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Reorganized Church Of Latter Day Saints

First Council Of Nicaea

Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Independence, Missouri

The Glory of Saint Nicholas

In the fourth century, , as traditionally understood, taught that the Father existed prior to the Son who was not, by nature, God but rather a changeable creature who was granted the dignity of becoming “Son of God”. In 325, the adopted the Nicene Creed which described Christ as “God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father”, and the “Holy Ghost” as the one by which ” … of the “. . About the Father and the Son, the creed used the term homoousios to define the relationship between the Father and the Son. After more than fifty years of debate, homoousios was recognised as the hallmark of orthodoxy, and was further developed into the formula of “three persons, one being”.

The Confession of the First Council of Nicaea, the Nicene Creed, said little about the Holy Spirit. At the First Council of Nicea all attention was focused on the relationship between the Father and the Son, without making any similar statement about the Holy Spirit. In the words of the creed:

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father … And in the Holy Ghost. …

Jesus In The New Testament

In the , the public, collective devotional patterns towards Jesus in the early Christian community are reflective of Paul’s perspective on the divine status of Jesus in what scholars have termed a “binitarian” pattern or shape of devotional practice in the New Testament, in which “God” and Jesus are thematized and invoked. Jesus is described as “existing in the very form of God” , and having the “fullness of the Deity in bodily form” . Jesus is also in some verses directly called God .

The Gospels depict Jesus as human through most of their narrative, but “ne eventually discovers that he is a divine being manifest in flesh, and the point of the texts is in part to make his higher nature known in a kind of intellectual epiphany.” In the Gospels Jesus is described as forgiving sins, leading some theologians to believe Jesus is portrayed as God. This is because Jesus forgives sins on the behalf of others, people normally only forgive transgressions against oneself. The teachers of the law next to Jesus recognizes this and said

âWhy does this fellow talk like that? Heâs blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?â Mark 2:7

One of the most common verses emphasizing Jesus divinity is John 1:1.However, in a 1973 article, Philip B. Harner, of Religion at , claimed that the traditional translation of John 1:1c is incorrect. He endorses the translation of John 1:1c, “and what God was, the Word was.”

Jesus in later Christian theology

How Members View God The Book Of Mormon Salvation Priesthood Baptism Zion And More

The Church of Christ, left, Temple Lot and the Community of Christs temple and world headquarters, right, in Independence, Mo., in 2001.

The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was formed in 1860 by followers who dissented against the Nauvoo theology of founder Joseph Smith, says a Community of Christ theologian.

The RLDS faith, as it was known until 2001, drew on Smiths teachings that seemed to continue to make sense, says Tony Chvala-Smith, who teaches at the Community of Christ seminary in Independence, Mo. We are so significantly different from Mormons that I dont even use the term cousins.

As the church evolved, he says, increasingly there were parts of the Latter Day Saint past that did not square with our best understanding of Christian teachings.

Here are some concepts that Chvala-Smith says the Community of Christ views differently than the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

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Look For Online Records

Some records have been digitized and posted online, where they are easily searched. More are being added all the time. Partner websites such as, Findmypast, MyHeritage, and American Ancestors can be searched free-of-charge at any Family History Center.

Online databases are incomplete. This can lead to two common errors:

  • Near matches: Researchers might mistakenly accept an entry very similar to their ancestor, thinking it is the only one available “so it must be mine”. Only use information that matches your ancestor in date, place, other relationships, and details.
  • Stopping research: Researchers might assume the database proves church records do not exist. Actually the record is still out there, just not in this incomplete collection of records. Keep searching!
  • Presidencies Of Frederick M Smith And Israel A Smith

    Reorganized Church of Latter Day Saints photo

    Smith III’s son, Frederick Madison Smith, was accepted in 1915 as his successor as president. During F.M. Smith’s presidency, the church officially moved its headquarters to Independence, Missouri. F.M. Smith’s bold vision for the growing church included the construction of a massive World Headquarters building, known as the Auditorium. F.M. Smith also attempted to impose a greater degree of centralization on the church’s administration by issuing the controversial doctrine of supreme directional control, which led some members to leave the church and join the Church of Christ .

    F.M. Smith devoted much energy to the “cause of Zion”, calling for a “bureau of research and service” to effect the gathering of RLDS Church members to the Kansas City area, as well as to conceptualize and implement an “order of economic development.” F.M. Smith and several presiding bishops that served during his administration advocated the development of cooperative employee-owned enterprises as a key part of the RLDS Church’s economic development strategy for the Centerplace. Advocacy of F.M. Smith’s positions on “zionic development” continued after his death in 1946. Raymond Zinser, James Christenson and Wilford Winholtz of Harvest Hills, an RLDS cooperative community, were notable among RLDS advocates of zionic development of a cooperative social economy for the Kansas City region.

