Latter Day Saint movement

The Latter Day Saint movement is the collection of independent church groups that trace their origins to a Christian Restorationist movement founded by Joseph Smith in the late 1820s. Collectively, these churches have over 16 million members, although the vast majority of these—about 98%—belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; the predominant theology of the churches in the movement is Mormonism, which sees itself as restoring the early Christian church with additional revelations. A minority of Latter Day Saint adherents, such as members of Community of Christ, believe in traditional Protestant theology, have distanced themselves from some of the distinctive doctrines of the LDS Church. Other groups include the Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which supports lineal succession of leadership from Smith's descendants, the more controversial Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which defends the practice of polygamy; the movement began in western New York during the Second Great Awakening when Smith said that he received visions revealing a new sacred text, the Book of Mormon, which he published in 1830 as a complement to the Bible.

Based on the teachings of this book and other revelations, Smith founded a Christian primitivist church, called the "Church of Christ". The Book of Mormon attracted hundreds of early followers, who became known as "Mormons", "Latter Day Saints", or just "Saints". In 1831, moved the church headquarters to Kirtland, in 1838 changed its name to the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". After the church in Ohio collapsed due to a financial crisis and dissensions, in 1838, Smith and the body of the church moved to Missouri where they were persecuted and forced to Illinois. After Smith's death in 1844, a succession crisis led to the organization splitting into several groups; the largest of these, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, migrated under the leadership of Brigham Young to the Great Basin and became known for its 19th-century practice of polygamy. The LDS Church renounced this practice in 1890, discontinued it, resulting in the Utah Territory becoming a U. S. state. This change resulted in the formation of a number of small sects who sought to maintain polygamy and other 19th-century doctrines and practices, now referred to as "Mormon fundamentalism".

Other groups originating within the Latter Day Saint movement followed different paths in Missouri, Illinois and Pennsylvania. For the most part, these groups rejected plural marriage and some of Smith's teachings; the largest of these, Community of Christ, was formed in Illinois in 1860 by several groups uniting around Smith's son, Joseph Smith III. The founder of the Latter Day Saint movement was Joseph Smith, to a lesser extent, during the movement's first two years, Oliver Cowdery. Throughout his life, Smith told of an experience he had as a boy having seen God the Father and Jesus Christ as two separate beings, who told him that the true church of Jesus Christ had been lost and would be restored through him, that he would be given the authority to organize and lead the true Church of Christ. Smith and Cowdery explained that the angels John the Baptist, Peter and John visited them in 1829 and gave them priesthood authority to reestablish the Church of Christ; the first Latter Day Saint church was formed on April 6, 1830, consisting of a community of believers in the western New York towns of Fayette and Colesville.

The church was formally organized under the name of the "Church of Christ". By 1834, the church was referred to as the "Church of the Latter Day Saints" in early church publications, in 1838 Smith announced that he had received a revelation from God that changed the name to the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints". In 1844, William Law and several other Latter Day Saints in church leadership positions publicly denounced Smith's secret practice of polygamy in the Nauvoo Expositor, formed their own church; the city council of Nauvoo, led by Smith, subsequently had the printing press of the Expositor destroyed. In spite of Smith's offer to pay damages for destroyed property, critics of Smith and the church considered the destruction heavy-handed; some called for the Latter Day Saints to be either destroyed. Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, the Assistant President of the Church, were both assassinated by a mob while in a Carthage, Illinois jail, several bodies within the church claimed to be the senior surviving authority and appointed successors.

These various claims resulted in a succession crisis. Many supported the President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Emma Hale Smith failed to persuade William Marks, the president of the Presiding High Council and a Rigdon supporter, to assume leadership and the surviving members of Smith's immediate family remained unaffiliated with any larger body until 1860, when they formed the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with Joseph's eldest son as prophet; these various groups are sometimes referred to under two geographical headings: "Prairie Saints". Today, the vast majority of Latter Day Saints belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which reports over 16 million members worldwide

Operation Gideon

Operation Gideon was a Haganah offensive launched in the closing days of the British Mandate in Palestine, as part of the 1947–48 Civil War in Mandatory Palestine. Its objectives were to capture Beisan, clear the surrounding villages and bedouin camps and block one of the possible entry routes for Transjordanian forces, it was part of Plan Dalet. The operation was carried out by the Golani brigade between 10–15 May 1948. Avraham Yoffe commanded the battalion; the 1947 UN Partition Plan allocated most of its district to the proposed Jewish state. It is possible. Following the operation, the town formally surrendered with most of its residents fleeing. Most Arab Christians relocated to Nazareth. A ma'abarah inhabited by North African immigrants was erected in Beit She'an, it became a development town. Beisan was a predominantly Muslim town in the centre of a fertile valley running into the River Jordan; the area has significant Ancient Egyptian, Samaritan and Roman archeological remains. It was on the main road from'Afula and Tiberias, one of the ancient routes between Damascus and Egypt.

During the British mandate a number of Jewish villages were established in the valley. By the end of the Second World War, Jews owned a third of the lands in the Beisan valley; the Beisan lands were awarded to the Jews under the 1947 UN Partition plan. On the night of 10/11 May troops from the Golani brigade captured two villages close to Baysan and commenced blowing up houses; the following night they launched a mortar bombardment on Baysan. Commander Yoffe threatened to level the town; the next day the town formally surrendered with most of its residents fleeing. Between 700 and 1,500 of those who remained in the town were expelled across the River Jordan on 14/15 May. There were left around 250 people Christians and they were trucked to Nazareth on 28 May. Yosef Weitz of the JNF claimed he had David Ben-Gurion's approval for a program of systematic destruction of villages, but it appears. On 16 June he cabled Golani headquarters: "Ask Avraham Yoffe is it true that he burned the town of Beit Shean in whole or in part, on whose instructions did he do this?"This appears to have been as a result of Agriculture Minister, Aharon Zisling, raising the issue at the Provisinal Government's Cabinet meeting on the same day: "destruction during battle... is one thing.

But a month in cold blood, out of political calculation is another thing altogether. This course will not reduce the number of Arabs, it will increase the number of our enemies." On 20 June Minority Affairs Minister, Bechor Shitrit raised the issue of destruction of villages. Most Arab Christians relocated to Nazareth. During the 1950s a ma'abarah inhabited by North African immigrants was erected in Beit She'an, it became a development town. List of Arab towns and villages depopulated during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War Walid Khalidi, All That Remains, ISBN 0-88728-224-5. Uses 1945 census for population figures. Benny Morris, The Birth of the Palestinian refugee problem, 1947–1949,ISBN 0-521-33028-9

First Congregational Church (Porterville, California)

First Congregational Church is a historic church building at 165 E. Mill Street in Porterville, California; the church was built in 1908 by Porterville's Congregationalists. San Francisco architects Francis W. Reed and George C. Meeker designed the church; the design includes a shingled wooden exterior, typical of the First Bay Tradition, a Gothic spire and arches. The new church building served as an "institutional church" which provided community services, including an auditorium, a gymnasium and swimming pool, a private kindergarten; the church was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1999. The congregation is not affiliated with the United Church of Christ