Young Women (organization)
The Young Women is a youth organization and an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The purpose of the Young Women organization is to help each young woman "be worthy to make and keep sacred covenants and receive the ordinances of the temple." The first official youth association of the church—the Young Gentlemen's and Young Ladies' Relief Society—was formally organized by Nauvoo, youth on the advice of church founder Joseph Smith in March 1843. The group had held several informal meetings since late January of that year under the supervision of apostle Heber C. Kimball; the Young Women organization of the church was founded by LDS Church president Brigham Young in 1869 as the Young Ladies' Department of the Cooperative Retrenchment Association. At the organization's founding, Young set out his vision for the young women of the church: I desire them to retrench from extravagance in dress, in eating and in speech; the time has come when the sisters must agree... to set an example worthy of imitation before the people of the world....
There is need for the young daughters of Israel to get a living testimony of the truth.... We are about to organize a retrenchment Association, which I want you all to join, I want you to vote to retrench in... everything, not good and beautiful, not to make yourselves unhappy, but to live so you may be happy in this life and in the life to come. From 1869 to 1880, the new Young Women organization functioned at the local ward level, without a general presidency. In 1871, the organization was renamed YL for short. In 1877, the organization's name was again changed to the Young Ladies' National Mutual Improvement Association as a companion organization to the church's Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association, founded in 1875. On June 19, 1880, the first general presidency of the YLNMIA with church-wide authority was organized under the direction of LDS Church president John Taylor, with Elmina Shepard Taylor as the first general president. In 1904, the name of the YLNMIA was shorted to the Young Ladies' Mutual Improvement Association and in 1934 it was changed to the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association, or YWMIA.
In 1972, the YWMIA and the YMMIA were combined into a new organization called Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women. This organization was short-lived and the Young Women organization was separated from the Young Men organization and given its current name in 1974. Aaronic Priesthood MIA Young Women was the name of an official auxiliary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between 1972 and 1974, it was formed by consolidating the Young Men's Mutual Improvement Association and the Young Women's Mutual Improvement Association into one organization. Leadership of the auxiliary was shared between the presiding bishopric and the general presidency of the Young Women; the combined organization was short-lived, in 1974 the organization was again divided into the renamed Young Men and the Young Women. In each local congregation of the LDS Church, all females ages 11 to 17 are members of the Young Women; the organization is headed in each congregation by an adult woman who holds the position of Young Women President.
The president is assisted by two counselors, who are adult women. The presidency may ask an adult woman to be the secretary to the presidency. In most congregations, the young women are sub-divided into three aged-based classes which were given official nicknames by the church in the 1950s; these nicknames may be used to refer to the members of it. When a young woman reaches the age of 18, has completed secondary school, she is encouraged to join the Relief Society, the church's women's organization. Beginning in 2019, the church changed the timing of a young woman's movement through the organization in the groups shown below; the young woman had joined, or transitioned to, the classes when they turned 12, 14, 16, respectively. They now transition, at the beginning of the year in which they turn the ages noted; the information below is does not reflect overlapping ages, but presumes the more traditional change for the Mia Maid and Laurel classes. A Beehive is a 11–13 year old participant in the Young Women organization.
The name beehive was first used in the LDS Church's organization for young women in 1913, when a "Beehive Girls" program was organized. In 1920, the YLMIA operated the Beehive House, one of the former residences of Brigham Young, as a dormitory for young girls. In 1943, the beehive was adopted as the class symbol for the youngest class of young women in the church. In 1950, the youngest class was given the name of Beehives; the symbol of the Beehives is a stylized beehive. The Beehive purpose statement is: For the early pioneers of the Church, the beehive was a symbol of harmony and work; when the young women of the Church were first organized as a group, they were known as Beehives. As a member of a Beehive class today, a young woman strengthens her faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and learns to work with others in harmony and cooperation; this is a time for her to stand for truth and righteousness and "arise and shine forth". The adult second counselor in the Young Women presidency assists the Beehive class.
