::Mormonism in the 19th century

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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} This is a chronology of Mormonism. In the late 1820s, founder Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, announced that an angel had given him a set of golden plates engraved with a chronicle of ancient American peoples, which he had a unique gift to translate. In 1830, he published the resulting narratives as the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Christ in western New York, claiming it to be a restoration of early Christianity.

Moving the church to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831, Joseph Smith attracted hundreds of converts, who were called Latter Day Saints. He sent some to Jackson County, Missouri to establish a city of Zion. In 1833, Missouri settlers expelled the Saints from Zion, and Smith's paramilitary expedition to recover the land was unsuccessful. Fleeing an arrest warrant in the aftermath of a Kirtland financial crisis, Smith joined his remaining followers in Far West, Missouri, but tensions escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered their expulsion from Missouri, and Smith was imprisoned on capital charges.

After escaping state custody in 1839, Smith directed the conversion of a swampland into Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became both mayor and commander of a nearly autonomous militia. In 1843, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. The following year, after the Nauvoo Expositor criticized his power and such new doctrines as plural marriage, Smith and the Nauvoo city council ordered the newspaper's destruction as a nuisance. In a futile attempt to check public outrage, Smith first declared martial law, then surrendered to the governor of Illinois. He was killed by a mob while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois.

After the death of the Smiths, a succession crisis occurred in the Latter Day Saint movement. Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church,<ref>Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (2d ed., 1966, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft) s.v. "Assistant President of the Church".</ref> but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. Initially, the primary contenders to succeed Joseph Smith were Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, and James Strang. Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, claimed authority was handed by Smith to the Quorum of the Twelve. Rigdon was the senior surviving member of the First Presidency, a body that led the church since 1832. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, Rigdon was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. Strang claimed that Smith designated him as the successor in a letter that was received by Strang a week before Smith's death. Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of Lineal succession.

Several schisms resulted, with each claimant attracting followers. The majority of Latter Day Saints followed Young; these adherents later emigrated to Utah Territory and continued as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Rigdon's followers were known as Rigdonites, some of which later established The Church of Jesus Christ. Strang's followers established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite). In the 1860s, those who felt that Smith should have been succeeded by Joseph Smith III established the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which later changed its name to Community of Christ.

Under Brigham Young, the LDS Church orchestrated a massive overland migration of Latter-day Saint pioneers to Utah, by wagon train and, briefly, by handcart. The Apostles directed missionary preaching in Europe and the United States, gaining more converts who then gathered to frontier Utah. In its remote settlement, the church governed civil affairs and made public its practice of plural marriage (polygamy). As the federal government asserted greater control over Utah, relations with the Mormons enflamed, leading to the Utah War and the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mormon polygamy became a major political issue, with federal legislation and judicial rulings curtailing Mormon legal protections and delegitimizing the church. Eventually, the church issued a manifesto discontinuing polygamy, which paved the way to Utah statehood and realignment with mainstream American society.


Mormonism in the 19th century sections
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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} This is a chronology of Mormonism. In the late 1820s, founder Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, announced that an angel had given him a set of golden plates engraved with a chronicle of ancient American peoples, which he had a unique gift to translate. In 1830, he published the resulting narratives as the Book of Mormon and founded the Church of Christ in western New York, claiming it to be a restoration of early Christianity.

Moving the church to Kirtland, Ohio in 1831, Joseph Smith attracted hundreds of converts, who were called Latter Day Saints. He sent some to Jackson County, Missouri to establish a city of Zion. In 1833, Missouri settlers expelled the Saints from Zion, and Smith's paramilitary expedition to recover the land was unsuccessful. Fleeing an arrest warrant in the aftermath of a Kirtland financial crisis, Smith joined his remaining followers in Far West, Missouri, but tensions escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered their expulsion from Missouri, and Smith was imprisoned on capital charges.

After escaping state custody in 1839, Smith directed the conversion of a swampland into Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became both mayor and commander of a nearly autonomous militia. In 1843, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. The following year, after the Nauvoo Expositor criticized his power and such new doctrines as plural marriage, Smith and the Nauvoo city council ordered the newspaper's destruction as a nuisance. In a futile attempt to check public outrage, Smith first declared martial law, then surrendered to the governor of Illinois. He was killed by a mob while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois.

After the death of the Smiths, a succession crisis occurred in the Latter Day Saint movement. Hyrum Smith, the Assistant President of the Church, was intended to succeed Joseph as President of the Church,<ref>Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine (2d ed., 1966, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft) s.v. "Assistant President of the Church".</ref> but because he was killed with his brother, the proper succession procedure became unclear. Initially, the primary contenders to succeed Joseph Smith were Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, and James Strang. Young, president of the Quorum of the Twelve, claimed authority was handed by Smith to the Quorum of the Twelve. Rigdon was the senior surviving member of the First Presidency, a body that led the church since 1832. At the time of the Smiths' deaths, Rigdon was estranged from Smith due to differences in doctrinal beliefs. Strang claimed that Smith designated him as the successor in a letter that was received by Strang a week before Smith's death. Later, others came to believe that Smith's son, Joseph Smith III, was the rightful successor under the doctrine of Lineal succession.

Several schisms resulted, with each claimant attracting followers. The majority of Latter Day Saints followed Young; these adherents later emigrated to Utah Territory and continued as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Rigdon's followers were known as Rigdonites, some of which later established The Church of Jesus Christ. Strang's followers established the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite). In the 1860s, those who felt that Smith should have been succeeded by Joseph Smith III established the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which later changed its name to Community of Christ.

Under Brigham Young, the LDS Church orchestrated a massive overland migration of Latter-day Saint pioneers to Utah, by wagon train and, briefly, by handcart. The Apostles directed missionary preaching in Europe and the United States, gaining more converts who then gathered to frontier Utah. In its remote settlement, the church governed civil affairs and made public its practice of plural marriage (polygamy). As the federal government asserted greater control over Utah, relations with the Mormons enflamed, leading to the Utah War and the Mountain Meadows Massacre. Mormon polygamy became a major political issue, with federal legislation and judicial rulings curtailing Mormon legal protections and delegitimizing the church. Eventually, the church issued a manifesto discontinuing polygamy, which paved the way to Utah statehood and realignment with mainstream American society.


Mormonism in the 19th century sections
Intro  1790s  1800s  1810s  1820s  1830s  1840s  1850s  1860s  1870s  1880s  1890s  See also  Notes  References  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: 1790s
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