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Talk:Succession crisis (Latter Day Saints)

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Other types of councils [ edit ]

Finally, in 1844, Smith created the Council of Fifty to be the "living constitution" of the "Kingdom," which, in turn, sustained Smith as "Prophet, Priest and King." This council consisted of both Church members and non-Mormons who were prominent in the Nauvoo area. Smith also created the Anointed Quorum, an inner group of strong and trusted Church members (both male and female) who recieved Temple endowments and "the fulness of the priesthood" from Smith. Others who were given priesthood keys include those who served in the First Presidency, the Quorum of Three Witnesses, and the Associate President of the Church, Hyrum Smith.

I think this sentence is a little confusing here because the Council of Fifty and the Annointed Quorum are not part of the succession. However I did not just remove it because I think it helps the reader understand the confusion that existed. Trödel (talk · contribs) 04:42, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Just a quick note, I'll try to expand later - both of these groups were crucial in support of Brigham Young during the crisis. They consisted of Smith's most inner circle and en masse supported various individuals. These groups held keys (of the Spiritual and Physical kingdoms) which became the argumental factor in succession - who held keys.
One item I should have included was the presidency of the Church in Zion (Whitmer, et al.) they were all excommunicated, but were given keys independent of Stakes of Zion of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. -Visorstuff 14:57, 27 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Capitalization [ edit ]

Is the "Succession Crisis" really a proper name? I'm not sure why it's capitalized. Cool Hand Luke 08:15, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Also, I think the article should be titled Succession crisis (Mormonism), in accordance with the naming conventions. If there's not objections after a while, I'll change it. COGDEN 20:17, Jan 28, 2005 (UTC)

I changed my mind. I think a better name would be Latter Day Saint succession crisis. Any comments?

I like Succession crisis (Mormonism) best. To me this is a Mormonism issue, not a Latter Day Saint issue. It also takes into account the cultural aspects. -Visorstuff 23:33, 31 Jan 2005 (UTC)

I vote for Succession crisis (Mormonism). I think that's more in keeping with the standard that is being developed on Latter Day Saint related articles here. Sorry I named it wrong to begin with! --John Hamer 21:03, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Move to Succession crisis (Latter Day Saintism)? [ edit ]

Though the historical term "Mormonism" does apply to this time period, the first sentence says "Latter Day Saint" - a term used more often nowadays to include groups outside the modern "Mormon" (LDS) church. So, so call this the succession crisis of "Mormonism" implies that the modern "Mormon" position on the succession crisis is correct, which would violate NPOV. --Nerd42 23:39, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

The existing procedure regarding this nomenclature at WP:LDS has been to include the entirety of Joseph Smith restorationism under the term Mormonism. This is a lot bigger than just this page -- try the talk page at WP:LDS. cookiecaper (talk / contribs) 23:46, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
Why have the Latter Day Saints in there at all. Should Succession crisis redirect here, since there is no article with that name currently? Bytebear 01:46, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Would 1844 Succession Crisis work?Jcg5029 22:15, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

I like the idea of moving to Succession crisis. I think I'll do it. We can always move it back if there happens to be some other succession crisis article. As to Latter Day Saintism, that has been proposed before, but nobody calls it that in the literature. I've thought about the possibility of (Latter Day Saint movement), but that's getting to be a pretty long parenthetical. Since we can't coin terms for article naming, somebody needs to publish an article advocating a better term, but I don't know what that would be. The best term in my opinion, Restoration movement, often used by the Community of Christ, is already taken by the Disciples of Christ, and would be ambiguous. COGDEN 00:56, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Me gustaJcg5029 21:39, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

TCOJC Section [ edit ]

Sections on the historical line of succession for the LDS Church and the claims of Strang up until the organization of CoC (reorganized). Would a small section below these two on succession through The Church of Jesus Christ be appropriate. I feel it would expand the page and give a broader perspective of the movement. Jcg5029 13:10, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Membership numbers? [ edit ]

The Temple Lot-ers article specifies 5K members, and 12K members of the Elijah-messagers. This Succession crisis article specifies 12K Temple Lot-ers and an unknown number of EMers. Anyone able to reconcile those numbers? Thx. TheEditrix2 17:10, 28 November 2007 (UTC)

RLDS/CoC change [ edit ]

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints went through some changes to become the Community of Christ. Apparently there were groups that didn't agree with those changes so they left the CoC to form new "Restoration Branches," yet there is no mention of any of this in this article. Would it be appropriate to mention it? -- Macduff (talk) 21:05, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