A Mia Maid is a 14- to 15-year-old participant in the Young Women organization. The term derives from a former name of the church's program for yo
Henry D. Moyle
Henry Dinwoodey Moyle was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Moyle was born in Salt Lake City, Utah Territory, to politician James Moyle and his wife Alice Dinwoodey, he studied at the University of Utah and served as an LDS Church missionary in Switzerland and in Germany. During World War I, Moyle served in the United States military. Moyle continued his studies at the University of Harvard Law School, he was a student at the School of Mines in Freiberg, Saxony. In 1920, Moyle was appointed to the position of United States attorney for the state of Utah. Moyle was for a part-time member of the University of Utah faculty, he was a businessman involved in various railroad, oil and finance businesses. During World War II, he was the director of the Petroleum Industries Council. From 1927 to 1937, Moyle was the president of the LDS Church's Cottonwood Stake, located in the south-east suburbs of Salt Lake City, he served as chairman of the church's Welfare Committee.
Moyle was ordained an apostle and member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles on April 10, 1947. Moyle served as Second Counselor in the First Presidency to church president David O. McKay from June 12, 1959, to October 12, 1961, when he was called as First Counselor, he was First Counselor in the First Presidency until his death. Moyle was a successful cattleman and originated the idea of the church establishing a cattle ranch in Florida, he was convinced that Florida's climate would prove ideal for raising cattle, as the key to success in that industry is growing grass. The church bought the original 54,000-acre tract in 1950, over 50 years, the ranch grew to more than 312,000 acres. Deseret Cattle and Citrus Ranch, east of Orlando, is today the world's largest beef ranch, the land is worth an estimated $858 million. Moyle spearheaded much of the church's building program in the early 1960s, he believed that the Church Office Building, the headquarters of the LDS Church, should have been twice its size.
He was convinced that by building larger meetinghouses, the church would attract more converts. Moyle convinced McKay not to publish an account of church spending as was customary in order to hide the extent of the budget deficit caused by spending on buildings. By 1962, the deficit had reach $32 million, his optimistic building programs placed a considerable financial strain upon the church and McKay relieved Moyle from many of his administrative responsibilities. The controversial "baseball baptism" program was Moyle's idea to increase baptisms in order to fill the church meetinghouses. Missionaries used baptism as a prerequisite. Under this approach, large numbers of young men were baptized but few were active in the church; the rush to baptize was accompanied with the establishment of baptism quotas for missionaries and memorized missionary discussions which were to be delivered verbatim to potential converts. The rest of the apostles were opposed to these changes, which led to Moyle being relieved of his responsibilities in the missionary department.
Moyle died of heart disease in Deer Park, aged 74, was buried at Salt Lake City Cemetery. In 1920, Moyle married Clara Alberta Wright in the Salt Lake Temple. One of his sons, Henry D. Moyle, Jr. was the first president of the French East Mission starting in 1961. Alvin R. Dyer Arnold K. Garr, et al. Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, p. 801. Working the Divine Miracle, by Richard D. Poll
President of the Church (LDS Church)
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church is the highest office of the church. It was the office held by the church's founder; the President of the LDS Church is the church's leader and the head of the First Presidency, the church's highest governing body. Latter-day Saints consider the president of the church to be a "prophet and revelator" and refer to him as "the Prophet," a title, given to Smith; when the name of the president is used by adherents, it is prefaced by the title "President". Russell M. Nelson has been the president since January 14, 2018. Latter-day Saints consider the church's president to be God's spokesman to the entire world and the highest priesthood authority on earth, with the exclusive right to receive revelations from God on behalf of the entire church or the entire world; the President of the Church serves as the head of both the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes and the Council of the Church. The President of the Church serves as the ex officio chairman of the Church Boards of Trustees/Education.
