Talk:History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

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Over Emphasis[edit]

Wow, about two-thirds of the current article (2/26/02) for this "history" page deals with blacks and the priesthood in the LDS church. This page definitely needs some work given that that issue is hardly definitive or representative of this church's very unique history. I'm not particularly impressed with the relatively obscure, non doctrinal quote from BY either. The detail is more or less helpful, but we need a better sketch of the broader outlines first. The lack of balance in the current presentation is distortive and not npov. That may be why 195.171... deleted some of the earlier material. Maybe the poster of the material in question should consider a little more breadth to their knowledge of the LDS Church's history.-Randy 9/8/02


Could 195.171.163.xxx please give an explanation for deleting much of the material on the racial issue in the church? Thanks. —Eric


I've moved the racial information to its own page and linked to it from the "Controversies in the Church" page. The previous version of this page did give a disproportionate amount of "ink" to an issue that really was shared by most other Christian denominations -- I still feel that it is worth a short mention here on the history page, but haven't seen how to work it in yet -- will do more revision soon unless someone beats me to it.

I also added important historical information regarding early conflicts the Church had with its neighbors. This could certainly use a good once over from a non-Mormon perspective, but its important to understanding why Mormons couldn't peacefully live within existing communities, and why they finally settled for a tract of sagebrush in the desert. Thanks -- Lenny G 2002/01/16

Lenny, I've been contemplating moving the Black controversy for some time, although I think I would have phrased the article more broadly as in "Blacks in the LDS Church". But regardless, the move seems intuitively correct. You've added some good additional info on the early history although I'd change/tweak some of the info, for example, when polygamy was introduced or exactly how the experience of the three witnesses and eight witnesses actually transpired. At any rate, welcome aboard. B
Feel free to tweak. I've just done some editing on the introduction, reducing its size to make room for an expanded discussion of the witnesses. I also added a link to Witnesses of the Book of Mormon, which should probably also be added to the controversies page. I'm not sure how to expand on polygamy -- it seems well covered on the Plural Marriage (LDS) page, but feel free to try your hand at it. I agree that "Blacks and the LDS Church" is a more appropriate title - let's rename that. Thanks for the welcome -- wikipedia is great! User:lennyg 2002/01/17

Revert[edit]

mintguy, your revert was not helpfull. The outline I recently set up is to help organize the great amount of material still left to be written in this article. Don't revert without justificating your position here. B 00:18, 6 Aug 2003 (UTC)



Anointed Quorum[edit]

I removed the following line:

On July 7, 1844, the Anointed Quorum agreed not to appoint Smith's successor until the Quorum had returned.

I hope the author of this line is referring to the Council of Fifty. There is no evidence in my research to this group in the context that it is referred to here - as the quorum you referred to were those who had recieved temple blessings up to this point, and would be the regular leadership of the Church. The quorum did not have any binding decision-making authority for the Church in this capacity, but rather, in their own individual callings in the Church. I believe the council is what you are referring to. Or you may be referring to an unofficial name. In any case, please provide a reference. Visorstuff 18:25, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)

For now at least, I agree with the deletion. However, the Anointed Quorum was quite a bit more important than that, and had made some important, binding decisions with Joseph Smith on behalf of the Church, especially in the late-Nauvoo period. For future reference, here is the source: Members of the Anointed Quorum met "on subject of appointing a Trustee in Trust....The brethren had agreed not to appoint a Trustee untill the Twelve come home" (William Clayton Diary, 7 Jul. 1844, First Presidency's Archives; Smith, An Intimate Chronicle, pp. 137-138). I think we probably eventually need an article on the Anointed Quorum, which was composed of both men and women who had received the Second Anointing.
I'm familiar with the passage you are referring to, but still question the true authority of this quorum - even in Quinn's writings (who I consider anti-Mormon) he seems to bloat the true nature of the quorum. Besides, a careful analysis of Clayton's journals versus his clerked journals do not agree, and he often tries to make his involvement in things much bigger than they are (Non-Mormon Historian of the Mormon Trail, Wallace Stegner, would agree with me). I do agree that members of the quorum met, and worshiped together, and probably urged other members of the quorum to support a decision made by them in their own callings. however each in their own callings supported decisions made by the group as a whole. I don't think that we should get into the second annointing, as there are not reliable current sources on the matter. see discussion page on Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Endowment (Mormonism) for more info about that. Did you do this research yourself or did you pull from Quinn's book? Curious about where you are looking for the sources. Visorstuff 19:37, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
I haven't read Clayton's journals myself, or Wallace Stegner's work, so maybe you are correct. Much of what I understand about the Anointed Quorum is, indeed from Quinn's book, but I don't personally believe he has an anti-Mormon agenda. There is a recent article entitled "The Anointed Quorum in Nauvoo, 1842-45" by Devery S. Anderson in the Fall 2003 edition of the Journal of Mormon History on the Anointed Quorum, that I haven't seen, but that I'd like to get my hands on, that might be interesting. Anderson is also preparing an entire book on the subject for September 2004. Regarding the Second Anointing, I agree there is no current information as to the ordinance today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; however, I've seen plenty of reliable information regarding the practice of this ordinance as it existed in the 1800s.COGDEN 20:52, 8 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It has been said that Quinn is an amateur historian that got published because of his controvesial findings. I hold nothing against him, I just get the feeling from reading his research that he has a typical American anti-authoritarian or anti-hierarchy view of the Church's leadership and will do much to discredit it. He places less emphasis on the important Council of Fifty and tries to give more authority to the lay members in his findings in an attempt to show that the church was more democratic in the Nauvoo days. I don't think he is blatantly anti-mormon, but like most historians has his own agenda (all of us do). (Incidentally his agenda is that the LDS Church has re-written or censors it's history to create a loyal following of 'the brethren' rather than a more democratic system minus a strong "revelation-led" leadership of the Church.) A Web site found below gives a very intersting look at his research and how he makes the appearance of neutrality, while promoting sloppy research (http://www2.ida.net/graphics/shirtail/legitima.htm). He definitely gives a fresh perspective to various items, but I don't like to read his work. It seems he started off well, but has gone downhill in an effort to crank out more books faster. But who can blame him, it is how he makes a living.
Definitely interested in Anderson's book.

