Page images
PDF
EPUB

SUMMARY BY STATES OF ALL JEWS.

[blocks in formation]

Communicants.

3,168

[blocks in formation]

Seating

Capacity. 3,050 1,450 5,375 1,400 1,350

975

318 3,100 8,820 4,700 1,160

260 1,025 3,450 5,100 4,215 4,050 1,124 1,750 4,133

Value of
Church
Property.
$103,500

44,000
396,000
75,500
87,000
42,000

13,500 159,000 586,500 166,500 58,000 12,000 17,500 275,000 266,500 245,500 154,000 70,000 64,000

7 13 12 9

Alabama. Arkansas California Colorado.. Connecticut District of Columbia Florida Georgia Illinois. Indiana Iowa. Kansas Kentucky Louisiana . Maryland Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota. Mississippi Missouri Montana. Nebraska New Jersey. New Mexico. New York... North Carolina North Dakota Ohio Oregon Pennsylvania Rhode Island South Carolina Tennessee Texas Utah Vermont. Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin.

IO 5

241,800

744 6,179 1,062 1,621

976

147 2,086 10,171 3,617

537 486

955 3,374 3,575 2,501 3,693 1,424 1,370 4,450

140 1,062 4,276

50 45,807

386

30 8,889 1,165 8,029

910

[blocks in formation]

17 I 6 24

I 179

4

I 34

3 35 5 3 9 II I

2

9,810 1,200 10,842

[ocr errors]

620

850 4,400 2,380

750

703,225

96,000 668,750 45,000 78,000 114,500 182,000 40,000

I

II

I

9

2,550

87,500

[blocks in formation]

800 1,760 1,994 100

44 1,187

150 350 1,231

Total .

[blocks in formation]

CHAPTER XXVI.

THE LATTER-DAY SAINTS.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is of American origin. It was founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, its first Prophet. He was born in Sharon, Vt., in 1805, removing to Palmyra, N. Y., ten years later. Between the ages of fourteen and fifteen he began earnestly to inquire how he could with certainty save his soul, and how he might ascertain which one of the many denominations was the true Church of Christ. While thus seeking he had a vision of a great light, and two "glorious personages” appeared and informed him that his sins were forgiven, and instructed him in the doctrine of the one true religion, which was not, he was told, represented by any of the existing churches. Another vision was granted him in 1823, when an "angel of the Lord" appeared and told him that the preparatory work for the second coming of Christ was soon to begin, and that he was to be chosen to bring about some of the purposes of the coming dispensation. The vision was frequently renewed. By the directions received in one of them he was enabled to obtain the sacred records, which have since been known as the “ Book of Mormon.” These records were received, it is stated, in 1827

They were engraved on plates which had the appearance of gold,” and these plates were "filled on both sides" with words in reformed Egyptian characters. Having become the subject of persecution on account of the visions, he fled to Pennsylvania, and translated, “by the gift and power of God,” the records which had been miraculously delivered to him. The Book of Mormon claims to give a history of ancient America, from a settlement by a colony who came from the Tower of Babel, at the confusion of tongues.

An angel appeared in 1829, it is stated, to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and ordained them as priests of the order of Aaron and directed them to baptize each other. In 1830 a church was organized at Fayette, Seneca County, N. Y. The new gospel was preached, miracles were announced as an attestation of the new faith, and missionaries were sent out, among whom Brigham Young, Sidney Rigdon, and the Pratt brothers—Parley P. and Orson-were prominent. Churches were established in several States. In 1831 the headquarters of the denomination were removed west to Kirtland, O., and a colony was formed in Jackson County, Mo. After having been driven out of Missouri, a settlement was made at Nauvoo, Ill., where a large temple was erected and where the headquarters of the church were fixed. In 1843 Joseph Smith announced a revelation in favor of the celestial order of marriage including polygamy. In disturbances which subsequently arose he was shot and killed by a mob, June 27, 1844, at Carthage, Ill., and Brigham Young became his successor as Prophet. In 1846 and 1847 there was a general migration from Illinois to Salt Lake, the present headquarters of the church

There are two divisions—the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

1.—THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY

SAINTS.

Those who migrated to Salt Lake devised a system for active propagation of the doctrines of the Book of Mormon and subsequent revelations, and their numbers increased steadily. The "celestial law of marriage” was openly practiced after 1852, when it was promulgated. After the death of Brigham Young, August, 1877, John Taylor succeeded as president of the church. In 1890 Wilford Woodruff, the successor of John Taylor as “seer, revelator, and first president,” announced a revelation prohibiting the contracting of further polygamous marriages.

The chief points of the doctrinal belief of the Latter-Day Saints, as stated by President Wilford Woodruff, are in substance: God exists as a Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; men are to be punished for actual sins, and not for the transgression of Adam; salvation is for all men, through the atonement of Christ, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel; these ordinances are faith, repentance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost; men are called of God to the ministry by prophecy and the laying on of hands by those in authority; there is the gift of tongues, prophecy, revelation, visions, healing, and interpretation of tongues; the Bible is the Word of God, so far as it is translated correctly, also the Book of Mormon; God has revealed much and has much yet to reveal; there is to be a literal gathering of Israel and the restoration of the ten tribes; Zion is to be built on this continent; Christ will reign personally upon the earth, which is to be renewed.

The organization of the church includes features of both the Jewish and Christian systems. There are two orders of the priesthood, the Melchizedek or higher, and the Aaronic or lesser. The first embraces apostles, patriarchs, high-priests, seventies, and elders, and has charge over all the spiritual interests of the church, preaching, baptizing, laying on of hands for confirmation and ordination, healing, blessing, administering the Lord's Supper, and officiating in all the ordinances. The Aaronic priesthood, including bishops, priests, teachers, and deacons, administers, under the direction of the Melchizedek priesthood, the outward ordinances and temporal affairs. In organization for church government the place of the ordinary parish is taken by the ward. Each ward has its meeting-house and bishop, and two counselors. A number of wards constitute a stake of Zion. At the head of each stake or district is a president and two counselors, who are high-priests, and a council of twelve high-priests who sit as a court in church matters. There is a general conference which meets in April and October of each year for the management of the general affairs of the church. The missionaries and preachers are organized into seventies. Each seventy has seven presidents, and is under the direction of the Twelve Apostles. The highest officers are those of the First Presidency, which has supreme authority, and are elected by the whole church.

The chief strength of the church is in Utah, but it also has organizations in twenty-two States and Territories. There are in all 425 organizations, 266 church edifices, valued at $825,506, and 144,352 communicants. The average seating capacity of the edifices is 346, and their average value $3103; 178 halls, etc., with a seating capacity of 28,310, are occupied.

« PreviousContinue »