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Church Founded in Manchester (Not Fayette) Part 1 of 4

President Nelson has made a big push about using the name of our church, but it wasn’t always known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Michael Marquardt, an unsung hero in Mormon history, tells why the church changed names a few times.

Michael: In May of 1834 members of the United Firm, which was like an auxiliary of the church at that time, met and changed the name of the revealed name of a Church of Christ to the Church of Latter Day Saints. And that’s where that name comes in.

GT: Now, I just interviewed–in fact we just published it yesterday it was–an interview with Steve Shields and he said that it was Sidney Rigdon who came up with that name Church of the Latter Day Saints.

Michael: Yes. He proposed that. Sidney Rigdon was an elder and also high priest in the church. And the church is in deep debt at that early time of 1834. And that was one of the reasons at that time that they, said that the church was organized in Fayette–to protect the organization. It’s the same reason as the next year in the 1835 First edition of the doctrine and covenants, they used pseudonyms. No there was not real names but other names. So people would not know who the revelation that we’re referring to to protect the organization, protect the individuals.

GT: For financial reasons is that the main reason?

Michael: From what I can gather that that’s the main main reason at that time.

GT: Okay. Okay. So let’s recap here. So April 6, 1830 the Church is organized in Manchester. In 1833 it’s published that it’s still organized in Manchester. In 1835 we start having some difficulties with finances. So they renamed the Church: Church of Latter-day Saints. They left out Jesus Christ, by the way, I’ll add in.

Michael: Well, it was 1834. Yeah. You’ll notice sometimes while the name, Jesus is not there or the title Christ, it was also used at that time.

You probably noticed that Michael said the was founded in Manchester, New York, contrary to the official church history record that the church was organized 30 miles away in Fayette.  How does Michael make his case, and why is there a discrepancy?

GT: Why does the church say Fayette and why are you saying it’s in Manchester?

Michael: Well, it’s basically trying to look at over a period of time, where the baptisms occur, where the revelations were given. And, of course the early Church of Christ did publish in the Evening and Morning Star, the first church periodical that it was organized and established in Manchester on April 6. And that’s also where you find where it mentions six members. So there’s probably was six individuals. We don’t know if they’re a male or a female.

GT: Okay. You said this was published where again?

Michael: In the ‘Evening and the Morning Star’ in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.

GT: And what was the date on that?

Michael: It would be March, 1833 and April, 1833.

GT: So in March and April of 1833. The Evening and Morning Star is saying that the church was organized in Manchester, not in Fayette.

Michael: Correct.

Marquardt says several revelations occurred in Manchester in April 6, 1830, and this was because it was the first church meeting.  Were you aware of a discrepancy in the historical record for the location of the founding of the Church?

Michael Marquardt says the Church was organized in Manchester, some 30 miles from Fayette, NY. Does he make a solid case?
Michael Marquardt says the Church was organized in Manchester, some 30 miles from Fayette, NY. Does he make a solid case?
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Is it Bad to be called LDS or Mormon?

President Nelson said calling when people say "Mormon Church" it is a victory for Satan. Is it bad to refer to ourselves as LDS or Mormon? Kurt Francom answers.

I’m excited to introduce Kurt Francom of the Leading Saints podcast. He recently changed the name of his podcast due to President Nelson’s admonition to avoid the term “Mormon.” Is that now a derogatory term, like it was in the early days of the Church?  Is this name change silly?

 

Kurt:  Well, my background, I have a marketing degree so I’m a marketer. So when I first heard of it I was like, “No! The search engine optimization and the branding, this violates every principle of marketing that there is.” But I mean, the reality is, is that every prophet has certain directions and ideas and thoughts that they’ll move forward. And you look at President Hinckley’s time as I’ve read his biography and such, the smaller temple concept came to his mind long before, decades before he was actually in that seat as the prophet. And so I think, I think the Lord massages different ideas into the minds of future prophets so that when their time comes, they can move the church in that direction. Now does our Father in Heaven really care what we call ourselves?

Well, obviously it’s in the Doctrine and Covenants. And so I don’t necessarily mind it. I mean the marketing person inside of me sort of is uncomfortable with it and I didn’t see any problem with the term Mormon or LDS, but I get what he’s trying to do and accomplish. And obviously the hardest thing to shift in this church is the culture. And he stepped up and is trying to change that culture. And I think over time we can get there, and I sort of liked the idea of instead of calling us Mormons, calling us Saints. Latter-day Saints is sometimes a little bit long, or uncomfortable, but, we’re Saints, and not Mormons and we’re part of the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints and not the LDS Church. So is it silly? I mean, I’m fine with it and the more I adjust that in my vocabulary, the more I’m, I’m fine with it.

GT: Originally in the early days of the church, the Mormon was a derogatory term?

Kurt: Yeah.

GT: With president Nelson’s switch, do you see it becoming a derogatory term again?

Kurt: No, I don’t see that at all.

