This thesis argues that in studying the missionary work of the followers of James J. Strang, one gains a better understanding of the expectations and complexities of first generation Mormons. The introduction provides a background of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite) from 1844 through 1850. Chapter One discusses the reasons why former Mormons joined Strang, which included their dissatisfaction with Brigham Young and their attraction to the doctrines and positions of Strang. Chapters Two and Three analyze and discuss the successes and failures of Strang's actual missionary work. The work initially succeeded because of the converts' desire for a prophet, the use of the Latter-day Saint networks, and the effectiveness of the Strangite missionaries. The work ultimately failed, however, because of internal dissension, newly introduced and controversial doctrines, and the countering efforts of the LDS Church and other Mormon Restorationist groups. The fourth chapter provides a case study of the Strangite missionary work by discussing the church's activities in England. Chapter Five concludes the thesis by giving an account of an unsuccessful mission to the Native Americans, providing a brief history of the movement after 1850, and discussing the ultimate failure of Strangism. In essence, this thesis argues that a correlation generally existed between the Strangites' view of how Strang was following the perceived principles of Mormonism and their belief in Strang's prophetic mission. In other words, Strangites, like all early Mormons, had their individual ideals concerning Mormonism and what it represented. This thesis will use the Mormon-to-Strangite conversion to illustrate the complexities involved in finding their version of Mormonism.



College and Department

Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History



Date Submitted


Document Type





James J. Strang, Strangism, Strangite Church, LDS Church, Schism, Missiology, Missionary work



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History Commons