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    Use Of The Collection

    Restrictions on Use

    It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

    Permission to publish material from the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Collection must be obtained from the Special Collections Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

    Preferred Citation

    Initial Citation: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Collection USU_COLL MSS 369, Box . Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

    Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 369, USUSCA.

    What Are The Differences Betweenthe Rlds And Lds Faiths

    Both faiths recognize Joseph Smith, Jr. as founder. However, whenJoseph Jr. was killed in 1844, the church found itself in a stateof confusion and disorganization for several years. Thus, a numberof factions developed. One group moved west to the Great SaltLake Valley under the direction of Brigham Young. Thisgroup is now known as the Mormons. Other members believed thatJoseph Smith, Jr. had designated his eldest son, Joseph III, tobe his successor as president/prophet of the church. This groupremained in the midwest and became known as the Reorganization.The Reorganized CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints wasofficially organized on April 6, 1860, at Amboy, Illinois, underthe leadership of Joseph Smith III. Since 1920, the church hasbeen headquartered in Independence, Missouri.

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    Teachings On Plural Marriage

    Joseph Smith III was an ardent opponent of the practice of throughout his life. For most of his career, Smith denied that his father had been involved in the practice and insisted that it had originated with Young. Smith served many missions to the western United States where he met with and interviewed associates and women claiming to be widows of his father, who attempted to present him with evidence to the contrary. In the end, Smith concluded that he was “not positive nor sure that was innocent” and that if, indeed, the elder Smith had been involved, it was still a false practice. However, many members of the , and some of the groups that were formerly associated with it are still not convinced that Joseph Smith III’s father did indeed engage in plural marriage, and feel that the evidence that he did so is largely flawed.

    Community Of Christ Comes Into Being Friday

    Journey Home – 2012-01-08 – Former Mormon – Marcus Grodi with Albert Holder

    INDEPENDENCE, MO. The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officially change its name to the “Community of Christ” Friday 171 years after the church was founded.

    Delegates of the church’s 2000 World Conference approved the name change last year with a nearly 80 percent affirmative vote. Since that time, the church’s First Presidency, Presiding Bishopric and other church leaders have been working with Crane MetaMarketing of Atlanta on plans and guidelines for the name-change process.

    A day of celebration is planned Friday at the church’s temple and auditorium, which serves as its world headquarters in Independence. There will also be a press conference and a new sign unveiled at the temple.

    The church was legally organized on April 6, 1830, in Fayette, N.Y. The RLDS church broke away from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1844, after the death of founder Joseph Smith Jr.

    Joseph Smith III succeeded his father and was ordained prophet-president of the church on April 6, 1860. That’s also when the RLDS name was adopted.

    The international church has approximately 250,000 members in more than 50 countries.

    Many members had wanted a shorter name and one that more adequately represents the church’s theology and mission: “We proclaim Jesus Christ and promote communities of joy, hope, love and peace.”

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    President Of The Church


    As church president, Smith was what his biographer has called a “pragmatic prophet.” Many of RLDS Church followers were dissidents from what they felt were the excesses of a established by Smith’s father, and which they also felt were continued under Young in . From the start, Smith attempted to steer a middle course. Rather than deny the later and more controversial teachings of Smith’s father, such as , the divinity of the and the concepts of “” and the “,” Smith taught that these doctrines either were never officially accepted, were misinterpreted, or should simply not be emphasized. However, Smith repeatedly taught that his father did not teach or practice and that this practice was an invention of Young and his followers. Smith also resisted calls from his followers to announce a new gathering place or to quickly “redeem” and build up “” .

    In the 1860s and 1870s, Smith began to rebuild the structure of the church, establishing a new , , seven quorums of the , and a . Zenas H. Gurley, Sr. became President of the Council of Twelve. Smith presented a revelation which called , former of the church’s central , to be his first counselor in the reorganized First Presidency. After Marks died, Smith called and his brother, , to be his counselors in the First Presidency.

    Lds Myths About Reorganized Latter Day Saints

    John Hamer January 27, 2008 book of mormon, community of christ, feminism, historicity, history, LDS, Mormon, mormon, RLDS, women

    My uncle emailed me the other day. The bishop in his ward gave a talk about the Kirtland Temple and explained how the LDS church donated $100,000.00 per year to the Community of Christ for its upkeep. My uncle wanted to know, is that true?

