The Church of Christ was the original name of the Latter Day Saint church founded by Joseph Smith. Each of the churches that resulted from this schism considers itself to be the continuation of Smiths original Church of Christ. This church is unrelated to other bodies bearing the name, including the United Church of Christ, a Reformed church body, and the Churches of Christ. Today, there are several Latter Day Saint churches called Church of Christ, the first Latter Day Saint references to the church of Christ are found in passages of the Book of Mormon that Smith dictated from April to June 1829. During the course of this dictation, the outlines for a community of believers or church structure became apparent. Such a structure would have authority from God, ordinances such as baptism, the book described the clergy in Almas church as consisting of priests, who were unpaid and were to preach nothing save it were repentance and faith in the Lord. Alma later established churches, which were considered one church because there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance. In addition to priests, the book mentions that the clergy of these also included teachers. Smiths further dictation of the Book of Mormon also stated there were two churches only, the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil. As a result of the references to baptism and the organization of churches. Smith and Cowdery then baptized each other by immersion and they also baptized dozens of people, as early as June 1829. These converts, however, did not belong to a church organization. Nevertheless, this community of believers referred to themselves as the Church of Christ, in June 1829, Smith dictated a revelation stating that in are all things written, concerning my church, my gospel, and my rock. Wherefore if you build up my church, and my gospel, and my rock. Some time between June and December 1829, Cowdery said he received a revelation about how he should build up his church & the manner thereof. This revelation was called the Articles of the Church of Christ, the church was to meet regularly to partake of bread and wine. Cowdery was described as an Apostle of Jesus Christ, according to David Whitmer, by April 1830, this informal Church of Christ had about six elders and 70 members. On April 6,1830, Joseph Smith, Oliver Cowdery, and a group of approximately 30 believers met with the intention of formally organizing the Church of Christ into a legal institution
A reconstruction of the original Peter Whitmer home in Fayette, New York.
Image: Olivercowdery sm
Image: Joseph Smith, Jr. portrait owned by Joseph Smith III