Mountain Meadows Massacre[edit]

Where's the section on the Mountain Meadows Massacre? I'm very surprised there's nothing here, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to put it in. moink 01:25, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Okay, I found that it has it's own page, but I still think it needs to be mentioned here for a NPOV article.

Glad you were able to find the article. It should fit in the section on Utah War, as it was during that timeframe, and definitely related to that and the assassination of Mormon Apostle Parley P. Pratt in Arkansas. Visorstuff 04:40, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Outline of article[edit]

I've been thinking of an outline for the 20th Century part of this article, and I was wondering if anyone had ideas about a heading from the period from about 1890 (post-polygamy) to the administration of David O. McKay (the beginning of what I consider to be Modern Mormonism)? I know there was lots of missionary work occurring, and the church was growing and becoming more international, and Heber J. Grant started the Welfare System, but what else characterized that period? Other than that, it doesn't seem that much significant really happened, compared to other periods.COGDEN 04:58, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

There were a lot of things that could be included in each period. You may want to read "Church History in the Fulness of Times" for more specific info - it gives a good and accurate background/overview on what happens during the periods. I don't pretend to be an expert in the 20th century Mormonism, aside from the programs of the Church - my particular area of expertise is from 1850-1877, its history and the church programs of that time (Deseret Alphabet, the Reformation, MIA, reinst. of Releif Society, United Orders and Journals, MMM, Mormon War, etc. and changes to Church policy and programs after that time - sacrament changes, WOW changes, radio, block, correlation, women praying, priesthood, and welfare, etc.) Not that I don't try to keep up to date on the other times - they just aren't my area of expertise.
That being said, I think we should divide by social/major movements - admins of JS and BY are already done halfway good, but perhaps, the 1877-1900 is Western US expansion and Journey to statehood (including polygamy, etc), 1900-1922 as Doctrinal clarifing and policy times (WOW, reorg of 12 and leadership away from Polyg, Zion, Sacrament, JFS, HJG first temples out of utah again, changes to temple ord. for first time since written, major proclamations written, historical sites purchased, end of Deseret Sunday School, etc), 1922-1945 as US expansion (Welfare, TV, tabernacle choir, beginnings of correlation, blacks issues promised and discussed, prohibition, etc), 1945-1973 as world wide expansion and 1973- present as a global church. Just my thoughts.Visorstuff 14:53, 11 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Postmodernist perspectives[edit]

COGDEN, before it goes too far, I don't think "postmodern readings" of church history are very applicable here. Especially given that postmodernism is relegated primarily to literature and english departments and NOT philosophy departments should really give some one pause to consider the sagacity (or in this case, lack thereof) of postmodern "philosophy". In my experience, postmodernism is no less adulterated than marxism, existentialism, Nietzschen or any other crap that has arisen from the legacy of continental philosophy. The legacy of continental philosophy is to philosophy and science now what Greek-philosophy was to ancient Christianity...and as you know the hellenization of mainstream Christianity has lead to its current corruption. B 21:38, Dec 12, 2003 (UTC)

I had no intention of introducing postmodernism into this article; obviously, that's not apt in this article. All I am saying is that (1) the concerns of the Church during the last 30 years have been postmodern concerns--that is, concerns relating to pluralism, multiculturalism, the media, and image, etc., which are markedly different from the Church's earlier modern concerns, such as growth, historical progress, science vs. religion, and fundamental doctrine, and (2) it's a postmodern world (not in the sense of philosophy, but in the sense of postmodernity), and the Church is in it, and it is only natural that the Church was focus on the changes in the world around it. But if someone can think of a better word than "postmodern" to describe the state of the world in the last 30 years, and the Church's response to that world, I would be pleased, but I'm not sure such a word exists. I thought about "Media Age" or "Information Age", but these terms do not reflect the Church's simultaneous interests in dealing with new cultures (particularly African American and "lamanite"), or reacting against pluralism (in the form of dissidents and polygamous splinter groups).COGDEN 04:38, 15 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Repetitive/Sourcing[edit]