The concept that the Church of Christ would have a single presiding officer arose in late 1831. After the church's formation on April 6, 1830, Joseph Smith referred to himself as "an apostle of Jesus Christ, elder of the church." However, there was another apostle, Oliver Cowdery, several other elders of the church, making the formal hierarchy of the church unclear. In September 1830, after Hiram Page said he had received revelations for the church, a revelation to Smith stated that "no one shall be appointed to receive commandments and revelations in this church excepting my servant Joseph Smith, Jun. for he receiveth them as Moses." That established Smith's exclusive right to lead the church. In early June 1831, Smith was ordained to the "high priesthood," along with twenty-two other men, including prominent figures in the church such as Hyrum Smith, Parley P. Pratt, Martin Harris; as "high priests", they were higher in the priesthood hierarchy than the elders of the church. However, it was still unclear whether Smith's and Cowdery's callings as apostles gave them superior authority to that of other high priests.
On November 11, 1831, a revelation to Smith stated that "it must needs be that one be appointed of the high priesthood to preside over the Priesthood and he shall be called President of the high priesthood of the Church... and again the duty of the President of the high priesthood is to preside over the whole church." Smith was ordained to that position and sustained by the church on January 25, 1832, at a conference in Amherst, Ohio. In 1835, the "Articles and Covenants of the Church of Christ" were revised, changing the phrase "an... elder of the church" to "the first elder of this Church." Thus, after 1835, Smith was sometimes referred to as the "First Elder" of the church. The 1835 revision added a verse that referred to the office of "president of the high priesthood", which had since been added to the church hierarchy. In 1844, in jail awaiting trial for treason charges, Joseph Smith was killed by an armed mob. Hyrum Smith, his presumed successor, was killed in the same incident. Smith had not indisputably established, next in line as successor to President of the Church.
Several claimants to the role of church president emerged during the succession crisis. Before a large meeting convened to discuss the succession in Nauvoo, Sidney Rigdon, the senior surviving member of the church's First Presidency, argued there could be no successor to the deceased prophet and that he should be made the "Protector" of the church. Brigham Young opposed that reasoning and motion, as Smith had earlier recorded a revelation, which stated the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was "equal in authority and power" to the First Presidency, so Young claimed that the leadership of the church fell to the Twelve Apostles. Most who were in attendance were persuaded that the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles should lead the church and Young was sustained as "the president of the quorum of the Twelve and first presidency of the church," thereby assuming leadership of the church. However, Young was not ordained President of the Church at the time. On December 27, 1847, three-and-a-half years after Smith's death, Young was ordained the President of the Church.
At the time, seniority was determined by the first date of ordination as an apostle. By that definition, Heber C. Kimball was the most senior. However, since he was called to the First Presidency, Orson Hyde, the next most senior apostle became the President of the Quorum. In 1869, Brigham Young changed the order of the seniority, placing Brigham Young Jr., the most called member of the Quorum, ahead of Joseph F. Smith. Smith had been in the Quorum longer. In 1875, Young changed the definition of seniority to be determined by the longest continuous term as an apostle. Since Orson Hyde and Parley P. Pratt had been temporarily removed from the apostleship during Nauvoo, they were removed from their position and placed in seniority, based on when they were reinstated as an apostle; that gave John Taylor the highest seniority. When Young died in 1877, Taylor assumed leadership instead of Hyde. Wilford Woodruff, explained in 1879, "Elder Taylor is the oldest in Ordination and, why he presides today."
The First Presidency was absolved, the previous members were ordained as counselors to the Twelve. Other men were called to fill the vacancies in the Quorum; when Taylor died, the pattern changed, the members of the First Presidency rejoined the Quorum based on their seniority. Two years Wilford Woodruff was ordained as President of the
Church of Christ (Latter Day Saints)
The Church of Christ was the original name of the Latter Day Saint church founded by Joseph Smith. Organized informally in 1829 in New York and formally on April 6, 1830, it was the first organization to implement the principles found in Smith's newly published Book of Mormon, thus represents the formal beginning of the Latter Day Saint movement. Names for this organization included the Church of the Latter Day Saints, the Church of Jesus Christ, the Church of God, the Church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Smith and his associates asserted that the Church of Christ was a restoration of the 1st-century Christian church, which Smith claimed had fallen from God's favor and authority because of what he called a "Great Apostasy". After Smith's death in 1844, there was a crisis of authority, with the majority of the members following Brigham Young to Utah Territory, but with several smaller denominations remaining in Illinois or settling in Missouri and in other states.
