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A very Strang finding


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So I'm still studying women and priesthood, last night I came across a site that said another sect of Mormonism (the Stragites) allowed women to be ordained as teachers and priests. Apparently, the strangites numbered 5000 before James Strang died. I had no idea. So I looked them up and found out that James also wrote a book of scripture called, The Book of the Law of the Lord. And upon finding the page I provided, I broke out in a sweat and apparently turned white as a ghost according to my wife. Through all my research in the past 2 months this page for some reason has affected me more than anything else. Does anyone no of a good place or book that could help me research the Strangites? Also, does it bother anyone else that 5000 people followed this man?

 

 

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Edited by AtlanticMike
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1 hour ago, AtlanticMike said:

So I'm still studying women and priesthood, last night I came across a site that said another sect of Mormonism (the Stragites) allowed women to be ordained as teachers and priests. Apparently, the strangites numbered 5000 before James Strang died. I had no idea. So I looked them up and found out that James also wrote a book of scripture called, The Book of the Law of the Lord. And upon finding the page I provided, I broke out in a sweat and apparently turned white as a ghost according to my wife. Through all my research in the past 2 months this page for some reason has affected me more than anything else. Does anyone no of a good place or book that could help me research the Strangites? Also, does it bother anyone else that 5000 people followed this man?

 

 

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Any word on what happened to the plates in question?  

And no, having 5000 people follow him doesn't really give me any pause.  

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18 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Any word on what happened to the plates in question?  

And no, having 5000 people follow him doesn't really give me any pause.  

Apparently Strang returned them to an angel. This is all I've found so far. Wikipedia

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Edited by AtlanticMike
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5 minutes ago, bluebell said:

That's what I assumed.

I was really hoping that wasn't going to be the answer ☹

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1 hour ago, HappyJackWagon said:

Wikepedia is a place to start ;)

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) - Wikipedia

 

There are MANY offshoots or the restoration movement. It's quite fascinating.

image.thumb.png.34953c7cb82bb0a3a7013fb8c2565673.png

Well over 100 offshoots now, all claiming to be the restored gospel starting with Joseph Smith.
It's really quite amazing.
 

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Well he did bring about my very favorite revelation ever.  Although it came to Brigham Young...

"Thus saith the Lord unto Reuben Miller through Brigham Young: that Strang is a wicked & corrupt man & that his revelations are as false as he is. Therefore, turn away from his folly & never let it be said of Reuben Miller, that he ever was led away and entangled by such nonsense."

Kind of a fun partial list of non-canonical revelations - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_non-canonical_revelations_in_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latter-day_Saints
Not a complete list of course.

Edited by JLHPROF
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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

So I'm still studying women and priesthood, last night I came across a site that said another sect of Mormonism (the Stragites) allowed women to be ordained as teachers and priests. Apparently, the strangites numbered 5000 before James Strang died. I had no idea. So I looked them up and found out that James also wrote a book of scripture called, The Book of the Law of the Lord. And upon finding the page I provided, I broke out in a sweat and apparently turned white as a ghost according to my wife. Through all my research in the past 2 months this page for some reason has affected me more than anything else. Does anyone no of a good place or book that could help me research the Strangites? Also, does it bother anyone else that 5000 people followed this man?

You could go straight to the source, of course:

1. Website for Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)

And then there's Wikipedia, an uneven but helpful resource:

2. Wikipedia Article: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite)

3. Wikipedia Article: James Strange

4. Wikipedia Article: Book of the Law of the Lord

5. Wikipedia Article: Voree Plates

Here is the purported translation of the Voree Plates:

6. James J. Strang. "The Record of Rajah Manchou of Vorito."

Here is the actual text of the Strangite scripture:

7. The Book of the Laws of the Lord

John Hamer at By Common Consent wrote an article that examines the Voree Plates:

8. The Miraculous Plates of Voree Examined (the debate in the "Comments" section may also be worth a read)

FAIR has a few articles addressing Strange at some length:

9. Question: Who was James Strang?

10. Question: Of what did the Strangite witnesses testify?

11.  Question: What are the differences between the Strangite witness statements and those of the Three and Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon?

Daniel Peterson has commented on the Voree Plates:

12. The story behind James Strang and his sect

13. Tangible Restoration: The Witnesses and What They Experienced (starting on p. 5) (see also: Why two different sets of witnesses? (footnote 3))

14. Some Reflections On That Letter To a CES Director (do a Ctrl+F search for "Strang")

Here are some criticisms of Peterson's take on this issue:

15. The James Strang Plates: Notes from Dr. Peterson (see the Comments)

Jim Bennett, in responding the CES Letter, has also addressed Strange and the Voree Plates:

16. James Strang's Witnesses

17. Witnesses Concerns & Questions (starting on p. 28)

A few of my own thoughts:

A. Witness testimony is not a "potato / po-tah-to," one-is-as-good-as-another sort of thing.  The credibility of the witness is pretty important.  I would therefore encourage you to read Richard L. Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses.  I don't think there has been any comparable investigation of the Strangite witnesses (I am open to correction on that point).  We know quite a bit about the Book of Mormon witnesses, and therefore are much better equipped to assess their character, trustworthiness, credibility, etc. as compared to the Strangite witnesses.  Moreover, the Strangite witnesses' testimony is pretty mundane.

B. There are some significant differences beteween the respective testimony statements provided by the Book of Mormon witnesses and the Strangite witnesses.

C. There are some significant differences between Strang's scripture and Joseph's.

D. I've previously laid out some thoughts about how to deal with a "faith crisis" (or otherwise address struggles and doubts and questions, even if they don't rise to the level of "crisis").  See here: Thoughts on Addressing a Struggle with, or Loss of, Faith

E. As regarding evidence for the Book of Mormon (as the "keystone of our religion"), I have previously laid out my thoughts here:

Quote
Quote

Smart people more knowledgable in this subject than I am:  What evidence is there that the BOM is a historical record?  Is there any evidence?  And to clarify, I'm not asking for proof of anything.  Just evidence in support of.

Yes, there is evidence.  Quite a bit, IMO.  The sufficiency and probative value of the evidence is very much in dispute, but the existence of the evidence is pretty hard to deny.

Putting aside "evidence" from the Spirit, I would first point to the text overall.  Its origins need to be accounted for.  I don't think Joseph Smith could have written it at all, let alone in the timeframe involved.  

Second, I would point to the statements of the Witnesses, and to the credbility of those witnesses (starting, perhaps, with Richard L. Anderson's Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses).

Third, I would point to evidences within the text.  Its complexity.  Its narrative structure.  Linguistic elements.  It's internal chronological and geographic consistency.  Hebraisms.  Chiasmus.  Lots and lots of good stuff in here.

Fourth, there are some evidences which have some sort of interaction with or facet touching on archaeology.  See, e.g. this article: Five Compelling Archeological Evidences For the Book of Mormon.  The "five evidences" are:

  • Metal Plates
  • The Nahom Altar
  • Cement in Mesoamerica
  • The Seal of Mulek
  • Barley in the Americas

Of these, the Seal of Mulek seems to be the one that I think critics would be most likely to construe as "archaeological" (read: artifactual) evidence (though the Nahom Altar seems pretty hard to ignore).  But both of these are Old World artifacts, and I think critics want artifacts from Mesoamerica.

Fifth, I would point an interested party to the Book of Mormon Central website: https://bookofmormoncentral.org/

Sixth, I would point an interested party to Jeff Lindsay's "Book of Mormon Evidences" page: https://www.jefflindsay.com/BMEvidences.shtml

Seventh, I would point an interested party to FAIR's page about evidences for the Book of Mormon: https://www.fairmormon.org/evidences/Category:Book_of_Mormon

Eighth, I would point an interested party to the following essays:

These are the resources that immediately come to mind.

Much of what is termed "evidence for the Book of Mormon" is better characterized as "assumptions regarding and interpretations of evidence for the Book of Mormon."

F. Finally, I'm not sure what it is that caused you to "{break} out in a sweat and ... {turn} white as a ghost."  Do you want to clarify?

Thanks,

-Smac

 

Edited by smac97
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1 hour ago, JLHPROF said:

Well over 100 offshoots now, all claiming to be the restored gospel starting with Joseph Smith.
It's really quite amazing.
 

Hmm.  I don't find it amazing at all. It is typical of religion. History certainly ears this out.

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2 hours ago, AtlanticMike said:

So I'm still studying women and priesthood, last night I came across a site that said another sect of Mormonism (the Stragites) allowed women to be ordained as teachers and priests. Apparently, the strangites numbered 5000 before James Strang died. I had no idea. So I looked them up and found out that James also wrote a book of scripture called, The Book of the Law of the Lord. And upon finding the page I provided, I broke out in a sweat and apparently turned white as a ghost according to my wife. Through all my research in the past 2 months this page for some reason has affected me more than anything else. Does anyone no of a good place or book that could help me research the Strangites? Also, does it bother anyone else that 5000 people followed this man?

The story of James Strang (and other individuals who started their own "restoration" churches arising out of the same period) is described in some detail in Saints Vol 1 which is included with the Come Follow Me lesson guide this year. I highly recommend it.

What is it that is so affecting, more than anything else you researched, about that page?

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1 hour ago, Teancum said:

Hmm.  I don't find it amazing at all. It is typical of religion. History certainly ears this out.

Well, I certainly am glad that history "ears" out what's "typical of religion"! ;):D:rofl::D  I'd be interested in knowing what else you think history "ears" out! ;)

P.S.: And I nominate Bluebell as the winner of the Internet today ... or at least, of that corner of it having to do with things pertaining to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

P.P.S.:  And all the things that Joseph Smith did that other people claim to have done as well, I think Joseph Smith did them the best.  ;)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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This is probably the most recent work regarding Strang. I have not read it yet but it looks very interesting.

The King of Confidence: A Tale of Utopian Dreamers, Frontier Schemers, True Believers, False Prophets, and the Murder of an American Monarch

 

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In the summer of 1843, James Strang, a charismatic young lawyer and avowed atheist, vanished from a rural town in New York. Months later he reappeared on the Midwestern frontier and converted to a burgeoning religious movement known as Mormonism. In the wake of the murder of the sect's leader, Joseph Smith, Strang unveiled a letter purportedly from the prophet naming him successor, and persuaded hundreds of fellow converts to follow him to an island in Lake Michigan, where he declared himself a divine king.

From this stronghold he controlled a fourth of the state of Michigan, establishing a pirate colony where he practiced plural marriage and perpetrated thefts, corruption, and frauds of all kinds. Eventually, having run afoul of powerful enemies, including the American president, Strang was assassinated, an event that was frontpage news across the country.

The King of Confidence tells this fascinating but largely forgotten story. Centering his narrative on this charlatan's turbulent twelve years in power, Miles Harvey gets to the root of a timeless American original: the Confidence Man. Full of adventure, bad behavior, and insight into a crucial period of antebellum history, The King of Confidence brings us a compulsively readable account of one of the country's boldest con men and the boisterous era that allowed him to thrive.

 

 

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If you are interested in a comprehensive look at divisions within Mormonism then I highly recommend:

Scattering Of The Saints: Schism Within Mormonism by Newell G. Bringhurst (Editor), John C. Hamer (Editor)

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Over the intervening 150 years or so since Joseph's death, there have been at least 400 different expressions of the little church that began so humbly with a few baptisms in New York and Pennsylvania in 1829 and 1830.

Mormonism is a lot more diverse than most of us realize.

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35 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

If you are interested in a comprehensive look at divisions within Mormonism then I highly recommend:

Scattering Of The Saints: Schism Within Mormonism by Newell G. Bringhurst (Editor), John C. Hamer (Editor)

Mormonism is a lot more diverse than most of us realize.

It is more diverse that most realize.  The charts and descriptions of the offshoots are interesting, but every time I see this sort of thing, I stop and ask myself the question:  Which one of them is filling the world?

Edit:  Coincidentally, I happened to listen to this lesson from the Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith manual while on my walk today:  Beware the Bitter Fruits of Apostasy.  Joseph had to deal with a lot of conflict from people that were disaffected for one reason or another, and there were movements to put him out of his position even while he was alive.  It's no wonder that there are as many offshoots as there are now.

Edited by InCognitus
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8 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is fascinating. Perhaps for the next week or so I'll stop referring to you as LDS or Mormons (I've done a good job weeding that word out of my discussions), and instead I'm going to call you Brighamites.

You can talk.  Where we have a hundred breakoff sects, you have thousands.  ;)

 

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5 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You can talk.  Where we have a hundred breakoff sects, you have thousands.  ;)

 

Yep, and they call us Papists (or worse). Question: Papist is a derogatory term. If a break-off sect call you a Brighamite, is that considered derogatory?

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4 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Yep, and they call us Papists (or worse). Question: Papist is a derogatory term. If a break-off sect call you a Brighamite, is that considered derogatory?

No to me, but then I like Brigham.  But it's also not specific.  There are numerous breakoffs on the Brigham branch too.

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1 minute ago, JLHPROF said:

No to me, but then I like Brigham.  But it's also not specific.  There are numerous breakoffs on the Brigham branch too.

True. So what do we call you? Nelsonites?

I like how everything is an -ite.

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