The Strange Case of James Strang

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A little known Mormon story is that of James Strang, who some say was the rightful successor to Joseph Smith. Nine days before his death, Smith wrote a letter to Strang naming him as the future leader of the LDS church. On the same day Smith was murdered, Strang, who was 200 miles away, received a vision from an angel appointing him as prophet.

All of Smith’s family and many prominent members of the LDS church followed Strang who moved the headquarters of the church to Wisconsin. Eventually Strang was led to discover more ancient plates which he translated and obtained the testimony of 11 men that they were real and authentic. He also put his plates on public display.

Strang eventually was murdered in 1856. Most of his followers joined the RLDS. But his church still persist. You can check out their website here. I would love to see what Del Parsons would do with a portrait of Strang. He’d undoubtably find some way to give him blonde hair and blue eyes.

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41 thoughts on “The Strange Case of James Strang

  1. When my brother was first starting to doubt the Church, the question of legitimate prophetic succession came up. Even if Joseph Smith was a prophet, who’s to say that Brigham Young was supposed to be the next one? It wasn’t clear at all at the time, which is why there was so much schism. The Church has sort of steamrolled over it (they acknowledge that there was controversy, but they make BY’s claim out to be a little more solid than it might have been).

    If you take into consideration all the crazy stuff BY taught… and the fact that there haven’t been any real revelations since Joseph Smith’s death (just Brigham Young’s marching orders, a dream that Joseph F Smith had, some major policy statements, and all kinds of rumors and hints of “inspiration”), and Strang’s claim actually doesn’t look that impossible.

  2. Brighamites will undoubtably claim success as the evidence that Brigham was the rightful prophet, but I think the success and growth have more to do with the near 100 years of isolation that the mainstream LDS church was able to take advantage of.

  3. I agree. Brigham Young was a powerful leader with a knack for organization.

    Especially within Mormonism, success shouldn’t be evidence of prophetic calling. Just ask Peter and Moroni.

  4. Very interesting. Have his plates been authenticated? Where is the letter he claims to have received from Joseph Smith? It is interesting that the RLDS (Community of Christ) claims that Joseph set his son apart as the next prophet before he died. Either one of them is not being truthful or Joseph was really confused.

  5. Well, considering sections 107 & 124 of the Doctrine & Coventants give specifics on the organization of the leadership of the Church (First Presidency, Twelve Apostles, & a high council of Seventy), and considering this was revelation to JS years before Strang’s claim, and considering ‘Brigham Young was the President of the Twelve, I’d say it’s pretty clear cut.

  6. Austin, considering that the entire church wasn’t sure at first who was to be the next prophet, I’d say those sections didn’t make it ultimately clear. 😉 There was a lot of concern after Joseph died regarding who would be the next prophet, if there would be another prophet, etc., by most members of the church at the time. So, regardless of the 20/20 rear vision we might have today, I think it might be a little less clear cut than you might assume. 🙂

  7. Good point, Katyjane. I do realize there was confusion at the time. I believe both Sidney Rigdon (counselor to Joseph) and Brigham Young (President of Twelve) both spoke to the members (not to mention the claims of Emma and Strang). The vote was in favor of the Twelve for leadership.

    Joseph Smith knew all too well who would carry the leadership of the Church.

    My comments were specifically for those members today who might be a tad confused or doubt the devine calling of today’s leaders.

  8. I think that would depend on the person extending the calling. Did they seek the guidance of the Lord or did they just stick you with it because you were the only one left without a calling (I know for a fact that this happens). Every calling is not inspired, unless you believe that God will influence your thoughts without asking him too.

  9. Katyjane, I believe the Prophet and Apostles are divinely called. I believe, for the most part, callings in general are inspired. I have truly seen it in my own ward and stake. I do agree with Jay, however. We know that God does not command in ALL things. I think He allows us to make the best decision we can and He’ll support that decision.

    I once had a companion on my mission that found it so very difficult to make a decision between two right choices. He and I both had to learn to just make a best guess and trust in the Lord to make it all work out.

    I think this applies to many callings in the Church. Plus, I feel some people just should not have a calling 🙂 .

  10. I believe that the Book of Mormon is true, and that James J. Strang was Joseph Smith’s legal successor. I do not believe that there is any valid priesthood on the earth at this time, or rather, I don’t know of any valid priesthood.

    There are several reasons why I believe that James J. Strang was Joseph Smith’s legal successor. The letter known as the “Letter of Appointment” is only one of those reasons.

    Anyone who believes that the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God, must also believe that James J. Strang was a prophet of God. Please let me explain, and I don’t mean to be contentious, for being contentious is against the teachings of Jesus Christ (See 2 Ne. 28: 4, Ne. 26: 32, Alma 34: 38, 3 Ne. 11: 29, 3 Ne. 11: 29 and 3 Ne. 11: 29).

    Like Joseph Smith, James J. Strang also had witnesses who testified of the miraculous event of bringing forth metal plates shown to him by and angel(s). This is consistent with the following scripture:

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
    established.” (Matthew 18:16).

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be
    established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1).

    “And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be
    established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record-and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day”. (Ether 4:4).

    “…I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words”. (2 Nephi 11-3).

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be
    established.” (Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 6:28).

    To read how the metal plates were found, see the following web address: http://members.aol.com/Strang7222/36.htm#TESTIMONY

  11. Since January of 1987 I have been renting a house from Property Reserves Inc., which is owned by the LDS church. I have never been a member of that church, I only rent from them. The LDS church owns thousands of acers of land here in Clay County, Missouri. Most of that land is either being developed, or will be developed, and I will one day be evicted from my home to make room for “progress.” Or perhaps I may be evicted before that time for posting the following, which describes the “Mormon” church much better than I ever could.

