Portal:Latter Day Saint movement

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The Latter Day Saint 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, 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.

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.

A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of Community of Christ, have been influenced by Protestant theology while maintaining certain distinctive beliefs and practices including continuing revelation, an open canon of scripture and building temples. 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. ( Full article...)

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Teenagers from polygamous families demonstrate at a pro-plural marriage rally in Salt Lake City in 2006. Over 200 supporters attended the event.

Mormon fundamentalism (also called fundamentalist Mormonism) is a belief in the validity of selected fundamental aspects of Mormonism as taught and practiced in the nineteenth century, particularly during the administrations of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and John Taylor, the first three presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Mormon fundamentalists seek to uphold tenets and practices no longer held by mainstream Mormons (members of the LDS Church). The principle most often associated with Mormon fundamentalism is plural marriage, a form of polygyny first taught in the Latter Day Saint movement by the movement's founder, Smith. A second and closely associated principle is that of the United Order, a form of egalitarian communalism. Mormon fundamentalists believe that these and other principles were wrongly abandoned or changed by the LDS Church in its efforts to become reconciled with mainstream American society. Today, the LDS Church excommunicates any of its members who practice plural marriage or who otherwise closely associate themselves with Mormon fundamentalist practices.

There is no single authority accepted by all Mormon fundamentalists; viewpoints and practices of individual groups vary. Fundamentalists have formed numerous small sects, often within cohesive and isolated communities in the Western United States, Western Canada, and northern Mexico. At times, sources have claimed there are as many as 60,000 Mormon fundamentalists in the United States, with fewer than half of them living in polygamous households. However, others have suggested that there may be as few as 20,000 Mormon fundamentalists with only 8,000 to 15,000 practicing polygamy. Founders of mutually rival Mormon fundamentalist denominations include Lorin C. Woolley, John Y. Barlow, Joseph W. Musser, Leroy S. Johnson, Rulon C. Allred, Elden Kingston, and Joel LeBaron. The largest Mormon fundamentalist groups are the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) and the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). ( Full article...)

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Strang1.jpg
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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CommunityofChrist Auditoriu.jpg

The Auditorium (formerly the RLDS Auditorium) is a house of worship and office building located on the greater Temple Lot in Independence, Missouri. The Auditorium is part of the headquarters complex of Community of Christ which also includes the Independence Temple. ( Full article...)

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James Strang daguerreotype (1856).jpg

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—usually distinguished with a parenthetical (Strangite)—is one of the several organizations that claim to be the legitimate continuation of the church founded by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830. It is a separate organization from the considerably larger and better known Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Both churches claim to be the original organization established by Smith. The Strangite church is headquartered in Voree, Wisconsin, just outside Burlington, and accepts the claims of James Strang as successor to Smith. It had approximately 300 members in 1998. Currently, there are around 130 active members throughout the United States.

After Smith was murdered in 1844 with no clear successor, several claimants sought to take leadership of the church which Smith founded. Among them was Strang, who competed with other prominent members, notably Brigham Young and Sidney Rigdon.

At its peak, the Strangite Church had about 12,000 members, making them noteworthy rivals to the larger faction led by Young. Strang was murdered in 1856, after which most of his followers joined Joseph Smith III and his Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now called the Community of Christ. ( Full article...)

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Death of Joseph Smith


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William Bickerton (January 15, 1815 – February 17, 1905) was a leader in the Latter Day Saint movement after the 1844 succession crisis. In 1862, Bickerton became the founding president of the church now known as The Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite), which is one of many churches that claim to be a continuation of the Church of Christ founded by Joseph Smith in 1830. ( Full article...)

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