Scripture Stories
Chapter 58: A New Leader for the Church: July–August 1844

“Chapter 58: A New Leader for the Church: July–August 1844,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories (2002), 206–8

“Chapter 58,” Doctrine and Covenants Stories, 206–8

Chapter 58

A New Leader for the Church

July–August 1844

Nauvoo Temple
Saints speaking together

After the Prophet Joseph Smith was killed, the Church did not have a President. The Saints were not sure who should be their leader.

Apostles serving missions

Most of the Apostles were away on missions.

Sidney Rigdon leaving Nauvoo

Sidney Rigdon had been Joseph Smith’s counselor. But he had not obeyed the Lord and had moved away from Nauvoo.

Sidney Rigdon returning to Nauvoo

When Sidney Rigdon heard that Joseph Smith was dead, he came back to Nauvoo. He wanted to be the leader of the Church.

Apostle returning from mission

The Apostles who were away on missions also came back to Nauvoo when they learned of Joseph’s death. Brigham Young was the leader of the Apostles. He said the Lord had given the Apostles the authority to lead the Church until a new President was chosen.

Sidney Rigdon speaking loudly

The members of the Church had a meeting. First Sidney Rigdon spoke to them and said he should be the leader of the Church.

Brigham Young appearing as Joseph

Then Brigham Young spoke and said the Apostles should lead the Church. The Holy Ghost was with him. Brigham Young’s voice sounded like Joseph Smith’s voice, and to some people he even looked like Joseph Smith. The Saints knew that God had chosen the Apostles to lead the Church, and they all voted to accept the Apostles as their leaders. Sidney Rigdon was angry. He went back to his home and started a church of his own. He was no longer a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.