    1 Ne. 22: 23

    23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

    2 Ne. 28: 13

    13 They rob the poor because of their fine sanctuaries; they rob the poor because of their fine clothing; and they persecute the meek and the poor in heart, because in their pride they are puffed up.

    Morm. 8: 33

    33 O ye wicked and perverse and stiffnecked people, why have ye built up churches unto yourselves to get gain? Why have ye transfigured the holy word of God, that ye might bring damnation upon your souls? Behold, look ye unto the revelations of God; for behold, the time cometh at that day when all these things must be fulfilled.

    D&C 10: 56

    56 But it is they who do not fear me, neither keep my commandments but build up churches unto themselves to get gain, yea, and all those that do wickedly and build up the kingdom of the devil—yea, verily, verily, I say unto you, that it is they that I will disturb, and cause to tremble and shake to the center.

    Some will point to the fact that the “Mormon” church gives to the poor. Only a small percent of what this church “gains” is given to help the poor. Like most churches, this church helps the poor only “to become popular in the eyes of the world.” Besides, Jesus Christ taught “But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth” (Matt. 6: 3.)

  12. Rick, I mean the following in the nicest way possible:
    blah blah blah.
    You can interpret scriptures that aren’t yours any way you wish, but it doesn’t make your interpretation correct. If it’s not your church, their financial doings are truly not your concern. If I had a dime for every time I heard that particular nugget, I could buy my own private island (after tithing of course :p)
    Why don’t you concern yourself with your own soul and salvation, and how you personally could be more charitable to others, instead of worrying about our motes as you perceive them.

  13. LDSMommy,

    Just out of curiosity, since it IS your church, do you think that the financial doings are your concern? Have you ever seen the Church’s balance sheet? Income statement?

  14. Google City Creek Mall. Funny thing about it, none of the money that went to purchase this mall is from tithing, says the profit (check out you tube for the official statement regarding the mall by prez. Hinkley). They do not say where the money DID come from. Probably from interest on tithing. So, if my tithing built interest and they bought a mall, I am part owner! I should be getting shares! But since that is not the case in their eyes, where DOES the profit from the mall go? Who sees the bennefit? I am a single mormon mommy on welfare, scraping by to pay for gas money. They are buying a Mall, which to me is the biggest representation of what is lacking in the world. Are they going to tell Abercrombie and Fitch not to sell mini skirts? Is there not going to be a Victoria’s Secret? Where are the teachings of the church reflected when you see a mall. In the pocket books.

  15. Nine days before he was murdered, Joseph received and wrote a revelation containing the calling of James J. Strang. The Letter of Appointment is still in the archives at
    Yale University. Joseph Smith’s signature is on the letter. An independent group of handwriting experts came to the conclusion that the signature was genuine (See THE TEACHINGS OF A MORMON PROPHET p. 250-263.)

    James J. Strang was murdered in the summer of 1856. Many of the people in the church were forcibly removed from their properties, and their valuables stolen from them. The history of James J. Strang is interesting to most. Someone should pick up on it and make a movie about it or something.

    Joseph Smith Jr. appointed James J. Strang. The Utah based “Mormon” church that I pay my rent to, is apostate; there is no authorized priesthood in it. It is just another church set up to get “gain:”

    1 Ne. 22: 23
    23 For the time speedily shall come that all churches which are built up to get gain, and all those who are built up to get power over the flesh, and those who are built up to become popular in the eyes of the world, and those who seek the lusts of the flesh and the things of the world, and to do all manner of iniquity; yea, in fine, all those who belong to the kingdom of the devil are they who need fear, and tremble, and quake; they are those who must be brought low in the dust; they are those who must be consumed as stubble; and this is according to the words of the prophet.

    The Utah based “Mormon” church was really smart about what property to buy. When they bought the land, it was mostly farm land. Now it is prime development property. What I am stating is not a secrete. The local news papers sometimes carry stories about it.

    If feel sorry for some of the members of the “Mormon” church. Some of them are humble people who desire to follow Jesus Christ. Some of them are poor. Yet even they are required to give 10 percent of their incomes to the church. Some of that money has been used to buy the property that I reside on. I don’t know to say thank you or fill guilty about it.

    I think of churches in the same way I do mosquitoes, and try to avoid them all.

  16. The Utah based “Mormon” church, also known as the Brighamites, have distorted history and scripture in an effort to deceive its members and the world. The following may be of interest to some who seek truth.

    Mrs. Lucy Smith’s Testimony. [Joseph Smith’s mother]

    “Nauvoo, May 11, 1846.
    “My Dear Son-For so I must call you; as the church has passed through much affection, and it pains my heart that it should suffer more. The Twelve (Brighamites) have abused my son William, and trampled upon my children, and have also treated me with contempt. Now mark it, these men are not right. God has not sent them to lead this kingdom. I am satisfied that Joseph appointed James J. Strang. It is verily so. Now, Brother Reuben, I exhort you for the love you have for the truth, to hear my voice, and warn the saints concerning these things, and your reward shall be doubled in the heavenly world. This from your mother, Lucy Smith,
    “Mother in Israel.”
    “This is to certify that we, the undersigned. members of the Smith family, fully accord with the sentiments expressed above.
    “W.J. Salisbury,
    “Catherine Salisbury,
    “Arthur Milliken,
    “Lucy Milliken.’

