Jan 5, 2010
John Larsen and Tom interview guests Newell Bringhurst and John Hamer about Mormon break-off groups from the beginning of Mormonism until today.
Scattering Of The Saints: Schism Within Mormonism
Podcast: Play in new window
By John Larsen
Tags: Adam ondi ahman, Allred, Alpheus Cutler, Book of Mormon, Brigham Young, Community of Christ, David Whitmer, Doctrine and Covenants, Emma Smith, Excommunicated, FLDS, Fundamentalist, Godbeites, Gold Plates, Granville Hedrick, Hyrum, Independence, James J. Strang, John C. Hamer, John Whitmer, Joseph Smith, Kingston, Kirtland, Kirtland Bank, Latter-Day Saints, LDS, Lyman Wight, Manti, Martin Harris, Missouri, Mormon, Mormonism, Nauvoo Expositor, Newell G. Bringhurst, Ohio, polygamy, RLDS, Schism, Sidney Rigdon, Splinter groups, Temple lot, Utah, William Law, William Smith
Awesome Podcast guys!!!! I love this topic. As a western Mormon serving a mission in Metropolis, Ill, we tracked a neighboring town called Cairo and ran into an RLDS church…I thought I was in the Twilight Zone. I didn’t know that it still existed at that time, I only had heard about it up to that point through folklore history stories in seminary. We met some members and attended meetings one Sunday in their building. Very nice people. We were asked over for dinner more often than our little LDS Branch in Metropolis.
September ’08, I spent a few days in Nauvoo prior to a work convention in Chicago. I had breakfast with Lachlan Mackay and when he told me there were 350+ schisms from the original church, my chocolate milk nearly flew through my nose. It is fascinating to hear about those stories. When I taught about the “Succession” in Gospel Doctrine this last year, I displayed medium poster size pics of James Strang, Sidney Rigdon, and Brigham Young and went through their claims…I would say about 99% never heard of James Strang and 75% didn’t know Sidney Rigdon tried to make a claim as well.
Hopefully Newell and John can come back and visit for future topics. Good job brotha’s!!!
Interesting stuff. I didn’t know Newell Bringhurst was inactive.
My favorite splinter-group fun fact is that Alice Cooper’s family was Bickertonite and his grandfather was an apostle.
BEST podcast without Nyal ever. Excellent job!
Kudos guys. I want more of the same. I had a hard time hearing Newell at times but not sure if it was his style of speech or the audio. Hamer was a little easier to understand. I felt like Mormon Stories was back. Keep up the good work Brother Larsen!
John Hamer rules. Newell too.
Thanks, folks. If you have any particular questions, I’m watching this thread and I’ll do my best to answer.
Thanks again to the Mormon Expression gang. This is a great site and a great service. I’m looking forward to participating in future podcasts.
Hello John Hamer,
I enjoyed your participation in Mormom Matters back a couple years. I probably could look this up myself but if you know off hand, I have a specific question.
How many of the 11 witnesses to the BoM joined schizm groups? How many eventually returned to the Brigham Mormon church. How many of them testified of other so called “prophets” like Strang? Did they ever deny those testimonies?
I get so tired of apologists and true believers trumpeting the fact that these 11 men never denied their testimonies. First of all, what motivation do they have? I mean, their testimonies gave their lives meaning and they all were heavily enamored with magic their whole lives. They never denied any of their magical “experiences” and some of them had some really absurd ones not related to the cannonized lore of the church. I fail to see any reason why one of them would feel inclined to ever deny their testimony.
Elder Holland made the same, even more ridiculous argument in his last annoying conference talk. He argued that Joseph and Hyrum would not have been willing to die for a fraud. Are you serious? Do you think that they would be inclined to deny the BoM with the approaching mob coming? “Hey guys, I admit it. I am a fraud. Please don’t kill me!” They kill him and his whole life’s work is destroyed all at once. Nice motivation.
Great job looking at the broader world of Mormonism. Seeing how all of these people and movements tie in to each other is interesting and makes me realize once again that there is more than one story going on here.
Thanks to John, Newell and the team.
Randall: All of the witnesses who lived more than a month past Joseph’s death affiliated with non-Brighamite Mormon churches.
