Prove all things; hold fast that which
is good.” (1 Thess. 5:21)
The FOUNDATION of Mormon beliefs is the ROCK OF REVELATION. "10... for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev. 19) The Bible has been a primary source of God's relationship with His people, laws of God, and beliefs. PILLARS of Mormon beliefs are God's holy PROPHETS. There has never been a people that God recognized as His own without communicating with them. The Bible offers us 4,000 years of the association of God with His people. Yet, outside of this one church none have ever had a prophet to assure the people they are walking on the path of light and life.
The CHURCH OF CHRIST exists only when there is a prophet of God on earth to stand at the head. When the church was first organized by Joseph Smith on April 6, 1830--according to the law of the land: freedom of religion--it was organized by a prophet of God who was called of God and ordained to that office under the hands of angels. The church was soon organized with the same officers of the Melchisedec Priesthood as was the Church of Christ throughout time; including under Jesus. "11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists [high priests]; and some, pastors [elders] and teachers; [Why?] 12 FOR the perfecting of the saints, FOR the work of the ministry, FOR the edifying of the body of Christ: [how long was this to be the organization of the Church of Christ?]13 TILL we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ." (Eph. 4)
The KINGDOM OF GOD remains on the earth as long as there is an officer of the Melchisedec Priesthood available to administer all the saving ordinances of the gospel. When Jesus began His ministry after His ordination by the Father, "11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him...17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [among you]." (Matt. 4) God is King over the entire universe. "15 Which in his [Jesus] times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; 16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen." (1 Tim. 6) Jesus is King over this creation. "16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS , AND LORD OF LORDS." (Rev. 19)
The PRIMARY MORMON BELIEF is in the true and living God of Israel (as identified in the Bible). "15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: THIS IS MY NAME for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." (Ex. 3) No man can have gospel faith leading to salvation without a correct understanding of the attributes, character, and perfections of God; and a proper understanding of Jesus. "3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, AND Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17) Jesus is to return soon " "8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." (2 Thess. 1) Information on the TRUE GOD AND JESUS is available on various pages; including Part One of the Doctrine and Covenants and in the Book of the Law.
The SECOND PRIMARY BELIEF is in a priesthood authorized by God. The Kingdom of God was always been lead by persons called of God by the spirit of revelation/prophecy and ordained by one holding as high an office. Not even Jesus could violate this law. "4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God , as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb. 5) It was not until after His baptism and ordination at the hands of God that Jesus began His ministry. "11 Then the devil leaveth him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him...17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand [among you]." (Matt. 4) This law on divine authority is--like God--without change. "22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection." (Acts 1) The Apostle Paul told his son: "14 Neglect not the gift [of the priesthood] that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." (1 Tim. 4)
A THIRD PRIMARY BELIEF is to "...seek ye first the THE KINGDOM OF GOD, AND his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Jesus, Matt. 6:33) There can be no salvation outside the Kingdom of God. EVERY KINGDOM must contain five basic principles: (1) a KING, (2) LAWS, (3) OFFICERS, (4) provision for adopting aliens, and (5) legal MEMBERS/citizens. Jesus is the King over the Kingdom of God in this creation. "1 In the beginning [of this creation] was the Word [Jesus], and the Word was with God [the Father], and the Word was God [of this creation]. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made." (John 1) "5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was." (Jesus, John 17) After Jesus kept a perfect law, Satan had no power over Him and the Father raised Him from the dead with an immortal physical body. Then Jesus was given all power in this creation. "18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matt. 28) JESUS IS KING OVER THIS CREATION.
No government/kingdom can exist without LAWS and OFFICERS to enforce those laws. Take away either and anarchy results. The LAWS OF GOD have existed and been known by saints of God since Adam. Cain violated one of those laws and was severely punished. "Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully ALL His commandments which I command you today, that the LORD your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the LORD your God." Disobedience is severely judged. "But it shall come to pass, if you do not obey the voice of the LORD your God, to observe carefully ALL His commandments and His statutes which I command you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you." (Deut. 28) "31 Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD." (Lev. 22)
Obedience is the first sign of love. Jesus was asked: "36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?" Jesus answered: "37 Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matt. 22) This second most important commandment is found only in the Book of the Law of the Lord translated by James J. Strang.
