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Restorationist faiths or churches are defined as all faiths who can trace their origins to Joseph Smith, Jr. [1805-1844] and the religious manifestations that he reported during his life. Restorationist movements either spring directly from the religious community founded by Smith, or via separation from some other restorationist faith(s), much as Protestant groups broke with Roman Catholicism and then fragmented further.

It is vital that writers maintain a neutral tone when reporting on events. This is of particular concern when the writer is a member of one of the restorationist churches. Pejoratives such as apostate or break-off should never be used to describe faith groups, except when directly citing a source. When this is done, it ought to be clear that the characterization belongs to the source, not the media.

The groups below are other churches besides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) who follow at least some of the teachings of Joseph Smith, Jr. While FAIR consists mainly of members of the LDS Church, we provide these links and explanations as a public service.

We believe that all faith groups have a right to speak for themselves, and define their own doctrine and belief. We object when others do not grant us this privilege. Journalists or others wanting to understand these groups should also contact them.

The Community of Christ (RLDS)

Previously known as The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This church is the only other world wide church within the restorationist movement and is headquartered in Independence, Mo. Note the lack of hyphenization in "Latter Day," and the fact that both words are capitalized.

Official website: http://www.cofchrist.org/

Organization

The Community of Christ is presided over by the First Presidency and The Council of Twelve Apostles. Congregations are communities and are led by a pastor.

For more detail on the organization of the Community of Christ see:here.

Remnant Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

This church also broke with the The Community of Christ over the issues of the ordination of women and other changes in that church. Note the lack of hyphenization in "Latter Day," and the fact that both words are capitalized.

Official website: http://www.theremnantchurch.com/

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS)

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS Church) is one of America's largest practitioners of plural marriage. The FLDS Church emerged in the 1930s largely because of the LDS Church's continued practice of excommunicating any practitioners of plural marriage. There is no connection between the FLDS Church and the LDS Church. Members of the FLDS church are mostly children or grandchildren of people who were excommunicated from the LDS church because of their practice of polygamy.

Note the lack of hyphenization in "Latter Day," and the fact that both words are capitalized.

Official website: http://www.fldstruth.org/

Others

There are many other small denominations of restorationist churches(approximatly 130). The purpose of this guide is not to list them all, but to make interested authors aware that they exist. The various denominations are not affiliated with each other, so it is important to correctly identify which denomination you are referring to in anything you may write. There is no "synod" or "umbrella group" of restorationist movements.

Mormon?

The term Mormon was originally used as a pejorative to identify a person who believed in The Book of Mormon (some early critics also used the term Mormonite, but this quickly fell from favor.) While it may be tempting to use the label "Mormon" to identify all that that belong to a restorationist movement church, that would be incorrect. Using the term "Mormon" without additional modifiers has come to represent members of the Salt Lake City based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is not appropriate to identify members of the Community of Christ or members of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints as "Mormon" as that would be confusing. It becomes especially objectionable to the LDS church members to identify members of the FLDS as Mormons because the founders of that denomination were excommunicated from the LDS church. Most members of these other groups have never been Mormons, so it is also inaccurate to call them "ex-Mormons" or "former Mormons."

The Associated Press Stylebook notes: “The term Mormon is not properly applied to the other ... churches that resulted from the split after [Joseph] Smith’s death.” off-site

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