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Top 7 Splinter Groups of the LDS Church Movement

By Eric Johnson

While The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is by far the largest group that claims Joseph Smith, Jr. as its founder, there have been more than 100 splinter groups over the past two centuries. While many of them no longer exist, some do.

Although the purpose of Mormonism Research Ministry focuses on the LDS Church, we think it’s important to publish overview articles on this website. The following are the Top 7 churches that we are reviewing, with these chosen because they have been determined to be the largest. Four of the churches (with websites) are monogamous churches, while the other three are polygamous and the leaders are more secretive about their beliefs and practices. It should be noted that the majority of splinter groups from Mormonism are polygamous.

We encourage you to click on the name of each church and read more on this particular movement still active today. (This series began in June 2020 and will upload one new church per week through early August.)

Church name Other name Founder Date Current leader Est. members Where Website
Community of Christ RLDS Joseph Smith III (1832-1914) 250,000 Independence, MO cofchrist.org
The Church of Jesus Christ Bickertonites William Bickerton (1815-1905) 1862 Apostles 26,000 Monongahela, PA thechurchofjesuschrist.org
The Church of Christ with the Elijah Message No nicknames known Otto Fetting (1871-1933) 1930 Apostles 12,500 Independence, MO Elijahmessage.net

 

Apostolic United Brethren Allred Group

AUB

The Work

The Group

The Priesthood

Rulon C. Allred (1954-1977) 1954 Lynn A. Thompson (2014-present) 7,500 Bluffdale, UT

 

No site
Church of Christ Temple Lot

Hedrickites

Granville Hedrick 1863 12 apostles 7,300 Independence, MO churchofchrist1830.org
Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Leroy S. Johnson (Uncle Roy) (1888-1986) 1952 Warren Jeffs (in prison) 6,000 Hildale, UT No site
Latter Day Church of Christ Kingston Clan

United Order

David County Cooperative Society

Elden Kingston (1909-1948) 1935 Paul Elden Kingston (beginning in 1987) 7,500 Davis County, UT dccsociety.org

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