Hello Macduff, I think this article is about the history immediately after Joseph Smith's death. The schisim within the Community of Christ is most appropriately covered in that article and in the Restoration Branches article itself. BTW, weren't the Restoration Branches attempting to recover the RLDS name? What is the status of that now? --Storm Rider (talk) 21:18, 25 February 2008 (UTC)
Hi Storm Rider - yes, I agree that the Restoration Branches are technically outside the purvue of this article. I only suggest it because I was initially confused when I was trying to learn just what the Restoration Branches were and there was no mention of it here. This article does mention the name change from RLDS to CoC - perhaps just adding a few words to that same sentence to the effect that there were some spin-offs at the same time, with a wikilink to the Restoration Branches article. As far as the current status of the Restoration Branches' possible efforts to gain legal control of the RLDS name, I have no idea. -- Macduff (talk) 07:27, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
I have two things that I think should be done. They can be done separately, but I think that they should both be done.
  1. In the See also section, there should be a link to this and other later splits.
  2. The main branches of the Latter Day Saint movement needs to be fixed:
    1. The title is in two different fonts.
    2. For the Community of Christ branch, it should show the original name and the new name should show when it was renamed.
    3. Also on CoC branch, the schisms that later developed should be shown.
With these two changes, the introductory paragraph can then reference these two sections with wording like, "This article covers the schisms which developed around the death of Joseph Smith, Jr. For others and their relationship in this movement, see <diagram> and the See also section." This is rough wording, but you get the idea. — Val42 (talk) 05:25, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Unsupported text [ edit ]

Per WP:Verifiability, the following text has been removed from the main page because it has been tagged as having no sources for over three months. Feel free to add text that is supported by inline citations. --Eustress (talk) 14:52, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Unless I am mistaken, aren't there fact tags from February 2007, June 2007 and October 2007 in this article? Wee bit longer than three months for some of them, especially when I have seen pro-mormon editors pull sections of articles when a fact tag has been up only a few weeks. Duke53 | Talk 05:59, 1 June 2008 (UTC)
This has been fixed, by someone besides either one of us. Unless I am mistaken, if any were missed, they could be fixed or deleted by anyone, even you. — Val42 (talk) 04:53, 5 June 2008 (UTC)
Background section

Joseph Smith Jr. organized the Church of Christ on April 6, 1830. Between that time and his death in 1844, both the church and Smith's role within it expanded. Even prior to the formal establishment of the church, Smith held the title of "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator," a title unanimously supported by the other founding members of the church.

Because the church was "organized" rather than legally "incorporated," its property needed to be held in trust by a trustee; [citation needed] Smith became the church's Trustee-in-Trust.

Initially, the highest leadership position in the church was that of "elder," and church elders were sometimes called "apostles."[citation needed] Smith's initial title in the church was "First Elder," while his friend and associate, Oliver Cowdery, was given the title "Second Elder." In March of 1832, Smith created a quorum of three presidents known as the First Presidency. Smith became President of the First Presidency, a title which became associated with the office of "President of the Church"; Sidney Rigdon and Jesse Gause became Smith's counselors in the First Presidency.

On December 18, 1833, Smith created the office of "Patriarch over the Church" and ordained his father, Joseph, Sr., to fill the role. The "Presiding Patriarch," as the office came to be called, often presided over church meetings and was sometimes sustained at church conferences ahead of all other church officers. [citation needed]

On February 17, 1834, Smith created a High Council in Kirtland, Ohio. This body consisted of twelve men, headed by the First Presidency. The Kirtland High Council took on the role of chief judicial and legislative body of the local church and handled such things as excommunication trials and approval of all church spending.

Several months later on July 3, 1834, the High Council of Zion was organized in Far West, Jackson County, Missouri [1]. This High Council in Zion is also known as the Presiding High Council, for it was designated to preside over the council established in Kirtland, as well as all future High Councils at the various Stakes of Zion (LDS D&C 107:37 [2]). Cases tried in the standing High Councils of outlying stakes were regularly appealed to the High Council of Zion, it being the penultimate court standing only second to the First Presidency. The Presiding High Council also provided clearance for ordinations in the standing High Councils at the Stakes of Zion.