I'm finding that much of the recent information is repetitive to what can be found on other pages. While editing the section on Race, I find that most of the information is already found on the sub pages of Black and Mormonism and Indian placement program. Why are we adding in repetitive information? Let's clean this up and possibly just provide links to the more info, and keep the backgound info to a minimum. COGDEN you are doing a fine job, but after re-reading the page reads too heavy with the repetitive details. I also like you use of recent research - it keeps things fresh, but some of the findings you are using have not yet been responded to in the various peer review forums and other critical analyses by other Mormon historians. Sources need to be reviewed and multiple historians typically verify and respond to the many theories that are put forth. Keep using the recent material, but wait on the single-referenced unverified info that tends to come from one author. Multiple sources in scholarly works, not just one source or the Internet would be my preference for inclusion in these articles. In many Mormon historian circles, data is not taken seriously unless it is written about or published in BYU Studies or another university's journals (besides BYU, Duke, U of Wash, UofU, Arizona, Illinios, Colombia and Berkely are a few that seem to be leading in this field - many professional, academian and amateur mormon historians (myself included) don't take FARMS, Sunstone or others as much more than a starting place for research or ancedotal information). I hope you don't feel like I'm singling you out or being critical of you, just want to make these articles accurate and easy to read for the Wikipedian. Perhaps someone else has some thoughts on these two matters? Visorstuff 09:43, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Seconded. B 13:28, Dec 31, 2003 (UTC)
I agree, to some extent. With regard to the post-1970 material I've put in this page, much of it is just taken from the more detailed sites, and I've been paring them down, so that the post-1970 material doesn't overpower the earlier material. But regarding the earlier material, I try not to include material from only one author. And I'm not sure what "recent research" you are referring to. I've been assisted, I admit, by Quinn, but I don't think I included Quinn's speculations, just his compilations of the work of others, or on self-explanatory documents from reliable sources. And there is a great deal of very good research in the form of books, not just journal articles. (And BYU Studies, at least since the 1980s, has been a bit handicapped in its ability to portray history accurately because of BYU's increasingly stringent requirement that articles be faith promoting.) I do admit, however, that the article needs more primary source citations. And for all the disputed history, I would hope someone would assist by softening the language, or presenting other possibilities. COGDEN 23:17, 31 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Splitting the article[edit]

Because the early history of the LDS history is also the history of the entire Latter Day Saint movement, I think that the pre-emigration to Utah part of this article should become its own article, maybe entitled History of the Latter Day Saint movement (my preference) or History of Mormonism. Then, other churches such as the Community of Christ could have their own post-1840s history page and just link to the general page for their early history. Besides, this article is getting pretty big, and will get much bigger as time periods get filled-out. Comments? COGDEN 23:35, 16 Jan 2004 (UTC)

I would agree that the common part of Mormon history - up to Joseph's death and the dissentions/divisions should be one article. Any article would be much too long if we included everthing. The dissention/division story should be an article in itself. Each subgroup's history then could be addressed in a series of articles as well. The Brighamite western expansion would fill at least one article, with side articles on things like the Handcart companites and European Emigration. I would vote for a date in the primary article title History of the Latter Day Saint movement - 1820 to 1844. WBardwin 22:51, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with this too; however, I forsee some issues in that the description of the timing of section 132 and the other revelations pertaining to the temple are disputed by some within the Latter Day Saint movement. I propose that those differing versions be presented in the pre-martydom History article and then each denomination could then take it from there in History of the Community of Christ, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, History of the Fundamental Church of Jesus Christ, etc. Trödel|talk 15:34, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Are you saying that there are disputes as to whether something happened before or after the death of Joseph Smith? I'm curious to know what those disputes are. If it's a matter of a particular Mormon sect adopting a version of apologetic history-as-a-point-of-faith that differs from the agnostic secular history, I say we leave the purely-religious history for the sect-based article, such as History of the FLDS, etc., to better put the apologetic version of history in its context as a pillar of faith for a particular sect. COGDEN 23:09, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)
Just the normal stuff. Because the saints publicly denied the existence of plural marriage (even those that were participating in it prior to the death of the Prophet Joseph), Emma denied that Joseph ever taught the doctrine and there was a public debate with competing letters, public sermons etc. However, I am saying we should go forward despite that and just be ready to deal with it in a NPOV way. Trödel|talk 02:06, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree with WBarwin's suggestions as to increasing the number of articles, although at present we already have a Succession crisis (Mormonism) article. I definitely agree that the Brighamite exodus deserves at least its own article, and probably eventually several articles--someone just needs to step up to the plate and write it, or adapt something from a public domain source on the subject(which I haven't been able to find). COGDEN 23:09, Apr 25, 2005 (UTC)
I haven't looked at the Succession crisis (Mormonism) article yet. Does it include William Law? If memory serves, he tried to start a movement before Joseph's death. The best place for those earlier dissenters (perhaps reflected with a change of name) might be in the Succession article. WBardwin 00:30, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

mormon Pioneers[edit]

hello just working on adding info on Mormon pioneers and the Mormon trail. I consider both of these subjects worthy of their own articles. Most history texts mention these two aspects of mormon history. I started an article on mormon pioneers and stubbed mormon trail. I began research on the two subjects about a week ago and hope to compile a fairly good article in the next few weeks. What I have now is from college history class. --Biodrin 00:32, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I agree that the pioneer era deserves its own historical article; actually probably multiple articles eventually. This article is getting quite large as it is, and much of it might be farmed out to multiple sub-articles (with this article containing a brief summary and referencing the sub-article, much as has been done with Blacks and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) COGDEN 01:09, 21 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Issues[edit]

The tone of this aricle druing the "bulleted" history section has become a bit negative at best and POV in language useage. It needs re-working.

I've removed the follwoing statement from the correlation effort section:

  • Establishing the system of promoting Priesthood holders based primarily on age.

