Robert O'Callahan. Christian. Repatriate Kiwi. Hacker.
Why didn't he quickly drift into the same irrelevance as his predecessors? What happened next made all the difference.
The conversion of Constantine to Christianity...
That was nearly three hundred years later, so no :-).
Who is Constantine?
It's been nearly 200 years since Mormonism was founded. Why didn't Joseph Smith quickly drift into irrelevance? Is that not in the same category?
A good question. I think he's not in the same category: he was never seen as the Messiah, so his death did not greatly undermine the basis of Mormonism.
He was resurrected to become the Life-Giving Spirit! 1 Corinthians 15:45