Each of the churches that resulted from this schism considers itself to be the rightful continuation of Smith's original "Church of Christ", regardless of the name they may bear. This church is unrelated to other bodies bearing the same name, including the United Church of Christ, a Reformed church body, the Churches of Christ, an offshoot of the Campbellite movement. Today, there are several Latter Day Saint churches called "Church of Christ" within the Hedrickite branch of the movement; 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, ordained clergy. Some time in April 1829, Smith dictated a story of Alma the Elder, the former priest of a wicked king, who baptized his followers by immersion, "having authority from the Almighty God", called his community of believers the "church of God, or the church of Christ".
The book described the clergy in Alma's church as consisting of priests, who were unpaid and were to "preach nothing save it were repentance and faith in the Lord". Alma established many churches, which were considered "one church" because "there was nothing preached in all the churches except it were repentance and faith in God." In addition to priests, the book mentions that the clergy of these churches included teachers. In May 1829, a revelation by Smith described the "church" in informal terms: "Behold, this is my doctrine: whosoever repenteth and cometh unto me, the same is my church: whosoever declareth more or less than this, the same is not of me, but is against me: therefore, he is not of my church." Smith's further dictation of the Book of Mormon stated that there were "two churches only. As a result of the book's references to baptism and the organization of churches, Smith prayed for clarification and direction. Soon thereafter, in May 1829, Smith and Oliver Cowdery said they were visited by John the Baptist in angelic form, who conferred the Aaronic priesthood on them, which included the authority to baptize in Jesus Christ's name.
Smith and Cowdery baptized each other by immersion. They baptized dozens of people, as early as June 1829; these converts, did not belong to a formal church organization. This community of believers referred to themselves as "the Church of Christ", included converts in three New York towns: Fayette and Colesville. In June 1829, Smith dictated a revelation stating that "in are all things written, concerning my church, my gospel, my rock. Wherefore if you shall build up my church, my gospel, my rock, the gates of hell shall not prevail against you." 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", it indicated that the church should ordain priests and teachers "according to the gifts & callings of God unto men"; the church was to meet 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, a group of 30 believers met with the intention of formally organizing the Church of Christ into a legal institution. It is uncertain whether this occurred in the home of Peter Whitmer, Sr. in Fayette, New York, or whether it occurred in the log home of Joseph Smith, Sr. near their property in Manchester. Soon after this formal organization, small branches were formally established in Manchester and Colesville. Although the purpose was to effect a legal organization, it may have had no legal effect since no records of incorporation have been found in either the Manchester–Palmyra area, the Fayette area, or in several other counties around this time period, as required by state law at the time: the church evidently did not follow the required legal formalities. Prior to 1834, all church publications and documents stated that the church was organized in the Smith log home in Manchester, New York; the first Smith log home was located on the Samuel Jennings property in Palmyra, just north of the t
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informally known as the LDS Church or Mormon Church, is a nontrinitarian, Christian restorationist church, considered by its members to be the restoration of the original church founded by Jesus Christ. The church is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah in the United States, has established congregations and built temples worldwide. According to the church, it has 67,000 full-time volunteer missionaries. In 2012, the National Council of Churches ranked the church as the fourth-largest Christian denomination in the United States, with over 6.5 million members reported by the church, as of January 2018. It is the largest denomination in the Latter Day Saint movement founded by Joseph Smith during the period of religious revival known as the Second Great Awakening. Adherents referred to as "Latter-day Saints" or, less formally, "Mormons", view faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement as fundamental principles of their religion. LDS theology includes the Christian doctrine of salvation only through Jesus Christ, though LDS doctrines regarding the nature of God and the potential of mankind differ from mainstream Christianity.