Joseph Smith Sr., Hyrum Smith, Samuel H. Smith, Peter Whitmer Jr., and Christian Whitmer were all dead by 1844. The remaining six witnesses were Martin Harris and members of the Whitmer family (David Whitmer, John Whitmer, Jacob Whitmer, and Whitmer in-laws Oliver Cowdery and Hiram Page). During the early succession crisis, the Whitmers in Missouri got a hold of Strangite tracts and were convinced that Strang was Joseph’s true successor. John Whitmer wrote into his history (he still maintained the original history of the church that he was called by revelation to write):
“God, knowing all things, prepared a man whom he visited by an angel of God and showed him where there were some ancient record hid, and also put in his heart to desire of faith to grant him power to establish a stake to Zion in Wisconsin Territory, whose name is James J. Strang. Now at first Smith was unfavorably disposed to grant him this request, but being troubled in spirit and knowing from the things that were staring him in the face that his days must soon be closed, therefore he enquired of the Lord and behold the Lord said Appoint James J. Strang a prophet, seer and revelator unto my Church, for thou shalt thereby do a mention thy cup is bitter etc. Shortly after the appointment of Strang, the mob gathered and took by stratagem Joseph and Hyrum Smith and conveyed them to Carthage, the seat of justice in and for the county of [Hancock] as if to try them by the law of the land for their crimes, they murdered them and thus the Lord’s anointed fell by the brutal hand of man and they are gone the way of all the earth and Strang reigns in the place of Smith, the author and proprietor of the Book of Mormon.”
Martin Harris also accepted Strang as the true successor and served a mission to Britain promoting Strang’s claims. Oliver Cowdery’s brother became a Strangite and Oliver himself moved to Wisconsin Territory, possible to explore Strang’s claims, but he was apparently unconvinced. All the witnesses eventually rejected Strang and John Whitmer crossed the above paragraph out in his book.
Much hullabaloo is made by LDS members that Oliver Cowdery “rejoined the church,” but although he accepted rebaptism from a Brighamite and rejoined the Restoration movement, he made his belief to David Whitmer very clear that “the Twelve have not the keys” to lead the church. In Cowdery’s view, the witnesses who called the Twelve had the keys. Cowdery died in David Whitmer’s home in Richmond, Missouri, in full fellowship with the Whitmerites and his family continued to be Whitmerite. (The Whitmers eventually reorganized their own Church of Christ, which survived until the early 1960s, when it went extinct.)
Martin Harris affiliated with just about every faction of the church that organized in Kirtland, where he lived. (He routinely denounced Brigham Young and other factional leaders with whom he was not affiliated.) Finally, in old age and poverty, he accepted charity of an LDS member who brought him out to Utah where he died. As a result, Martin Harris is the only one who can be said to have died in fellowship with Brighamite Mormonism.
Wow John, thanks for the thorough answer to my question.
Great podcast, guys… really interesting…
I enjoyed this podcast. Great job Newell and John.
What do think of the Remnant LDS church? Its publications remind me of the RLDS church decades ago. Also their claim to have a descendant of JS at the helm? I love our mutual interest, the diversity of the Mormon experience.
George: I’ve gotten to spend time with President Larsen of the Remnant Church on many occasions and I find him to be a very impressive leader. I think he has a positive vision of service and also of building Zion, which has brought a lot to the organization.
I’m curious to get feedback and responses on the following new revelations that were sustained at the April 15, 2010 RLDS/CoC General Conference meeting:
“The new scripture provides the opportunity for people baptized in other Christian denominations to become members of Community of Christ without being rebaptized. The scripture also emphasizes the power of the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper (Communion). Community of Christ practices open Communion.”
