First let me say, great post, and thanks for writing it. The leadership and traditionalism issues have been extremely difficult in full-time ministry, and I think you might have to be a minister to really appreciate it.
During the resulting succession crisisseveral early Mormon leaders asserted claims to succeed Smith, including Sidney RigdonBrigham Young and James Strang. Rigdon's claim rested on his status as the senior surviving member of Smith's First Presidencythe church's highest leadership quorum.
Rejected by the main church body in Nauvoo, IllinoisRigdon and his followers moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvaniawhere his organization faltered. A descendant of the Rigdonite church lives on today as The Church of Jesus Christ Bickertonite[note 1] which is not recognized as legitimate by Strangites.
Brigham Young initially argued that Smith could have no immediate successor,  but rather that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of which he was president should be sustained as the presiding body of the church.
This organization has become the largest Latter Day Saint body in the world today. Both the Utah LDS Church and the Strangite church posit themselves as the sole legal continuation of Smith's organization; neither considers the other to be legitimate, nor do they recognize the validity of any of the numerous other Latter Day Saint sects.
Although he was a relatively recent convert at the time of Smith's death, James Strang posed a formidable—and initially quite successful—challenge to the claims of Young and Rigdon. Strang was a Mormon elder charged with establishing a stake or "place of refuge" in Wisconsin, should the Mormons be forced to abandon their headquarters in Nauvoo.
He possessed a document that came to be known as the " letter of appointment ", alleged to have been written by Smith prior to his death. The wording of the letter was ambiguous; some insist that it only appointed Strang to be president of the new Voree Stake of the church,  while Strang and his followers interpreted it as a call to follow Smith as President of the Church.
Strang also claimed that at the moment of Smith's death, he was visited by angels who ordained him to be Smith's successor, though he claimed no other witnesses to the event. Strang's assertion appealed to many Latter Day Saints who were attracted to Mormonism's doctrine of continuing revelation through a living prophet.
In the face of protracted Mormon anguish at Smith's death, Strang insisted that there still was, indeed, a Mormon seer who communed with God and conversed with angels. Strang's claim was bolstered by his discovery of the Voree platespurporting to contain the last testament of an ancient Native Americanone "Rajah Manchou of Vorito".
These plates were found in the Hill of Promise, which would become the temple site in the new Strangite town of Voree. Early successes and losses[ edit ] Many prominent Latter Day Saints believed in Strang's "letter of appointment" and accepted him as Mormonism's second " Prophet, Seer, Revelator and Translator "—at least in the short term.
Page ; former apostle William E. Another adherent was John C. Bennettformer mayor of Nauvoo and a former member of the First Presidency. Bennett founded a secretive Strangite fraternal society known as the "Order of Illuminati", but his presence disrupted Strang's church and ultimately led to his excommunication.
All of these persons—with the exception of Miller, who would remain loyal to Strang until death—left the Strangite church by Many of these defections were due to Strang's seemingly abrupt "about-face" on the turbulent subject of polygamy.
Vehemently opposed to the practice at first,  Strang reversed course in to become one of plural marriage 's strongest advocates.
Since many of his early disciples had looked to him as a monogamous counterweight to Young's polygamous version of Mormonism, Strang's decision to embrace plural marriage proved costly to him and his church.
Martin Harris circaage Strang found his greatest support among the scattered outlying branches of Mormonism, which he frequently toured.virginia tech dissertations acceptance rate what you homework term paper on wto www argumentative essay com judicial killings pgcps science fair research paper.
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