SL10126: Joseph Smith, Matthew Philip Gill, and the Dynamics of Mormon Schism

In 2007, Matthew Philip Gill of Derbyshire, England, announced the formation of the Latter Day Church of Jesus Christ. He claimed to be acting under angelic direction and produced a new scripture, the Book of Jeraneck, to usher in his new faith. Gill claims to have restored the Mormon movement which Joseph Smith founded as a restoration of the church Jesus organized but which Gill claims has fallen into apostasy– particularly its primary iteration, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which Gill was raised in but abandoned. This paper points out ways Gill draws upon the Mormon tradition to claim authority for his new church but also the ways he seeks to alter the balance between the LDS Church and the culture around it. In particular, I explore Gill’s founding narrative, comparing the language, motifs, and forms of spirituality in the Book of Jeraneck with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.