“Gay Rights Revelation added to the Community of Christ D&C”
Oh, and for those interested here’s a SHORT list that one scholar has compiled of the splinter groups to date:
MORMON SPLINTER GROUPS
(Sects that broke away from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints)
The following list of dissident groups is taken from the book Divergent Paths of Restoration:
FOUNDED BETWEEN 1830 AND 1844
* Pure Church of Christ, Wycam Clark, 1831
* The Independent Church, Hoton, 1832
* Church of Christ, Ezra Booth, 1836
* Church of Christ, Warren Parrish, 1837
* The Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, The Lamb’s Wife, George M. Hinkle, 1840
* Church of Christ, Hyrum Page, 1842
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, F. Gladden Bishop
* True Church of Jessu Christ of Latter Day Saints, Law, Foster, Higbee, 1844
* Church of Christ, William Chubby
NON-EXTANT MOVEMENTS FOUNDED 1844-1860
* Church of Christ / Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion, Sidney Rigdon, 1844
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, James Emmett, 1844
* Church of Christ, S. B. Stoddard, Leonard Rich, James Bump, 1845
* Indian Mormon, 1846
* Church of Christ, William McLellin, David Whitmer, 1847
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, William Smith, 1847
* Congregation of Jehovah’s Presbytery of Zion, Charles B. Thompson, 1848
* Church of Christ, James C. Brewster, 1848
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Lyman Wight, 1849
* The Bride, The Lamb’s Wife or Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jacob Syfritt, 1850
* Church of Christ, Hazen Aldrich, 1851
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, James J. Strang, 1844
* Church of Christ, Aaron Smith, 1846
* Church of the Messiah, George J. Adams, 1861
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)
* Holy Church of Jesus Christ, Alexandre R. Caffiaux
* House of Ephraim and House of Manasseh of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Jerry Sheppard
* The True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, David L. Roberts
* Marriage Counseling Group
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, John J. Hajicek
* Strangite Believers in Pennsylvania
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Brigham Young, 1847
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints or Church of the First Born, Joseph Morris, 1861
* The Prophet Cainan or Church of Jesus Christ of the Saints of the Most High God, George Williams, 1862
* Morrisite Group, John Livingston, 1864
* Church of Zion, William S. Godbe, 1868
* Church of the First Born, George S. Dove, 1874
* Priesthood Groups (Fundamentalists), 1890
* United Order of Equality, Ephraim Peterson, 1909
* The Church of Jesus Christ of Israel, J. H. Sherwood
* Order of Aaron, Maurice L. Glendenning
* Church of Freedom of Latter Day Saints, 1950s
* Zion’s Order of the Sons of Levi, Marl V. Kilgore, 1951
* The Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, Joel F. LeBaron
* The Church of the Firstborn, Ross W. LeBaron, 1955
* Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter Day Saints, William C. Conway, 1958
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, John Forsgren, 1960
* Church of Jesus Christ, William Goldman, 1960
* LDS Scripture Researchers/Believe God Society, Sherman Russell Lloyd, 1965
* The Church of the Body and of the Spirit of Jessu Christ, Max Powers, 1965
* United Order of the Saints of Guadeloupe, Michel Gamiette, 1966
* United Order of the Family of Christ, David E. Desmond, 1966
* Split from Zion’s Order of the Sons of Levi, Eldon Taylor, 1969
* Homosexual Church of Jesus Christ, Denver, Colorado, 1972
* Latter Day Saints Church, N.S. Park, 1972
* The Church of the Lamb of God, Ervil M. LeBaron, 1972
* The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mikhail Krupenia, 1972
* The New Jerusalem Group, Kathryn Carter, 1972
* The Watchmen on the Towers of Latter Day Israel, Miltenberg, Braun, 1973
* Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly, Alexnader Joseph, 1974
* Evangelical Church of Christ, Church of the New Covenant in Christ, John W. Bryant, 1974
* Split form Zion’s Order of the Sons of Levi, Barton Kilgore, 1975
* Affirmation, 1975
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Robert Simons, 1975
* Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, Bruce Wakeham, 1975
* Aaronic Order Break-off, 1977
* Christ’s Church, Inc., Gerald Peterson, 1978
* Church of Jesus Christ, Art Bulla, 1978
* The Restorers or School of the Prophets, Robert C. Crossfield, 1979
* Zion’s First International Church, LeeAnn Walker, 1980
* The Free Will Mormon Church, Franklin Lee Coleman, 1980
* Church of Jesus Christ, Jorge Mora, 1981
