Mormon Denominations

This outline is an a overview of the various denominations which trace their history back to the church which had been established by Joseph Smith Jr.  Many of these churches identify their foundation as Joseph's church in 1830; the dates given below are for legal recognition of the specific denomination.

To truly follow the tradition of Joseph Smith and the church he and his companions founded, a denomination must meet the following criteria:
  1. Accept he complete inspired translation of the bible as primary scripture (CofC)
  2. Accept he Book of Mormon as primary scripture (LDS, CofC, etc.)
  3. Accept all revelations included in the 1844 Nauvoo edition of the Doctrine and Covenants as equal in authority (neither LDS [omits 109] nor CofC [now omits 103, 105, 106, & 111])
  4. Have a continuing revelatory tradition—which may include new “translated” texts or a continuation of previous “translations”—that includes every “prophet” of the denomination (CofC, Strangite [no other leaders recognized as prophets])
  5. Accept the “Articles of Faith” as a primary or secondary creed (LDS)
  6. Accept the “Book of Abraham” as a primary or secondary text (LDS)
  7. Accept the “Lectures on Faith” as a primary or secondary text (CofC)

This list is not meant to challenge the faith of any person who belongs to one of these churches.  It is here to provide further context for the Salt and the Light project.

The names of important or otherwise high-profile denominations are in bold underline
Polygamist branches are marked with an asterisk (*)
LGBT-focused branches are marked with a tilde (~)
Denominations which are no longer "Mormon" are marked with an at sign (@)
Those which formed outside of the United States are marked with a carat (^)

Church of Christ (1830, Joseph Smith); renamed Church of the Latter Day Saints (1834); renamed Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (1838); also known as Church of God and Church of Jesus Christ.

  • Pure Church of Christ (Wycam Clark, 1831), defunct
  • Independent Church (Hoton, 1832), defunct
  • Church of Christ (Ezra Booth, 1836), defunct
  • Church of Christ (Warren Parrish, 1837 - pre1844), defunct
  • Alston Church (Isaac Russell, 1839 - post 1844), defunct
  • Church of Christ (William Chubby, late 1830s), defunct
  • Church of Jesus Christ, the Bride, the Lamb's Wife (George M. Hinkle, 1840 - post 1843), defunct
  • Church of Christ (Hiram Page, 1842 - pre1847), defunct
  • True Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Reformed Mormon Church (William Law, 1844) defunct
Death of Joseph Smith, Jr. - "Succession Crisis"
  • Church of Christ, later Church of Jesus Christ of the Children of Zion, "Rigdonites" (Sidney Rigdon, 1844 - 1847), defunct
    • The Church of Jesus Christ, "Bickertonites" (William Bickerton, 1862 - present), active
      • Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ (1/2 Quorum of the Twelve, 1907 - ?), merged with latter, now defunct
      • Primitive Church of Jesus Christ (James Caldwell, 1914 0 ?), merged with former, now defunct
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Strangites" (James J. Strang, 1844 - present), factioned (factions not presented below)
    • Church of Christ (Aaron Smith, 1846), defunct
    • Church of the Messian (George J. Adams, 1861), defunct
    • ^ Holy Church of Jesus Christ (Alexandre  R. Caffiaux, 1964 - present), active [France]
    • Church of Jesus Christ (Theron Drew, 1965 - present), active
    • True Church of Jesus Christ Restored (David Roberts, 1974 - present), active
  • Church of Christ (Lyman Wight, 1844 - circa 1958), defunct, joining RLDS
  • Church of Christ, "Whitmerites" (William E. M'LEllin & David Whitmer, 1847/1871 - 1925), defunct, joining Church of Christ (Temple Lot)
  • Church of Christ, "Brewsterites" (James C. Brewster & Hazen Aldrich, 1848), defunct
  • The Bride, the Lamb's Wife (Jacob Syfritt, 1948), defunct
  • Congregation of Jehovah's Presbytery of Zion, "Baneemyites" or "Conjespresites" (Charles B. Thompson, 1848), defunct
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, "Gladdenites" (Gladden Bishop, 1851 - post1865), defunct
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS (Brigham Young & the Quorum of the Twelve, 1851 - present), active
    • Church of the Potter Christ (Arnold Potter, 1857), defunct
    • Church of the Firstborn (Morissite) (Joseph Morris, 1861 - mid 1900s), defunct
      • Kingdom of Heaven (William W. Davies, 1866 - 1881), defunct
      • Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Most High (John R. Eardly, 1882 - 1969), disbanded
      • Order of Enoch (James Brighouse, 1884 - present), active
    • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Gibsonite) (Walter M. Gibson, 1861), defunct
    • The Church of Zion, "Godbeites" (William S. Godbe, 1869 - 1880s), defunct
    • * Latter Day Church of Christ, or Kingston Clan (Elden Kingston, 1926 - present),  active
    • * Short Creek Community (Lorin C. Wooley, 1935 - 1954)
      • * Apostolic United Brethren (Rulon C. Allred, 1954 - present), active
        • * Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times (Joel F. LeBaron, 1955 - present), active
          • * Church of the Lamb of God (Evril LeBaron, 1972 - ?), status uncertain
        • * Church of Christ Patriarchal, later Evangelical Church of Christ, reorganized 1985 as Church of the New Covenant in Christ (John W. Bryant, 1975 - present), active
          • Sons Ahman Israel, later Sons Auman Israel, later Order of Nazorean Essenes (Davied Israel, 1981 - ?), status unknown
            • Church of the Dual Faith (Marianne Williamson, 2004 - ?), status uniknown
        • * Confederate Nations of Israel (Alex Joseph, 1977 - present), active (non-denominational association)
        • * Rightoues Branch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1978 - present), active
      • * Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, FLDS (Leroy S. Johnson, 1954 - present), active
        • * Blackmore/Bountiful Community (Winston Blackmore, 2002 - present), active
      • * Centennial Park (Marion Hammon & Alma Timpson, 1984 - present), active
        • * Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the Kingdom of God (Frank Naylor & Ivan Neilson, 1990 - present), active
    • Aaronic Orcer, or House of Aaron (Maurice L. Glendenning, 1942 - present), active
      • Zion's Order, Inc. (Merl Kilgore, 1951 - present), active
    • Perfected Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Latter-day Saints, also Restored Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ of Immaculate Later-day Saints (William C. Conway, 1955 - ?), status uncertain
    • ~ United Order Family of Christ (David-Edward Desmond, 1966 - 1973/4), defunct
    • * School of the Prophets (Robert C. Crossfield, 1982 - present), active
    • Church of Jesus Christ (Bullaite) (Art Bulla, 1983 - present), active
    • ~ Restoration Church of Jesus Christ (Antonio A. Feliz, 1985 - ?), status uncertain
    • * True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days (James D. Harmston, 1994 - present), active
    • * The Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven (Terrill R. Dalton, 2001 - present), active
    • Marvelous Work and a Wonder (Christopher Marc Nemelka)
    • ^ Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ (Matthew P. Gill, 2007 - present), active [United Kingdom]
  • Church of Jesus Christ, "Cutlerite" (Alpheus Cutler, 1853 - present), active
    • True Church of Jesus Christ (Clyde Fletcher, 1953 - 1969), rejoined above
    • Restored Church of Jesus Christ (Eugene O. Walton, 1980), active
  • Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, RLDS; renamed 2001 Community of Christ (Joseph Smith III, 1860 - present), active
    • * Church of the Christian Brotherhood (R.C. Evans, 1918), defunct
    • Church of Jesus Christ (Toneyite) (Forrest Toney, 1980 - present), active
    • Restoration Branches (various, 1980s - present), active
    • Church of Jesus Christ Restored 1830 (Nolan W. Glainer, mid1980s - present), active
    • Church of Christ (David B. Clark, 1985 - present), active
    • Church of Jesus Christ (Zion's Branch) (Jon & Robert Cato, et. al., 1986 - present), active
    • Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (several RLDS entities, 1989 - present), active
    • Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Frederick N. Larson, 2000 - present), active
  • Church of Christ (Temple Lot), "Hedrickites" (Granville Hedrick, 1863 - present), active
    • Church of Christ (Fettingite) (Otto Fetting, 1929 - ?), sect divided
      • Church of Christ (Restored) (A.C. DeWolf, 1937 - present), active
      • Church of Christ "With the Elijah Message" (William Draves, 1943 - present), active
        • Church of Christ (Howard Leighton-Floyd & H.H. Burt, 1965 - ?), active
        • Church of Christ with the Elijah Message, Inc.
          • Church of Christ with the Elijah Message (The Assured Way of the Lord) (Leonard Draves, 2004 - present), active
    • Church of Christ at Halley's Bluff (Thomas B. Nerren & E.E. Long, 1932 - present), active
      • @ Church of Our Christian Heritage, renamed 1981 Church of Israel (dan Gayman, 1972 - present), active
    • Church of Christ (Hancock) (Pauline Hancock, 1946 - 1984), dissolved
  • ^ Independent Latter-Day Saint congregations in Nigeria (Anie D. Obot, circa 1953 - circa 1978), joined with LDS [Nigeria]
  • ^ Independent Latter-Day Saint congegations in Ghana (Joseph W.B. Johnson, 1964 - circa 1978), defunct, many joining LDS [Ghana]
    • ^ Apostolic Divine Church of Gana (Cape Coast group, 1976), defunct [Ghana]
  • ^ Independent Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, ILDS; renamed 1991 Independent Church of Jesus Christ, renamed 1992 The New Covenant Church of Jesus Christ (1986 - 1992), defunct [United Kingdom]
    • ^@ New Covenant Christian Fellowship, reoganized 1996 as New Covenant Church of God (1992 - ?), status unknown [Norway]
  • Pentecostal Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mike Bethel, 1994 - ?), status unknown
  • Reform Mormonism (2002 - present), active

References and Resources

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