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Intro to Christ’s Church (Part 1 of 8)

I’m excited to introduce David Patrick and Benjamin Shaffer.  David is an apostle and Ben is a Seventy in Christ’s Church based in southern Utah.  We will get acquainted with them and find out more about the organization of their church and how it relates to the LDS Church.

GT:  How big is your church? How many members do you have, would you say?

Benjamin:  Just a few hundred at the most. The other thing, too, though, is this brings up the question of how do you count your church membership? We don’t count everyone who’s ever been baptized, until 120 years later, the way that mainstream church does. We really count our membership by those who actually show up to a solemn assembly, which you do need to recommend for, but it’s sort of like our General Conference. People who come to that, then that’s basically what we assume our membership actually is because these are the active members. But, you could come maybe to one and miss one, and we’d still count you, right? If we’re not counting someone as a member, it doesn’t mean we think that they’ve necessarily lost their blessings. We’re not excommunicating them. We’re not assuming that their ordinances aren’t valid. That’s all fine. So I suppose you could add a few hundred more if all those people counted who haven’t been here in a few years, but we figure it’s not exactly accurate to count them as full members if they’re not going to show up.

GT: Yeah, well, that’s fine. So is your church relatively new then? How long has it been in existence?

David:  Just over 40 years.

GT: Oh, it’s 40 years. Okay.

Benjamin:  So it’s relatively new.

GT: Oh, I should ask you this question. Are you guys Mormons?

Benjamin:  Oh, yeah. In fact, I have an “I’m a Mormon” bumper sticker.

GT:  Oh, you do?

Benjamin:  Yeah. A friend of mine who wasn’t in our church. When Nelson gave the talk, she made up some “I’m a Mormon” bumper stickers. So that we could say, “Hey, you know, if the larger, mainstream church doesn’t want to claim it, we can be the real Mormons and they can be ex-Mormons. (Chuckling)

David:  We’re very comfortable with being called a Mormon because I love the Book of Mormon. I just love it. It’s a definite part of our canon of Scripture.

Check out our conversation!

Intro to Christ's Church (Part 1 of 8)
Benjamin Shaffer (left) and David Patrick (right) are members of Christ’s Church. Benjamin is a Seventy and David is an apostle.

Don’t miss our previous conversation with David!

Reflecting on 50 Years:  “Jesus Was Married”

Intro to Christ's Church (Part 1 of 8)
David Patrick is an apostle for Christ’s Church. Anne Wilde is an Independent Polygamist who helped Ogden Kraut write “Jesus Was Married.”

346:  Surprising Sales at Seventies Bookstore (Patrick/Wilde)

345:  Uniquely Mormon Marriage Theology (Patrick/Wilde)

344:  “There is No Marriage in Heaven” (Patrick/Wilde)

343:  Evangelical Arguments about Marriage in Heaven (Patrick/Wilde)

342: Was Jesus the Groom at Wedding at Cana? (Patrick/Wilde)

341: Making the Case that Jesus Was Married (Patrick/Wilde)

More Podcasts with these Interviewees

People Interviewed: Benjamin Shaffer, David Patrick
LDS Theology: Polygamy
Denominations: Christ's Church
People in LDS History: Mormon History

7 thoughts on “Intro to Christ’s Church (Part 1 of 8)

  1. Very Good interview. My questions, which I hope you asked them, are: what is the nature of their church’s acceptance of Brigham Young’s priesthood doctrine concerning black people and the subsequent priesthood ban? Do they teach it as a doctrine? If yes, Is it theologically necessary to them? Do they foresee it ever changing? How do they teach it to their potential converts? How do they decide how much african ancestry is too much, especially given dna science? Could a member of their church openly reject that doctrine and remain in good standing? Thanks.

  2. If you are curious about the 8 additional revelations I mentioned as a scripture insert, You can find an older pdf version of the Addendum to the Doctrine and Covenants here:

  3. cWb,

    I did not ask about blacks, but I do know it can be a touchy subject with them. Hopefully Benjamin can answer more fully. But I did talk to Anne Wilde about it, and she isn’t aware of any black polygamists. It does seem the Curse of Cain is (unfortunately) alive and well in most (if not all) polygamist communities. See

  4. Rick, In the discussion with the brethren from “Christ’s Church” they referred to a paper recently presented at a conference regarding Joseph F Smith and polygamy. I want to explore that further. Do you know what conference they were referencing and who presented that paper?

    Thank you very much for your time and help.

  5. Historian Michael Quinn gave a paper at sunstone last year. Quinn is working on a book and have some preliminary findings. Sometimes sunstone makes recordings and ideas then for a small fee. I’ll see if I can find something.

  6. I think audio version of the paper can be purchased for a small fee at the Sunstone website. It is session 233: JOHN W. WOOLLEY’S ACTIVITIES AS A HIGHLY TRUSTED MORMON. Here is the link:

  7. Rick,
    Thank your for finding the information I requested. I have downloaded the session and look forward to listening to it.
    I just finished listening to Lindsey Hansen Park. It was so good!! Thanks.

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