The age system was done after a revelation was recieved by either John Taylor or Wilford Woodruff (it done was right after the revelation on the seventy). Definitely not part of the correlation efforts. I've fixed some languate about the positioning of auxilliaries under the priesthood. It was made very clear when Smith organized the Relief Society and when Young oversaw the formation of YWMIA/YMMIA and Deseret Sunday School programs that they were created to assist the priesthood in its mission. I do agree that this was re-emphasized with members of the Church on a number of occasions, and have left that part in, but it is NOT something that can be tied to a specific time period. However, it is good to remind those in the Church that these things were re-emphasized. I am very dissapointed in the treatment of and lack or references to doctrinal clarifications and revelations post-joseph smith. There are a number of them that should be included. COGDEN, you want to take a stab at this? Your expertise and the help you did in outlining this article would make sense. I was never sure where you wanted to take this article when you started with the outlining process as it didn't seem to fit with my ideas. Suggestions? -Visorstuff 20:12, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I'm sure there are a number of factual errors. Most of the bullet-points are mine, and my intent was mostly to brainstorm and include all significant and interesting historical facts and trends, especially the controversial ones, that would add spice and drama to the article. They are certainly not intended to remain POV as the article is filled out and comments on all sides of the issues are included. I'm not too worried about POV style in the bullet-points, because it might encourage somebody to make it NPOV, thus expanding the content of the article.
As far as the structure, my intention was to avoid what I've seen in a number of other Wikipedia history articles, where the article becomes a chronological list of facts lacking context. The best non-Wikipedia histories I've seen are era-based histories that treat each unique historical era chronologically, but sometimes go into the past or the future to provide context. Unlike American history, where a historical "era" is quite short, on the order of about a decade, LDS church history has a much longer historical wavelength, because post-Joseph Smith institutional changes have been very slow. In other words, we are really in the same "era" now as we were in the 1970s, and I don't see any truly fundamental changes in the institution (except for increases in scale and administrative tweaking) for the forseeable future. (Certainly nothing like the Manifesto). COGDEN 01:34, Oct 30, 2004 (UTC)

NPOV[edit]

I changed:

"This church grew rapidly, and was chased by angry mobs through various locations including Kirtland, Ohio, Independence, Missouri, and finally Nauvoo, Illinois, until July 26, 1844, when Smith was assassinated in a prison at Carthage, Illinois."

to read:

"In part because of the rapid growth of the movement, the early Latter Day Saints encountered opposition wherever they gathered in numbers. In the first decades of their history, they gathered to and were driven from Kirtland, Ohio, Independence, Missouri, Far West, Missouri, and Nauvoo, Illinois. Finally, on July 26, 1844, their founding prophet was assassinated in a prison at Carthage, Illinois."

I think "chased by angry mobs" is over-dramatic and partisan. The early Saints certainly had run-ins with vigilante groups, but they also took part in vigilante behavior of their own. It is more neutral to state that they "encountered opposition" when they gathered in numbers.

Escaping[edit]

The wording that Joseph Smith et. al. were "...killed in a firefight while attempting to escape..." is misleading. They were attacked by a mob an killed outright. Joseph Smith did try to leap from a window to try to draw the mob away from the others. The current wording makes it seem that they were trying to escape and the mob got angry and killed them, which is completely incorrect. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rkeene0517 (talkcontribs) 21:08, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Page move discussion[edit]

The follow vote and comment was added:

  • Oppose One, semantics. When using an official name, as in a the name of an incorporation, or title of a book, and it is referred to in sentence, "the" is usually used as part of the sentence structure, not as a part of the titled subject...this conforms with two, style...just because someone recently decided[1] in edits or discussions on the Mormonism naming conventions that this is how you'd like to title pages, professional and academic style manuals still say otherwise...and I'm more inclined to side with them sooner than I would with a few Mormons. Three, aesthetics...boy does that "of The" look unbalanced and out of place. Four, if Wikipedia has a policy about lowercasing words in titles, and here I think that applies in relation with my first point (a shock that I'd use the policy I hate to justify this opposition), one policy (namely this Mormonism naming convention) opposing that long-standing convention places the whole ball of wax in limbo...which policy wins out? —ExplorerCDT 07:51, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

To which I replied thusly:

      1. But in this instance the "The" is part of the official title. This may or may not be a silly state of affairs, but it's indeed the case. It's established in that we say for example "The Hobbit" in article titles and in running text, not "the Hobbit" or "the Hobbit".
      2. Citations, please. If this is not a generally acceptable style the LDS project needs to change the naming convention to comply (and more article text references than one can shake a stick at). If it is, it's inconsistent to leave hold-out references like this one.
      3. De gustibus...
      4. It has a policy about lowercasing words in titles, but not words that would be uppercased in any event (such as in article text), so this doesn't really have any bearing, and there's certainly not the contradiction between the two you imply. Alai 17:48, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

... which then got blanked, sans comment, by the same person. (If the move page is the wrong place for such discussion, it's surely the wrong place for lengthy commentary in the first instance, but never mind.) Alai 22:09, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Move request[edit]

This article has been renamed as the result of a move request. History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day SaintsHistory of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

