Who Was James Strang?

Hey guys, so we’ve done one episode in the past about a guy named James Strang which you should go watch if you haven’t yet. But there’s a lot more to his story that we didn’t get to in that video. In this episode all I want to do is give you a little background information about James Strang and his story. If you are familiar with Joseph Smith, you’ll be able to see where Strang’s story is somewhat similar to Joseph’s story, but you’ll also see where it is significantly different. Let’s jump in.

James Jesse Strang was born in New York, in 1812. He grew up on a farm and is described as having “A desperate thirst for knowledge” as a youth. “The school library was to him a treasure surpassing Coronado’s golden dream of the seven cities of Cibola.” Between the ages of 18 and 23, Strang kept a diary, which you can read online. Some parts were written in code, which has since been deciphered. Strang’s first diary entry was, “Today I read seven hours in Volney’s Ruins, reading more than 360 pages. It is admirable work and well-executed.”

In these formative years, Strang records in his diary his journey to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. He writes about his desire to serve mankind, but also his goals of fame. He writes about revolutionizing governments and countries; Rising to power via international intrigue or marriage into the English royal family. “My mind has always been filled with dreams of royalty and power,” he wrote at 19.

He was baptized into the Baptist church at 12 years old, though as a 20-year-old he wrote in code, “I am a perfect atheist, but do not profess it lest I bring my father grey hair with sorrow to the grave.” His next entry, nine days later, says, “Some time since took a resolution which I now solemnly confirm, to be a Priest, a Lawyer, a Conquerer, and a Legislator unless I find better business.”

To read the entire article: Faith & Beliefs