Joseph reaches Kirtland. While he was gone, Warren Parrish, John F. Boynton, Luke S. Johnson, Joseph Coe, and others had tried to overthrow the Church. Under the name "Church of Christ," and calling themselves the "Reformers" or the "Old Standard," they called those who supported Joseph heretics, took over the temple frequently, and tried to run Joseph's followers out of town. Those who defended Joseph are sharply criticized and, according to one testimony, "there were not 20 persons on earth that would declare that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God." At one point, someone claimed that Moses was a rascal, the prophets were tyrants, Jesus a despot, Paul a liar, and all religion "a fudge." Shortly after returning to Kirtland, Joseph calls a meeting of elders in the temple. Joseph and Sidney give forceful speeches against the apostates. This group, led by Oliver Cowdery, John Whitmer, and David Whitmer, as well as Boynton, Parrish, and the Johnsons, speak against Joseph. The meeting breaks up in confusion. Nearly 50 leaders of the apostates are excommunicated. Threats of violence continue.
[Conkling, Christopher J., Joseph Smith Chronology]
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