As promised, I now present the (mostly) complete timeline of the schisms of the Church of Christ established by Joseph Smith in 1830. The mountain saints are along the top half, and the prairie saints are at the bottom.
I learned (and recalled) some fascinating stories and some tragic ones. The history of the Third Convention and its remnants, for instance, is well worth knowing (and has interesting repercussions for priesthood authority and church membership). The story of the Church of the Potter Christ ends on a tragic note, and the troubled history of many of the fundamentalist sects is also unfortunate. Note also the split from the RLDS church in the 1980s of the independent branches, who now seek for further leadership and revelation.
The Agreement of Working Harmony between the Hedrickites and the RLDS allowed them to mutually recognize each other’s priesthood as valid. Everyone knows about the Mormons in Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad, but did you know other Mormons appeared in there as well (George Adams’ Church of the Messiah)?
It is noteworthy that many of these organizations have actively continued to add new revelations to their Doctrine and Covenants (or the equivalent), such as the Fettingites and the Josephites (RLDS/C of C), as opposed to the Brighamites (LDS), which haven’t added a revelation to their canon since the 1916 vision of the redemption of the dead.
All in all, it’s been fascinating learning about the histories of all those who could read Moroni’s promise and believe in the Book of Mormon and the prophet who brought it forth, even if it did not always lead them to the Utah-based LDS church.