On February 14, 1835, nearly one year after the Kirtland High Council was organized, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, "or special witnesses of the name of Christ in all the world" was formed as a "Traveling Presiding High Council" (LDS D&C 107:23-33 [3]; RLDS Church History 1.18, pg. 503 [4]). This council consisted of twelve men, called and ordained by the Three Witnesses of the Book of Mormon to the office of Apostle, and appointed to oversee the missionary work of the church--meaning that their presiding role was outside of the Stakes of Zion. Thomas B. Marsh was set apart as their president. In practice, while both this group and the High Council in Zion were Presiding High Councils, their jurisdictions were divided with one as “standing” ministers over the Stakes of Zion, and the other “traveling” outside of the Stakes. Initially, the Quorum of the Twelve was subordinate to the High Council of Zion; for example, in 1838, when vacancies arose in the quorum, it was the Standing Presiding High Council at Far West that filled the vacancies.

When the High Council in Zion was dissolved after the church was expelled from Missouri, the headquarters of the church were moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. There, Joseph Smith formed a new Presiding High Council, led by William Marks, which supervised the High Councils of outlying stakes, under the direction of the First Presidency.

In 1844, Smith also created the Council of Fifty to be the "living constitution" of the "Kingdom," which, in turn, sustained Smith as "Prophet, Priest and King." This council consisted mostly of prominent Latter-day Saint associates of Joseph Smith, but contained a few prominent non-Mormons from the Nauvoo area [citation needed].

Smith also created the Anointed Quorum, an inner group of strong and trusted Church members (both male and female) who had received the temple endowment. Others who had been given important priesthood authority in the church were the Quorum of Three Witnesses, the Associate President of the Church, Hyrum Smith, and earlier, the Presidency of the Church in Zion, which included David Whitmer and William Wines Phelps [citation needed].
After re-reading the section, I agree to let it remain for now, as it does have some citations...I hope more will follow. Best --Eustress (talk) 22:17, 31 May 2008 (UTC)
I disagree with any removal of wholesale sections simply due to the "citation frenzy" of the past year or so. Deletion or "hiding" when questions occur do not help us build the encyclopedia. Individual sentences should, of course, be brought to talk for discussion. I always prefer a group effort at sourcing/ documenting/ writing to the use of templates, "tagging" and appeals to Wiki policy. As to this particular section, there are several good citations. I agree that most of the sentences still awaiting sources are a little nebulous. Some of the less well known issues could be removed from the article, or put into better perspective. As the section appears, to me, to be trying to show why there were questions on the succession on JS's death, a good rewrite might enhance the meaning and reduce questions. WBardwin (talk) 03:37, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Community of Christ? [ edit ]

70.171.235.197 (talk) 15:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC) The Community of Christ chruch was quoted as being started in 1872 in its heading.Please correct your chart to reflect this.70.171.235.197 (talk) 15:13, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

No it wasn't. The CofC self-identify as being started in 1830, just like other denominations in the LDS Movement. 1872 is significant because that is the year they added the word Reorganized to the name Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which they had used officially since 1860 when JSIII was ordained. Best, A Sniper (talk) 16:19, 9 August 2009 (UTC)

Change name - reopen the discussion [ edit ]

Since the phrase "Succession Crisis" applies to so many things, I want to reopen the question of renaming the article "Succession crisis (Mormonism)." There doesn't seem to have been any objection when this was raised before. I don't know how to do it myself. 66.31.201.137 (talk) 15:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Under the LDS naming conventions, I would be "Succession crisis (Latter Day Saints)" rather than "Succession crisis (Mormonism)". I think at some point we may need to do this change, but there is not, as yet, another "succession crisis" article competing for use of the name, and therefore no need to disambiguate. COGDEN 20:03, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Looking around a bit, I found a few other "succession crisis" article that might justify creating a disambiguation page linking to all of them. See 1580 Portuguese succession crisis, Monaco Succession Crisis of 1918, Boleslaw I's intervention in the Kievan succession crisis, 1018, and Japanese succession controversy. I would suggest we rename this article to "Latter Day Saint succession crisis" and "succession crisis" as a disambiguation article. COGDEN 21:25, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
I would agree with the creation of a disambig article, but the name "Latter Day Saint succession crisis" doesn't give/imply a point in time. In the LDS naming conventions, "Succession crisis of 1844 (Latter Day Saints)" might work. WBardwin (talk) 03:57, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
The crisis began in 1844, but was not necessarily limited to 1844. Under the general naming guidelines, we try to use, as much as possible, the most common terminology for the topic. I've never seen it referred to as the "succession crisis of 1844" in Mormon studies articles. I've seen simply "succession crisis" and "Mormon succession crisis". The problem with the second one is that it is not as neutral as "Latter Day Saint succession crisis". So I think the choices ought to be either "Succession crisis (Latter Day Saints)" or "Latter Day Saint succession crisis". I like the latter for some reason, maybe because it seems more straightforward. COGDEN 05:39, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
But -- has there really been only one Latter Day Saint succession crisis? Succession has been fairly tame in the apostolic succession used by the Utah based LDS church, but other denominations/offshoots have had a crisis or two. The RLDS/Community of Christ had an issue when they had to move away from the descendents of Joseph Smith, Jr. and I can remember a couple of "dandy" fundamentalist succession fights in my lifetime! WBardwin (talk) 06:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
You could say that there was only one "Latter Day Saint" succession crisis, in the sense that there was only one relating to the entire movement. If there were ever an article about various crises in the Community of Christ, it would be an "RLDS" or "Community of Christ" succession crisis. If it's about the FLDS Church, it would been an "FLDS Church" succession crisis. I think reference to "Latter Day Saint succession crisis" is specific enough that everybody knows what it refers to. COGDEN 07:40, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

how do they view each other? [ edit ]

Like can you compare it to Catholics versus Protestants or some such? Do they see each other as Mormons? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.82.35.39 (talk) 03:00, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

See Mormonism and Christianity. -- 208.81.184.4 (talk) 23:45, 15 December 2010 (UTC)

Reorganization project [ edit ]

Hello all,

Just wanted to let you know that I'm attempting a pretty thorough revision and reorganization of this page. Since it will take a while, I've started sandboxing it here. Let me know if you have any feedback or questions.

Greenhas (talk) 21:07, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

disagreement about historians and August 8 Conference [ edit ]

I think Quinn clearly disagrees with Van Wagoner's arguments about there being no contemporary references as can be seen as he states in Origins of Power: "There were contemporary references to Young's 'transfiguration.'" IMO Van Wagoner puts a very narrow definition on what "contemporary" means and on what a contemporary document must say to support the transfiguration myth. As noted in Jorgenson (1996-97), some of the reports over the later years describe a full transformation, while others simply describe spiritual witnesses that the prophetic mantle of Smith had passed to Young. Note that the sentence preceding the controversial statement we are debating says a "transformation or spiritual manifestation occurred" allowing for the wide range of recorded stories. Given that kind of open preceding statement, it makes no sense to me for the next sentence to limit a discussion of non-existence of contemporary documents of only one type. Von Wagoner is only one end of a spectrum of historians with differing views on all this, from those like Van Wagoner who believe there was no mystical experience with just a retrospective mythology established later on, to others like Esplin who note the lack in definitive contemporary records but believe that those earliest recollections do argue for the reality of some such experience, to others like Quinn who do see contemporary evidence for a type of "transfiguration" though perhaps not the Mormon Sunday School story. IMO the most neutral statement is to say that historians disagree on this point and cite both Van Wagoner and Quinn. --FyzixFighter (talk) 05:14, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

I believe the disconnect is this: historical interpretation vice historical record. No one is arguing that there is not a variety of historical interpretation, but the record is not in dispute.
You might be right about what Quinn thinks, but, unless you can get Quinn to chime in, you are doing synthesis, minding reading, and/or original research. To avoid doing this my self, I added Van Wagoner's quote and included a secondary source's (Quinn's) earliest cited record, both of which, for some unexplained reason you deleted and replaced with your own synthesis of what a historian must think and confusing historical interpretation for historical record. What is wrong with including Quinn's example?
As I have already stated, you provide no reference indicating that Quinn disagrees with Van Wagoner's clarification of the record. Pg 428 would have been the place for Quinn to register a disagreement, but he did not. He only labeled Van Wagoner's interpretation as a "skeptical view" Therefore, if anything, page 428 demonstrates that Quinn did not disagree with the historical record, only the interpretation of it. Even Quinn, as you point out, puts quotes around "transfiguration" emphasizing the interpretative nature of it, where as my quote of Van Wagoner removed all ambiguity with respect to the record. What is wrong with that?Mormography (talk) 06:31, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
For Quinn to describe Van Wagoner's interpretation a "skeptical view" is really a complement. Skepticism usually being consider a virtue in academics and the "chastity of the intellect". Rather than disagreeing, it places Van Wagoner's analysis on a higher level.Mormography (talk) 06:52, 17 May 2011 (UTC)
FROM PAGE 136 OF JORGENSEN
"the spiritual witness received at the august conference wasof such magnitude that believers were willing even eager to follow brigham young and the twelve however for one hundred and fifty years scholars have searched for a witness account written on the same day as the mantle experience if the experience was so intense and life changing for followers of the prophet joseph why were none of the accounts that record the miracle written on the day of the manifestation or shortly thereafter it is a question that unfortunately cannot be answered definitively" —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mormography (talkcontribs) 07:56, 18 May 2011 (UTC)
The need citation has not been provided, so I will be removing the statement below in the near future. "However, historians disagree on whether or not there are contemporary references attesting to such a manifestation."--Mormography (talk) 15:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

