This category has only the following subcategory.
This category has only the following subcategory.
1. John C. Bennett – Bennetts involvement in the Latter Day Saint movement came after several encounters with the community that had left him unimpressed. He nevertheless wrote several letters to Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois, Bennett was essential to the passing of the Nauvoo city charter in the Illinois Legislature, the provisions of which he had helped craft. He even garnered praise for his efforts on behalf of the Mormons from the young Abraham Lincoln. His efforts on behalf of the Mormons, and the time he spent living in the Mansion House in Nauvoo. Smith was instrumental in promoting Bennett to ever greater civic and ecclesiastical responsibilities in Nauvoo, Bennett became a Counselor in the First Presidency, the mayor of Nauvoo, General of the Nauvoo Legion, and the chancellor of the University of Nauvoo. Bennett was excommunicated from the church for adultery on May 11,1842, rumors of adultery, homosexuality, and unauthorized polygamy emerged. While Bennett was mayor, he was caught in sexual relations with women in the city. He told the women that the practice, which he termed spiritual wifery, was sanctioned by God and Smith, when discovered, he privately confessed his crimes, produced an affidavit that Smith had no part in his adultery, and was disciplined accordingly. After Bennett left Nauvoo in May 1842, he claimed he had been the target of an assassination by Nauvoo Danites. He soon became a bitter antagonist of Smith and the Latter Day Saint church, in July 1842, he wrote a series of letters to the The Sangamo Journal, accusing Smith of conspiring to assassinate former Missouri Governor Boggs. In late 1842, Bennett wrote an exposé, entitled History of the Saints, accusing Smith and his church of such as treason, conspiracy to commit murder, prostitution. Through his newspaper writings and book, Bennett appeared to encourage Missouris June 1843 attempt to extradite Smith to stand trial for treason, ironically, Smith escaped extradition, albeit narrowly, by virtue of the powerful Nauvoo charter, of which Bennett was a principal author. In the fall of 1843, Bennett visited George M. Hinkle and it is unclear whether Bennett learned of eternal marriage from Hinkle or from correspondents inside Nauvoo. After December 1843, Bennett is recorded to have lectured only once more against Mormonism during Smiths life, in Boston, Bennett united with the Strangites, who founded their own Mormon community on Beaver Island in Michigan. With Bennetts enthusiastic support, polygamy was introduced into the Michigan Mormon community, shortly thereafter, in 1847, amidst yet more charges of sexual misconduct, Bennett was excommunicated from the Strangite community. After this, Bennett did not associate with any Latter Day Saint group for the remainder of his life, Bennett is often credited with introducing into Mormonism the term spiritual wifery. Spiritual wifery was the term Bennett used for both his own practice of love and for the Nauvoo practice of plural marriage. The term was used by Mormon leaders such as Brigham Young
2. William Law (Latter Day Saints) – William Law was an important figure in the early history of the Latter Day Saint movement, holding a position in the early churchs First Presidency under Joseph Smith. Law was later excommunicated from the church and was the founder of the short-lived True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. In this capacity, he published an edition of the Nauvoo Expositor. Law was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, to Richard Law and his older brother was Wilson Law. The Law family moved to the United States around 1820, at the age of 24 he married Jane Silverthorn, who was 19 years old. Law and his wife joined the Church of the Latter Day Saints in 1836, through the efforts of John Taylor and Almon W. Babbitt. He led a group of Canadian saints to Nauvoo, Illinois, in 1839 and in 1841, as time progressed, Law became troubled by certain practices of Smith. He felt the prophet was uniting church and state in Nauvoo, Illinois and he also thought Smith used his church authority to sway political outcomes. However, it was Smiths covert practice of polygamy that caused Law to completely separate himself, rumors circulated that Smith had made several proposals to Laws wife Jane, under the premise that Jane Law would enter a polyandrous marriage with Smith. Law and his wife confirmed that these rumors were true, however, according to Alexander Neibaur, he was told a rumor that Jane Law had actually asked to be sealed to Smith after Smith had refused to seal her to her husband. According to the rumor, Smith had denied the couple because he thought William Law was guilty of adultery, though he did not tell Jane Law his reasons. Youngs account states that Jane Law described Smiths proposals, saying that Smith had asked her to give him half her love and she refused Smiths request to marry him as a polyandrous plural wife. Law still believed Mormonism to be true, but he viewed Smith as a fallen prophet, on January 8,1844, Law was informed that he was no longer a counselor to Smith in the First Presidency. He demanded a rehearing of his case, because the procedures for removal from the First Presidency had not been followed, the rehearing was granted and on April 18,1844, he was tried again. However, this time he was tried as if he were a private member, once again he felt this went against church protocol. The following day he was informed of his excommunication on grounds of apostasy, at this point, he felt Smith was beyond saving, and that it was his duty to expose him to the rest of the Mormon community. Law met privately after his excommunication with other opponents of Smith, after they were joined by two boys, Dennison L. Harris and Robert Scott, they were exposed after these boys reported their plans to Smith. Shortly thereafter, Law created the True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, on June 7,1844, Law and his followers published the Nauvoo Expositor, a newspaper that outlined Laws contentions against Smith, including the then-secret practice of plural marriage
3. Stephen Post – Stephen Post was an early member of the Latter Day Saint movement who became President of Sidney Rigdons Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion after Rigdons death in 1876. By July 1837, he estimated that he had traveled 544 miles, in January 1856, Post wrote to Sidney Rigdon, Smiths former counselor, about the disordered state of Mormonism. Rigdon had briefly led his own church following Smiths martyrdom, in March, Rigdon responded to Posts letter with a revelation commanding him to assist in reestablishing the Rigdonite organization. Post eagerly embraced Rigdons prophetic claims and became an advocate of his cause. Posts non-Mormon wife, Jane, converted to the Rigdonite church in 1865 and was ordained an elder in 1868, in 1871, Post was sent on a mission to Manitoba, Canada, where he spent the rest of his life. After Rigdons death in July 1876, Post succeeded him as leader of the church and he was succeeded in 1880 by Andrew J. Hinkle, the son of early Mormon schismatic George M. Hinkle. Shortly after the death of Mother Post, the Rigdonite organization permanently disbanded