    William Smith’s Testimony.
    (Note: William Smith was the brother of Joseph Smith and one of the twelve Apostles at the time of Joseph’s death.)
    “I have, since I returned to Nauvoo last, been apprised for the first time of an appointment made by brother Joseph to
    James J. Strang.
    “On hearing this I took pains to gather all the evidence that could be adduced, to see if there was any foundation at all for the claims of Mr. Strang. I called in to see Sister Emma to inquire concerning the appointment. Sister Emma says that Joseph received a letter from Mr. Strang. Hyrum was present, and he called in John P. Green; at first Joseph thought all was not right, but Hyrum thought otherwise. They talked over matters awhile and came to the conclusion that Joseph would write a letter; so Joseph and Brother Green went out for that purpose.
    “Emma also states that her son Joseph saw a woman come into a room in Far West, Mo. and told him this church would go to Voree; the boy was only eight years old. Joseph, his father, was in jail at the time. The boy remembers the vision, etc. Joseph, before he was martyred, when on his way from the temple hill home, saw a vision, and his mother recollects that when he came home he put his hands upon his eyes and prayed that the vision might pass, and that he stated that he heard as it were music in the heavens, but the notes were low and sad as though they sounded the requiem of martyred prophets.
    “I remember myself that Joseph said: ‘My work is almost done; I feel that I shall rule a mighty host, but not in this world; the wolves are on the scent,; etc. Joseph bid his wife and mother farewell, saying: I am going as a lamb to the slaughter’; this was his impression. And I further state that Joseph did not appoint the Twelve as his successor, and I was in the last council with him and had an opportunity of hearing and knowing his sentiments in regard to these things.
    “I also heard Joseph say that should the time ever come that Brigham Young and Hover C. Kimbal would lead this church, that they would lead it to hell. This was said in the hearing of sister Emma Smith. The whole Smith family of Joseph stock join in sustaining J. J. Strang.
    “It is to remembered that, soon after Joseph and Hyrum’s death, brother Green died, and he was heard by numerous individuals to say that Joseph had appointed Strang. William Smith.”
    The following is a further testimony of William Smith:

    “To the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:
    “Inheriting as I do the office of Patriarch by lineal descent from my progenitors, and having been ordained there unto by the First Presidency, and being therefore fully invested with the Patriarchal authority, I deem it necessary at this time to address you a few lines for the confirmation of your faith in the great work of the last days.
    “as to the claims of brother James J. Strang as the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Prophet, Seer and Revelator, I entertain no doubt whatever, as his appointment by my brother Joseph, and his confirmation by angelic administration is in strict accordance with the Law of God by revelation; for so Jehovah hath revealed it to me, and I, therefore, as your spiritual Father, bear witness to you all of the truth of these declarations; and as God has revealed to me his appointment of Brother Strang to said station, and the investing him with all Keys and powers of the Priesthood, I rejoice that I am able to confirm your faith for God is now working gloriously for Zion. “City of Voree, Wis., July 28, 1846.”

  17. Some scientists predict that by the year 2050 all ice at the Northern Hemisphere will melt in the summers. There have been a few open minded individuals who have been looking forward to this event for years. The following was extracted from a vision given to James J. Strang August 25, 1846:

    “…the house of Israel come when the ice melts at the north, and there shall they meet their brethern in peace, and God shall be in the midst of them.

    Prophet: a person who foretells or predicts what is to come (dictionary.com).

    Prove all things; hold fast that which is good (1Th 5:21.).

  18. Strang wasn;t the first one to say that, though. It’s in the Doctrine and Covenants, I think. In any case, as a Mormon I’ve known at least since I was a teenager in Seminary that the return of the lost tribes was somehow connected to ice melting or some crap like that.

    And the Mormon conception of prophet is somoene who deliver’s God’s message, not necessarily someone who tells the future (unless God’s message happens to be about the future).

  19. Not only was James J. Strang a prophet in the literal sense, he also was “a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet –having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.”

    “And again, the duty of the President of the office of the high priesthood is to preside over the whole church, and to be like unto Moses. Behold here is wisdom–yea, to be a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet –having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.” ( Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) 107:91-92.).

    Joseph Smith Jr. and James J. Strang held the priesthood office of “a seer, a revelator, a translator and a prophet –having all the gifts of God which he bestows upon the head of the church.”

    Both Joseph Smith Jr. and James J. Strang were murdered. So were many other prophets of God.

    I have never read anything about the ice melting at the North in my copy of the D&C. “Prove all things” (1Th 5:21.).

  20. Check out D&C 133:26, then. “And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.”

    Whatever. It’s complete garbage anyway. Neither Smith nor Strang were prophets. The priesthood doesn’t exist as anything more than a manmade social institution. God, if he exists, bestows no such thing.

    Many people have been murdered. That means absolutely nothing. Being murdered isn’t even the same thing as martyrdom. It’s not like the mob gave Joseph Smith a chance to renounce or die; they just shot him. In a gunfight even–he was firing back.

    You prove all things.

  21. Being tired isn’t an excuse for rudeness.

    My religion isn’t “garbage.” So it didn’t work for you? Fine. But a bit more respect for those of faith is in order.

    (And I would hope that you would call me on it when I’m crossing the line too – which I’m sure I have done before)

  22. martyrdom: “death that is imposed because of the person’s adherence of a religious faith or cause.” (dictionary.com).

    It is my understanding that both Joseph Smith Jr. and James J. Strang were murdered because of their adherence to their religious faith. Therefor, they were, along with many others, martyrs.

    All due respect for the religion atheism, and all those who adhere to this old man-made religion. As I understand it, atheism is a belief that there is no god(s), and that everything evolved from nothing. If that were true, than something alive came from something that was not, which seems to be pure fantasy to me. I just don’t understand how someone could go through life without fearing God much-less not even believing in the existence of God. What really disturbs me is knowing that I pay taxes for this man-made religion of atheism to be taught in the public school systems.

