Both the Church of Christ (Temple Lot) and the LDS Church accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God. But what are the differences in belief among the two churches? Jean Addams will talk about a major disagreement over the Doctrine & Covenants, among other things.
Jean: Well, I think the Book of Commandments was sent in script form to Missouri. It was Phelps’ job to get it printed. So, Phelps and probably with Oliver Cowdery and John Whitmer, they probably, all of them participated in trying to edit. You can see marks in the original that show that somebody was putting a word in here or there to just clean it up. I don’t think Joseph ever officially thought that was going to be the final word. It certainly was used as a starting point for the 1835 edition of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Jean: Bill Sheldon [recently deceased apostle for Church of Christ], bless his heart, he made a big deal out of out of the changes. Some of the changes, of course, are just additions and a lot of them are cleanups, words, punctuation, things like that. But it wasn’t done, I should add that. There was more to be printed. The Church of Christ Temple Lot doesn’t buy that at all.
GT: Oh, they think that that was the whole thing.
Jean: They think that’s the whole thing.
GT: Okay. Well, I know when I spoke with Randy [Sheldon, Bill’s son], one of the things he made a big deal about was our now section 20. That has been expanded, and he has said, “You compare my Book of Commandments with your section 20, and you’re going to see a bunch of verses that have been added.” So yes, there were some grammar things, but there were definitely large sections that were added.
Jean: Yep, and I don’t think anybody makes a big deal out of that. Latter-day revelations to Joseph got added in rather than creating a whole new section, at some point in time. When I first was introduced to Bill Sheldon, so this is a good one… Bill started on me with the changes. I finally said, “Bill, stop, stop, stop just for a second.” He said, “What’s that? And I said, “Can I look at your song book?” He said, “Sure.” So he gets me a song book. I’d been to their church the day before, my first time. I happened to notice the songs that were in there. One of your songs is on page one something. “We Thank Thee Oh God…” and Latter-day Saints would say “For a Prophet.” It says, “For the Spirit.” So I said, “Who changed that?” He laughed and smiled and he said, “Me.” I said, “Okay, we’re even. Can we go on to something else?” And he said, “Fair deal.” At that point time, we became good friends.
We talk further about similarities and differences between the two churches. Check out our conversation….