To reflect the official name of the denominational body, and Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Mormonism) Alai 02:27, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Oppose One, semantics. When using an official name, as in a the name of an incorporation, or title of a book, and it is referred to in sentence, "the" is usually used as part of the sentence structure, not as a part of the titled subject...this conforms with two, style...just because someone recently decided[2] in edits or discussions on the Mormonism naming conventions that this is how you'd like to title pages, professional and academic style manuals still say otherwise...and I'm more inclined to side with them sooner than I would with a few Mormons. Three, aesthetics...boy does that "of The" look unbalanced and out of place. Four, if Wikipedia has a policy about lowercasing words in titles, and here I think that applies in relation with my first point (a shock that I'd use the policy I hate to justify this opposition), one policy (namely this Mormonism naming convention) opposing that long-standing convention places the whole ball of wax in limbo...which policy wins out? —ExplorerCDT 07:51, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      1. But in this instance the "The" is part of the official title. This may or may not be a silly state of affairs, but it's indeed the case. It's established in that we say for example "The Hobbit" in article titles and in running text, not "the Hobbit" or "the Hobbit".
      2. Citations, please. If this is not a generally acceptable style the LDS project needs to change the naming convention to comply (and more article text references than one can shake a stick at). If it is, it's inconsistent to leave hold-out references like this one.
      3. De gustibus...
      4. It has a policy about lowercasing words in titles, but not words that would be uppercased in any event (such as in article text), so this doesn't really have any bearing, and there's certainly not the contradiction between the two you imply. Alai 17:48, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)
      • Specific citation: and American English conventionally capitalizes the first letter of each word in a name other than conjunctions, prepositions, and articles – The Columbia Guide to Standard American English (1993) found here. The title of the article we're debating is a pragmatic sentence fragment, meaning the structures of usage in complete sentences apply when the structures are used in a fragment. Companies like "The Blackstone Group" are referred to as the "Blackstone Group" when within the structure of a sentence (or fragment) as "the" (the definite article) is treated in the English language as an adjective. Open any book on English grammar and style...there are hundreds of them...and each will tell you that the definite article (the) or either indefinite article (a, an) is an adjective modifying a noun and you will never find a book on English grammar that instructs you to capitalize an adjective. Further, I have never seen a book without a warning stating avoid unnecessary capitalization. No use on giving you all the specific citations since EVERY book on the subject covers this. For instance, this rather comprehensive style website [3] (while mostly following the style book of the Associated Press, it combines elements from manuals and links to a lot of others) under the topic of "capitalization" states "Excessive capitalization for other purposes distracts the reader and hinders reading. Do not capitalize the first letter of a word (or words in a phrase) simply to highlight it or to express its importance." The only purpose of capitalizing "The" in "History of The Church of Jesus...etc." is for self-aggrandizement of the corporate name, it's the same reason why when referring to the University of Chicago (which is incorporated as "The University of Chicago", we do not capitalize the article. As to your third point, if that is your taste, then your gustibus is awkwardly deficient, and deserves a bit of disputandum. Logically, the name of a corporation is also a pragmatic sentence fragment, hence why you do not capitalize the "o" in "of" and have a title rendered as "The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints". In that circumstance, when the church's corporate name is used, "The" is technically the beginning of a pragmatic sentence fragment and as such is treated as any beginning of any sentence—however, not when it is located in the middle of the sentence (or fragment). QED. —ExplorerCDT 18:49, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
        • Thanks for the citations; greatly appreciately. Columbia is indeed pretty clear and simple; if WP were following that life would be much less complex: the naming conventions wouldn't have to hedge about 'common use' in such cases, we wouldn't have The Hague, The University of Chicago, The George Washington University, and what have you. (And maybe we shouldn't, but that's another day's work.) And yes, the running text test is perfectly appropriate here, the asserted convention is that such uses would all be capitalised, in article text too. I don't see any specific advice on Garbl that speaks to this particular type of case (though interestingly, they do allow a degree of referent-preference, at least where a 'person, business or organization requests a lowercase first letter'. (Some account of 'odd' preferences is also rather implied by NeXT and by LaTeX.) My point regarding your aesthetics was not to disparage them (or invite you to disparage mine sight unseen, gee thanks), but to point out that firstly, there really is no proverbial arguing with them, and secondly, that they're not really material here. The "of"s aren't capitalised in the official/preferred form of the name, if that's a serious question on that. (And for the record, what was to be demonstrated was what Wikipedia policy, guideline, or convention would argue against such a move -- I've certainly demonstrated that one would argue in favour of it.) Alai 01:38, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
          • But the fact remains that you don't see news articles or history books capitalizing the T in "The" when the University of Chicago and the George Washington University are referred to (but you do with Reuters, AP and NY Times affiliates stating "The Hague" while Deutsche Welle, and most European and Asian agencies use lowercase). As for specific policies, I'd refer you to the Wikipedia:Naming conventions (capitalization) which while it doesn't describe situations like this one explicitly, does state examples (History of the Soviet Union, Politics of the United States which it is easy to infer what the WP norm is (which I lament with you in its inconsistencies). When titling an article about the organization, I wouldn't oppose, but this is an article about the "History of the" and the title is rendered a sentence fragment. However, as a last coup de main I'd refer you also to how Amazon.com and their book offerings treat the "The" seen here. Especially the book by Mormon founder, Joseph Smith that is No. 2 on the list. —ExplorerCDT 06:55, 26 Feb 2005 (UTC)
            • You repeat the point about sentence fragments with which I've already agreed; see above for specifics. Naming conventions (capitalization) is indeed silent on the matter; I don't think the examples illustrate any broader point, much less this specific one. (It was hardly as if I was proposing History of The Soviet Union, or that there was a Naming conventions (Soviet) to that effect.) Somewhat more explicit is Wikipedia:Naming conventions (definite and indefinite articles at beginning of name) which gives as criteria a (IMO poorly defined) combination of "official title" and "most common usage". (Personally I'm not very keen on the latter as it's a matter of the democracy of the ad hoc, or worse of who's the best at bullying people into their preferred usage, but I said I was going to keep my personal taste out of this.) I mention this policy as it also essentially equates 'should be included as an initial "the"' and 'would be capitalised in running text', and that being the basis on which (at least supposedly) organisations, etc, have "The"s in their article titles. But you indeed do see such capitalisations: in news articles, in books, on this very wiki. (Not remotely consistently either way, but what did we expect...) If the latter are wrong, then there's no MoS stipulation to back this up. Anyhoo, since this proposal's going down in a blaze of even more ad hoc disapproval, not much for it but to mention these issues (again) at the relevant naming convention talk pages (where they'll be ignored for another while and more case by case bunfights will fly by here...) Alai 06:32, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
              • You haven't acknowledged that all save a mere handful of the results on Amazon use History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as titles or subtitles. How's that for common usage? —ExplorerCDT 07:05, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What ExplorerCDT said. —Lowellian (talk) 08:25, Feb 24, 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I am also in agreement with ExplorerCDT on this. Jonathunder 00:35, 2005 Feb 25 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons as ExpolorerCDT. Sticking with readability and sensible capitalisation is preferable to allowing an organisation to dictate their idiosyncratic typographical and semantic conventions to us. If they wanted us to spell their name all in capitals we'd be wrong to oblige. — Trilobite (Talk) 00:41, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Comment To clarify the recency of the relevant portion of the naming convention, it dates from this edit of Oct 25. If this naming convention is unreasonably POV, it needs to be changed, not simply selectively ignored in an arbitrary minority of cases. Alai 01:39, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. What ExplorerCDT said. Jayjg (talk) 16:39, 25 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Looks ugly and unnecessary. --Audiovideo 23:28, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
  • Strongly oppose. Neutralitytalk 16:37, Feb 28, 2005 (UTC)

