Legal Insights into the Organization of the Church in 1830 | BYU Studies

Legal Insights into the Organization of the Church in 1830

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Legal Insights into the Organization of the Church in 1830

David K. Stott

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.