Category Archives: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

The Conspiracy Motif in Early Mormonism


A persistent theme in American history is the belief in conspiracy, whether it is justified or not. Conspiracy ideas shape our modern society, casting doubt on many areas of public and private life. From the denial of the Moon landings … Continue reading

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Nauvoo Mormonism and the Question of Class


Early Mormons in the 1840s founded the Mississippi River town of Nauvoo, Illinois, as a stronghold of their religion. Many historians have analyzed the Nauvoo sojourn of the Mormons, and there is a long list of very good books and articles … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning”


Nineteenth-Century Mormon Architecture and City Planning. By C. Mark Hamilton. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995). X-vii + 203 pp. $65. This is a very poor work. C. Mark Hamilton, a professor of architectural history at Brigham Young University at … Continue reading

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Wednesday’s Book Review: “The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes”


The Nauvoo City and High Council Minutes. Edited by John S. Dinger. Foreword by Morris A. Thurston. Signature Books, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2011. Preface, introduction, city and stake councilmen, appendices, index. Hardcover with dustjacket. ISBN: 978-1-56085-214-8. $49.95. Nauvoo, Illinois, in … Continue reading

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An Iowa Sheriff Comments on the Mormons in Nauvoo, Illinois


In 1995 I published with John E. Hallwas a documentary history about the Mormon experience in Illinois in the 1840s. The book, Cultures in Conflict: A Documentary History of the Mormon War in Illinois (Utah State University Press). In this book … Continue reading

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The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints/Community of Christ and African American Members


The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (renamed the Community of Christ in 2000), one of the inheritors of the legacy of early Mormonism who developed a moderate theological position and coalesced as a recognizable group beginning … Continue reading

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The Latter-day Saint Movement and the Concept of a “Chosen People”


Perhaps the single most important tenet of Joseph Smith Jr.’s (1805-1844) theology in founding the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons)  was the identification of his followers as a “latter-day Israel.” This identification drove much of the rest of … Continue reading

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Was the United States Founded as a Christian Nation?


Why do some Americans insist that the United States was founded as a Christian nation? And what does that mean anyway? How does a Christian nation act? Why does one segment—a very vocal segment—of modern American society insists that the … Continue reading

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Jeffrey Lundgren, Reorganized Church Dissidents, and Modern Blood Atonement Killings


This is a horror story worthy of anything Stephen King could write. Tragically it is not fiction. Jeffrey D. Lundgren and his followers in Kirtland, Ohio, former members of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (renamed … Continue reading

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Mormon Nauvoo and the Problem of Theft of Non-Mormon Property


Shortly after the Mormons arrived in Illinois in 1839 and founded the city of Nauvoo, and before much political antagonism had developed residents in some townships noted a significant increase in theft. Livestock, food, clothes, and other items were taken, … Continue reading

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