    In every copy of the Book of Mormon the following is inserted:

    “…And we declare with words of soberness, that an angel
    of God came down from heaven, and he brought and laid before our eyes,
    that we beheld and saw the plates, and the engravings thereon…”

    Three men, Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer and Martin Harris swore that they seen “an angel of God.” All of these men swore to this to their graves. Not only is this scripturally sound, it would hold up in a court of law in the land in-which they were from. The story of how James J. Strang obtained the plates that were found under an oak tree is even more compelling evidence. What more evidence could you want? Does atheism have such compelling evidence?

    Anyone searches for truth by reading the Bible, reject the same when they reject the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith Jr. as being a prophet of God.

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be
    established.” (Matthew 18:16).

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be
    established.” (2 Corinthians 13:1).

    Unknownly, many who believe that Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet of God and believes that the Book of Mormon is true, reject the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith Jr. when they reject what James J. Strang brought forth because James J. Strang had witnesses. Having witnesses is scripturally sound proof:

    “And in the mouth of three witnesses shall these things be established; and the testimony of three, and this work, in the which shall be shown forth the power of God and also his word, of which the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost bear record-and all this shall stand as a testimony against the world at the last day”. (Ether 4:4).

    “…I will send their words forth unto my children to prove unto them that my words are true. Wherefore, by the words of three God hath said, I will establish my word. Nevertheless, God sendeth more witnesses, and he proveth all his words”. (2 Nephi 11-3).

    “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be
    established.” (Doctrine and Covenants Sec. 6:28).

    The following is how the plates were found under an oak tree:

    “*REVELATION. The Angel of the Lord came unto me, James, on the first day of September, in the year eighteen hundred and fortyfive, and the light Shined about him above the brightness of the sun, and he showed unto me the plates of the sealed record, and he gave into my hands the Urim and Thummin. And out of the light came the voice of the Lord, saying, My servant James, in blessing I will bless thee, and in
    multiplying I will multiply thee, because I have tried thee, and found thee faithful. Behold, my servant James, I am about to bless thee with a great blessing, which shall be to those who love me, an immutable testimony; to those who know me not, a stumbling block; but to those who have known me, and have turned their hearts from me, a rock of offence.
    Go to the place which the Angel of the presence shall show thee, and there shalt thou dig for the record of my people, in whose possession thou dwellest. Take with thee faithful witnesses; for in evil will the unfaithful speak of thee; but the faithful and true shall know that they are liars, and shall not stumble for their words.

    And while I was yet in the spirit, the Angel of the Lord took me away to the hill in the east of Walworth, against White River, in Voree, and there he showed unto me the record buried under an oak tree as large as the body of a large man; it was enclosed in an earthen casement, and buried in the ground as deep as to a man’s waist, and I beheld it as a man can see a light stone in clear water; for I saw it by Urim and Thummin.”

    “TESTIMONY. On the thirteenth day of September, 1845, we, Aaron Smith, Jirah B. Wheelan, James M. Van Nostrand, and Edward Whitcomb, assembled at the call of James J. Strang, who is by us and many others approved as a Prophet and Seer of God. He proceeded to inform us that it had been revealed to him in a vision that an account of an ancient
    people was buried in a hill south of White River bridge, near the east line of Walworth County; and leading us to an oak tree, about one foot in diameter, told us that we would find it enclosed in a case of rude earthen ware under that tree, at the depth of about three feet; requested us to dig it up, and charged us to so examine the ground that we should know we were not imposed upon, and that it had not been buried there since the tree grew. The tree was surrounded by a sward of deeply rooted grass, such as is usually found in the openings; and upon the most critical examination, we could not discover any indication that it had ever been cut through or disturbed. We then dug up the tree, and continued to dig to the depth of about three feet, where we found a case of slightly baked clay, containing three plates of brass.
    The case was found imbedded in indurated clay, so closely fitting it that it broke in taking out; and the earth below the soil was so hard as to be dug with difficulty, even with a pickaxe. Over the case was found a flat stone, about one foot wide each way, and three inches thick, which appeared to have undergone the action of fire, and fell in pieces after a few minutes exposure to the air. The digging extended in the clay about eighteen inches, there being two kinds of earth of different colour and appearance above it. We examined as we dug all the way with the utmost care, and we say, with the utmost confidence, that no part of the earth through which we
    dug exhibited any sign or indication that it had been moved or
    disturbed at any time previous. The roots of the tree struck down on every side very closely, extending below the case, and closely interwoven with roots from other trees. None of them had been broken or cut away. No clay is found in the country like that of which the case is made.

    In fine, we found an alphabetick and pictorial record, carefully cased up, buried deep in the earth, covered with a flat stone, with an oak tree one foot in diameter, growing over it, with every evidence that the senses can give that it has lain there as long as that tree has been growing. Strang took no part in the digging, but kept entirely away, from before the first blow was struck till after the plates were taken out of the case; and the sole inducement to our digging was our faith in his statement as a Prophet of the Lord, that a record would
    thus and there be found.

    AARON SMITH, JIRA B. WHEELAN, J. M. VAN NOSTRAND, EDWARD WHITCOMB.”

    I have yet to find any evidence that Aaron Smith, Jirah B. Wheelan, James M. Van Nostrand, or Edward Whitcomb ever denied their testimonies. How much more evidence could a person who seeks truth want?

  23. Jesus Christ also had witnesses who held to their testimonies until they died:

    “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the
    holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Pet. 1: 16-19.)