What do you think?  Is LDS or Mormon still a net positive term?

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Mormon Followers of the Prophet James Strang (Part 6 of 8)

James Strang was one of the most unlikely people to succeed following the death of Joseph Smith in 1844.  Historian John Hamer will talk more about James Strang and his group, sometimes called the Strangites.

John:  Yeah.  Of all of the different people that could have emerged in the Succession Crisis, this is the one that would be most unexpected to anybody before Joseph Smith’s death because he had been a relatively recent convert.  He had been to Nauvoo.  Strangite recollections are that he had been baptized by Joseph.  He lived in Wisconsin, and so he wasn’t an insider in any significant way.

But what happens fairly quickly is that he announces all sorts of new prophetic signs, callings, and things like that that, or examples.  For example, there’s a new set of plates that are found by a new set of official witnesses.  There’s a new translation.

One thing he says, at the same moment that Joseph Smith is killed, an angel appeared to him and ordained him to be prophet, seer, revelator, and translator to the church.  There can only be one on the planet at a time.  So there’s not a thing where Joseph Smith can just give a bunch of keys to different people and then you collect the keys or something like that.  It only can be one guy at a time and it’s not because you can’t—if we ran out of elders in the LDS Church, you can’t have a deacon ordain some new elder, so Strang says you can’t have apostles ordain a prophet because that doesn’t make any sense.  You can’t a lower ordain [a higher.]  Essentially the only way, according to Strang, that you could have had a successor is the same way that Joseph Smith became prophet which is through angelic ordination, or two, there is a verse in the Doctrine & Covenants that says if Joseph shall fall, he will not have any power save it be the need to appoint another in his stead.[1]

So James Strang had a letter.  His interpretation of the letter is that it appointed him to be the successor, Joseph Smith’s successor.  It’s a little bit ambiguously worded in that way.  Also nobody who wasn’t a Strangite believed the letter was genuine.  So it’s a contested letter, but he used the letter also as a claim on the two fronts there:  there’s angelic ordination on the one hand, and he’s also been appointed the successor.

We’ll learn more about some golden plates that he translated.

GT:  Ok.  He also had some plates.  I think there’s The Book of the Law of the Lord,[2] and yesterday you talked about the Voree Plates.

John:  Yes.

GT:  Let’s talk about those.

John:  The first set of plates are the Voree Plates.

GT:  Oh that was the first set.

John:  Yes.

GT:  Oh I didn’t realize that.

John:  Yes.  The first set of plates that Strang announces are the Voree Plates and it’s just very interesting story.  I could talk about it for hours and hours.  But anyway the idea of it is that near Strang’s house in Burlington, Wisconsin in a place that comes to be known as Voree.  There’s a hill.  An angel in a vision, Strang says, told him where plates are buried.  He brings four guys to that spot.  He shows them where the angel told them.  They have shovels or whatever, and then Strang leaves.

So they dig up what I told you, they believe that the earth has never been disturbed and that they actually have to get under the roots of this big old tree and things like that.  They are convinced that the thing had been buried many, many years ago before this oak tree was on top of it and that kind of thing.

Anyway they dig up plates.  They are plates, though, that people physically see and it’s not simply the official witnesses who see.  Thousands of people see the plates including obviously lots of non-members including the local newspaperman who is the newspaper editor of the Kenosha newspaper and he actually goes on to be the guy that invents the QWERTY typewriter keyboard.  So that guy saw them.  He didn’t pass judgment on them or whatever.  He said some people thing they are pretty marvelous.  But the point is it was a physical artifact.

So Strang prints a translation of it through the gift and power of God.  He says that he able to translate these plates.  The gist of the translation is again, it’s a people that are killed off, just like the Nephites.  It doesn’t say Nephites, but anyway, a Native people that have died in a great battle at this spot again, but this spot is going to be a place of refuge that at some point or other the church, God’s people, are going to, the forerunner, essentially the first prophet Joseph Smith—it doesn’t say it in those terms, but I’m just going to read between the lines here, Joseph Smith is going to get executed and the people are going to have to flee, the first refuge, and so they’ll come to gather to Voree, the great successor is going to emerge.

Check out the video or audio to hear John talk more about his life.  Strang was also martyred, similar to Joseph Smith, and his followers suffered even worse persecution on the shores of Lake Michigan.   (Don’t forget to learn about another schismatic group, the Bickertonites in our previous conversation.)  Check out our conversation…..

[1] Alice Cooper was a famous man from the “shock-rock” performer from the 1970s.  His performances included special effects that made it appear his head was chopped off, and other gruesome acts during the concert.  He continues to perform.  He was born February 4, 1948 and his birth name was Vincent Damon Furnier.

[2] More information can be found at https://gospeltangents.com/2010/07/20/the-mormon-myth-about-alice-cooper/

[3] See D&C 42:10 found at https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/42.78?lang=tha&clang=eng

[4] Basic info found at Wikipedia:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_the_Law_of_the_Lord