"10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love." (Jesus, John 15) The law of God was contained in the Book of the Law of the Lord. It was given to Adam and lost some time before Moses; and was restored through him on tables of stone written by the finger of God. Moses made copies of the Book of the Law for the priests to teach the people. Shortly before the Babylonian Captivity--in 588 BC--the Ark of the Covenant was hid on a mountain by the prophet Jeremy and all copies of the Book of the Law were destroyed because it was felt to sacred to fall into the hands of the gentiles.
God had already prepared for this event. In 600 BC, God called a prophet in Jerusalem to travel to a far distant Promised Land--Zion. Before leaving, God required his son to return to Jerusalem and obtain the plates containing sacred writings. Among those was the Book of the Law. About 400 AD the remnant of this people were destroyed by their enemies. The last man was a prophet of God who buried the plates to be recovered in the last days. Joseph Smith--under the direction of an angel of God--recovered those records. Joseph was commanded to translate the record of part of the ancient inhabitants of this continent--Native Americans. The book was entitled the BOOK OF MORMON. This is where the latter day saints enemies drew the name Mormons. The former day saints in the days of the apostles were called Christians in derision of their faith. Christians welcome this name today, just as the latter day saints welcome the term Mormons.
As noted in the prophecy of Ezekiel at the head of this page, there were to be two prophets and two works revealed in the last days. Joseph Smith fulfilled one of these: the Book of Mormon because he was of the seed Joseph; but, was not permitted to translate the Book of the Law because that was to be the work of a prophet of the tribe of Judah: James J. Strang. True latter day saints accept the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Book of the Law as scripture because all were in part or whole the works of God. "16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." (2 Tim. 3) The Original Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of the Law of the Lord are contained in this web site. The Book of Mormon is lengthy and already available on other sites.
Every OFFICER in the Kingdom of God must be called of God and ordained by one holding that office. Not even Jesus could violate this law. "4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec." (Heb. 4) Aaron was called by a revelation given to Moses; and ordained by Moses who held the superior Prophetic Office like Jesus and many others.
This law on representing the Kingdom of God continued among the Apostles and as long as the Kingdom of God remained. "22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection." (Acts 1) The Apostle Paul told his son: "14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery." (1 Tim. 4)
All mankind is foreign to the Kingdom of God. God gave specific laws which have to be met to be a MEMBER of the Kingdom of God. Even Jesus was foreign to the Kingdom of God and had to fulfill the law of God. Mormons believe in the GOSPEL OF CHRIST as it has been administered by men of God. It is the law of God which must be followed to enter the Kingdom of God. Since God is without change, His laws are without change. "16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." (Rom. 1) The gospel of Christ was given both in word (faith, repentance, baptism of water and the Spirit), power (authority from God), and much assurance (faith). "5 For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake." (1 Thess. 1)
"Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God." (Jesus, John 3:5) Born of water (baptism of water) provides forgiveness of sins for the truly penitent. Jesus was free of sin but still had to fulfill the law. Born of the Spirit adopts one into the Kingdom God. Since Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, their seed has been the elect of God; and will be so again. Gentiles are adopted both as the seed of Abraham and as members of the Kingdom of God through proper baptism by one holding authority from God. "27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise [made with Abraham]." (Gal. 3)
On the day of Pentecost when the gospel was taken to the gentiles, Peter was asked: "37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?" Peter replied: "38... REPENT, and BE BAPTIZED every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and YE SHALL RECEIVE the gift of the HOLY GHOST. 39 For THE PROMISE is unto you, and to your children, and TO ALL that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call." (Acts 2)
According to the Bible there was to be a period of 1,260 years when the Kingdom of God was taken from the earth and not one person remained. "6 And the woman [Church of Christ] fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days [1,260 years]." (Rev. 12; see Rev. 13:5, 7) This period began in 570 AD when a bishop claimed to be God on earth; and stand at the head of the entire church without any authority from God. "3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Jesus] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God." (2 Thess. 2) "12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it." (Amos 8)
After the 1,260 years, "I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to EVERY nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people." (Rev. 146) If there had been anyone remaining in the Kingdom of God, this would not be necessary. A complete restoration of the priesthood and gospel of God was required. Enter Joseph Smith. When he was only 15 years old, there was a great excitement over religion. Joseph earnestly sought to determine which one was right; because when there are two difference positions both can be wrong; but, only one can be right. After reading the Epistle of James to "ask of God," Joseph went into the woods and prayed with all his heart. After first being overcome by a powerful being that rendered him speechless and unable to move, he used all his strength to call upon God. Then a light appeared brighter than the sun; and he was delivered from this enemy. In the light stood two personages. He wrote, "One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other--This is my Beloved Son, Hear Him!" He was told that all the sectarian churches were corrupt and not to join any of them.