    “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a untain to pray. And as he prayed, the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistering. And, behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias: Who appeared in glory, and spake of is decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem. But eter and they that were with him were heavy with sleep: and when they were awake, they saw his glory, and the two men hat stood with him. And it came to pass, as they departed from him, Peter said unto Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias: not knowing what he said.” (Luke 9: 29-33.)

  24. I have read a lot about J J Strang and some history of it. What I found most interesting about him was some of the changes that was revealed to him in vision. One was the truth of the Seventh Day Sabbath and the state of the dead.

    The reason I followed through of this is because my great Aunt Shara was an SDA, but before that her father was a member of the Strang group of Mormons.

    They were Wheelocks that had been members and disfellowshipped from the group.

    I believe Strang was on the right path in truth and it is why he was killed, if that is correct? Satan did not want the truth of the seventh day Sabbath to reach this demonination.

  25. Seriously? You think that God and Satan are concerned enough about the specific day of the “Sabbath” that they’ll kill over it?

  26. Exodus 20:8-10
    8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
    10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:
    in it thou shalt not do any work, …

    Saturday: The seventh day of the week (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language.)

    Which day do you think Jesus Christ observed as the sabbath? Who are followers of Jesus Christ? Who are not?

    “… if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.” (Matthew 19:17.)

    The church of Jesus Christ did meet on other days of the week, but they were commanded to obey the commandments of God.

    “And he commanded them that they should observe the sabbath day, and keep it holy, and also every day they should give thanks to the Lord their God. And he also commanded them that the priests whom he had ordained should labor with their own hands for their support. And there was one day in every week that was set apart that they should gather themselves together to teach the people, and to worship the Lord their God, and also, as often as it was in their power, to assemble themselves together.” (Mosiah 18:23-25.)

    “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7.)

    “…and there let them assemble together on the first day of every week, to strengthen one another, and to receive instruction and blessings from me.” (Revelations of James J. Strang 1:5 .)

    “And that thou mayest more fully keep thyself unspotted from the world, thou shalt go to the house of prayer and offer up thy sacraments upon my holy day; For verily this is a day appointed unto you to rest from your labors, and to pay thy devotions unto the Most High; Nevertheless thy vows shall be offered up in righteousness on all days and at all times; But remember that on this, the Lord’s day, thou shalt offer thine
    oblations and thy sacraments unto the Most High, confessing thy sins unto thy brethren, and before the Lord.” (Doctrine and Covenants 59:9-12.)

  27. Whoa there–Mosiah was pre-Jesus, under the Law of Moses, so they were observing the Jewish Sabbath.

    And anyway, aren’t you being insanely contradictory here? Strang and Acts talk about the first day of the week, not the seventh. And D&C 59 doesn;t help your case, either.

    None of that indicates that God and Satan are concerned enough about the particular day to murder human beings over it.

  28. The sabbath commandment was not part of the law of Moses. The law of Moses was added at a later time, and came to a halt when Jesus Christ died on the cross. The Ten Commandments are still in effect, and are kept by those who follow Jesus Christ.

    The Book of Mormon makes it clear that there is a difference between the Law of Moses and the Ten Commandments, which includes the sabbath commandment:

    Jarom 1: 5
    5 And now, behold, two hundred years had passed away, and the people of Nephi had waxed strong in the land. They observed to keep the law of Moses and the sabbath day holy unto the Lord. And they profaned not; neither did they blaspheme. And the laws of the land were exceedingly strict.

    The law of Moses was added because of transgressions against the Ten Commandments, which included the sabbath commandment.

    Ezekiel 20:24-25
    24 Because they had not executed my judgments, but had
    despised my statutes, and had polluted my sabbaths, and
    their eyes were after their fathers’ idols.
    25 Wherefore I gave them also statutes that were not good,
    and judgments whereby they should not live;

    Galatians 3:19
    19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of
    transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the
    promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand
    of a mediator.

    Jesus Christ, through Joseph Smith Jr. and James J. Strang, commanded his followers to obey his commandments, which included the sabbath commandment. Anyone who has a basic understanding of the English language, and has read what was brought fourth through these men by miraculous means, understands this. Just because the church was told to meet on another day besides the seventh day, does not mean that the sabbath commandment was abolished. It was to last forever:

    Exodus 31:17
    17 It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for
    ever: for in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on
    the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.

    Many people who are connected to the man made religions (including atheism) of this world, teach that the Ten Commandments were the same as the law of Moses, and that at the time of Jesus Christ’s death they were ended. This is a false doctrine, which has no scriptural support, but should demonstrate the company they keep.

  29. “…We then dug up the tree, and continued to dig to the depth of about three feet, where we found a case of slightly baked clay, containing three plates of brass…”

    To view a facsimile of the plates plates of brass, see the following web address: http://www.strangite.org/Plates.htm

    Why hasn’t the media picked up on this story any more than it has?

    More on James J. Strang:

    James J. Strang was baptized by Joseph Smith Jr., and ordained an Elder by Joseph’s older brother, Hyrum:

    1. And now it appears that this letter was written on this
    wise: In February, in the year eighteen hundred and
    forty-four, James J. Strang, in company with Aaron Smith and
    under his teaching, visited Nauvoo, the city of the saints,
    and there was more fully instructed by Joseph Smith, Hyrum
    Smith, and Sidney Rigdon in the gospel.
    2. On the twenty-fifth day of February, in that year, he
    was baptized by Joseph Smith, who gave him the gift of the
    Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands, and blessed him with
    many and great blessings, and said, “I seal upon thy head,
    against God’s own good time, the keys of the Melchizedec
    Priesthood,” and afterwards, but in the same ordinance,
    “Thou shalt hold the keys of the Melchizedec Priesthood,
    shalt walk with Enoch, Moses, and Elijah, and shalt talk
    with God face to face.”
    3. And on the third day of March, in the same year, he was
    ordained an Elder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
    Day Saints, by the laying on of hands of Hyrum Smith,
    according to the testimony of the Spirit of prophecy and the
    word of the Holy Ghost, and he said, “I perceive, by the
    Spirit which is within me, that thou shalt carry the gospel
    with the Spirit like flaming fire to many nations, and by
    thee shall God save the pure of his people.”

