I am the light of the world
This site is maintained by Samuel E. West, a senior elder in the original Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as Strangites). You may contact Samuel through email.
Jesus is the Son of God, our Liaison with God, the son of man, the son of David in the flesh, holds all power from God over this creation, and is our friend, Savior, and mediator.
All men know they are going to die. This mortal life is like a snap of the fingers compared to eternity. There can be only one side to the truth. All could be wrong, but only one can be true. The first and most important thing for all is finding and correctly understanding life after death. The difficulty is finding truth among the hundreds of different churches. All could be wrong, but only one can be true. Jesus advised us: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matt. 7:13-14).
We owe the greater debt to ourselves and our families to exert every effort necessary to find spiritual truth and salvation. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15). The Bible will be our primary reference supported by ecclesiastical history. It is essential to have a correct understanding of God, Jesus, the Gospel, and the Commandments of God. “This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17). No one can have any hope of salvation without appreciating that God really exists and that He has given man the path to eternal life. “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Rev. 22:14).
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Rom. 1:16). There are two parts to the Gospel. “Our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance [revelation]; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake” (1 Thess. 1:5).
Those who attempt to preach the Gospel without authority from God are promised a severe judgment. “Though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:8). God advised: “Thou shalt not take the name [authority] of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex. 20:7). Every officer in the Kingdom of God must be called by revelation. Jesus was called and ordained under the hands of God (Heb. 5:4-6). The Apostle Paul reminded his son Timothy of this law. “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery [those holding that priesthood]” (1 Tim. 4:14).
The foundation of the Church of Christ is a revelation. The opinions of man are worth nothing and will bring severe judgment upon those that teach them. The angel told the Apostle John: “I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev. 19:10). Prophets appointed of God have been the pillars of the Church of Christ any time it has existed on earth. These are Apostles, Prophets, and Lawgivers. Adam was first, and Noah continued the Church after the Great Flood. There was no Prophet for 400 years while Israel was held captive in Egypt. Moses restored the priesthood and the Church. Prophets continued to lead the Church until Malachi. He was the last for another 400 years. Jesus restored the Prophetic Office when He was ordained under the hands of God. “Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he [the Father] that said unto him, Thou art my son, to day have I begotten thee” (Heb. 5:5). There has never been a people that God recognized as His own without a Prophet to guide them.
The Kingdom of God has specific officers that must be called of God by revelation from God. Prophets stand at the head. Jesus ordained the Twelve to a lower office of Apostle. “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” (Mark 3:14). Then, “he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors [high priests and elders] and teachers; [Why?] For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: [for how long?] Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Eph.4:11-13).
After the death of Jesus, Peter was called by Jesus as a Prophet to lead the Church (John 21:16-17). Peter, James, and John were called in succession. At the death of John, history attests the Kingdom of God only remained for a short time. Although the Church of Christ requires a Prophet at the head, the Kingdom of God exists whenever there is an officer of the Melchisedek Priesthood.
There are three primary Mormon churches claiming to represent God. Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 6, 1830. He was murdered on June 27, 1844, with the help of the governor of Illinois. Joseph received three revelations that he was to appoint his successor in the event of his impending death. On June 18, 1844, shortly before his murder, he wrote a letter of appointment to James J. Strang. On the same hour of his death on June 27, an angel of the Lord appeared to James and ordained him a Prophet like Joseph—even though he was 400 miles away.
James fulfilled all duties of a Prophet, Lawgiver, Seer, Revelator, and Translator. He translated The Book of the Law of the Lord, which is the single most important book of scripture. It was among the plates recovered by Joseph Smith (the tribe of Joseph) but reserved for James (the tribe of Judah). It is the only place the original Ten Commandments given to Moses exist. His teachings supported those of Joseph Smith. James was the only man that had a valid claim, a calling from God, and a valid ordination under the hands of the angel(s).
In the letter of appointment of James when he was called by God to the Prophetic Office, Voree (near Burlington, WI) was selected as the gathering place for the saints. Voree means “Garden of Peace.” They were never persecuted here by Gentiles. When they failed to gather and follow all the laws of God, the gathering was moved by the revelation of God to Beaver Island in northern Lake Michigan, where they were severely persecuted, especially by those in Mackinac. On June 16, 1856, two former Strangites—with the help of the captain of the USS Michigan—shot James. He was taken back to Voree, where he died on July 9, 1856. Gentiles turned from God, and there was a successor.
Although both Prophets were murdered with the help of the government, a remnant of the church organized by Joseph with the Melchisedec Priesthood remains today. Before his death, James ordained L. D. Hickey as one of the Twelve Apostles. Hickey ordained Samuel Martin as a high priest, who ordained Lloyd Flanders as a high priest, who ordained Samuel E. West as an elder on July 8, 1956. As a senior elder in the Kingdom of God, he continued to represent the Kingdom of God organized by Joseph Smith and continued through James J. Strang. The Church of Christ can only exist with a Prophet of God at the head. The Kingdom of God remains as long as there is one officer of the Melchisedek Priesthood.
The second group claiming to be Mormons came about two months after Joseph’s death. Brigham Young announced in the official church journal (Times and Seasons, Vol. 5, p. 618) that Joseph would never have a successor and that the Twelve Apostles were to stand at the head (an office they did not hold). On December 24, 1847, at a general conference in Council Bluffs, IA, Brigham admitted that only a Prophet could stand at the head of the Church of Christ; but God had not called him to that office. So, “It was moved and seconded (by the voice of man) that Brigham Young should be our First President [Prophet].” The voice of man is not the voice of God. As a man-made Prophet, he returned to many of the pagan doctrines Constantine made part of his Catholic Church. He introduced numerous new false doctrines into his church. He even taught that God had a father, grandfather, etc., Adam was God, and Eve was a wife from another planet. He was a Prophet that translated nothing, a Seer that saw nothing, a Revelator that revealed nothing, and a Translator that translated nothing. Neither Brigham nor his successors ever provided one revelation from God.
The third group broke away from the followers of James J. Strang in 1961 and formed their own church as a function of the U.S. Government. The voice of man is not the voice of God. The Church of God cannot be united with a kingdom of man. “Crucify Him.” Constantine did this in the fourth century. Their headquarters are in Burlington, WI. They invented new laws to govern them—a direct violation of the laws of God. Only a Prophet of God is authorized by God to give commandments. They also invented a new order of priesthood to govern them—a priesthood of man, something God strictly forbids. The second of the Ten Commandments states: “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Ex. 20:7). Acting in the name of someone is acting in his name—such as acting in the name of the president. In addition, their church has been led by murderers, liars, and thieves, showing who leads them.