JOEL - Information about James J. Strang and the Strangite church can be found
at this site: www.strangite.org
According to the Strangite church, Joseph Smith Jr. presided over the church from 1830 to 1844, and then James J. Strang presided from 1844 to 1856. The church claims that Joseph Smith Jr. appointed James J. Strang to be his successor with a document that survives at Yale University.
Scholars claim that it has an authentic postmark "Nauvoo, June 19, 1844" on an envelope addressed in the same hand as the whole document. They believe the text of the document matches the language, style, and passion of Joseph Smith Jr. The document is printed with the Revelations of James J. Strang.
James J. Strang announced that he had been ordained by some unidentified angels in the same hour that Joseph Smith Jr. was killed, even though he and Smith were two hundred miles apart. The ordination is printed in the Revelations of James J. Strang. Strang claims he translated metallic plates and eleven witnesses signed testimonies that they saw the plates--none ever denied their testimony. The testimony of the Voree Plates is in the Revelations of James J. Strang, and the testimony to the Book of the Law of the Lord precedes that book. Brigham Young was summoned to a trial and excommunicated by a high council on April 6, 1846. Young in turn claimed that he excommunicated James J. Strang, but there was never a notice for Strang to appear, nor was there ever a trial for Strang. About 10,000 people acknowledged the appointment of James J. Strang.
Strang was killed in 1856 by someone in his own organization, just twelve years after his appointment, and the church barely survived being driven from northern Michigan at the same time. Most of the members later joined the Reorganized church which was formed four years after the death of James J. Strang. There are about 200 members in the church today.
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