    I knew it wasnt. My work with the John Whitmer Historical Association for the last few years has allowed me to form close connections with a number of Community of Christ leaders. But since this had been preached from the pulpit as a fact, I wanted to respond with definitive facts. So I talked to my friend Barbara Walden who is the director of the Kirtland Temple, and I put the question to her directly.

    This is hardly the only faith-promoting LDS rumor that is frequently repeated about the RLDS/Community of Christ. LDS Mormons seem to know a lot of facts about their Reorganized Latter Day Saint cousins. The only problem is that most of these facts arent facts at all.

    Let me cover a few more myths that I hear all the time:

    Does the Community of Christs experience presage the results the LDS church can expect to reap when women are eventually ordained and welcomed into the leadership? In the words of the RLDS First Presidency, the true answer is: hell, no!

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    One God In Three Persons

    In Trinitarian doctrine, God exists as three persons but is one being, having a single divine . The members of the Trinity are co-equal and co-eternal, one in essence, nature, power, action, and will. As stated in the , the Father is uncreated, the Son is uncreated, and the Holy Spirit is uncreated, and all three are eternal without beginning. “The Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” are not names for different parts of God, but one name for God because three persons exist in God as one entity. They cannot be separate from one another. Each person is understood as having the identical essence or nature, not merely similar natures.

    According to the “For, when we say: He who is the Father is not the Son, we refer to the distinction of persons but when we say: the Father is that which the Son is, the Son that which the Father is, and the Holy Spirit that which the Father is and the Son is, this clearly refers to the nature or substance”.

    Because such is the case , rejects the “psychological” theories of Trinity which define the Father as Knower, for example, and the Son as the Known . Scripture in one place or another identifies Knowing with each of the three Persons all told. Which is to say, according to the relationis oppositio, Knowing does not define the Persons at all, but the Unity of God instead. .

    Presidential Tenure And Succession

    1926 Book of Mormon

    Both Community of Christ and the LDS Church are headed by a President of the Church, a position created and held by Joseph Smith. In the LDS Church, succession to the presidency has been based on apostolic seniority. In Community of Christ, the president has the power to appoint a successor if the outgoing president does not appoint a successor, the Council of Twelve Apostles nominates a successor.

    After Smith, the next three presidents of Community of Christ served as President of the Church until their deaths. In 1978, W. Wallace Smith broke this tradition and retired from the presidency, designated himself as “president emeritus”, and appointed Wallace B. Smith as his successor. Wallace B. Smith and his chosen successorMcMurrayalso retired from the position. In the LDS Church, every President of the Church has served until his death and none have selected a successor prior to death.

    The LDS Church determines its presidential successor by principles of apostolic seniority combined with inspiration from God. When a church president dies, the member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who has been an apostle the longestthe President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostlesbecomes the new president of the church. Prior to making the succession official, the apostles individually and collectively pray for divine guidance and confirmation of their proposed action.

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    Presidency Of Stephen M Veazey

    Robinson and Judd announced that the Council of Twelve Apostles, in conjunction with the church’s other leadership quorums, would prayerfully consider who should succeed McMurray. On March 7, 2005, the Twelve announced their conviction that Stephen M. Veazey was called by God to be the next prophet-president of Community of Christ. A special World Conference that was convened in June 2005 sustained this call of Veazey to be president of the high priesthood, prophet, and president of the church. On June 3, 2005, he was ordained to this office and submitted a letter of council to the church regarding the leading quorums, orders, and councils of the church.

    On June 4, 2005, Robinson and David D. Schaal were ordained as counselors to the President in the church’s Community of Christ.

    Priesthood And Church Structure

    The Church of Jesus Christ teaches that the structure of the early church and that apostles, evangelists, elders, teachers, and deacons should still lead the church today. The most important calling within the church is considered to be that of a member. The leadership is not considered a hierarchy, but rather the higher the calling the greater the service. Each leadership position within the church further adds to the service required. No office within the church is paid, including the ministry. Apostles lead the church evangelists preach to the world elders serve their various branches and missions. All of these offices are considered the ministry of the church. Teachers visit the membership, teach, and preach or lead services when elders are not present. Deacons visit the sick, widows, and attend to many physical and spiritual duties for each branch of the church. Deaconesses set the sacrament table and attend to the needs and development of the women of the church.

    In worship services, members of the priesthood do not prepare written sermons prior to the meeting. Instead, the priesthood strives to speak under the inspiration from the Holy Spirit. Each week, church services begin with preaching from the priesthood and generally followed by a testimony portion of the meeting, during which time members of the congregation are given the opportunity to praise God for what He has done for them.

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