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The Godbeite Movement - Essay Example

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The most victorious of the recusant sects was established by Joseph Smith, who was the prophet's son, and who, with his brothers Alexander H. and David Hyrum, remained a Nauvoo after the emigration. After a few years, Joseph was requested to become the head of the oddments of the Strangites and Cutlerites who had organized a new church. At first Joseph Smith turned down the request, but then in 1860, looking at the considerable increase in the number of members due to the breaking up of other parties, he accented the call as prophet and initiated to preach the faith of his father. He avowed it in its original purity and denied the claims of Brigham and the dogma of polygamy. This division spread rapidly throughout Illinois, Missouri, and Iowa, the apostates being termed Josephites by the followers of Brigham, but styling themselves to be the Reorganized Church of Latter-day Saints. It was checked in Uthah, by fear of harassment, and the movement was not marked until mid 1863. It was the same year when two Josephite missionaries, named E. C. Briggs and Alexander McCord, reached the Salt Lake City after crossing the plains. As the messengers of the gospel, and calling on Brigham, they told him the object of their delegation, and saught consent to preach in the tabernacle. They were definitely not permitted, nor were the allowed to use any other public building as well. As a result of this the missionaries visited from house to house, offered prayers for the inmates, and insisted them to join the true faith. They proved successful and then at first singly, then by dozens and scores, people converted.

The Expulsion of Godbe and Harrison
While the controversy between the prophet's sons and the prophet's nephew was at its height, an article appeared in the Utah Magazine, which administered by W. S. Godbe and E. L. T. Harrison themselves, that stated; "If we know the true feeling of our brethren, it is that they never intend Joseph Smith's nor any other man's son to preside over them simply because of their sonship. The principle of heirship has cursed the world for ages, and with our brethren we expect to fight it till, with every other relic of tyranny, it is trodden under foot." The magazine also elucidated the part of adjudication between the disputants, and otherwise gave throbbing offence to the church dignitaries. Another article that was published urged the development of the mineral resources of Utah, a measure which found no favor with Brigham, and stated 'for thus would the flood-gates be opened to the gentiles, while the saints might be tempted to worship at the shrine of Mammon, "I want to make a wall so thick and so high around the territory," he once exclaimed in the tabernacle, "that it would be impossible for the gentiles to get over or through it."' Eventually, the elders were beckoned before the school of prophets, the examining source for the offenders before being tried by the high council, and although the most somber accusation against them was the publication of the article on mineral developments, resultantly, both Godbe and Harrison were debarred from the church.
However, none of them tried justify the charges brought against them. Their fortification was confined simply to the question of their purported apostasy, and to the authority of the priesthood. When their instance was brought to the high council, the recusants, instead of ...Show more


Members of the Godbeite Church (which is also known as The Church of Zion), under the leadership of William S. Godbe became to be known as Godbeites in 1870. The aim of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, was to embrace all belief systems. In 1880's this church died out…
Author : eugenebahringer
The Godbeite Movement
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