The church has an open canon which includes four scriptural texts: the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price. Other than the Bible, the majority of the LDS canon constitutes revelation received by Joseph Smith and recorded by his scribes which includes commentary and exegesis about the Bible, texts described as lost parts of the Bible, other works believed to be written by ancient prophets; because of some of the doctrinal differences, Catholic and several Protestant churches consider the Church to be distinct and separate from mainstream Christianity. Under the doctrine of continuing revelation, Latter-day Saints believe that the church president is a modern-day "prophet and revelator" and that Jesus Christ, under the direction of God the Father, leads the church by revealing his will to its president. Individual members of the church believe that they can receive personal revelation from God in conducting their lives; the president heads a hierarchical structure with various levels reaching down to local congregations.
Bishops, drawn from the laity, lead local congregations. Male members, beginning in January of the year they reach age 12, may be ordained to the priesthood, provided they are living the standards of the church. Women are not ordained to the priesthood but do occupy leadership roles in some church auxiliary organizations. Both men and women may serve as missionaries and the church maintains a large missionary program that proselytizes and conducts humanitarian services worldwide. Faithful members adhere to church laws of sexual purity, health and Sabbath observance, contribute ten percent of their income to the church in tithing; the church teaches about sacred ordinances through which adherents make covenants with God, including baptism, the sacrament, priesthood ordination and celestial marriage —all of which are of great significance to church members. The history of the LDS Church is divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches.
The LDS Church called the Church of Christ, was formally organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830, in western New York. Smith changed the name to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints after he stated he had received a revelation to do so. Initial converts were drawn to the church in part because of the newly published Book of Mormon, a self-described chronicle of indigenous American prophets that Smith said he had translated from golden plates. Smith intended to establish the New Jerusalem in North America, called Zion. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland and began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, where he planned to move the church headquarters. However, in 1833, Missouri settlers brutally expelled the Latter Day Saints from Jackson County, the church was unable via a paramilitary expedition to recover the land; the church flourished in Kirtland as Smith published new revelations and the church built the Kirtland Temple, culminating in a dedication of the building similar to the day of Pentecost.
The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after a financial scandal rocked the church and caused widespread defections. Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, but tensions soon escalated into violent conflicts with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the Missouri governor ordered that the Saints be "exterminated or driven from the State." In 1839, the Saints converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, which became the church's new headquarters. Nauvoo grew as missionaries sent to Europe and elsewhere gained new converts who flooded into Nauvoo. Meanwhile, Smith introduced polygamy to his closest associates, he established ceremonies, which he stated the Lord had revealed to him, to allow righteous people to become gods in the afterlife, a secular institution to govern the Millennial kingdom. He introduced the church to a full accounting of his First Vision, in which two heavenly "personages" (God the Father and his
Death of Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith, the founder and leader of the Latter Day Saint movement, his brother Hyrum Smith were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. The brothers had been in jail awaiting trial when an armed mob of about 200 men stormed the facility, their faces painted black with wet gunpowder. Hyrum was killed first; as he fell, Hyrum shouted, "I'm a dead man, Joseph!" After emptying the pistol with which he tried to defend himself, Joseph was shot several times while trying to escape from a second-story window and fell from that window as he died. Joseph Smith, as mayor of the town of Nauvoo, had ordered the destruction of the facilities producing the Nauvoo Expositor, a newly established newspaper set up by a group of non-Mormons and people who had seceded from the church; the newspaper's first issue was critical of Smith and other church leaders—reporting that Smith was practicing polygamy and claiming he intended to set himself up as a theocratic king. In response, Smith ordered its press destroyed.
