Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Why the name and organizational location of the church was changed

The reason most mistakenly believe the church was organized in Fayette, NY is tied to the reason the church's name was changed from "Church of Christ" to "Church of the Latter Day Saints" according to historian Michael Marquardt.  Following are excerpts from a series of small articles in Joseph Smith Organized the Church of Christ in Manchester, Ontario County, New York on April 6, 1830.

... Nothing happened regarding the forming of a Church at Fayette, Seneca County on April 6, 1830. The first two elders, Joseph Smith Jr. and Oliver Cowdery were not at that location on that day. Also no members of the Whitmers family were in attendance at Manchester on April 6 as there were no revelations for them on that day. Responding to the idea that the Church was really organized on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York, this location has produced nothing about a meeting on that day. Is there any evidence of a meeting establishing the Church of Christ at Fayette on April 6, 1830? Answer: No.

The Kirtland United Firm met on May 3, 1834, and made changes to protect the Church from creditors and being sued for debts not paid. They stated that the April 6, 1830 meeting occurred in Fayette, New York. This was done for the same reason that pseudonyms were used instead of using real names in revelations published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants. The Manuscript History continued protecting the names of members of the United Firm.

The changing of the Church's name and the location where it was organized and altering of real names was done for a purpose.


The idea of breaking up the United Firm, changing the name of the Church and where the April 6, 1830 organizational location, was to steer creditors away from suing the Church or Firm members, if only for a short time. The use of pseudonyms in the 1835 D&C, changing "United Firm" to "United Order," (1835 D&C sections 93 and 98; LDS D&C 92 and 104) shows the continue concern of debts after the firm was divided in 1834. ...

Details can be read in the following: