Definitions for daniteˈdæn aɪt
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word danite
A member of the Biblical tribe of Dan.
A member of a fraternal vigilante group founded by members of the Latter Day Saints in the 1830s.
a descendant of Dan; an Israelite of the tribe of Dan
one of a secret association of Mormons, bound by an oath to obey the heads of the church in all things
Origin: [So called in remembrance of the prophecy in Gen. xlix. 17, Dan shall be a serpent by the way, etc.]
The Danites were a fraternal organization founded by Latter Day Saint members in June 1838, in the town of Far West in Caldwell County, Missouri. During their period of organization in Missouri, the Danites operated as a vigilante group and took a central role in the events of the 1838 Mormon War. Whether or not the Danites existed after the 1847 arrival of the LDS in Utah is still debated. However, they remained an important part of Mormon and non-Mormon folklore, polemics, and propaganda for the remainder of the 19th century, waning in ideological prominence after Utah gained statehood. Notwithstanding public excommunications of Danite leaders by the Church and both public and private statements from Joseph Smith referring to the band as being both evil in nature and a "secret combination" to which he attributed no part of, the nature and scope of the organization, and the degree to which it was officially connected to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are a matter of some dispute among historians. Earlier in the band's existence, Joseph Smith appeared to endorse the groups actions, but later turned against them as violence increased and the actions of the Danites inspired a hysteria in Missouri that eventually led to the Extermination Order.
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