The destruction of the press led to charges of riot against the Smith brothers and other members of the Nauvoo City Council. Warrants for his arrest were dismissed by Nauvoo courts. Joseph Smith called on the Nauvoo Legion to protect Nauvoo; the brothers voluntarily traveled to the county seat at Carthage and surrendered to the authorities to face the charges. After surrendering, the brothers were charged with treason against Illinois for declaring martial law; the brothers were in the Carthage jail awaiting trial. Five men were acquitted at a jury trial. At the time of his death, Joseph Smith was running for President of the United States. Smith's death marked a turning point for the church, since members of the Latter Day Saint movement have viewed that the two men were "murdered in cold blood" and were religious martyrs; the Mormons began to move into Hancock County in 1839. After the Mormons' expulsion from Missouri, Joseph Smith went to Washington, DC and met with President Martin Van Buren, seeking intervention and compensation for lost property.
Van Buren said. After returning to Illinois, Smith vowed to join the Whig Party. Most of his supporters switched with him, adding political tensions to the social suspicions in which this group were held. Several of Smith's disaffected associates at Nauvoo and Hancock County, joined together to publish a newspaper called the Nauvoo Expositor, its first and only issue was published June 7, 1844. Based on allegations by some of these associates, the newspaper reported that Smith practiced polygamy, it said. About eight of Smith's wives had been married to other men at the time they married Smith; these women continued to live with their first husband, not Smith. Some accounts say Smith may have had sexual relations with one wife, who in her life stated that he fathered children by one or two of his wives; the reliability of these sources is disputed by some Latter Day Saints. In response to public outrage generated by the paper, the Nauvoo city council passed an ordinance declaring the newspaper a public nuisance designed to promote violence against Smith and his followers.
They reached this decision after lengthy discussion, including citation of William Blackstone's legal canon, which defined a libelous press as a public nuisance. According to the council's minutes, Smith said he "would rather die tomorrow and have the thing smashed, than live and have it go on, for it was exciting the spirit of mobocracy among the people, bringing death and destruction upon us."Under the council's new ordinance, Smith, as Nauvoo's mayor, in conjunction with the city council, ordered the city marshal to destroy the paper and the press on June 10, 1844. By the city marshal's account, the destruction of the press type was carried out orderly and peaceably. However, Charles A. Foster, a co-publisher of the Expositor, reported on June 12 that not only was the printing press destroyed, but that "several hundred minions... injured the building materially". Smith's critics said; some sought legal charges against Smith for the destruction of the press, including charges of treason and inciting riot.
Violent threats were made against the Mormon community. Thomas C. Sharp, editor of the Warsaw Signal, a newspaper hostile to the Mormons, editorialized: War and extermination is inevitable! Citizens ARISE, ONE and ALL!!!—Can you stand by, suffer such INFERNAL DEVILS! To ROB men of their property and RIGHTS, without avenging them. We have no time for comment, every man will make his own. LET IT BE MADE WITH POWDER AND BALL!!! Warrants from outside Nauvoo were brought in against Smith and dismissed in Nauvoo courts on a writ of habeas corpus. Smith declared martial law on June 18 and called out the Nauvoo Legion, an organized city militia of about 5,000 men, to protect Nauvoo from outside violence. In response to the crisis, Illinois Governor Thomas Ford traveled to Hancock County, on June 21, he arrived at the county seat in Carthage. On June 22, Ford wrote to the Mayor and City Council of Nauvoo, proposing a trial by a non-Mormon jury in Carthage, the county seat, guaranteed Smith's safety. Smith fled the jurisdiction to avoid arrest.
