Pure Church of Christ

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The Pure Church of Christ was the first known schismatic organization to emerge within the Latter Day Saint movement.

The Pure Church of Christ was organized in 1831 in Kirtland, Ohio, by Wycam Clark, Northrop Sweet, and four others who claimed that Joseph Smith was a false prophet. They had a few meetings and soon disbanded. According to speeches made by George A. Smith that were recorded in the LDS Journal of Discourses, this church never had more than six members.[1]

According to George A. Smith, Wyman Clark was baptized about the same time as Sidney Rigdon. He, another follower of Joseph Smith named Northrop Sweet, and four unnamed others were responsible for the creation of the "Pure Church of Christ".

At the time of the creation of the "Pure Church of Christ" in Kirtland, a society that had undertaken to have a community of property. A number of people located on a farm owned by Isaac Morley had been baptized, but had not yet been instructed in relation to their duties. These people claimed that a spirit entered into them. Some claimed to see angels, and letters would come down from heaven. [2]

Upon hearing of these events, Joseph Smith came to Kirtland to teach these Saints that they were in error. When Joseph attempted to instruct these Saints in relation to the true Spirit, and the manner of determining the one from the other, in a short time a number of those who had been influenced by those manifestations, apostatized. Among the number was Wycom Clark who claimed he received a revelation that he was to be the prophet and that he was the true revelator. Clark organized the "Pure Church of Christ" and commenced having meetings and preaching. [3]

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  1. ^ Black, Susan Easton. Who's Who in the Doctrine and Covenants (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1997) p. 311
  2. ^ Shields, Steve L., Divergent Paths of the Restoration (1982), p. 21.
  3. ^ Journal of Discourses, v. 11, p. 4

Shields, Steve L., Divergent Paths of the Restoration (1982), p. 21.
Bringhurst, Newell G. and John C. Hamer, eds. Scattering of the Saints: Schism within Mormonism (2007), p. 1.