Country Profile


Lucy Mack Smith, mother of Church President Joseph Smith, traveled to Michigan in 1831, just one year after the organization of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. She visited her brother in Pontiac, preached, and warned one unfriendly pastor that one-third of his flock would soon be Latter-day Saints. When Joseph Smith sent men to Pontiac, they baptized 22 people from the pastor's congregation, including the deacon. The Church President visited Michigan in 1834. He was later murdered by mobs in Illinois in 1844, thus ending a period of Church advancement in the state. Several Church members began the trek westward with other Saints. One apostate, James J. Strang, claimed to be Joseph Smith's successor as Church President. Although he was denounced by leaders, he formed a group that settled on Beaver Island in Lake Michigan before disbanding.

In December 1928, the Church's first building in Detroit was completed. In 1939, missionaries— who had been recalled from foreign areas because of World War II— formed a chorus that performed public concerts.

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