On June 23, a posse under the command of Ford entered Nauvoo to execute an arrest warrant, but they we
History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
The history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is divided into three broad time periods: the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, in common with all Latter Day Saint movement churches, a "pioneer era" under the leadership of Brigham Young and his 19th-century successors, a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century as the practice of polygamy was discontinued. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints traces its origins to western New York, where Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, was raised. Joseph Smith gained a small following in the late 1820s as he was dictating the Book of Mormon, which he said was a translation of words found on a set of "golden plates", buried near his home in upstate New York by an indigenous American prophet. On April 6, 1830, at the home of Peter Whitmer in Fayette, New York, Smith organized the religion's first legal church entity, the Church of Christ; the church gained a following, who viewed Smith as their prophet.
The main body of the church moved first to Kirtland, Ohio in the early 1830s to Missouri in 1838, where the 1838 Mormon War with other Missouri settlers ensued, culminating in adherents being expelled from the state under Missouri Executive Order 44 signed by the governor of Missouri. After Missouri, Smith built the city of Nauvoo, near which Smith was killed. After Smith's death, a succession crisis ensued, the majority voted to accept the Quorum of the Twelve, led by Brigham Young, as the church's leading body. After continued difficulties and persecution in Illinois, Young left Nauvoo in 1846 and led his followers, the Mormon pioneers, to the Great Salt Lake Valley; the group branched out in an effort to pioneer a large state to be called Deseret establishing colonies from Canada to present-day Mexico. Young incorporated The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a legal entity, governed his followers as a theocratic leader serving in both political and religious positions, he publicized the secret practice of plural marriage, a form of polygamy.
By 1857, tensions had again escalated between Mormons and other Americans as a result of church teachings on polygamy and theocracy. The Utah Mormon War ensued from 1857 to 1858, which resulted in the peaceful invasion of Utah by the United States Army, after which Young agreed to step down from power and be replaced by a non-Mormon territorial governor, Alfred Cumming; the LDS Church still wielded significant political power in the Utah Territory as part of a shadow government. At Young's death in 1877, he was followed by other powerful members, who continued the practice of polygamy despite opposition by the United States Congress. After tensions with the U. S. government came to a head in 1890, the church abandoned the public practice of polygamy in the United States, stopped performing official polygamous marriages altogether after a Second Manifesto in 1904. The church adopted a policy of excommunicating its members found practicing polygamy and today seeks to distance itself from "fundamentalist" groups still practicing polygamy.
During the 20th century, the church grew and became an international organization. Distancing itself from polygamy, the church began engaging, first with mainstream American culture, with international cultures those of Latin America, by sending out thousands of missionaries across the globe; the church became a strong and public champion of monogamy and the nuclear family, at times played a prominent role in political matters. Among the official changes to the organization during the modern area include the ordination of black men to the priesthood in 1978, reversing a policy instituted by Brigham Young; the church has periodically changed its temple ceremony omitting certain controversial elements. There are periodic changes in the structure and organization of the church to accommodate the organization's growth and increasing international presence; the early history of the LDS Church is shared with other denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement, who all regard Joseph Smith as the founder of their religious tradition.
Smith gained a small following in the late 1820s as he was dictating the Book of Mormon, which he said was a translation of words found on the Golden Plates, buried near his home in western New York by an indigenous American prophet. Smith said he had been in contact with an angel Moroni, who showed him the plates' location and had been grooming him for a role as a religious leader. On April 6, 1830, in western New York, Smith organized the religion's first legal church entity, the Church of Christ; the church gained a following, who viewed Smith as their prophet. In late 1830, Smith envisioned a "city of Zion", a Utopian city in Native American lands near Independence, Missouri. In October 1830, he sent his Assistant President, Oliver Cowdery, others on a mission to the area. Passing through Kirtland, the missionaries converted a congregation of Disciples of Christ led by Sidney Rigdon, in 1831, Smith decided to temporarily move his followers to Kirtland until lands in the Missouri area could be purchased.
In the meantime, the church's headquarters remained in Kirtland from 1831 to 1838. While the main church body was in Kirtland, many of Smith's followers had attempted to establish settlements in Missouri, but had met with resistance from other Missourians who believed Mormons were abolitionists, or who distrusted their political ambitions. After Smith and other Mormons in