The organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830 was “established agreeable to the laws of our country”. For a long time, historians misunderstood the implications of this statement. Recent analysis by David Keith Stott, a practicing attorney in New York, significantly clarifies how the establishment of the Church was done in accordance with New York law and customs of the time.
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President Joseph F. Smith led the Church of Jesus Christ through World War I, that war that was supposed to end all wars, and, in reality, opened humanity’s eyes to the great horror we could inflict on one another. His words are powerful for our day.
I'd like to treat the question of whether Orson Hyde’s mission to the Near East was a success. The answer, I think, should by now be completely beyond dispute. It is clear that many portions of Elder Hyde’s inspired prayer have at least begun to be fulfilled.
Later estimates of the weight of the gold plates of the Book of Mormon (by those who had briefly held them, such as the official witness Martin Harris and the unofficial witness William Smith) put that weight at somewhere in the range of forty to sixty pounds. Some critics, accordingly, have contended that Joseph Smith could not have carried them for any significant distance, let alone run with them through the woods.
No matter where we fall on the political spectrum, most of us are heartsick about the future in America. We’ve seen a summer of violence in the streets and now tumult at the capitol. What do we do with all this uneasiness and growing division, especially when we think our own cause is just? An episode from Church history provides a compelling example of what should be done.
When I was first brought to read Joseph Smith’s story, I was deeply impressed. I wasn’t inclined to be impressed. As a stylistician, I have spent my life being disinclined to be impressed. So when I read his story, I thought to myself, this is an extraordinary thing.
With the COVID restrictions, the Church history sites are locked up. Temporarily gone are the eager families able to visit the Newell K. Whitney store in Kirtland or Nauvoo’s Social Hall. Yet, the Church, ever innovative in its approach to difficulties has come up with a winning solution.