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The squared, circled priesthood knot is officially designated as the primary symbol of Smithicism.
|Lord President||Calvin F. Murray|
|Headquarters||Hallowed Temple, Zion, Deseret|
|Founder||Gregor John Smith|
|Origin||September 30, 1736 |
|Members||est. 45 million|
The Smithic Church (Deseretan: 𐐝𐑋𐐮𐑃𐐮𐐿 𐐗𐐳𐑉) is a Nontrinitarian Christian Abro-united church based in the theocratic state Deseret. The church reports 30 million members worldwide, with the highest concentration in Deseret. It was originally founded by Gregor John Smith in the mid 18th century in the Second Nephite Empire, and has spread to over 40 countries.
The history of the Smithic faith is generally divided into four distinct periods: (1) its early history under Gregor John Smith and his direct successors; (2) the period of unrest preceding the Great Smithic War; (3) the Great Smithic War and its aftermath; and (4) the modern period of the Smithic state under Deseret.
Early Church & Exodus
During the 1730's a young Arthuristan exile, Gregor John Smith, and a small group of his religious followers arrived in Nephi. Having fled his home country after being pursued by Arthuristan authorities for fraud, he quickly began re-establishing his religious organization in Nephi under the name the Community of the Lord. He drew in new converts with his publishing of pamphlets spreading his message of a Christian sect that would "assert the rights of the every man to a community of which every man may prosper."
The organization found early success amongst the lower classes of the major Nephite cities, including Nephite itself, Bountiful, and Lehi.
By 1770, anti-Smithic tension in the Nephite cities reached a boiling point. While proselytizing in Soran, a small city located west of Nephi, Gregor John Smith and a number of other church officials, including Apostles Harry Gardner and Louis Thatcher, were attacked by a mob. As they fended off the angry citizens, Smith's former associate Colonel Mortin Selenst arrived with the city's militia, and offered refuge in the city hall. Smith agreed, seeking protection for his group until Apostle Josiah Cobbler could arrive with a levy of faithful to evacuate them.
As Smith and his followers were led into the town plaza, however, it became immediately clear to them that they had been betrayed. City militia lined the square, facing a gallows at the center, and flanked by hanged & burned missionaries. Selenst declared Smith and his followers traitors, and ordered them be executed. Despite his protest and pleas, Smith was hanged alongside the others of his group on March 4, 1772, and subsequently his body burned.
Cobbler arrived a few hours later with 750 armed faithful in time to be intercepted by a group of Smithic refugees fleeing the city bringing news of Gregor John Smith's execution and attacking of Smithics in the city by mobs. Cobbler, recognizing that his force would not stand up to the city's militia, ordered the faithful to evacuate Smithics out of the nearby towns and southward into the nearby town of Galgia. He sent a messenger directly to Nauvoo, the Church's headquartered city, requesting a larger levy of faithful to assist in the evacuation.
As the Church suffered from considerable revocations and restrictions of their exercised power by the waning Second Nephite Empire, the movement for the Church to form its own state grew significantly among the clergy and devout. The formation of organizations, such as the Sons of the Saints and the Onyx Bees, drew in thousands of young, disenfranchised Smithics. Church President Daniel Jules Charleson resisted the movement, seeking to maintain as much of the status quo as possible and pushing for a political peace.
The policy of peace ended abruptly with the assassination of Emperor Darwin II by the Onyx Bees in July of 1819. In the following weeks, with the strong personality of Darwin II removed, the empire shattered. As various generals took up armies to carve out regions from the former imperial territories, the remnant of the empire retaliated with the seizure of property and the mass arrest of Smithics. In the chaos, President Charleson and the First Presidency was killed, believed to have been assassinated, though it is unclear by who.
With the empire collapsing around them and the death of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve opted to elect Samuel Mordecai, a young bishop over the largest ward in Bountiful, as temporary president as an intended sacrificial lamb during the time of upheaval. This proved to be a miscalculation, as President Mordecai proved to be far more ambitious and influential than the Quorum could have expected. Almost immediately, he began mobilizing the manpower of the Church's followers to prepare for securing his position and the position of the Church in the coming years.