    James J. Strang was ordained by an angel the day Joseph Smith Jr. and his older brother Hyrum were murdered:

    1. On the twenty-seventh day of June, 1844, at five and a half o’clock, in the afternoon, James J. Strang was in the Spirit, and the Angel of God came unto him and saluted him, saying:
    2. Fear God and be strengthened and obey him, for great is the work which he hath required at thy hand. Go on in hope and strength, and falter not, and he will sustain thee, and thou shalt triumph, for the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of Joseph, will he fulfill.
    3. And the Angel of the Lord stretched forth his hand unto him and touched his head, and put oil upon him and said, Grace is poured upon thy lips, and God blesseth thee with the greatness of the Everlasting Priesthood. He putteth might, and glory, and majesty upon thee, and in meekness, and truth, and righteousness will he prosper thee.
    4. Thou shalt save his people from their enemies when there is no arm to deliver, and shall bring salvation when destruction walketh in the house of thy God. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity; therefore thy God hath anointed thee with oil and set thee above all thy fellows.
    5. Thy words shall be like sharp arrows in the hearts of the wicked. Thou shalt rebuke those who pervert the word of thy God. Thou shalt preach righteousness and the sublime mysteries in the ears of many people, and shall bring the gospel to many who have not known it, and to the nations afar off.
    6. Thou shalt drive backward and put to shame those that do evil, and the workers of iniquity shall fall. They shall be cast down and shall not be able to rise. With purity will the Lord thy God arm thee, and purity and truth shalt thou teach.
    7. Keep the lay of the Lord thy God in thy heart, and none of thy steps shall slide. With thee is he fountain of truth. In thy light shall the people of thy God see, for thou shalt speak his word unto them, and from thy lips shall thy receive it.
    8. The blessing of their God shalt thou put upon them, and his curse upon evil doers, if, after being oft rebuked, they repent not, and before my people shalt thou go to lead them into my ways, for unto thee has the Lord thy God given salvation,
    9. In righteousness shalt thou rule. Thou shalt redeem the poor and the needy from suffering and violence, and to thee God giveth judgment for them. Thou shalt deliver the prey from the spoiler, for God, thy God, hat put them in thy hand.
    10. And in weakness will he make thee strong. Thou shalt rule among his people. Thou shalt break in pieces the rod of the oppressor and the yoke of the unjust ruler. They shall flee away, but the way of peace shall they not find.
    11. While the day of the wicked abideth, shalt thou prepare a refuge for the oppressed, and for the poor and needy. Unto thee shall they come, and their brethren who are scattered shall come with them, and the destruction of the ungodly shall quickly follow, for it already worketh. Go thy way and be strong.

  30. 3 Ne. 11: 29

    29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

    More on James J. Strang:

    Murderous Assault.

    On Monday last the U.S. steamer Michigan entered this harbour at about 1 o’clock, P.M., and was visited by the inhabitants promiscuously during the afternoon. At about 7 o’clock Capt. McBlair sent a messenger (San Barnard, the
    Pilot) to Mr. Strang, requesting him to visit him on board. Mr. Strang immediately accompanied the messenger, and just as they were stepping on the bridge leading to the pier in front of F. Johnson & Co.’s store, two assassins approached
    in the rear, unobserved by either of them, and fired upon Mr. Strang with pistols. The first shot took effect upon the left side of the head, entering a little back of the top of the ear, and rebounding, passed out near the top of the head.
    This shot, fired from a horse pistol. Brought him down, and he fell on the left side, so that he saw the assassins as they fired the second and third shots from a revolver, both taking effect upon his person, one just below the temple, on the right side of the face, and lodged in the cheek bone; the other on the
    left side of the spline, near the tenth rib, followed the rib about two inches and a half and lodged. Mr. Strang recognized in the persons of the assassins Thomas Bedford
    and Alexander Wentworth. Wentworth had a revolver, and Bedford a horse pistol, with which he struck him over the head and face, while lying on the ground. The assassins immediately fled on board the U. S. steamer, with pistols in
    hand, claiming her protection. The assault was committed in view of several of the officers and crew from the deck of the steamer, also Dr. H. D. McCulloch, Franklin Johnson, and others, and no effort made to stop it. Mr. Strang was taken up by a few friends, and some of the officers of the boat, and carried to the house of Messrs. Prindles, where the surgeon of the steamer made an examination of his wounds, and declared recovery hopeless.
    Process was taken out for the apprehension of the assassins, and the Sheriff of the county called on Capt. McBlair for their delivery, the Capt. Refused to give them up, saying that he would take them to Mackinac, and deliver them into the hands of the civil authorities of the State there.
    The steamer left the next day, carrying off all the persons supposed to be complicated in the affair, thus affording military protection to murders, and overthrowing the sovereignty of civil law. Hopes are entertained of Mr. Strang’s recovery.

    The assassins were turned over to civil authorities in Mackinac, who treated them like heroes, and quickly released them.