This move request is now closed. violet/riga (t) 18:41, 1 Mar 2005 (UTC)

This move request happened while I was away, and I don't see many opinions from people working in the LDS Project. This kind of goes against what I thought we had agreed. Also, this discussion should have occurred on this page first, before bringing it to the Wikipedia community as a move request. Should we challenge this, or should we keep the status quo for now? Personally, I have no strong opinion either way, but I think the policy needs to be consistently applied across all articles. COGDEN 20:28, May 13, 2005 (UTC)

External linking[edit]

The section on domain names owned by the LDS qualified as a fairly gross violation of Wikipedia:External links guidelines, so I have removed it. If someone would like to develop a discussion of domains registered to the Church as relevant to the History of the Church (this article's topic) that would be excellent! perhaps domains could be listed in such a historically relevant section without making them links, for example www.lds.com. - Amgine 05:02, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Mormon Reformation[edit]

I copied the material I developed here to the existing stub created by JGardner, and then expanded. With that start, the material in this article should probably be reduced to a strong paragraph. Comments or ideas welcome. WBardwin 09:23, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

Evolution and the history of the church[edit]

This section seems to have some problems...I quote: "Today, largely influenced by Smith, McConkie, and Benson, evolution is rejected by a large number of Church members, including highly educated members and even some bio- and paleo-science professors at Church-owned schools such as Brigham Young University. However, the Church still does not have an official position on how the Earth was created, and many devout Latter-day Saints have accepted evolution as a fact of history. See, e.g., Trent D. Stephens, D. Jeffrey Meldrum, & Forrest B. Peterson, Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding (Signature Books, 2001). [1]" My issues are with the reference to bio and paleo science professors (if they truly exist, why are they not named, and where are they referenced--I certainly did not meet any in my years at BYU as a biology student) and with the link at the very end of the paragraph that leads to a site that is very anti-evolution in nature. Personally, I don't feel qualified myself to edit this site (although I may have to if no one more qualified steps forward) I feel that the link at the end of the paragraph is a bad one, and until the people who run the website it links to have enough courage to prominently post their names (and credentials) on their site, the link should be discontinued. In any case, if anyone knows who these science professors at BYU are, please list them...



The following passage is inaccurate:

The issue of evolution surfaced again in the early 1930s, when there was an intense debate between liberal theologian and general authority B. H. Roberts, an ardent proponent of evolution, and the more conservative theologian Joseph Fielding Smith. This prompted the First Presidency, then led by Heber J. Grant as President, to conclude:

Upon the fundamental doctrines of the Church we are all agreed. Our mission is to bear the message of the restored gospel to the world. Leave geology, biology, archaeology, and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church. . . Upon one thing we should all be able to agree, namely, that Presidents Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund were right when they said: "Adam is the primal parent of our race" [First Presidency Minutes, Apr. 7, 1931].

William E. Evenson's entry for "Evolution" in The Encyclopedia of Mormonism as well as his other publications have often characterized the 1931 statement cited as if the debate between B.H. Roberts and Joseph Fielding Smith were about evolution, and that the resulting statement pertained to evolution. This characterization has since been accepted uncritically by members of the church who believe in organic evolution and it has been used against members of the church who reject organic evolution. This view is repeated here in the wikipedia entry. However, R. Gary Shapiro has fairly convincingly shown that B.H. Roberts, contrary to the assertion of the current wikipedia article, was not a proponent of organic evolution at all, let alone an ardent one, and that the debate was not about evolution.

The 1930 debate between Elder Roberts and Elder Smith concerned some of the content of a The Truth, The Way, The Life, a manuscript that had been written by Elder Roberts, with permission of the First Presidency, and had been submitted for use as a Melchizedek Priesthood course.

B.H. Roberts, like Joseph Fielding Smith, rejected organic evolution and in the manuscript, directed readers (The Truth, The Way, The Life, pp.236,245) to his previous writing on that subject in the book Man's Relationship to Deity in which he had stated:

The theory of evolution as advocated by many modern scientists lies stranded upon the shore of idle speculation.... If the hypothesis of evolution be true,... then it is evident that there has been no "fall,"... and if there was no fall,... then the mission of Jesus Christ was a myth, the coinage of idle brains, and Jesus himself was either mistaken, or one of the many impostors that have arisen to mock mankind with the hope of eternal life. Such is the inevitable result of accepting the philosophy of evolution, after which all the world is now running—it is destructive of the grand, central truth of all revelation." (The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, 7th edition, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1928, pp. 265-267).

