Church of Christ (Whitmerite)

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The Church of Christ, informally referred to as the Church of Christ (Whitmerite), was a denomination of the Latter Day Saint movement based on the claims of David Whitmer, one of the Three Witnesses to the Book of Mormon's Golden Plates.

There were actually two separate organizations of this church. In 1847, William E. McLellin who led a congregation of Latter Day Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, remembered that Joseph Smith, Jr., the movement's deceased founder, had designated David Whitmer as his successor. McLellin encouraged Whitmer to come forward and lead his church. Whitmer agreed and gathered others to his cause, including fellow Book of Mormon witnesses Oliver Cowdery, Martin Harris, Hiram Page and John Whitmer.

Taking the original name of the church, the "Church of Christ" published a periodical from Kirtland called, The Ensign of Liberty. Whitmer, however, never joined the main body of his followers in Kirtland and the church dissolved.

However, by the 1870s David Whitmer was active again and had reorganized his Church of Christ. In 1887 he published his An Address to All Believers in Christ which promoted his church and affirmed his testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Whitmer died in 1888, but the Whitmerite church continued on. The church published a periodical called The Return beginning in 1889, which became known as The Messenger of Truth in 1900. The church published its own edition of the Book of Mormon under the name, The Nephite Record and published a new edition of the Book of Commandments. By 1925, most remaining members of the Whitmerite church had united with the Church of Christ (Temple Lot). The last of the Whitmerites was John C. Whitmer's daughter Mayme Janetta Whitmer Koontz, who died in 1961.

References[edit]

  • Bringhurst, Newell G.; Hamer, John C. (2007). Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism. Independence, MO: John Whitmer Books. ISBN 978-1-934901-02-1. 
  • Flanders, Robert Bruce (1954). The Mormon’s Who Did Not Go West (masters thesis). University of Wisconsin. 
  • Hilton, Hope (1958). "Joseph's Scattered Flock (BYU Leadership Week)". Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Extensions Publications. 
  • Launis, Roger D.; Thatcher, Linda (1998). Differing Visions: Dissenters in Mormon History. Urbana and Chicago: University of Illinois Press. ISBN 978-0-252-06731-0. 
  • Rich, Russell R. (1958). "Those Who Would Be Leaders, Offshoots of Mormonism". Provo, UT: Brigham Young University Extensions Publications. 
  • Shields, Steven (1982). Divergent Paths of the Restoration: A History of the Latter Day Saint Movement (3rd Revised and Enlarged ed.). Bountiful, UT: Restoration Research. ISBN 978-0-942284-00-3. 
  • Whitmer, David (1887). An Address to All Believers in Christ. Richmond, MO. 
  • Whitmer, David (1887). An Address To Believers in the Book of Mormon. Richmond, MO. 
  • Whitmer, David (1881). "A Proclamation". Richmond, MO.