Three years later an angel appeared to him in his bedroom, said his name was Moroni, and that there were records of the ancient inhabitants of this land. Joseph had to wait another four years for the time to recover these records. Joseph was given power from God to translate part of one of those records: the Book of Mormon. Another book--the Book of the Law of the Lord--was among the plates; but Joseph was not permitted to translate it. "14. And now, when I Nephi, had heard the words of the Lord which he spake unto me in the wilderness, saying that Inasmuch as they seed shall keep my commandments, they shall prosper in the land of promise. 15. Yea, and I also thought that they could not keep the commandments of the Lord according to the law of Moses, save they should have the law. 16. And I also knew that the law was engraven upon the plates of brass." (1 Nephi 4) This Book of Mormon was a record of Native Americans who were led to this continent by God. It was a second testimony affirming that Jesus was the Christ, contained laws of God, and the fullness of the gospel.
It was known by God that Joseph would one day be taken, so Joseph was given four revelations to this effect. One reads: "4. But verily, verily, I say unto you, that none else shall be appointed unto this gift [as Prophet] except it be through him [Joseph Smith]; for if it be taken from him he shall not have power except to appoint another in his stead. 5. And this shall be a law unto you that ye receive not the teachings of any that shall come before you as revelations or commandments. 6. And this I give unto you that you may not be deceived, that you may know they are not of me. 7. For verily I say unto you, that he that is ordained of me shall come in at the gate and be ordained as I have told you before, to teach those revelations which you have received and shall receive through him whom I have appointed." (Doctrine and Covenants, Section 43)
On June 18, 1844, Joseph Smith received a revelation from God telling him to write a Letter of Appointment to James J. Strang fulfilling the law to appoint another in his stead. He composed the letter on June 18, and mailed it the next day. On June 27th, with the help of the Governor of Illinois, a band of men shot and killed Joseph. The same hour of his death, James J. Strang--some 400 miles away in Burlington, Wisconsin--claimed to have been ordained in Joseph's stead under the hands of angel(s). The Letter of Appointment arrived by regular course of mail on July 9th. This letter is now in Yale University Library.
After the martyrdom of Joseph, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint (sometimes referenced as LDS) split into three different churches. The first was headed by James J. Strang according to the law of God. Sidney Rigdon was next, claiming to stand at the head; but, his followers soon recognized he had not been called to that office and abandoned him for another man. About two months after Joseph's death, Brigham Young announced in the official church journal (The Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 618) that Joseph would never have a successor and that the Twelve were to stand at the head--usurping the power of the priesthood as only a Prophet of God is authorized by God to stand at the head. On 12/24/18747, at a general conference in Council Bluffs, Brigham admitted that only a Prophet could stand at the head of the church; but, God had not called him to that office. So, "It was moved and seconded that Brigham Young should be our First President."
As a man-made Prophet he introduced numerous false doctrines into his
church. He even taught that God had a father, grandfather, etc.; and that Adam
was actually God and Eve a wife from another planet. James J. Strang fulfilled
all of the duties of a Prophet, Lawgiver, Seer, Revelator, and Translator (see
Prophetic Controversy). He
translated the Book of the Law of the Lord which is the single most important book of
scripture that was contained in the plates recovered by Joseph Smith. His
teachings supported those of Joseph Smith. James was the only man that
claimed a valid calling from God and a valid ordination under the hands of
angel(s). More information on this subject is available in the pages "LDS
Prophets" and "Prophetic Controversy." The followers of James J. Strang have held fast to the original
beliefs of the Bible, Book of Mormon, 1835 Doctrine and Covenants, the
revelations of James, and the teachings of Joseph and James.
In the Letter of Appointment God selected Voree--near Burlington--as the gathering place of the saints. Voree means "Garden of Peace." The saints were never persecuted by their enemies. When they failed to gather and follow all the laws of God, the gathering was moved by God to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan--where they were severely persecuted. On June 16, 1856, two apostate Strangites--with the help of the captain of the US Steamer Michigan--shot James. He was taken back to Voree where he died on July 9, 1856.
Although both prophets were murdered with the help of the government, a remnant of the Melchisedec Priesthood remains today. Before his death, James ordained L. D. Hickey one of the Twelve Apostles. Hickey ordained Samuel Martin a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders a high priest, who ordained me an elder on July 8, 1956.
THIS SITE is maintained by Samuel E. West, senior elder, in the (Original) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (known as Strangites after the death of Joseph Smith). The purpose of this site is to offer an understanding of true Mormon identity, beliefs, the church, and an opportunity to correspond, question, and investigate those people commonly known as Mormons. This site is dedicated to those earnestly seeking spiritual truth.
True Mormons are strict Christians. Their devout way of life caused them great persecutions by the ruffians that lived on the western borders of Missouri, Illinois, and Michigan. They have no fixed creed; as they believe revelation from God is the fountain of knowledge. The Bible testifies that when God stops speaking to man it is due to sin and disbelief. "1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: 2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isa. 59)
Pursuit of salvation should be the subject of greatest concern. Jesus is to return very soon, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thess. 1:8) The Bible tells that most people on the earth will soon be destroyed by fire, pestilence, and plagues more horrible than the mind can imagine. "21 For then shall be great tribulation , such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake [Israel] those days shall be shortened." (Matt. 24) Knowing God and obeying the gospel provides the only escape from this desolation; often called Armageddon.
This mortal life is like a snap of the fingers when compared to eternity. The Bible tells only a very few, in the last days, will find the gate into the kingdom of God. "13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Jesus, Matt. 7) We owe no greater debt to ourselves and our families than to exert every effort required to find salvation; and spiritual truth. Here are the real Biblical answers to life, death, heaven, hell, and eternal life. Most Christians are not aware of either the true nature of hell, or that Jesus went to hell for three days after He died. Hell is a hidden place for those spirits that knew not God and obeyed not the gospel. Jesus spent three days preaching the gospel to these spirits; so they might share in the promise of salvation with all who obey the will of God. "18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: 19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison." (1 Pet. 3) "6 For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." (1 Pet. 4)
True Mormons believe that the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the only true and living God; and that His only begotten Son Jesus Christ is the only pathway to salvation through the gospel. They believe the gospel of Christ precisely as it is given in the Bible.
They believe the organization of the kingdom of God and Church of Christ is the same in all generations; having officers with divine authority to act in the name of God. These have divine authority to bind on earth and in heaven. From baptism to marriage, families were united in death, the resurrection, and for eternity. Were you only married, "until death do you part"? Why? In 325 AD, Constantine reorganized the Christian Church; and adopted the gods, authority, rest day, doctrines, rites, and festivals of paganism.
True Mormons accept the teaching, throughout the Bible, that only those called of God (by prophecy) and "anointed" (ordained) by one holding divine authority are the only ones empowered to minister in the name (authority) of God. They believe in all the gifts of the Holy Ghost; including the gift of prophecy. "1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy." (1 Cor. 14)
True Mormons believe in strict obedience to the laws of God; including the Ten Commandments, love of God and man, and the same seventh day Sabbath given to Adam and Moses, that was to be kept as a perpetual covenant. "16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 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." (Ex. 31)
The Mormon church divided after the murder of Joseph Smith. James J. Strang was the only man to claim both an appointment from Joseph Smith and an ordination at the hands of angels; as required by the law of God. Brigham Young split from the church and led those who would follow him to the great salt lake valley. We are commanded to "prove all things, hold fast that which is good."
You may return to this Home Page at any time during your study of this site. Your questions and suggestions are welcome. Only through improved communication will non-Mormons and the various groups of apostate Mormons come to an understanding of true Mormon Beliefs and have a sure foundation for salvation and eternal life.