denomination. The center of Mormon cultural influence is in Utah, and North America has more Mormons than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons live outside the United States.
The word Mormon most colloquially denotes an adherent, practitioner, follower, or constituent of Mormonism in restorationist Christianity. Mormon also commonly refers, specifically, to a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which is often colloquially, but imprecisely, referred to as the Mormon Church. In addition, the term Mormon may refer to any of the relatively small sects of Mormon fundamentalism, and any branch of the Latter Day Saint movement that recognizes Brigham Young as the successor to founder Joseph Smith. The term Mormon applies to the religion of Mormonism, as well as its culture, texts, and art.
Polygamy was practiced by leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for more than half of the 19th century, and practiced publicly from 1852 to 1890 by between 20 and 30 percent of Latter-day Saint families. Note that there are various denominations that are considered Mormons and they have different beliefs and practices.
In the Latter Day Saint movement, the restoration refers to a return to the earth of the authentic priesthood power, spiritual gifts, ordinances, living prophets and revelation of the primitive Church of Christ after a long period of apostasy. While in some contexts the term may also refer to the early history of the Latter-day Saint religion, in other contexts the term is used in a way to include the time that has elapsed from the church's earliest beginnings until the present day. Especially in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints "the restoration" is often used also as a term to encompass the corpus of religious messages from its general leaders down to the present.
The Church of Christ was the original name of the Latter Day Saint church founded by Joseph Smith. Organized informally in 1829 in New York and then formally on April 6, 1830, it was the first organization to implement the principles found in Smith's newly published Book of Mormon, and thus represents the formal beginning of the Latter Day Saint movement. Later names for this organization included the Church of the Latter Day Saints, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
The Latter Day Saint movement is a religious movement within Christianity that arose during the Second Great Awakening in the early 19th century and that led to the set of doctrines, practices, and cultures called Mormonism, and to the existence of numerous Latter Day Saint churches. Its history is characterized by intense controversy and persecution in reaction to some of the movement's doctrines and practices and their relationship to mainstream Christianity. The purpose of this article is to give an overview of the different groups, beliefs, and denominations that began with the influence of Joseph Smith.
The 1890 Manifesto is a statement which officially advised against any future plural marriage in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Issued by church president Wilford Woodruff in September 1890, the Manifesto was a response to mounting anti-polygamy pressure from the United States Congress, which by 1890 had disincorporated the church, escheated its assets to the U.S. federal government, and imprisoned many prominent polygamist Mormons. Upon its issuance, the LDS Church in conference accepted Woodruff's Manifesto as "authoritative and binding."
Community of Christ and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are two denominations that share a common heritage in the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830. Since Smith's death in 1844, they have evolved separately in belief and practices. The LDS Church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and claims more than 16 million members worldwide; Community of Christ is headquartered in Independence, Missouri, and reports a worldwide membership of approximately 197,000.
The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite) is part of the Latter Day Saint movement. When Joseph Smith, the founder of the movement, died there was a dispute regarding who should lead the church as his successor. The Quorum of the Twelve, led by Brigham Young, argued that they should have the right to lead the church while one of the church leaders, Sidney Rigdon, argued that he should act as protector of the church until a permanent leader was chosen. Those who followed Rigdon formed the "Church of Christ" with its center being Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After an attempt to start a communitarian society, Church of Christ broke apart by 1847. William Bickerton associated himself for two years with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and later left them behind refusing to accept some of their beliefs, including polygamy. In the 1850s Bickerton's preaching led to the formation of a new church in Eastern Pennsylvania. Over the following years Bickerton's church faced two schisms related to doctrinal issues. Its current official name, The Church of Jesus Christ, was adopted by 1941.
Mormonism and Christianity have a complex theological, historical, and sociological relationship. Mormons express the doctrines of Mormonism using standard biblical terminology and have similar views about the nature of Jesus' atonement, bodily resurrection, and Second Coming as traditional Christianity. Nevertheless, most Mormons do not accept the Trinitarian views of orthodox Nicene Christianity, codified in the Nicene and Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creeds of 325 and 381; Mormonism is the largest nontrinitarian denomination within Christianity. Though Mormons consider the Bible as scripture, they do not believe in biblical inerrancy. They have also adopted additional scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. Mormons practice baptism and celebrate the Sacrament, but they also participate in religious rituals not practiced by traditional Christianity.
The name of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is derived from an 1838 revelation received by church founder Joseph Smith. Leaders of the LDS Church, in recent years, have placed great emphasis on the full name of the church and have resisted the application of informal or shortened names, including the "Mormon Church", the "LDS Church", and the "Church of the Latter-day Saints".
The following outline is provided as an overview of and a topical guide to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the life and influence of Joseph Smith:
Remnant fellowships are a loosely organized branch of the Latter Day Saint movement formed by individuals who accept divine revelations allegedly received by Denver Snuffer Jr.. The Remnant Fellowships generally feel called to personal and social renewal preparatory to Christ's eventual second coming. According to movement beliefs, participants anticipate a coming time when remnants remain within the full restored covenant with Jesus Christ: an allusion to a belief that "The Bible, Book of Mormon, and modern revelation through the Prophet Joseph Smith, prophesy that the gospel of Jesus Christ would shift from the Gentile stewards of the gospel back to Israel in the last days." The movement places a renewed focus on individual communion with God, gifts of the spirit, tangible expressions of faith, and the eventual establishment of Zion. While the movement has no official name, the term "Snufferite" has been used to denote followers. Other designations include covenant of Christ movement and Denver Snuffer movement. Participants sometimes reference each other as "covenant Brother," "covenant Sister".
This is a bibliography of works on the Latter Day Saint movement.