The End of Times - Mormonism: Smith's Death/His Articles of the Faith
Over the years the Mormon churched moved to many locations. These included Ohio, Illinois and Missouri. In the 1840's Smith had made a home for himself in Illinois, where his group was reaching large numbers. This became of great concern to some of the local people. A mob gathered against Smith and on June 27, 1844 he was murdered by the mob. After a lengthy trial those accused were acquitted and the Mormon Church was faced with a serious dilemma.
Obviously it was clear that they were not safe where they were at, but in addition they also wondered who would lead them now. Two of Joseph Smith's brothers had died just months prior to his murder, and the issue of who would control the direction of the church became murkier. It became clear that Brigham Young was to become the successor, but he was not in Navuoo, IL where Smith had set up the headquarters of the church. Therefore some others attempted to seize control for themselves. While most later followed the direction of Young, a schism had developed and would lead to a permanent division amongst groups.
In 1845 Young began moving the church westward, enduring many harsh winters along the way. During the journey, Young reorganized the leadership of the church. This led to a series of schisms into new churches. William Brickerton took one group and formed the Church of Jesus Christ. Alpheus Cutler formed the Church of Christ. Eventually Young reached Salt Lake City, Utah where he and his followers permanently settled and built the headquarters to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
While the church has evolved over the years, the teachings of Joseph Smith have remained the central elements upon which the faith has grown. Smith taught thirteen essential elements of the faith that have remained unchanged since he wrote them. They are:
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