FyzixFighter - According to the edit summaries you appear to have some concerns regarding the articles characterization of Van Wagoner. According to the Wikipedia guidelines and culture I have attempted to neutralize the statements in the pursuit of NPOV. I believe you have previously expressed an agenda to include secondary references that interject dismissing characterizations of VW. To aid you in this pursuit I have previously cited Quinn. If historians indeed disagree with VW clarification of the historical record regarding "contemporary evidence", then citation of the historian and the evidence should be included. To this end I have also previously included Quinn's earliest discovered "evidence", which does not much help the assertion that historians disagree with VW, other than to say some historians have hunted for evidence to debunk VW unsuccessfully.Mormography (talk) 18:53, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

Proper Title? [ edit ]

Various organizations have had a succession crisis, most notably Islam after Muhammad's death in 632. Should we have a more specific title, or perhaps a disambiguation page? Guy Macon (talk) 01:43, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

We definitely should. It makes absolutely no sense for "succession crisis" all by itself to refer to only one, very specific instance of such an event.
I really don't get it. This was discussed more than five years ago, and then again last year. I don't know why it was not anticipated that there would be other "succession crisis" articles and that it should have been nipped in the bud at the time the article was made. It's like making a "royal family" article that's only about the British Royal Family. Oh well.
Suggest renaming to "Succession crisis (LDS movement)" (or insert your preferred form) and making "succession crisis" a disambiguation page. TaintedMustard (talk) 06:24, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

Requested move [ edit ]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: both moved. Favonian (talk) 11:21, 20 March 2012 (UTC)


– This has been discussed and agreed to in principle a few times but has never been implemented. There have been a variety of notable succession crises in various contexts in history, and I would say none of them would constitute the primary usage of the term "succession crisis". I think succession crisis should therefore become the disambiguation page, with the article about the Latter Day Saint succession crisis being moved to Succession crisis (Latter Day Saints). (The article was originally at Succession crisis (Latter Day Saints) but was moved in 2007 to the undisambiguated form. I only just now created Succession crisis (disambiguation).) Good Ol’factory (talk) 08:28, 13 March 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment (nom). Just to preempt any suggestion of Succession crisis (Mormonism): I don't think that would be an appropriate name, because the Latter Day Saints succession crisis was one that affected all the branches of the Latter Day Saint movement, and not just the principal branch, which is called Mormonism. Good Ol’factory(talk) 08:50, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong disambiguation highly ambiguous. There have been many wars fought over succession crises, which are much more likely than the LDS one. War of the Spanish Succession for example. 70.24.251.71 (talk) 10:54, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support - for Good Olfactory's reasons and incidentally support decap-ing the Monaco one at the same time. In ictu oculi (talk) 11:57, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. As per nomination. This article should definitely not be the primary topic for "succession crisis". BlindMic (talk) 01:28, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Support. It is certainly the time to move this to Succession Crisis (Latter Day Saints). Do it! A Sniper (talk) 01:34, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Strong support -- there must be other succession crises to be added to what is at present the dab article. "Mormonism" is a term used by opponents. LDS is the WP accepted NPOV term for this religion. Peterkingiron (talk) 13:13, 19 March 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Name of the church (prior to 1838 and after 1844) [ edit ]

Hey, everyone! Just a general reminder, primarily for those newer editors who may not be aware: At the time Joseph Smith organized a church on April 6, 1830, it went by the name "Church of Christ." It was not for another 8 years that the church was then given the name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Also, with the legal question of which of the churches which trace their origins back to Joseph Smith still unresolved, all we know is that the early members of that church until 1838 were known as Latter Day Saints, a designation which still fits those denominations connected with the movement of the same name, but only connected to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through the common founder. Therefore, in any article such as this one, that deals with all denominations in that category, rather than specifically relating to the LDS Church, "Latter Day Saint" is the correct term, and, for this article, "Church of Christ" is one of the original names that was commonly accepted and used until 1838, and was used by some of the offshoot organizations after the "succession crisis" described in this article. Hope this reminder helps all who read it. --Jgstokes (talk) 08:46, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

What is this?