History of the Church Series | BYU Studies

History of the Church Series

February 22, 2017
History of the Church Series
Legal Insights into the Organization of the Church in 1830
David K. Stott

This daily feature is an introduction to a full article by David K. Stott. Each Wednesday we focus on an aspect of church history, beginning in New York in the early 19th century and progressing throughout the year to Utah in the 20th century. To read the full text of this article, follow the link below.

While much has been written about the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in upstate New York, questions remain regarding the events of April 6, 1830. This article examines the organizational events of the Church from a legal perspective. In the nineteenth century, individuals desiring to form a church had two legal alternatives: forming a religious corporation or organizing a religious society. Understanding the requirements of each and considering which legal entity the Church would have preferred provide new insights into the organizational events.