    James J. Strang died a couple of weeks later at the home of his parents, and many of his followers were forcibly removed from their properties.

    Why hasn’t the media picked up this any more than it has? It is like history has been “swept under the rug.” Most “Mormons” haven’t even heard of James J. Strang, and those few who have pass on anti-Mormon rhetoric, which is the official distorted historical view of the Brighamite church–a church that has been set up to get gain, and now has enormous political influence.

  31. Hi Rick:

    I am profoundly hearing impaired and I met a lady in our town that is also the same. She is a Mormon and we both have become friends due to our hearing impairment and her desire to learn more about vegetarian diet.

    I told her about James J. Strang and she said she never had heard anything about this. She was quite surprised and I have directed her to your website and the other one of the church that I am aware of.

    I find it interesting that James Strang came into the Mormon church in 1844. This was the same time that the Millerite Movement came to light and a few years later in 1844 also after the great disappointment broke apart and discovered th Seventh day Sabbath as well.

    I believe that God was working with many people to reveal the precious truth of the seventh day Sabbath and bringing to light that His Moral Law has not changed in any point and that Satan through man removed this precious truth from the world.

    Further if one were to study the history of the church from the Apostle times to current God had always had those that keep the true seventh day Sabbath.

    I find it interesting that in the writings of Sister White of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that she speaks not just of the church, but of true Sabbath-keepers that will reveal this truth and be guided by God in the last days.

  32. Hello Liane,

    Your hearing seems just fine to me.

    It is intersting that you have writen about the sabbath commandment. I want to tell you a story, but first I must say that I am not promoting any church. If I were to die at this time, I am sure that my parents would see to it that I received a proper catholic funeral. I also want to inform you that at this writing there are at least two churches that have decended from James J. Strang. One of them has a website at
    Strangite.org and claims to be “The Original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.” The other, called “THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS (STRANGITES), has its headquarters in Artesia, New Mexico (P.O. Box 522 Artesia, New Mexico). I have heard that there are others located outside the USA, but have no contact infomation on them. I have reason to believe that there is no authorized preisthood in any of them, but that is another subject.

    Now to the story:

    I understood and tried to obey the sabbath commandment in about the year 1980 (Or at least tried to obey this commandment as I understood it. Although I would have to admit that I should have tried harder at times.).

    In my search for Truth, I read the Book of Mormon, but rejected it thinking that no prophet of God would have disreguarded the sabbath commandment.

    One sabbath day back in the summer of 1989 while walking for exersize, I came across a very nice Mormon (Brighamite) lady that later that year wrote me a letter with the following quotation from the Book of Mormon:

    “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”

    At that time I didn’t believe the Book of Mormon to be true, but I figured that I had nothing to loose. So I prayed and asked God in the name of Jesus Christ with a very sincere heart if these things were true. After I prayed I took the Book of Mormon and laid down on my bed and begun to read the book with it setting upright on my chest. I must of dosed off for I had a very vivid vision like dream. In my dream I dreamt that I was walking along a split-rail fence in the fall of the year with someone who I perceived to had been Joseph Smith Jr. as we were walking he was teaching me things. All that I remember of what he taught me was that the said that the Book of Mormon was true, and that he told me that he had something else to teach me. At that instant I woke up and took that book, which was still in up-right position on my chest, and threw it will all my might against the wall and cursed God and it and for giving me such a stupid dream. I have never had a dream anything like it in the past, nor have I ever had one like it since. It is still etched in my mind like it happened yesterday. That is the main reason why I believe the Book of Mormon to be true.

    Shortly after I had this vision like dream I went to my local library where I checked out a book that had the listings of the different churches in America. In that book there was a short expert about James J. Strang, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and how they were a seventh-day Sabbath keeping church. After that, I drove down to the RLDS archives in Independence, Mo. (Located just across the river from where I live.), and after I obtained some books on the subject, I sat down and read the following extraction from the 1856 edition of the Book of the Law of the Lord:

    Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work; thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy manservant, nor thy womanservant, nor thy cattle, nor the stranger that is within thy gates: for in six ages the Lord thy God made the heavens and the earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested the seventh age: wherefore the Lord thy God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it:1 thou shalt keep it holy unto him, that thou forget not the Law, nor be found keeping the company of the vile, nor be despised by the righteous.

    1. The day of rest originated in the rest of God, when he ceased the work of creation, at the making of man, to have dominion over the earth.

    2. It was had in remembrance as an institution of God, before promulgated by his voice in Sinai; (Gen. ii, 2, 3. Ex. xvi, 23;) and there is no ground for believing that the sanctifying of the Sabbath, was not a law among the Patriarchs and the Antediluvians, because it is not mentioned in the scriptures; for from the time of Moses until that of Solomon, when it was unquestionably in force, it is nowhere mentioned.

    3. Throughout Christendom, with some slight exceptions, the first day, and not the seventh, is kept as a Sabbath. For this they have no warrant in the scriptures, and pretend to none. (Buck’s Th.Dic. “Sabbath.”) The reason given for the change, is, that Christ raised from the dead the first day, and the attempt is to justify it by tradition, and the practice of the Church.

    4. But, evidently, the Church have no power to change or abrogate a commandment of God, who required us to keep the seventh day, not any other day in the seven.

    5. The early Christians did undoubtedly frequently meet on the first day for religious worship, precisely as the Saints do nowadays, in exclusively Christian communities; not because they regarded it as the Sabbath of God, but because on that day, being the regular day of heathen festivals, men would come together to hear them.

    6. Keeping the first day as a Sabbath, instead of the seventh, is one of the innovations forced upon Christianity by the Emperour Constantine, to make the change of national religion less difficult.

    7. The very language of this Commandment, seems to presage the propensity of man to change the Sabbath; remember the Sabbath day; and God, foreseeing what wicked men would do, has placed on his chosen a special injunction that they keep that day in all their generations for a perpetual covenant; (Ex. xxxi, 1317;) and awful penalties are denounced against those who abolish it.

    8. The Sabbath is appointed for men in every station in life. The crime of exacting labour of children and servants on the Sabbath day, is a great offence unto God. But it is the Sabbath of the beast as well as of men, and to work beasts for our pleasure or profit, is an offence unto God.

    1 See Ten Commandments, p. 17. Gen. ii, 2, 3.

    (Extracted from the 1856 edition of the Book of the Law of the Lord p. 22-23.)

  33. I was later to find out that others have had vision like dreams, where Joseph Smith Jr. appeared to them. The following is an extraction from the writings of George Miller. At the time of Joseph Smith’s death (27 June 1844.) George Miller was the bishop of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints:

    “…About this time we saw notices in the newspapers that there was a civil war in Nauvoo. And on the morning of the 28th of June, 1844, I had a dream or vision in an upper room in the house of a Mr. Sander’s, where I then lodged with brother Thomas Edwards. It took place after sunrise.

    I was laying on my bed, and suddenly Joseph Smith appeared to me, saying, God bless you, brother Miller. The mob broke in upon us in Carthage jail and killed brother Hyrum and myself. I was delivered up by the brethern as a lamb for the slaughter. You out not to have left me. If you had stayed with me I should not have been given up. I answered, but you sent me. I know I did, but you ought not to have gone; and approaching me, said, God bless you forever and ever, making as though he was about to embrace me, and in the act of extending my arms to return the embrace, the vision fled, and I found myself standing on the floor in the middle of the room. Brother Edwards, roused me from his slumbers, called to me, what is the matter brother Miller? Who are you talking to? I requested him to rise and dress himself, and for us to take our morning walk, as was our custom.

    Whilst on my walk I related to brother Edwards my vision; told him my mission was filled, for my firm belief was that Joseph was dead. Brother Edwards told me that I had preached too much, and my mind was somewhat deranged, and I must not think of going home until our present appointments were filled, the last as week hence. And the rumors of trouble at Nauvoo he did not believe a word in. I told him if I stayed, he would have to do the preaching.

    On the day that we filled our last appointment. We started for home. On passing a tavern, the landlord walked on his porch, and addressing us, said, are you the gentlemen that preached at the schoolhouse today? We said yes. He said, walk in, gentlemen, and refresh yourselves, handing us some ice water, and at the same time handing us a newspaper, said, you will find an article that may be of interest to you. We read an extract from the Warsaw Signal, giving an account of Joseph and Hyrum Smith’s death. After reading we started on. Brother Edwards being an excitable man, was wholly unmanned, and insisted on an immediate separation, as we traveled together might endanger our lives, and broke off from me as one distracted, and I did not see any more of him until I saw him in Nauvoo, four weeks afterwards.”

    To read more of the writings of George Miller, see the following website: http://www.geocities.com/zapzapho/gmi.html

    “And again, verily I say unto you, my servant George Miller is without guile; he may be trusted because of the integrity of his heart; and for the love which he has to my testimony I, the Lord, love him.” (Doctrine & Covenants Section 124:20.)

  34. The Doctrine and Covenants clearly defines the criteria that Joseph Smith’s successor had to have:

    Joseph Smith would be followed by another prophet appointed by Joseph Smith himself, D&C 35:17-18, 90:3-4.

    Joseph Smith’s successor had to be chosen by revelation, D&C
    102:9.

    The revelation could only come from Joseph Smith himself,

    D&C 28:2,7, 43:3.

    This requirement, that the successor would be appointed by
    Joseph Smith himself, was made so that the church would not
    be deceived by a false leader, D&C 43:4-6.

    The successor had to be ordained in the manner previously
    told by God, D&C 43:7.

    God had previously told that Joseph Smith was ordained by
    angels, D&C 27:7-8,12.

    Of all those who have claimed to be the successor to the prophetic office, only James Strang claimed to be both appointed by Joseph Smith and ordained by angels. None of the others who wanted leadership of the church even claimed to fulfill the minimum requirements.

    The Brighamites did not cut people off from the church after a
    legal trial, as required by the law of God. Instead they simply
    published notices in the Times and Seasons. But the accused is supposed to be summoned and given the right to speak in his own defense:

    D&C 102:18
    18. In all cases the accuser and the accused shall have a
    privilege of speaking for themselves before the council,
    after the evidences are heard and the councilors who are
    appointed to speak on the case have finished their remarks.
    Times and Seasons, Volume 5, Page 631
    September 2, 1844

    TO THE SAINTS.
    Whereas Elders James J. Strang and Aaron Smith have
    been circulating a “revelation,” (falsely called) purporting
    to have been received by Joseph Smith on the 18th of June,
    1844: and through the influence of which they have attempted and are attempting to establish a stake, called Voree, in Wisconsin Territory, thereby leading the saints astray: therefore, the said James J. Strang and Aaron Smith are cut off from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
    this 26th day of August, 1844. By order of the Council of the Twelve.
    W. RICHARDS, Clerk.

    It is an absurdity for any member of the church to be cut off without a regular trial in which the accused has the right to appear in his own defense.

    Without being given the privilege of presenting a defense, the
    decision of any Council or Court whatever against an accused person is null and void. What the Apostles did in pretending to “cut off”James Strang from the church was utter usurpation of authority and total disregard for proper procedure.

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