In the manuscript for The Truth, The Way, The Life, Elder Roberts tried to reconcile the scriptures with the fossil record by setting forth his own theory of a pre-Adamic creation, consisting of flora, fauna, and human-like beings who lived millions of years before the time of Adam and who remains became the fossil record (The Truth, The Way, The Life, pp.238-240; 289-296). He cited sources from geology, biology, anthropology, and archaelogy to support this pre-adamite doctrine.

The debate in the Council of the Twelve Apostles was over this pre-Adamite doctrine, and the point of contention was that the church's doctrine insisted that there was no death before the fall of Adam, and that Elder Robert's pre-Adamite doctrine contradicted that teaching. Organic Evolution was not at issue at all. For more information see here: http://ndbf.net/eom.htm

My suggestion is that the evolution section of the wikipedia article be amended to read as follows (proposed changes are marked). Let me know any objectstions:

The Church and evolution[edit]

The issue of evolution has been a point of controversy within the Church. The first official statement on the issue of evolution was in 1909, which marked the centennial of Charles Darwin's birth and the 50th anniversary of his masterwork, the Origin of Life. On that year, the First Presidency led by Joseph F. Smith as President, issued a statement reinforcing the predominant religious view of creationism, and calling human evolution one of the "theories of men", but falling short of declaring evolution untrue or evil. "It is held by some", they said, "that Adam was not the first man upon the earth, and that the original human was a development from lower orders of the animal creation. These, however, are the theories of men." Notably, the Church did not opine on the evolution of animals other than humans, nor did it endorse a particular theory of creationism.

Soon after the 1909 statement, Joseph F. Smith professed in certain editorials that "the Church itself has no philosophy about the modus operandi employed by the Lord in His creation of the world. (Juvenile Instructor, 46 (4), 208-209 (April 1911), and that various possibilities for such creation might have included the idea that Adam and Eve: (1) "evolved in natural processes to present perfection", (2) were "transplanted [to earth] from another sphere" (see, e.g., Adam-God theory), or (3) were "born here . . . as other mortals have been." (Improvement Era 13, 570 (April 1910).

In 1925, as a result of publicity from the "Scopes Monkey Trial" concerning the right to teach evolution in Tennessee public schools, the First Presidency reiterated its 1909 stance, stating that "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, basing its belief on divine revelation, ancient and modern, declares man to be the direct and lineal offspring of Deity. . . . Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes."

The issue of evolution surfaced again in the early 1930s, when there was an intense debate between liberal theologian and general authority B. H. Roberts, an ardent proponent of evolution, and the more conservative theologian Joseph Fielding Smith. ThisIn the early 1930's there was an intense debate between liberal theologian and general authority B. H. Roberts and members of the Coulcil of the Twelve Apostles over attempts by Elder Roberts to reconcile the fossil record with the scriptures by introducing a doctrine of pre-Adamic creation, and backing up this speculative doctrine using geology, biology, anthropology, and archaelogy (The Truth, The Way, The Life, pp.238-240; 289-296). More conservative members of the Twelve Apostles, including Joseph Fielding Smith, rejected his speculation because it contradicted the doctrine that there was no death until the fall of Adam. The debate prompted the First Presidency, then led by Heber J. Grant as President, to conclude:

Upon the fundamental doctrines of the Church we are all agreed. Our mission is to bear the message of the restored gospel to the world. Leave geology, biology, archaeology, and anthropology, no one of which has to do with the salvation of the souls of mankind, to scientific research, while we magnify our calling in the realm of the Church. . .
Upon one thing we should all be able to agree, namely, that Presidents Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund were right when they said: "Adam is the primal parent of our race" [First Presidency Minutes, Apr. 7, 1931].

The debate over pre-Adamites has since been widely mischaracterized by LDS proponents of evolution as a debate about organic evolution. Based on that characterization a supposed dichotomy of thought on the subject of evolution between B. H. Roberts and Joseph Fielding Smith has become folkloric among pro-evolution members of the church and the resulting 1931 statement has been interpreted by some as official permission for members to believe in organic evolution.[4] However, historically there was no disagreement between Joseph Fielding Smith and B. H. Roberts concerning evolution; they both rejected it. B. H. Roberts wrote that the "hypothesis" of organic evolution as "destructive of the grand, central truth of all revelation," (The Gospel and Man's Relationship to Deity, 7th edition, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1928, pp. 265-267).

Later, Joseph Fielding Smith published his book Man: His Origin and Destiny, which, like B. H. Roberts, denounced evolution without qualification. Similar statements of denunciation were made by Bruce R. McConkie, who as late as 1980 denounced evolution as one of "the seven deadly heresies" (BYU Fireside, June 1, 1980), and stated: "There are those who say that revealed religion and organic evolution can be harmonized. This is both false and devilish." Evolution was also denounced by the very conservative Ezra Taft Benson, who as an Apostle called on members to use the Book of Mormon to combat evolution and several times denounced evolution as a "falsehood" on a par with socialism, rationalism, and humanism. (Ezra Taft Benson, Conference Report, April 5, 1975).


