It also recommended that Latter Day Saints avoid "strong" alcoholic drinks, tobacco, and "hot drinks" (later interpreted to mean tea and coffee). Church of Christ was the official name on April 6, 1830: Modern DNA testing of Smith's relatives suggests that his family were of Irish descent. For instance, in the early 1830s, he temporarily instituted a form of religious communism, called the United Order, that required Latter Day Saints to give all their property to the church, which was divided among the faithful. [108] After Rigdon delivered a sermon that implied dissenters had no place in the Mormon community, the Danites forcibly expelled them from the county. All Smith’s revelations were carefully recorded and preserved. Term ended by removal of apostleship; was later excommunicated. [188] Smith's sons Joseph III and David also had claims, but Joseph III was too young and David was yet unborn. [271] At first, Smith's church had little sense of hierarchy; his religious authority was derived from visions and revelations.

[96], In January 1837, Smith and other church leaders created a joint stock company, called the Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company, to act as a quasi-bank; the company issued bank notes capitalized in part by real estate. [314] Smith taught that this kingdom would be governed by theocratic principles, but that it would also be multidenominational and democratic, so long as the people chose wisely. [210] The revelation was written as if God were talking rather than as a declaration mediated through Smith; and subsequent revelations assumed a similar authoritative style, often opening with words such as "Hearken O ye people which profess my name, saith the Lord your God.

[236], In 1835, Smith encouraged some Latter Day Saints in Kirtland to purchase rolls of ancient Egyptian papyri from a traveling exhibitor. [127] During the summer of 1839, while Latter Day Saints in Nauvoo suffered from a malaria epidemic, Smith sent Brigham Young and other apostles to missions in Europe, where they made numerous converts, many of them poor factory workers. He believed that every man could be a priest and that everyone had in him the possibility of the divine. [147], In December 1843, Smith petitioned Congress to make Nauvoo an independent territory with the right to call out federal troops in its defense.

[217] After the crucifixion and resurrection in Jerusalem, Jesus appears in the Americas, repeats the Sermon on the Mount, blesses children, and appoints twelve disciples. When the twins died, the Smiths adopted another set of twins, Julia and Joseph, whose mother had recently died in childbirth; Joseph died of measles in 1832. Some of these polyandrous marriages were done with the consent of the first husbands, and some plural marriages may have been considered "eternity-only" sealings (meaning that the marriage would not take effect until after death).

[82] Tension increased until July 1833, when non-Mormons forcibly evicted the Mormons and destroyed their property. [229] The language of authority in Smith's revelations was appealing to converts, and the revelations were given with the confidence of an Old Testament prophet. Powerful individually, when presented as a group these testimonies provide an undeniable witness that the Savior lives. The collapse of the church-sponsored Kirtland Safety Society Anti-Banking Company and violent skirmishes with non-Mormon Missourians caused Smith and his followers to establish a new settlement at Nauvoo, Illinois, where he became a spiritual and political leader. The completed work, titled the Book of Mormon, was published in Palmyra on March 26, 1830, by printer E. B. Grandin.

Moses is told in this account that God made the Earth and heavens to bring humans to eternal life. "Lieutenant General" Smith and "Major General" Bennett became its commanders, thereby controlling by far the largest body of armed men in Illinois. For a survey of the primary sources, see Dan Vogel, harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFQuinn1994 (, These reasons included the settlers' understanding that the Mormons intended to appropriate their property and establish a, harv error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBrodie1971 (, harvtxt error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFCompton1997 (. Current statistics published by the LDS Church show 16.1 million members of that denomination. [234], The Book of Moses begins with Moses' asking God about the purpose of creation. Smith advised them to bear the violence patiently until after they were attacked multiple times, after which they could fight back. [226] After completing the translation, Smith gave the brown stone to Cowdery, but continued to receive revelations using another stone until about 1833 when he said he no longer needed it. [52] Harris lost the manuscript, of which there was no other copy. [248] Three months later, Smith gave a lengthy revelation called the "Olive Leaf" containing themes of cosmology and eschatology, and discussing subjects such as light, truth, intelligence, and sanctification; a related revelation given in 1833 put Christ at the center of salvation. “I attest that Jesus is the Holy Messiah, who was prophesied to come and who, as further prophesied, will come again to reign upon the earth,” Elder Christofferson says.

[252] Smith's last revelation, on the "New and Everlasting Covenant", was recorded in 1843, and dealt with the theology of family, the doctrine of sealing, and plural marriage. Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription. [195] Many members of these smaller groups, including most of Smith's family, eventually coalesced in 1860 under the leadership of Joseph Smith III and formed what was known for more than a century as the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (now the Community of Christ), which now has about 250,000 members. [269], Smith's teachings were rooted in dispensational restorationism.

In probable reference to this period of flight, Smith said that Peter, James, and John had appeared to him and had ordained him and Cowdery to a higher priesthood. Never a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. [13][14] He was one of 11 children.

[12] Fearing an invasion of Nauvoo, Smith rode to Carthage, Illinois, to stand trial, but was killed when a mob stormed the jailhouse. (the exact number of wives is uncertain.).

[290], By some accounts, Smith had been teaching a polygamy doctrine as early as 1831, and there is unconfirmed evidence that Smith was a polygamist by 1835. Later, a group of Eight Witnesses — composed of male members of the Whitmer and Smith families — issued a statement that they had been shown the golden plates by Smith. Attracting converts from Europe as well as the United States, Nauvoo grew to rival Chicago as the largest city in the state.

[223] Later, however, he is said to have used a chocolate-colored stone he had found in 1822 that he had used previously for treasure hunting. [140] Smith also elaborated on his plan for a millennial kingdom. Harris also took a sample of the characters to a few prominent scholars, including Charles Anthon. [159], Fearing the newspaper would bring the countryside down on the Mormons, the Nauvoo city council declared the Expositor a public nuisance and ordered the Nauvoo Legion to destroy the press.

Smith said the translation was a religious record of Middle-Eastern indigenous Americans,[44] and were engraved in an unknown language, called reformed Egyptian. He appointed his male followers to priesthoods, named for the biblical figures Melchizedek and Aaron, that were overseen by the office of high priest. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. Certain he would be killed if he ever returned to Missouri, Smith went into hiding twice during the next five months, before the U.S. district attorney for Illinois argued that Smith's extradition to Missouri would be unconstitutional.