Portal:Latter Day Saints

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The Latter Day Saints Movement

Portrait of Joseph Smith, Jr
An 1842 portrait of Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement

The Latter Day Saint movement (also called the LDS movement or LDS restorationist movement) is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian primitivist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 15 million members.

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 Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. 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."

After Smith's death in 1844, a succession crisis led to the organization splitting into several groups. The largest of these, the LDS Church, migrated under the leadership of Brigham Young to the Great Basin (now Utah) and became most prominently known for its 19th-century practice of polygamy.

The vast majority of Latter Day Saint adherents belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of the Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, and have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of Mormonism. 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.

Selected article

Title page of the 1921 LDS edition

The Doctrine and Covenants (sometimes abbreviated and cited as D&C or D. and C.) is a part of the open scriptural canon of several denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. Originally published in 1835 as Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of the Latter Day Saints: Carefully Selected from the Revelations of God, editions of the book continue to be printed mainly by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) and the Community of Christ (formerly the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS Church)).

The book originally contained two parts: a sequence of lectures setting forth basic church doctrine, followed by a compilation of important revelations, or "covenants" of the church: thus the name "Doctrine and Covenants". The "doctrine" portion of the book, however, has been removed by both the LDS Church and the Community of Christ. The remaining portion of the book contains revelations on numerous topics, most of which were dictated by the movement's founder Joseph Smith, supplemented by materials periodically added by each denomination.

Controversy has existed between the two largest denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement over some sections added to the 1876 LDS edition, attributed to founder Smith. Whereas the LDS Church believes these sections to have been revelations to Smith, the RLDS Church traditionally disputed their authenticity.

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Letter of appointment
Credit: Ecjmartin

The "Letter of appointment" is a controversial three-page document used by James J. Strang and his adherents in their efforts to prove that he was the designated successor to Joseph Smith as the prophet and president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Sent from Nauvoo, Illinois, on June 19, 1844, to Strang in Burlington, Wisconsin, this letter served as the cornerstone of Strang's claims, which were ultimately rejected by the majority of Latter Day Saints.

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The Red Brick Store

The Red Brick Store in Nauvoo, Illinois, was a building that was constructed and owned by Joseph Smith, Jr. in 1841.

The building became a center of economic, political, religious, and social activity among the Latter Day Saints. In addition to being a mercantile store, the second floor of the building also served as the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for a period of time. Members would visit the store to pay their tithing and other offerings to the church.

A number of important events in Latter Day Saint history occurred in the Red Brick Store, including the organization of the Relief Society (the church's organization for women) and the first performance of the Nauvoo Endowment ordinance.

Selected Schismatic Histories

World headquarters of the Church of Christ (Temple Lot)

The Church of Christ, informally referred to as the "Church of Christ (Temple Lot)" and "Hedrickites", is a denomination headquartered in Independence, Missouri on what is known as the Temple Lot, which it has held sole ownership of for nearly 150 years.

After the death of Joseph Smith, several leaders vied for control and established rival organizations. By the 1860s, five early branches found themselves unaffiliated with any larger group. These branches united under the leadership of Granville Hedrick in May 1863, leading to members of the church being known as "Hedrickites".

The Temple Lot claims to be the sole legitimate continuance of Smith's original Church of Christ. As of 2013, membership is 7,310 members in 11 countries. Most of the members live in the United States, but there are parishes in Canada, Mexico, Honduras, Nigeria, Kenya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, India, and the Philippines.

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Brigham Young by Charles William Carter.

Brigham Young (/ˈbrɪɡəm/; June 1, 1801 – August 29, 1877) was an American leader in the Latter Day Saint movement and a settler of the Western United States. In 1832, Young officially joined Church of Christ, the original name of the Latter Day Saint church founded by Joseph Smith. After his wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. He was ordained a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835, and he assumed a leadership role within that organization in taking Mormonism to the United Kingdom and organizing the exodus of Latter Day Saints from Missouri in 1838.

Young had a variety of nicknames, among the most popular being "American Moses" (alternatively, the "Modern Moses" or the "Mormon Moses"), because, like the biblical figure. He was also dubbed the "Lion of the Lord" for his bold personality, and was also commonly called "Brother Brigham" by Latter Day Saints.

Following the Death of Joseph Smith, Young led his followers, the Mormon pioneers, to the Salt Lake Valley, where he founded Salt Lake City and he served as the first governor of the Utah Territory.

From 1847 until his death in 1877 Young was the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). During this time he was involved in controversies regarding black people and the Priesthood, the Utah War, and the Mountain Meadows massacre.

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