ThisA dichotomy of opinion continuesexists in the Church today. Largely influenced by Smith, McConkie, and Benson, evolution is rejected by a large number of Church members.[5]. A minority accept evolution, supported in part by the folkloric, but ahistorical debate between B. H. Roberts and Joseph Fielding Smith. Meanwhile, Brigham Young University, the largest private university owned and operated by the church, not only teaches evolution to its biology majors, but has also done significant research in evolution.[6] The Church still does not have an official position on how the Earth was created, and many devout Latter-day Saints have accepted evolution as a fact of history.

References:

  1. Sherlock, R. Richard (1978), "A Turbulent Spectrum: Mormon Reactions to the Darwinist Legacy", Journal of Mormon History 5: 33–60 .
  2. Trent D. Stephens, D. Jeffrey Meldrum, & Forrest B. Peterson, Evolution and Mormonism: A Quest for Understanding (Signature Books, 2001). [7]

Jmaxwilson 18:50, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks to WBardwin for his modifications to my changes on Evolution to improve NPV. However, I think your attempts to achieve a neutral point of view have distorted the history and made the article inaccurate. The characterization of the 1931 debate between B. H. Roberts and Joseph Fielding Smith as having anything at all to do with evolution is completely ahistorical. So to describe it as revealing a "clear" dichotomy of thought on the subject between BHR and JFS is simply inaccurate. Perhaps instead of "mischaracterized" as my original edit said, it needs to say "misunderstood" so that the article can be accurate without attributing a purposeful "mischaracterization" to the pro-evolution faction.

J. Max Wilson 15:13, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge with Mormonism[edit]

Perhaps the articles on this page would seem more balanced with all of the information Mormon members are loading up on all of the positive Momonism pages all over this directory.

This page and all LDS pages should be merged under the title Mormonism. All LDS pages are talking about Joseph Smith's teachings, the page is about his teachings anyway, so that goes to reason they read the book of Mormon therfore Mormons.You may want to seperate your modern church from its past however its past can't be changed. The current "big" branch is still preaching about Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and they were part of the Latter Day Saint movement, Church and Mormonism.
This is not the main reason I suggest the change however. They should be merged because all the other religions I've read about on Wikipedia include the movements or beginings, middles and currents on their main (only) page. As in Buddist getting only a Buddism page, Hindus getting only a Hindism page and so on. If they are not merged then I feel that all of the other religions should have similar adjustment to the Mormons. As Mormonism has three (3) different listings as of today, Sept. 26 2006, Latter day Saint Movement,Latter day saints and Mormons. They should all be listed under Mormanism. Anarcism, Capitalism, Communism have many forms but only one (1) page each.
lol: I was wrong there are nine (9) pages on Momonism as of today (maybe more are hiding) Latter day Saint Movement,Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ,History of the Latter Day Saint movement,Jesus in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, List of temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Missions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon, Mormonism, and there are lists with (small) pages of even more sects. I'd be willing to wager that all of the different branches not only follow the book of Mormon, but also all but one originated in Utah.
Joeseph Smith's MORMONISM and the book of Mormon is what all the above pages are all refering to.
And a quote from Latter Day Saint movement page shows the connection."The Latter Day Saint movement spawned many religious denominations, some of which include a set of doctrines, practices, and cultures collectively known as Mormonism, although some do not accept the designation Mormon."


There is a link to this article from the Exmormonism article, backed up in the discussion section of Exmormonism. It seems only logical that there should be a link back. greenw47

Thanks to the above editor(s) for your comments, but Mormonism was never the name of the church or the movement. It is a nickname, based on an individual after whom the Book of Mormon was named. The term was usually derogative in early Church history, but has been accepted by the general membership of some (and only some) of the schisms of the Latter Day Saint movement. Members of the movement acknowledge their heritage to Joseph Smith in a variety of ways, including sometimes using variants of the formal name of Joseph's Smith's Church. You (or you all) seem to believe that the multiple use of names is intended to confuse and distract the reader. But I'm afraid it simply reflects the complexity of the various schisms and belief systems that have grown out of the original LDS faith. Merging all these different points of view has been difficult, and the LDS editor's group here has adopted the Latter Day Saint movement as umbrella term for the whole group of churches. The best known church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (with a hyphen), has the majority of LDS related articles here in Wikipedia, which are usually tied to their name. But there are articles relating to almost all the other long established LDS churches and recent offshoots. Wikipedia articles relating to "Mormonism" tend to be cultural or doctrinal, rather than organization or historical. There has been a long, ongoing debate, on how to deal with the name issues relating to the LDS movement. This is important as we have many articles here, more than the 9 you found, on LDS doctrine, history, and culture. I'm sure that other religious movements, with long and complex histories, have more than one page as well. You might want to check in on the project's talk page if you have further comments. Best wishes. WBardwin 07:01, 27 September 2006 (UTC)

Inappropriate[edit]

It is inappropriate for an article of this nature to claim that Joseph Smith was visited by angels as if it were a substantiated fact. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.27.125.68 (talk) 04:29, August 26, 2007 (UTC)

Instead of deleting the whole idea, why then don't you change it to read that he claimed to have been visited by angels? –SESmith 04:40, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Expelled because of polygamy?[edit]

Were not the mormons chased out of Illinois and other states because they practiced polygamy? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.99.132.30 (talk) 20:56, 18 April 2011 (UTC)

No, it is far more nuanced than that, and it didn't even stop after the Latter-day Saints populated Utah. For details, see Missouri Mormon War/Mormon Extermination Order, Illinois Mormon War, & Utah War. -- 208.81.184.4 (talk) 16:35, 19 April 2011 (UTC)