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Welcome to
http://www.ChurchofJesusChristofLatterDaySaints.org

Site Version August 201818

 

Name of the Church

We are not a regularly organized church, at least in the corporate sense.  But we are the original church, comprised of people who are baptized and ordained, continuing uninterrupted as the original church as it was organized in 1830 and as it existed when Joseph Smith was killed in 1844.

   There were three successive names used by the original church in its early days:

  1. “Church of Christ” official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1830.

  2. “Church of Latter Day Saints” was made official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1834.

  3. “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was made official by Joseph Smith to all Mormons in April 1838.

  1. “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was still in use by Joseph Smith when he was killed in 1844.

  2. “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” was used by James Strang from 1844 until he was killed in 1856.

  3. “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” has been continuously used by members of the church ever since.

  4. “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” is a name or phrase that has been been used by multiple competing faiths in the public domain since 1844, so nobody has an exclusive right to the name.

  5. The additional capitalized first article (“The”) has also been used by us as a variant of our name since 1838, and British hyphenation (“Latter-day Saints”) has also been used by us as a variant of our name since 1838.

  6. We have no affiliation with the so-called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, which is now actually incorporated as “Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.  They are incorporated as a corporation sole, in effect having only one member.

  7. The so-called “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, existed without an actual presidency from 1844 to 1847.  They were not incorporated until 1851, after our undisputed use of the name throughout the world.  Then, they were dissolved as a corporation by an Act of Congress in 1887 (see the Late Corporation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints v. The United States, Supreme Court, which upheld the dissolution).  They do not actually exist, legally.

  8. In prior litigation with us, the Corporation of the President above admitted: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a legal entity and has no legal existence,” and “The LDS Church is not a legal entity and owns no assets.”   In Federal litigation, the Corporation of the President above has argued, “The Church does not exist as a legal entity. . . . there is no entity with formal, legal existence and no assets to satisfy any judgment. . . .The LDS Church is a religious entity that conducts no business and has no assets with which to satisfy a judgment. . . .  (Olinger v. Corporation of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 521 F. Supp.2d 577, 2 (E.D. Ky. 2007) (See, in that case, Defendant's Response in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion to Remand, at https://goo.gl/5NHAeV).

  9. Nor is the name of the Church a standard character mark (a trademarked name) of any corporation.  Here, trademarks exist only where the typeface has been trademarked as a stylized logo of the above Corporation of the President (or rather, its holding company, Intellectual Reserve).

  10. Thus, we are the original Church, and we welcome any publicity and clarification about this.

  11. Therefore, we own the domain name http://www.ChurchofJesusChristofLatterDaySaints.org and its variants rather than an acronym like LDS.org.  We registered our name in good faith and with a bona fide purpose, with no intent to profit, after it was unclaimed by anyone else.  We have rights (our own use) or legitimate interests (critique of other entities or individuals) in all of our registered names.  All of our reserved names involve our work as investigative journalists and Mormon historians, either to critique religious entities and their history or respond to our critics.  We are within our rights of the free press and religious liberty of the First Amendment.  We are presently redeveloping our sites and broadening our sites to include our other reserved domain names in various contexts.

 
To see early name usage, click any image for an enlargement

Evening and Morning Star,
Church of Christ
Early 1830s

Elders’ Journal
“Church of Latter Day Saints”
Late 1830s

Times and Seasons
“Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”
1844

Letter from Joseph Smith, signed over the church name:
“Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”
June 1844

James J. Strang’s Gospel Herald
“Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints”
Late 1840s

As people, we prefer to be called Latter Day Saints.  We have occasionally been called by short nicknames, including Mormons, true Latter Day Saints, original Latter Day Saints, Voree Mormons, Wisconsinite Mormons, Islanders, Beaver Island Mormons, Great Lakes Mormons, Michigan Mormons, Primitive Mormons, Peace Party Mormons, and Seventh-day Mormons, depending on the context and place.

Some religious prejudice is inherent in Anglo-Saxon language. Our vocabulary is problematical in that it evolved in a church-state with few avenues of religious protest. English has only pejorative words to distinguish unusual people—such as divergent, separatist, apostate, heretic, dissenter, dissident, break-off, offshoot, faction, splinter, extremist, fanatic, and schism. Yet unusual objects are assigned favorable names like rare, extraordinary, scarce, uncommon, special, unique, distinctive, exceptional, and precious.

Moreover, discriminatory people prefer to affix the suffix of nouns “-ite” to distinguish anyone smaller than themselves. The suffix is not itself disagreeable in consideration of the larger groups identified by words from the names of men such as Israelite, Levite, Nazarite, Nephite, Jaredite, Mormon/Mormonite, and Strangite. But in affixing the suffix to the name of James Strang, the intent has always been derogatory, contemptuous, and belittling. Besides, there is a similar appearance between Strang (rhymes with “sang” or “rang”) and strange, an already derisive word for anyone unusual. That invokes preconceptions when a person sees the name of Strang with the suffix “-ite” for the first time, and more so when they hear it mispronounced. Additionally, every intelligent, educated, and skilled historian abandoned the terms “Brigham-ite” and “Joseph-ite” decades ago in favor of acronyms. Any similarly derived words related to Strang are inappropriate and unscholarly.

Definitively, denominating a church by the name of Strang is repugnant to its own christening attributed to Jesus: “And how be it my church save it be called in my name? For if a church be called in Moses’ name then it be Moses’ church; or if it be called in the name of a man then it be the church of a man; but if it be called in my name then it is my church, if it so be that they are built upon my gospel.”  (3 Nephi 27:8).  The precise name and style in use by Joseph Smith Jr. from 1838 to 1844, and by James Strang from 1844 to 1856, was “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” with or without a hyphen and with or without capitalization of the first article the or the hyphenated Latter-day.  Moreover, the abbreviation LDS was used by us in our literature, for example in our LDS Hymns.

 

Continuing Faith

For baptism for the remission
of sins, it is necessary only to have
faith toward God, and to repent of all sin.

To receive baptism by immersion, contact:

 

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
Mormon Road and Hwy. 11
Burlington, Wisconsin

(800) 862-5667


 

 

One example of our
concise priesthood lineage

Prophet Joseph Smith, 1829

Ebenezer Page, 1830
(Early Mormon in N.Y., Missouri, brother of John E. Page,
Later an Apostle at Voree, Wis., and Beaver Island)


Elder Wingfield Watson, 1858
(Lived on Beaver Island)

Elder Joseph H. Hickey, 1907
(Son of L.D. Hickey who lived at Palmyra, N.Y., Nauvoo, Ill.,
Voree, Wis., and was an apostle on Beaver Island)


Elder Steve Barany, 1953
(Son-in-law of Joseph H. Hickey, died in 2010 at 95)

Others

 

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© Copyright 1996-2018 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  All Rights Reserved.
The First Presidents of this Church were Joseph Smith Jr. 1830-1844, and James J. Strang 1844-1856.
The First Presidency was at Voree, Wisconsin 1844-1850, and St. James (Beaver Island), Michigan 1850-1856.