Charles Blancher Thompson
(January 27, 1814–February 27, 1895) was an American leader of a schismatic sect in the Latter Day Saint movement from
1848 to 1858.
He claimed the title Baneemy
and his followers were known as "Baneemyites".
was born in Niskayuna, New
York to a Quaker family.
converted to Mormonism
an elder in the church and
was faithful to the church leadership until the death of founder Joseph Smith,
Jr. In 1841, Thompson published Evidence in Proof of the
Book of Mormon in Batavia, New York.
Among the several aspirants
Smith's successor, Thompson initially accepted James J. Strang
as the rightful leader of the
Latter Day Saints
. However, in January
1848 Thompson broke with Strang after Thompson reported to having
received a revelation from God while he was living in St. Louis,
Thompson began to claim that he was the
reincarnation of the biblical Ephraim
that he was to be known as "Baneemy, patriarch of Zion". Thompson
claimed that a revelation received by Joseph Smith on June 22,
1834, referred to him:
And I will soften the hearts of the people, as I did
the heart of Pharaoh, from time to time, until my servant Baurak
Ale, and Baneemy, whom I have appointed, shall have time to gather
up the strength of my house ...
Thompson self-published a tract
entitled The Voice of Him!! That Crieth in the
Wilderness, Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord!!
, and gathered
fifty to sixty followers around him, whom he instructed in his
"School of Preparation". Thompson named his church the
Congregation of Jehovah’s Presbytery of Zion
his followers were often called Baneemyites
because of Thompson's claim to the title. The group was also
referred to as the Conjespresites
September 1853, Thompson moved his followers to Monona County,
Iowa, north of Council Bluffs, where they established a communitarian commune called
Thompson enforced strict rules of behavior
among his followers and published a variety of periodicals while in
St. Louis and in Iowa, including Zion’s Harbinger and Baneemy’s
, Preparation News
. In 1858, Thompson published a 208-page tract
entitled Law and Covenants of
Israel; Written to Ephraim from Jehovah, the Mighty God of Jacob:
Ephraim and Baneemy’s Proclamation
In October 1858, Thompson's followers "ran him out of town".
property owned by the commune was the subject of a lengthy court
battle which was not resolved by the Iowa Supreme Court until 1867. Thompson ultimately moved to Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, where in 1892 a city directory listed him as
"Reverend Charles B.
Thompson". He died in Philadelphia in
1895. The Preparation Canyon State Park in Iowa now occupies the
space where Thompson's commune of Preparation once was.
- Doctrine and Covenants 102:8b (Community of Christ ed.). In the
Church edition of the Doctrine and Covenants, the
passage is found in 105:27; however, the modern LDS version has replaced
names "Barauk Ale" with "Joseph Smith, Jun." and "Baneemy" with
"mine elders". It is thought that "Baneemy" may have originally had
reference to Lyman
- Gregory L. Hawley and William G. Hartley, "Before the Arabia Sank: Mormon Passengers
up the Missouri in 1856", Nauvoo Journal, Fall 1998, p. 130,
- C. R. Marks, “History of Monona County,” Annals of
Iowa, vol. 7, no. 5, (3d series), Apr. 1906, 321–346
- B.H. Roberts (1930).
Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints: Century I (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book) 2:437–438
- Steven L. Shields (1990, 4th ed.). Divergent Paths of the
Restoration (Independence, Mo.: Herald
House) pp. 51–53