* Sons Ahman Israel, Davied Israel, 1981
* Samoan LDS Church, New Zealand, 1981
* The Millennial Church of Jesus Christ, Leo P. Evoniuk, 1981
* Peyote Way Church of God, Immanuel P. Trujillo, 1981
* The Chruch of Jesus Christ of the Saints in Zion, Ken Asay, 1984
* Break from the Church of Jesus Christ in Solemn Assembly, 1984
* Church of Jesus Christ of All Latter-day Saints or Restoration Church of Jesus Christ, Antonio A. Feliz, 1985
* Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints, Robert P. Madison, 1985
* Church of Christ the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, Siegfried J. Widmar, 1985
* Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Fundamentalists, Wight Family, 1985
* Mormon Fundamentalists, England, Alan and Marian Munn, 1986
* Church of Jesus Christ Omnipotent, 1987
* Community of Zion, Central Utah Division
* Church of the First Born, General Assembly
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of The Church of Jesus Christ, Alpheus Cutler, 1853
* Church of Jesus Christ, Clyde Fletcher, 1953
* The Restored Church of Jesus Christ, Eugene O. Walton, 1979
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1851-1860
* Church of the Christian Brotherhood, Richard C. Evans, 1917
* The Church of Christ, the Order of Zion, John Zahnd, 1918
* The Church of Jesus Christ, Thomas W. Williams, 1925
* Church of Jesus Christ Restored, Stanley M. King, 1970
* New Jerusalem Church of Jesus Christ, Barney Fuller, 1975
* Church of Christ Restored, Paul Fishel, 1976
* True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Forrest Toney, 1980
* Church of the Restoration or Churches of Christ in Zion, Robert Chambers, 1981
* Lamanite Ministries for Christ or New Covenant Ministries for Christ, 1984
* Restoration Branches Movement, 1984
* Church of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, A. Lee Abramson, 1985
* Church of Jesus Christ, Zion’s Branch, John Cato, 1986
* Church of Christ, David Clark, 1986
* Independent Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Christopher C. Warren, 1986
* Native Indian Church
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of The Church of Jesus Christ, William Bickerton, 1862
* Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ, Allen Wright, 1907
* Primitive Church of Jesus Christ, James Caldwell, 1914
Splinter Groups and Sub-movements of Church of Christ (Temple Lot), Granville Hedrick, 1863
* Church of Christ, Independent, Informal, Frank F. Wipper, 1927
* The Church of Christ, Otto Fetting, 1929
* Church of Christ, P.A. Ely, 1929
* Church of Christ, C.W. Humphrey, 1929
* Church of Christ, Samuel Wood, E.J. Trapp, 1930
* Church of Christ (Restored), A.C. DeWolf, 1936
* Church of Christ, E. E. Long, Thomas Nerren, 1936
* Church of Christ, Paul Hilgendorf, 1942
* The Church of Christ With the Elijah Message, W. A. D. Draves, 1943
* Church of Christ, Pauline Hancock, 1946
* Antarctica Development Interests or the New American’s Mount Zion, John Leabo, 1955
* Church of Christ at Zion’s Retreat, Gerald Hall, 1973
* The Church of Israel, Dan Gayman, 1973
* Break from the Church of Christ (Hancock), Davison, Michigan, 1973
* The Church of Christ, Restored Gospel 1929, 1985
source = http://www.4mormon.org/mormon-splinter-groups.php
Please delete Tamika’s fake SPAM comment. And this one.
She could have ended up as a Snobby Southern aristocrat secure and confident of her social position, instead she ends up scraping by on medicare and Social Security living in the Avenues and working at DI. Some may see a woman, whom could if she chose, justifiably, dwell in resentment, particularly towards Mormonism, But instead, I see a woman who has lived every moment to its fullest, and savored every moment. She could be bitter, and yet, at every chance you gave her to be negative she chose to take the higher road, and count her blessings. A refreshing glimpse of a simply complicated beautiful life.
Great interview! One of my favorites so far!
I have the day off and was able to sit and listen to this absolutely delightful interview. Sandy is great! Her southern accent is so charming.
I just listened to this absolutely delightful interview. Sandy is great and what a life she’s had! Her southern accent is so charming.
What a fantastic interview! Sandy is such and interesting, thoughtful, colorful person! Really liked this one.
This was such an engaging interview of a very interesting person. Great job guys. I was totally drawn into the rawness with which Sandy spoke of her early years and going through an abortion. I was totally thinking I was born in the wrong generation when she described her hippy days! I would gladly give up technology to just experience all that for a bit.
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